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your 2018 guide to


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Ile aux Serpents

Proudly published by Selling Travel Magazine © 2017.

Ilot Gabriel Coin de Mire

Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK T 020 8649 7233 | F 020 8649 7234 Publishers: Steve Thompson & Sally Parker Advertisement Manager: Lisa Merrigan Commercial Director: David Clare Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge Editor: Julie Baxter Writer: Nicki Grihault Creative Director: Matt Bonner Designer: Zoë Tarrant

Ile Ronde

Ile Plate






Maheswarnath Shiv Mandir temple




Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens L’Aventure du Sucre

Food market


Legend Pagoda



Production Manager: Clare Hunter Production Controller: Steve Hunter Managing Director: Martin Steady


We are members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Visit USA Association, LATA, PATA, MENATA, SATOA, the Foreign Airlines Association and the Institute of Travel & Tourism. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. ISSN: 2056-9319. Cover image:


Els Course At Anahita Le Tousserok



Domaine de L’Etoile Adventure Park


Casela Nature & Leisure Park

CUREPIPE Tamarind Falls Reservoir

Swim with dolphins

La Vallée de Ferney Adventure Park


Sea Karting Ile aux Bénitiers



Ile aux Aigrettes

Grand Bassin

La Rhumerie de Chamarel Seven Coloured Earths Le Paradis Le Morne Brabant

Travel Trade Publication of the Year

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport

La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park

Heritage Golf Club

Rochester Falls


La Vanille Nature Park 0 0

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5 Km 5 Mi

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Zilwa Attitude


n islander once told Mark Twain that “Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius”. As this tropical island prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence in 2018, it has plenty to brag about. A safe and secure haven in troubled times, its palm-strewn luxury hotels and resorts – set on miles of sandy beaches with a reeffringed azure sea – have a solid reputation and service. In addition to the independence landmark, national carrier Air Mauritius is also marking its Golden anniversary so there are more reasons than ever for a visit. On trend for those seeking authentic and eco- experiences, the island’s appeal ranges from forested mountains dotted with ebony trees and rare birds to basalt shores, and the eclectic fusion cuisine. The island’s Dutch, French and British colonial legacy is reflected in plantation houses, botanic gardens and sugar estates turned eco-parks, while its African, Indian and Chinese heritage is expressed in temples, markets and the hip-wiggling local dance, sega. The free MyMauritius App, with interactive map and travel checklist, is a great place to start planning (


Dubbed the Creole Cote D’Azur, and with more sandy beaches and sunshine than anywhere else on the island, the north is understandably popular. Grand Baie is the centre of the action, situated on a horseshoe-shaped sheltered bay around an emerald lagoon on the northwest coast. It has hotels aplenty, shopping and the island’s best nightlife – around 50 restaurants line the coastal road to Pereybère.

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contents 06 Where to stay 12 What’s new 14 Culture & cuisine 16 Unmissables 20 Spas & wellness 22 Golf & green Mauritius 24 Adventure 26 Weddings & honeymoons 28 Family holidays 30 Events calendar 32 Tour operators 34 General information

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Mauritius may be a large tropical island but it’s compact enough to swim with dolphins in the morning and go ziplining in an eco-park in the afternoon

With a new affordable golf course, the North is the ‘in’ place to be again, with hotels for all tastes and budgets, and buzzing with restaurants

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Activities range from sea karting or an undersea walk and time at the Aquarium to a microlight flight to championship golf. Excursions include a submarine trip past wrecks to a catamaran cruise to the pristine northern islands. In the northeast, lies the fishing village of Grande Gaube. Inland, you can follow the 300-year history of sugar at interactive museum L’Aventure du Sucre, and stroll through palm-lined avenues to a giant Amazon lilies pond at 18th-Century Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, with over 500 plant species. This is a great area for colonial heritage. Plantation houses include Château Labourdonnais (modelled on Versailles), which has an artisanal rum bar and gourmet restaurant. Head up Le Pouce (‘the thumb’), the island’s easiest mountain to climb, for views over the capital, Port Louis ‘Porlwi’. Then explore its colonial buildings, colourful stalls – especially those of the great food market – and swanky shops at Le Caudan Waterfront. The historic Pagoda nearby and the Hindu Temple in the village of Triolet should also be on the itinerary.




The breezy east coast is the Mauritius of the posters. Trou d’Eau Douce is the only resort and lies opposite Ile aux Cerfs, with lures of translucent turquoise waters, watersports and golf. For eco-adventures, hire a quad-bike or segway or ride the Indian Ocean’s longest zipline at Domaine L’Etoile adventure park. A powerboat trip can take in the lesser-visited southeast islands, or join a nature walk through ancient ebony trees at La Vallée de Ferney. The Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve is home to Mauritian kestrels, pink pigeons, giant tortoises and the Telfair skink. The historic southeast has the ruins of the Dutch first settlement, at Vieux Grand Port and the original port of Mahébourg.

The sheltered west coast has calm, shallow golden-sand beaches favoured by young families, particularly around the resort areas of Flic en Flac and the quieter Wolmar. Nearby, chilled Tamarin Bay is the island’s only surf spot (July to September), although best known for dolphin-swimming, while Black River (Rivière Noire) is famed for game fishing. Eco-adventure park Casela offers encounters with African animals and activities galore, from mud-karting to a canyon swing. For nature lovers, the verdant Black River Gorges National Park provides glimpses of rare birds including the echo parakeet. Flanked by statues of Hindu gods, Grand Bassin and Ganga Talao are crater lakes surrounded by temples most vibrant during festivals; while the Chamarel highlands have the geological marvel of the Coloured Earths and the new Ebony Forest Reserve. The exclusive Le Morne Peninsula, in the shadow of UNESCO-listed Le Morne Brabant mountain, with its poignant slave history, has some of the best kite-surfing on the planet.

The sleepy south is Mauritius’ wilder side. The rustic coastal road winds past the surf-sculpted basalt cliffs at Gris Gris to the rocky monolith of Le Morne Brabant, taking in sleepy fishing villages, such as Baie du Cap, roadside fruit stalls and deserted beaches. Bel Ombre, the region’s only resort, in the southwest, has the forested Black River Gorges National Park as a backdrop and thrills including quad biking, buggy riding or hiking to a waterfall in Frederica Nature Reserve. Glass-bottom boat trips head out from Blue Bay Marine Park in the southeast, and encounters with crocodiles, giant tortoises and the Mauritius fruit bat or iguana await at La Vanille Nature Park. 

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The Beauty of the Place, The Beauty of the Heart M A U R I T I U S - S E YC H E L L E S - F R E N C H R I V I E R A

Beachcomber Tours, Direction House, 186 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3HW, 01483 445 610,

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auritius has accommodation to suit every taste and budget – from world-leading luxury resorts with the best in gourmet dining, world-class spas and butler service to boutique beauties and even glamping and guesthouses. With a halt on hotel builds, and a new classification system, Mauritius has seen its accommodation sector refreshed and revamped by a wave of investment.


Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels has eight four- and five-star hotels on prime stretches of beach islandwide. Spruced up in 2015, its flagship hotel, Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury, has 69 opulent suites under thatch on a pure white-sand beach in the northwest. Five-star hotels on exclusive Le Morne include the sporty Paradis Beachcomber, with a 5km beach and championship golf course. It added 50 smart new ocean beachfront rooms and suites in September 2016. Romantic suite and villa-only Dinarobin Beachcomber has a spa and a new Umani à la carte Asian-Fusion restaurant. Shandrani Beachcomber is the island’s first five-star all-inclusive and the largest resort in the southeast. On the northwest coast, Trou Aux B Beachcomber has suites and villas around 102 pools. The all-inclusive Victoria Beachcomber at Pointe aux Piments reopened in December

2016 with a new adults-only section, Victoria for Two, with 40 swim-up and ocean view rooms and new kids and teens club.


Mauritian-owned Sun Resorts has four properties. The west coast plantation-style Sugar Beach Golf & Spa Resort (previously Sugar Beach Resort & Spa) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with free green fees on Tamarina championship golf course and a new colonial-style bar featuring floral rum cocktails Family favourite La Pirogue Resort & Spa has fresh boho chic rooms with wooden floors and colourful bedspreads but will close to revamp its public areas from June to mid-August 2017. The five-star Long Beach Golf and Spa Resort, set on an exceptional east coast beach, has a new Japanese restaurant, The Hasu, and African yoga. The nearby Ambre Resort & Spa is a four-star adults-only all inclusive.

Adults-only options are increasing, from new hotels to exclusive accommodation areas bars and restaurants LA PIROGUE RESORT & SPA



Legendary hotelier Paul Jones created LUX* Resorts & Hotels ‘Lighter and Brighter’ luxury in 2012. The group’s three five-star stunners include LUX* Le Morne, with a kitesurfing school; cool LUX* Belle Mare on the east coast, with chic interiors and an award-winning spa; and sheltered boutique haven LUX* Grand Gaube in the north, which is closing from June to December 2017. It will reopen with refurbished rooms, new villas designed by Kelly Hoppen and fresh culinary offerings. The three-star family-friendly bargain LUX*


INSPIRE Combine the coast with a city stay at the revamped Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, a gourmet favourite in Port Louis Harbour or Le Suffren, with a spa and nightlife

Go glamping at Otentic Ecotent’s new vegetarian mountain retreat with thatched lodges and a rock pool


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Merville Beach is to be transformed into a stunning five-star villa resort LUX* Grand Baie.



Constance Hotels and Resorts has two exceptional five-star properties on the east coast. The discreet Constance Le Prince Maurice has overwater bungalows, family suites, a floating bar and a seafood restaurant. The cool family-friendly all-inclusive Constance Belle Mare Plage reopened in August 2016 after a £12.7 million contemporary makeover, with new beachfront junior suites, prestige rooms and fresh dining concepts including the Blue Penny ‘gourmet cellar’.




Veranda Resorts has five island hotels. In the north, the three-star superior Veranda Paul & Virginie is favoured by romantic couples while bedrooms at the barefoot four-star Veranda Pointe aux Biches were recently redesigned as ‘tropical cocoons’. Veranda Grand Baie is an oasis of Creole charm in buzzy Grand Baie. Veranda recently acquired legendary 1970s surf classic, the three-star Hotel Tamarin, with watersports and jazz nights in Tamarin Bay.



Three five-star Heritage Resorts are nestled on Domaine de Bel Ombre, in the foothills of the Black River Gorges National Park. These include the African-style all-inclusive colonialstyle Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort,

INSPIRE Mauritius is Kuoni’s second most popular spot for all-inclusive holidays. On offer are great-value premium packages with everything from rum cocktail classes to water-skiing


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The Mauritian-owned Attitude group manages 10 mainly three- and four-star all-inclusive hotels. Most popular is the northern fourstar Zilwa Attitude, overlooking Coin de Mire, and the large and lively Ravenala Attitude in Turtle Bay, a four-star all-suite hotel with a great value ‘dine around’ experience and the island’s only daily nightclub. The Mediterranean-style adults-only three-star superior Récif Attitude in Pointe aux Piments has added L’Ocean, a candle-lit Bohemian beach shack serving lobster dinners. Undergoing a makeover in summer 2017, the Creole-style adultsonly three-star superior Tropical Attitude in Trou d’ Eau Douce reopens on September 1. Coin de Mire Attitude in the north will re-emerge on October 1 as a three-star superior hotel with 20 new rooms.



which closed for a facelift in May but will re-emerge on September 1 2017 with a new kids club, open-air cinema and culinary workshops. Spacious and tranquil, Heritage the Villas has access to all facilities including The C Beach Club and Heritage Golf Club.

The remodelled Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, offering Asian-style luxury in Trou d’Douce, unveiled three redesigned three-bedroom beachfront villas in April 2016. Other epitomes of east coast elegance

Newer self-catering options include Cap-Ouest in Flic en Flac and Belle-Crique in Black River


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On the south-western side of the island, the soft white sands of Le Morne Beach and its turquoise lagoon create a magical setting where lavishly appointed accommodation and pampering converge amid the many charms of Mauritius.

Step into The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa Mauritius, and you’ll notice right away how great it feels to be here. Rest assured, throughout your stay we do everything we can to make sure you say goodbye satisfied, energised and revitalised.

Le MĂŠridien Ile Maurice stands at the edge of 1,000 metres of sparkling ivory sands on the North-West coast of Mauritius in the bay of Pointe Aux Piments. Verdant gardens create the perfect atmosphere for a romantic idyll or a serene getaway.

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort encompasses 172 suites, 5 restaurants and the award-winning Iridium Spa, all along a 1km stretch of beachfront. Bask in the sun by a luxurious pool or on the beach; go wind and kite surfing; or escape to a sanctuary of rejuvenation at the award winning Iridium Spa. This island sanctuary delivers beyond expectation for all.

The resort, with 190 rooms, is nestled in a tranquil spot in the historic Balaclava area, facing the idyllic Turtle Bay, a protected marine park.

Discover a wide selection of sophisticated restaurants and bars and, beyond the simple relaxation afforded by the sand and sea, an infinite choice of activities and sports such as spa or diving.

Explore breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean while discovering the best address on the island.

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Embraced by the gently swaying sugar cane fields and the warm turquoise water of the Indian Ocean, the Resort invites you to experience the magic of Mauritian hospitality in a truly luxurious setting at

Unlock the destination under new perspectives at

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Explore your senses with Emotions, your local DMC.

include Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, with an Ernie Els-designed golf course and kids’ club, and the transformed Anahita Golf and Spa Resort (previously Anahita the Resort Mauritius) with new junior suites and deluxe pool villas, four dining concepts and a brand-new spa by Themae Paris. Romantic basalt retreat Oberoi Mauritius in Turtle Bay, with luxury pavilions and pool villas under thatch in botanical gardens, has a new exclusive Japanese Omakase gourmet tasting menu in the Gunpowder Room. On a secluded cove on the northwest coast, exclusive wellness and romantic hideaway Angsana Balaclava Mauritius has luxury suites with private pools, Jacuzzis and hammams and a renowned spa. Starwood’s three properties in Mauritius are Le Méridien Ile Maurice in Pointe aux Piments ,with a kids’ club; the wellness-oriented Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa Mauritius in nearby Turtle Bay; and the five-star plantation-style St Regis Mauritius Resort, on the exclusive Le Morne Peninsula. On the west coast the five-star Hillton Mauritius Resort & Spa has an adults-only infinity pool. The recently-opened five-star Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort in Bel Ombre has a kids’ club and a gourmet dining option. Sofitel has two hotels. The west coast’s Sofitel L’Imperial Resort & Spa is popular with families while in the south the Sofitel So Mauritius offers villa living. Maritim’s two island hotels are the five4star all-inclusive Maritim Resort & Spa Mauritius in Turtle Bay, with a fine-dining

restaurant, nine-hole golf course and equestrian centre. The contemporary east coast family-friendly four-star Maritim Crystals Beach Mauritius opened in 2014.


Couples are cosseted in 65 pool villas at the Mauritian-owned five-star luxury Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa, overlooking Tamarin Bay. It has a dine-around deal with its four-star superior sister property Sands Suites Resort & Spa next door. The southern boutique belle Shanti Maurice, a A Nira Resort, has one of the largest spas in the Indian Ocean. Affordable family options include Le Preskil Beach Resort, on a private sandy southeast islet (and set for renovation in 2018), and three-star superior Creole-style Villas Caroline on the best beach in Flic en Flac.


These include the five-star adult-only Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel in Anse La Raie and 20 Degrés Sud, in Grand Baie, which is often combined with a stay at romantic highland retreat the Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge. On an untamed beach in the northeast, the French-style four-star Maison d’Ete has just 16 rooms. The safari-lodge-style Tamarina Golf & Spa Boutique Hotel on Tamarin Beach now welcomes families. It is the only four-star with an 18-hole golf course. New #Tamarina Moments experiences include a family safari and dolphin-watching by sunset. 

Connect your stays like a local on colourful buses or islandhop on a licensed pirogue T: +230 427 5845 E: HERITAGE LE TELFAIR

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nvestment in visitor infrastructure is a priority for Mauritius as it continues to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. New products include…


Air Mauritius ( celebrates its 50th birthday with the delivery of the first two of six new Airbus A350-900 aircraft and a revamp of its existing fleet with new seats, inflight entertainment and onboard wifi by June 2018. The carrier’s ‘Our Island in the Sky’ product aims to bring Mauritius’ hospitality on board, including its multi-cultural cuisine. Passengers can now fly to Mauritius in Premium Economy class via Paris or Amsterdam, with partners Air France and KLM. British Airways flights from Gatwick are increasing from three to five weekly for the winter season, from October 29, 2017 to March 21, 2018.


The world’s first Bubble Lodge, a luxury dome to sleep in under the stars, opened in Bois Cheri in 2016. Three launch at Casela in 2017, and on Ile aux Cerfs in 2018




National carrier Air Mauritius is marking its 50th birthday with new aircraft and a host of onboard upgrades

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The legendary One&Only Le Saint Géran has a loyal following thanks to its stylish looks and great location on a private peninsula on the northeast coast. It reopens this December with new rooms, suites and private pool residences, plus a pan-Asian sushi bar dining experience. Marriott International will debut its urban design brand with Aloft Mauritius Port Louis in an existing nine-storey office building in early 2019. The 150-room

hotel will feature Aloft signature amenities including a rooftop bar and pool. Affordable boutique hotels are on the rise. The adults-only Seapoint Boutique Hotel opened in Pointe aux Cannoniers in 2016, with 22 contemporary rooms. Overlooking Coin de Mire in the northeast, Seaview Caloydne opened in mid-March 2017. It has 82 tropical rooms, including generous family suites, two restaurants, a bar and a Thalgo spa. Mystik in Mont Choisy opened in January 2016, with 35 sea-facing studios with kitchenette, pool, restaurant and lounge and a meet-the-locals ethos.


The 18-hole championship Mont Choisy Golf Course ( is due to open in November 2017. Set in a 250-acre nature reserve near Grand Baie, it’s part of a development with serviced residences. Heritage Resorts will open a new golf course in 2018. The Rugby World Club 10s camer to Mauritius for the second time in June 2017.


Ebony Forest Reserve Chamarel opened this spring with guided trails and raised walkways through a restored ebony forest. Visitors have the chance to glimpse the stunning Paradise Flycatcher and take an open-air safari jeep ( 

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auritius’ rich and diverse culture – born from heady European, African and Asian roots – is ripe for exploring, with colourful markets, vibrant festivals and a delicious and eclectic cuisine.


While the island marks 50 years of independence this year its cultural history has left a great legacy in its cuisine. At Ravenala Attitude’s Taba-J guests can try tasty Mauritian street food from lime-green food trucks; while Shanti Maurice’s La Kaze Mama offers homecooking in a rustic lodge. Mauritian cuisine is prepared ‘couma la kuisine d’antan’ (the old-fashioned way) at Lakaz Chamarel. LUX* Grand Gaube’s Banyan Restaurant serves reinvented island cuisine such as gateaux piments (chilli bite) salad by the adult-only pool. Or for some early-day spice, a gateaux piments sandwich is on the breakfast menu at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita. The Anahita Golf and Spa Resort’s Signature restaurant offers Mauritian fine dining – don’t miss the smoked mackerel and lychee soup starter and curry and lime macaroons. Shanti Maurice’s new Aquacasian cuisine showcases dishes inspired by street traders and authentic ancestoral recipes across the Indian Ocean.

For some early-day spice, a gateaux piments (chilli bite) sandwich is on the breakfast menu at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius

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Japanese cuisine is currently on trend and options range from top-notch teppanyaki and wasabi ice cream at Izumi, located in The Address at Port Chambly, to takeaway sushi with a Mauritian twist at Bite Me Sushi, Curepipe. At Anahita Golf and Spa Resort French chef Marc De Passorio led the property’s first ‘gourmet festival’ last year and the Maritim Resort & Spa Mauritius has hosted Michelin-rated Italian Chef Marcello Trentini for a four-day culinary experience. Rum connoisseurs can request a private tour of the Medine distillery, which produces limitededition Penny Blue at Tamarina Golf & Spa.

Try French pastries, Chinese dumplings and Indian gateaux piments on a Port Louis Street Food tour


Hotels are bringing authentic island experiences in-house. Attitude Hotels captures the modern mood with its Otentik experiences such as making a Mauritian curry, dining in a villager’s home or learning to dance séga like a local. Veranda Resorts’ ‘Deep Into Mauritius’ programme includes rum making, market tours, fishing trips and learning a local instrument while a ‘Touching Senses’ programme at the Oberoi Mauritius includes stargazing with Hindu mythology, a visit to art Galerie du Moulin Cassé and creating rum arrangé with local fruits. The Residence Mauritius has a new ‘dine with a local’ experience including a visit to Flacq market. Guests can learn Kreol while tasting rum in a poolside rum shack at LUX* Belle Mare, while Shangri La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa showcases local music and art. Maritim Crystals Beach Hotel has a weekly sugarcane workshop, with a visit to a sugar mill. Beachcomber hotels’ ‘Beautiful neighbours’ scheme brings village kids to join activities in the kids club (except Royal Palm Beachcomber) and The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa invites locals to sell their wares at a monthly Farmer’s Market. 


INSPIRE Take a rum tour at Rhumerie de Chamarel, where sugar cane is distilled to produce Chamarel XO rum, aged in French oak barrels

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top 10 unmissables

unmissables top ten


Le Morne Brabant

UNESCO-listed rocky monolith Le Morne mountain (556m), once a hideout for ‘maroons’ or runaway slaves rises from a peninsula fringed with white sands and luxury resorts. A climb to the top is rewarded with views over coral gardens while offshore ‘One Eye’ is one of the world’s top spots for kitesurfing.

Black River Gorges National Park

Tandem skydive over Cap Malheureux

Get back to nature in the island’s forested heart, criss-crossed by hiking trails with rare plants and birds. Musts are the viewpoint over a waterfall and the west coast from Black River Peak, the island’s highest mountain, and sacred crater lake, Grand Bassin, flanked by towering statues of Hindu gods.

Seven Coloured Earths

The island’s geological marvel in the Chamarel highlands has been a tourist attraction since the 1960s. Caused by mineral oxygenation, its multi-coloured lunar-like dunes of mineralrich volcanic sand – shades of pink, green, brick red, orange, purple and grey – look their best at sunrise and sunset. Nearby, Chamarel Falls tumbles down 90 metres.

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Steel your nerves for an adrenalin-pumping tandem skydive from 10,000ft above Cap Malheureux on the island’s north coast (minimum age 15 years). The five-minute descent includes 40 thrilling seconds of freefall travelling at 200km/hour. (

Swim with dolphins in Tamarin Bay

Hop aboard an early morning catamaran cruise or speedboat from Black River to pay a visit to the bottlenose dolphin pods that play in Tamarin Bay. As they glide by, guests can don snorkelling equipment and slide in the water to ‘swim’ with them. Alternatively guests can mingle among them on a stand-up paddleboard.

Ly Hoang Long

Grand Baie

Dubbed the Creole Côte d’Azur, this vast, horseshoe-shaped emerald lagoon is the island’s tourism hub with beach hopping, excursions and après-sol entertainment. It’s the jumping off point for day trips by catamaran to the pristine Northern Islands, including Îlot Gabriel, with blinding white sands, great snorkelling and rich birdlife.

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toP 10 unMissaBles

17 Île aux cerFs

For a touch of east-coast glamour, head to this idyllic island playground stretching its white sandbars into the turquoise lagoon, with restaurants and bars, watersports galore and a treetop adventure circuit. It’s named after the stags which once roamed its forested interior, now occupied by award-winning Île aux Cerfs golf course (


Bargain for crafts and spices and sample street food in the bustling Monday market in characterful Mahébourg, the original Dutch port capital, in the sleepy southeast. A pretty waterfront promenade overlooks Grand Port, where the British navy fought the French for island sovereignty, and relics in the National History Museum.

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Île aux aiGrettes

Step back in time on a ranger-led tour on this conservation islet off the southeast coast of Mauritius, thought to be the last resting place of the dodo. Functioning as a nature reserve, tortoises lumber under ebony trees, you may glimpse the rare Telfair skink and there’s a guaranteed sighting of the pink pigeon, immortalised by Gerald Durrell.

walkinG wild

Mauritius is packed with nature and leisure parks, where visitors can get up close to local flora and fauna – as well as animals from further afield. Options include Casela World of Adventure, famed for its African wildlife; La Vanille Nature Park, with its crocs and giant tortoises; and La Vallee des Couleurs, which boasts a thrilling 1.5km zipline. 

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Our island in the sky Mauritian food and hospitality

Mauritius will fascinate you. The contrast of colours, cultures and tastes together with clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean and endless white beaches makes this tropical island the perfect holiday destination. We are a Skytrax 4 star rated airline and have been voted The Indian Ocean’s leading airline (World Travel Awards) for 10 years in a row. Free Wedding Dress Carriage

We ďƒ&#x;y direct non-stop from London Heathrow and from regional airports via Paris and Amsterdam with our partners Air France and KLM. Enjoy the warm welcome and start your Mauritian experience the moment you step onboard the plane. Our island in the sky.

Golf Bags at no extra cost

Special Helicopter rates

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Mauritius and beyond Air Mauritius ies directly to over 20 destinations on 4 different continents plus many others via our codeshare agreements with Air France, KLM, Malaysia, Emirates and Virgin Australia. If you are travelling beyond Mauritius to Australia, Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands then Mauritius offers an exotic stopover option and excellent two centre holiday opportunities.

Voted as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline for 10 years in a row

Our 4-Star Status places Air Mauritius in another league - among the World’s best 40 Airlines

Beijing Chengdu




CHINA Shanghai Pacific Ocean


Guangzhou Hong Kong


Mumbai Bangalore



Nairobi Dar es Salaam


Indian Ocean

MADAGASCAR Antananarivo

Maputo Johannesburg








(St. Denis & St. Pierre)

Visit our new training site:

Cape Town

Air Mauritius Operated Flights Air Mauritius joint operations with Partner Airline

1967 – 2017 Celebrating 50 years



Call us on: 020 8834 5800 Consumer: Trade: Untitled-7 3

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luxury DEFINED


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n Mauritius award-winning lifestyle spas are equipped to treat the mind, body and soul with the latest in luxurious therapies.


Leading beauty brand Thémaé Paris’ teabased anti-aging products feature at Anahita Golf and Spa Resort’s 800sqm spa, unveiled in December 2016. French beauty brand Ymalia is new at the refurbished U Spa at Constance Belle Mare Plage, while SO Sofitel Mauritius spa offers a unique acupuncture facelift using golden needles. The market for male treatments is growing with an Instant Freshness treatment at The Residence Mauritius, which includes a massage with Carita’s Renovateur. Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort’s new Aromatherapy Associate treatments include Refinery treatments.


A focus on ‘authentic’ treatments is reflected in Attitude hotels ‘Otentik Touch’, a signature set of rituals based on the island’s natural elements (sun, soil, sea and plants). Indigenous products, like a coconut and cardamom body scrub, have been added at St Regis Mauritius Resort’s Iridium Spa. A new Mauritian Massage with bamboo, to the vibrations of séga music, is new at Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort while an Aro-Mauritian Massage using aromatherapy oils is new at The Westin Turtle Bay Resort and Spa Mauritius.


Ancestoral massage, drawing on Asian and African healing techniques, is popular. Punarjeni (rebirth) which rejuvenates with invigorating warm herbal oil is the newest Ayurveda treatment from Maradiva Spa at Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa. Stress is soothed away in the unique ayurvedic eighthanded massage at the Four Seasons Resort. Exfoliating and nourishing Inkomfi sloughing, traditionally performed before ceremonies, is offered at the The Oberoi Mauritius.


Clear Your Mind, Uplift Your Mood and Sleep Deeply are among 15 new aromatherapy treatments at Navasana Spa at Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort, while tasty superfoods appear on every menu at the wellness-focused Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa. Sugar Beach Resort & Spa has a Tepidarium with water jets, heated marble benches and mosaics reminiscent of Roman times. Forest bathing is new at Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort, which also hosts wellness weeks, including laughter therapy.


Personalised experiences started by LUX* Resorts are popping up elsewhere. Angsana for Me is a new three-night wellness retreat at Angsana Balaclava Mauritius, with healthy cuisine, spa treatments, beach yoga, Reiki and meditation, plus activities such as picnics by bike and Mauritian cooking classes. 

SO Sofitel Mauritius spa offers a unique acupuncture facelift using golden needles

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Follow the trend for Zen and Adrenaline, which combines thrills – such as kite-surfing and parasailing - with massage and meditation


INSPIRE Join an African yoga class at Long Beach Golf and Spa Resort or check out world-leading practitioners who visit throughout the year at Shanti Maurice’s Nira Spa Visit in 2017 as Mauritius celebrates 50 years of independence with a range of special events

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green KEEP IT


auritius is one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, with national parks teeming with endemic plants and wildlife, tamed greens sporting scenic world-class golf courses and sports galore.



Most of Mauritius’s 28 mini-mountains can be climbed. DIY tracks lead to popular peaks, Le Pouce, Lion Mountain, Black River Peak and Le Morne

The Mauritius High Season Golf Pass offers a 15% discount on fees at seven top courses (October-April)

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Mauritius was named as IAGTOs Golf Destination of the Year – Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf States – once again in 2016, cementing the island’s glowing golf reputation. The opening of the island’s 10th 18-hole championship golf course, in the north, in November 2017 means golfers will always be within easy reach of a green, all with inspirational views of the mountains and the sea. Most are stayand-play with complimentary green fees, golf academies and, increasingly, free access to nearby courses such as Sun Resorts’ ‘four hotels, three courses’. Tournaments on the island include the AfrAsia Mauritius Open (November) at the Heritage Golf Club and the MCB Tour Championship European Golf Senior Tour, (December) at the newly-refurbished Constance Belle Mare Plage. Three nine-hole courses include urban or street golf through the Maritim Resort & Spa Mauritius’ 25 hectare grounds and a foot golf course at the Heritage Golf Club. The Heritage Golf Club will add a new golf course in 2018.


The Mauritius’ sports calendar ( is expanding fast. Annual events include the Mauritius Tour Beachcomber mountain bike race in May and a great resource for those interested in these events is, a portal for running and hiking events islandwide. These include the scenic Dodo Trail (, the Ultra Trail Raidlight Beachcomber (July) and a trail through biodiverse La Vallée de Ferney (September). Meanwhile LUX* Sports features the Royal Raid trail run (May), surf-skiing (June/July), the Mauritius marathon (July) Kiteval (kitesurfing) festival (July/August) and ‘one of the most beautiful triathalons in the world’ (November).


Some of the world’s rarest birds, including the pink pigeon, Mauritius kestrel and echo parakeet, can be viewed on hikes among endemic ebony trees on trails criss-crossing Black River Gorges National Park. A guided walk in La Vallée de Ferney, in the Bambous Mountains, offers a glimpse of the Mauritius kestrel at feeding time whiled a ranger-led tour on rocky conservation island Ile aux Aigrettes takes in pink pigeons, giant tortoises and the endemic Telfair skink. Yanature ( offers bespoke bird watching tours with knowledgeable guides. 


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Smile all the stay.

All our hotels are in dreamlike settings, but if we can go the extra step, rest assured that we have what it takes to surprise you, over and over again, so you’ll keep wondering what’s next? MAURITIUS


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The island’s diving opportunities include wrecks and canyons in the west and northern islands, and the chance to see sharks, turtles, eagle rays, and moray eels. Dive centres cater for all levels and often offer PADI courses. The clearest waters are found from November to April. The island’s best snorkelling spot is Blue Bay Marine Park. Non-divers can try aqua scooters and undersea walks. Deep-sea sport fishing is popular on the west coast, while windsurfing, glass-bottom boat trips, snorkelling, waterskiing and kayaking are complimentary at most hotels, and standup paddleboarding options are growing.


ith its volcanic landscape, safe beaches and tropical climate Mauritius is a playground for visitors in search of thrills.

Popular island playground Ile Aux Cerfs offers watersports parasailing, water skiing, wakeboarding banana rides, ziplining and golf


Take a ride on the wild south side with ElectroBike Discovery from Chamarel, Souillac or Le Morne Brabant, tasting local specialties on route

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An early-morning trip to swim with and watch wild dolphins play in Tamarin Bay is a must. Or take a spin along the scenic southwest coast on a sea kart (like a jet-ski but safer and more comfortable). Catamarans visit pristine islands while powerboats whisk guests to remote islets.


Scooter and bike hire is popular on the south and east coasts, with Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort the first to offer electric bikes. Guests

can ‘swim with horses’ at Maritim Resort & Spa in Turtle Bay, where archery is new this year. A new bike tour to Domaine de Wolmar from Maradiva Villas and Sands Suites takes in Java deer, monkeys and wild boar in the forest while Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort has new jeep safaris in the Frederica Nature Reserve.


There are DIY hiking trails in the Black River Gorges National Park and cycling or canyoning island-wide. Yanature ( offers The Slave Route (Le Morne Brabant), Into the Jungle (Tamarind Falls) and the Black River Gorge National Park. Vertical World ( takes families to Discovery Canyon at Tamarin Falls and includes abseiling waterfalls, a riverwalk and a zipline. Yemaya Adventures (yemayaadventures. com) offers biking tours, while cultural cycling trips from My Moris ( combine a former sugar estate with a gourmet lunch.


Eco-parks offer hikes, quad biking, horseriding and mountain biking, while Casela World of Adventures on the west coast features wildlife safaris, ziplining and canyon swinging. Domaine de L’Etoile in the southeast has buggy rides and, horse riding. Domaine de Chazal offers river trekking, canyon swims and the longest zip-line in the Indian Ocean. 

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perfect PAIR

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For couples looking for the perfect start, there’s little point looking elsewhere – a fact borne out by Kuoni, which ranks the island first for weddings bookings and the second for honeymoons. Couples can marry anywhere on Mauritius – be it aboard a catamaran, on a submarine underwater or even in Casela, saying ‘cheese’ on a zipline over the forest. Eureka, the island’s prettiest plantation house, offers a colonial-style wedding, with an overnight in its guesthouse, while LUX* Resorts’ Île des Deux Cocos private island in Blue Bay Marine Park offers an idyllic Robinson Crusoe-style barefoot wedding, with guests spending the night in a Moroccan villa. Villas are increasingly popular with honeymooners and multi-generational wedding parties, with newly spruced-up choices including the two-storey private pool villas at Constance Belle Mare Plage, some of the largest on the island, and Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa’s private pool villas, now decked out in custom-made Hermes wallpaper. Adult-only options are also increasing islandwide. Recently-opened adults-only Mediterranean-style Seapoint Boutique Hotel on Pointe aux Cannoniers has a youthful vibe while Ravenala Attitude’s 40 executive

beachfront adult suites have hammocks on the balcony and exclusive access to Lime, a sleek sushi restaurant on the beach. With one ceremony a day at hotels, many couples opt to say ‘I do’ in a wedding gazebo in tropical gardens, on the beach or the jetty. Tamarina Golf & Spa Boutique Hotel has a new clifftop wedding gazebo overlooking the broad sweep of Tamarin Bay. Attitude’s wedding venues range from The Riviera floating restaurant on the River Lemon at Ravenala Attitude, where couples can arrive otentik style in a gondolalike pirogue (traditional boat), serenaded by musicians, to a rustic gazebo under thatch on Grand Zil private island at Zilwa Attitude.



auritius consistently ranks as one of the world’s top wedding and honeymoon destinations, thanks to its picture-perfect venues and superb luxury.

Ground handler Summertimes has added airport transfers by helicopter and heli-tours on sixpassenger Eurocopters


New honeymoon experiences while staying at Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa include taking its exclusive Rolls Royce Phantom for a gourmet beach picnic with a chef and a butler in tow, while Constance hotels has a private catamaran for sunset cruises. Those honeymooning at Angsana Balaclava Mauritius can opt for a Romantic Sky High Experience – a microlight flight over the islands’ sandy shores, volcanic peaks and lush jungle, take a sub-scooter to see exotic fish or visit the market and learn to cook Mauritian food. Pop-up moments at Veranda Resorts include ‘Love me Tender’, a romantic tropical evening with bonfire, candlelight and Champagne. Honeymooners at LUX* Belle Mare can wade to a sandy islet for a candlelit dinner or dine on the private terrace. 



Villas are increasingly popular with honeymooners and multigenerational wedding parties

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Private pampering a deux in the Spa Garden Suite at Maritim Resort & Spa includes a massage, rose petal bath and Champagne

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ith affordable luxury hotels offering a warm Mauritian welcome, safe and clean beaches, year-round sun and plenty to explore, Mauritius suits families of all ages. Direct overnight flights mean jet lag is minimal and hotels and resorts are increasingly switching on to the needs of families. In 2018, Mauritius will celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence so there are plenty of extra reasons for families to visit. Newest innovations include family rooms, baby equipment, kids’ pools, menus and games consoles, along with junior sports academies.

Ile aux Cerfs, with a special course for four to 11-year-olds and teens can go river trekking through canyons at Domaine Chazal, with three new army tents for riverside glamping. Watery adventures include a submarine trip or under-sea walk in Grand Baie, dolphin watching in Tamarin Bay and paddleboard lessons. Kids too young to snorkel can eyeball a shark at the Mauritius Aquarium or hop on a glass-bottom boat trip in Blue Bay. Mini-culture vultures can learn how sugar shaped the island at interactive L’Aventure du Sucre, see giant amazon water lilies at Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, pop into the Blue Penny Museum and taste gadjaks (snacks) at markets in Port Louis.



Mauritius is an island made for exploring. Animal parks number Casela – where new activities for children include lorikeet feeding, stroking a rhino and interactions with pygmy hippos – and La Vanille Nature Park, where they can meet a baby tortoise, crocodile, iguana or Mauritian fruit bat. Eco-family fun ranges from rides on electric bikes or pony treks in the Chamarel Highlands, a hike along nature trails to spot monkeys and rare birds in the Black River Gorges National Park to quad-biking or ziplining in Domaine L’Etoile. Parents can watch kids from a sun lounger on the Treetop Adventure Park on

Free kids and teens clubs are bursting with fun, educational activities. Many are now open in the evenings too

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Free kids’ and teens clubs are bursting with fun, educational activities. Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa’s kids’ club features traditional island storytelling and nature walks. The Residence Mauritius’ Plantation Kids’ Club includes crab hunting, water-skiing lessons and pony rides while activities at Our Space at Anahita Golf and Spa Resort’s range from pizza making to trips to Domaine de L’Etoile. Many kids clubs, such as Ayo Le Dodo at Ravenala Attitude, are now open in the evening too. Shanti Maurice launches kitesurfing and wave riding schools for kids and teens in October 2017, and its activities for teens include yoga, paddleboarding and learning traditional sega instruments. Teens can spin the DJ decks at LUX* Belle Mare’s Studio 17, with snorkelling, tennis and movie making at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber. Or there is glamping at Otentic Ecotent with safari-style eco-tents sleeping five, a free shuttle to Ile aux Cerfs, and eco-activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and hiking. Or spend the night cocooned in nature in a Bubble Lodge at Bois Cheri or Casela. 

A family treasure hunt in Port Louis takes in spice shops, a Chinese pharmacy, Jummah mosque and a Pagoda


INSPIRE For rainy days the Curious Corner of Chamarel house of illusion has stairs made of piano keys, an upside down kitchen and a mirror maze Spot geckos and birds in the forest from the raised walkway at the Ebony Forest Reserve

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olourful festivals and events are held year-round – and 2018 promises to be even more special as Mauritius celebrates 50 years of independence. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.



Thailpoosam Cavadee: In this Tamil festival, devotees parade trance-like with their bodies pierced and carrying a ‘cavadee’ (burden), a bamboo arch with tiny pots of milk to offer to Shiva’s son, Lord Muruga at temples islandwide. Abolition of Slavery: UNESCO World Heritage site Le Morne Brabant mountain, and the International Slave Route Monument, are at the centre of celebrations to mark the abolishment of slavery on Mauritius on February 1, 1835. Chinese Spring Festival: Festivities for Chinese New Year are concentrated in Port Louis’ Chinatown, decorated with red lanterns and filled with tantalising Chinese food. This is the most important day of the year for the Chinese community,.


Maha Shivaratree: Reminiscent of the rituals on the banks of the Ganges, pilgrims dressed in white make offerings, burn incense and pray at this celebration to honour Lord Shiva, at the crater lake Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin). Mauritius National Day: The Mauritian flag is flying and parades and festivities held

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islandwide on this annual celebration of the island’s Independence from Britain on March 12, 1968. The 50th anniversary in 2018 promises to be the best party yet. Holi: Celebrating the victory of good over evil, Hindus across the island throw lurid powder over each other on Holi, the festival of joy.


Ganesh Chaturthi: Mauritian Hindus parade pink, elephant-nosed statues on the birthday celebration of Ganesha, before immersing them in the sea at Baie du Cap or the lake of Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin). Pere Laval Day: Mauritian Catholics make an overnight pilgrimage to pray at the grave of Pere Laval, the first person to be beautified by Pope Jean Paul II on his birthday (September 9).


Diwali: At this time fairy lights guide good fortune to homes, fireworks drive away evil spirits and sweet cakes are offered to ancestors. Festival International Kreol: This annual celebration of Creole identity and culture features traditional food, arts and craft stalls and concerts.


Porlwi by Nature: The annual festival of contemporary culture sees the capital Port Louis illuminated and taken over by artists in December. 

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Relax and enjoy unrestricted sunset views at Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa, renowned for its Mauritian hospitality, and enjoy a picturesque oceanfront location. Take advantage of our complimentary dolphin trip as well as other water activities and its perfect location to explore this beautiful island and create memories that will last a lifetime. A kid’s pool, sandy lagoon and variety of recreational activities – our resort has all kinds of family-friendly fun.

Always get the lowest price only when you book direct* Book direct at or call +230 403 1000

HILTON MAURITIUS RESORT & SPA Wolmar | Flic en Flac | Mauritius +230 403 1000 |

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auritius is convenient to get to, safe, and easy to explore. Here’s all you need to know to plan a trip.



The MTPA’s successful Mauritius 365 campaign runs again this year, encouraging visits in the cooler, drier winter months from June to September (

A short flight to rustic Rodrigues offers walking trails to secluded coves, pristine islets, a tortoise reserve, guesthouses and Creole table d’hotes

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Direct flights from the UK take 12 hours and with a four-hour time difference, holidays are jet-lag free. Air Mauritius (020 7434 4375; airmauritius. com) is in 2017 marking 50 years of flying to the island and offers four, non-stop overnight flights a week from Heathrow (three a week in May and June), increasing to five weekly, on new A350 aircraft, in 2019. British Airways flies thrice-weekly from Gatwick, increasing to five a week later this year (0844 493 0787, and Thomson Airways (0871 230 2555, flies each Sunday from Gatwick. Non-direct flights are with Emirates (0344 800 2777,, from Birmingham, Glasgow, Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle, with twice-daily connecting flights from Dubai to Mauritius. All flights arrive at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (SSR) in the island’s southeast.


Around the size of Surrey (45 x 65 kms), everything on the island is within a twohour drive. Taxis are stationed at every hotel, car or scooter hire is inexpensive (with driving on the left) and it’s easy to

hire a car and driver. Minibus excursions pick up from hotels, and most resorts have bicycles, and bicycle tours. Motorised pirogues, glass-bottom boats, catamarans and speedboats get visitors on the water.


Mauritius’ mild tropical climate – with over 300 days of sunshine a year– gives the destination its year-round appeal. It has two seasons: summer (October to May), the island’s peak season, and winter (June to September). Summer days can be hot and humid and see the most rain – but the showers rarely last for long and most rain falls on the central plateau. The dry winters attract those seeking some winter sun. Winter is also the perfect time for kite and wind-surfing. 


ENGLISH is the

(MUR) divided into

official language,

100 cents. £ 1 = MUR44

although French is widely

(July 2017)

spoken island-wide.


PREFIX 00 230

three square-pin

Mauritius to the UK

and continental two

NO VISA required

round-pin plugs are both

with a UK passport.

used here. STANDARD TIME Greenwich Mean Time plus four hours

CELEBRATIONS Mauritius marks 50 years of independence throughout 2017

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Our island boasts luxurious beaches, pristine landscapes, a sunny climate,a rich heritage and the cultural wealth of its warm-hearted people. Offering an amazing combination of relaxation and exhilarating activities, Mauritius indeed defines perfection all year round. Discover for yourself new horizons brimming with unforgettable experiences and an uplifting sense of the sweetness and joy of living.

“From one citizen you gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.� Mark Twain, April 1896

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Mauritius Guide 2018  
Mauritius Guide 2018