Here’s Fleur who shares all the reasons why Mauritius is such a family-friendly destination.
After telling them about the wonders of Mauritius, many of my friends want to discover my beloved country. I have thought of dozens of ways to show them the many faces of my beloved island. There’s the south of the island, with the ascent of Le Morne, the discovery of the wild coast of Gris Gris and the typical Mauritian atmosphere of Blue Bay beach. For the more athletic, you can head for Le Pouce or Pieter Both to admire the dazzling views as a reward for a few hours of effort. And for nature lovers, Bras d’Eau National Park and the small village of Poste Lafayette nearby are perfect. My friends are completely won over by these ideas of lush and tropical landscapes. However, few of them have set foot on Mauritian soil because they worry: “This kind of trip is too complicated with children!”.
So for my friends and parents who are still hesitating, I can only say one thing: Mauritius leaves an indelible memory for all those who have visited it, old and young. It’s magical, diverse and welcoming, all at the same time. Need more persuading?
Here are 10 good reasons to choose Mauritius for your family holiday that will stop you from hesitation for much longer!
1. An accessible country
Northern hemisphere to southern hemisphere — thousands of kilometres separate Mauritius and France (where I’m originally from). And yet, my little island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is not isolated from the rest of the world. With direct flights and departures from many major cities several times a week, Mauritius is one of those remote destinations that are easily accessible. The best way to travel with family is to take an overnight flight which will make everyone feel like the 11-hour flight passes in a flash! On arrival, the small time difference, which is 2 to 3 hours depending on the time of year, allows even children to get into the holiday rhythm quickly.
2. An easy-to-explore island
For young adventurers and parents who are explorers at heart, Mauritius is an excellent destination. 65 km from north to south and 35 km from east to west: Mauritius is the ideal size to explore without having to travel long distances. And you can get around in lots of different ways: by bicycle for the eco-friendly traveller, by bus to be immersed in the heart of Mauritian life, by rented car to travel at your own pace and left-hand sided driving, or by taxi to be guided by a local with the added bonus of hearing personal stories and an initiation to the Creole language!
3. Activities for all tastes and ages
There is something for every age to enjoy. If you are going with your 15 year old, your 5 year old and your grandparents, Mauritius offers such a variety of activities that everyone will find something to do. There’s golf for mum, cooking classes for dad, relaxation sessions for granny and tennis lessons for grandpa. Meanwhile, there’s kitesurfing initiation for your teen and treasure hunting on a desert island for your youngest! If you’ve dreamt about it, Mauritius has it!
4. Experience both nature and culture
Imagine a country where you could visit a national park one day (Black River Gorges) and discover the secrets of sugar production the next day (The Sugar Adventure). Hike through tropical vegetation (Jardin de Pamplemousses), then travel back in time by visiting the island’s ancient mansions (Château de Labourdonnais). This country exists! It’s located just above the Tropic of Capricorn. 😉
5. Enjoy both sport and relaxation
A relaxing holiday or a sports holiday? When you travel with your family, the best thing is to be able to combine the two. While the parents are lounging by the lagoon, the children can try their hand at kayaking and paddle boarding.
6. A family-friendly spirit
Known for their smiles and warm welcome, Mauritians are renowned for their kindness towards children too. Go to the public beach of Péreybère on a Sunday to see for yourself: people are all in a good mood, playing, laughing and running. Another advantage: Mauritians speak Creole, English and French. English- or French-speaking children can communicate with locals easily and even make new friends!
7. See amazing flora and fauna
In Mauritius, there is no need to go to a zoo to see wildlife. Look up to the sky and marvel at the majestic flights of the hawks and white-tailed tropicbirds. Dip your head underwater and see multicoloured fish and corals that seem to have come straight out of the most beautiful aquarium. Take a leisurely swim in the lagoon and a sea turtle might come and escort you to the shore. Sail in a pirogue and dolphins are probably not far away if you keep your eye out. For those who love nature, whether they’re children or adults, Mauritius is a real paradise.
8. Beautiful weather
The tropical climate is ideal to fill up on vitamin D in the middle of winter, celebrate Christmas in the tropics or enjoy some time to switch off. Children love the possibility of swimming all year round. With water between 23°C and 29°C, you can splash around, swim and play in complete freedom without worrying about catching a cold!
9. Festivals celebrated throughout the year
If you travel to Mauritius, you are likely to attend one of the many festivals that punctuate the Mauritian calendar, especially between January to March. These days allow different communities to hold their traditional celebrations but also to honour important dates such as the abolition of slavery in February or the island’s independence on 12th March.
In January, Cavadee is a Tamil celebration not to be missed. Processions of flowered floats and people with needles in their bodies are an impressive and unforgettable sight. Other highlights of the year include Chinese New Year, which is particularly celebrated in the streets of the capital Port Louis; Maha Shivaratri, a Hindu celebration during which processions of people dressed in white walk to the sacred lake of Grand Bassin in the south of the island; Holi, the famous festival of colours; the Assumption; Eid el Fitr; and Diwali, the famous festival of lights dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi.
10. Gastronomy that awakens the taste buds
In Mauritius, you’ll have a complete journey of the senses. The spectacular landscapes will delight your eyes, the unique activities will provide you with lots of thrills, and the sun will provide you with plenty of vitamin D — particularly helpful in the middle of winter.
As for the taste buds, they’ll discover, taste and enjoy. Because in Mauritius, a mixture of flavours is the norm. Indian curry, Chinese fried rice, fish stew, gadiak (street foods like samosas, chilli cakes, fried aubergines and other delicacies to be nibbled at any time of the day)… there are so many flavours that remind us of the island’s mix of cultures. So to fully immerse yourself in the Mauritian way of life, indulge yourself with local cuisine.