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Best time to visit Mauritius and why?

When is the Best Time to Visit Mauritius and Why?


An overview of Mauritius’ tourism industry quickly makes it clear why the country remains one of the favourite destinations and why tourists would queue to board planes for visits.


Rising from coastal plains to a central plateau surrounded by mountains, Mauritius presents 150km of sandy beaches and the world’s third largest coral reef. Some of these beaches rank among the best in the world and the overall scenery tends to be that of a classic tropical island – green, lush and adorned with flowers.

Mauritius’ geographical isolation resulted in interesting biodiversity its wildlife has been under threat since the arrival of humans, as is sadly illustrated by the fate of the famous and extinct dodo. Fortunately, now Mauritius’ reefs are well protected and still offer excellent diving and snorkelling. Away from the beaches are several reserves that protect the island’s remaining forests and make for wonderful hiking.

A holiday to Mauritius can be tailored to suit any individual taste, from just lounging in the sun to exploring several lesser-discovered corners of the island, from diving through the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean to snorkelling over coral seascapes and from volcanic mountains to traditional Creole villages – and everything in between.

But Mauritius is not only beach. It boasts many inland, hiking trails weaving through the rainforest of the Chamarel Mountains, on which you can admire waterfalls and lagoons.

Culturally a rich mixture of Indian, French, African and Chinese influences have shaped the identity of the island and its culinary delights. This can be seen and experienced from the colonial villas on the streets of Port Louis to the smaller villages hosting busy markets and cosy cafes.

Mauritius remains one of the most popular tropical playgrounds in the Indian Ocean, with its surrounding coral reefs, white sand beaches and calm clear water. Tourists regularly flock to world-class holiday resorts along the island’s coastline and compete with each other in their offerings of enormous swimming pools, endless variety of water sports and sun lounging facilities mere metres from the sea.

The resorts are known for its superb service and excellent facilities that caters for all tastes where nothing is too much trouble for the “no problem” attitude of the Mauritian staff.

It is quite easy to understand why most visitors on vacation in Mauritius don’t venture very far from the beach, but if you really want to experience the island to its fullest, you should set aside at least one day of your stay to explore some of the hiking or horse riding trails that will take you on a magical journey through the island’s forests and hills.

A shopping spree at the Port Louis or Grand Baie markets to choose some colourful souvenirs from your Mauritian island holiday should definitely also be on the itinerary.


Which destinations is worth visiting in Mauritius


Following the fact that Mauritius is serious about its value as tourist destination, the country has made sure that the most attractive areas are suitably developed for that purpose.


The beaches in general


The sunny shores of the island have been a firm favourite for family holidays for years and you couldn’t ask for a better setting anywhere in the world for splashing about in the warm ocean, adventures like snorkelling, water skiing, parasailing or windsurfing.

All these and more can usually be arranged at your accommodation and most Mauritius holiday resorts feature an on-site kids club so that you can use the opportunity to explore coral reefs or play a round of golf, confident that your children also are having the best time of their lives – all under professional supervision.

One way to follow when planning your itinerary for Mauritius is to divide the island into four sections and tie your interests and expectations to the best stretch of coastline and relevant places to visit.

The northern and western beaches are usually busier because they have more amenities and tourist attractions, making it the ideal destination if you seek an action-packed, sight-seeing vacation. The eastern and southern beaches are usually the quieter ones which lend themselves to a relaxing, stress releasing and ‘doing nothing’ holiday.


The beaches on the West Coast


Just a short drive from Grand Baie is the peninsula of Pointe aux Canonniers, the start of an unbroken chain of white beaches running down the island’s west coast.

To the east of Grand Baie lies the quieter Rivière du Rempart region with just a handful of resorts where honeymooners or those seeking a romantic break prefer the secluded coves, luxurious accommodation and spas.

Mauritius’ west coast beaches range from Trou aux Biches in the far north to the isolated Le Morne Peninsula on the south-western tip of the island. Le Morne is known for its dramatic setting, one of the best on the entire island – its long stretch of sand, reef-protected lagoon and outstanding golf course are all situated with a magnificent mountain as backdrop.

The clear water and safe swimming at Trou aux Biches, make this part of the coast very popular with families, and snorkelling enthusiast find the coral reef just a short swim from shore a great enjoyment. The Trou aux Biches area can however get a bit busy at times but if that happens one can always stroll along the coast to the neighbouring Pointe aux Piments.

Pointe aux Piments is a quiet stretch of sand, although a bit rocky in places, but refreshingly different from neighbouring Trou aux Biches.

South of Port Louis lies the longest – and probably best known – beach on the west coast, Flic-en-Flac. The waters of Flic-en-Flac is extra calm, probably because it is sheltered from the south-east winds, making this beach ideal for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and diving while a lovely selection of accommodation on the palm-lined shore is also home to an array of interesting shops, cosy restaurants and lively bars.


The North Coast


The north coast is the gateway to some tinier islets like the Flat and Round Islands, and Gunners’ Quoin and Serpent Island. Flic en Flac on the West Coast in its turn is known for its great diving opportunities and unforgettable sunsets.


The luxurious beaches of the East Coast


The east coast of the island is seemingly more exclusive and less built-up than the popular west coast, and this coastline of Mauritius boasts some of the island’s most luxurious hotels, as can be found in the extremely beautiful Belle Mare region.

Here the combination of fine powder-white sand, lush green vegetation and emerald lagoon, makes Belle Mare one of the prettiest beaches in Mauritius. Even a slightly rougher sea does not deter from its attractions, besides, when the sea do get rough at times there is always the alternative of taking a refreshing dip in the lagoon.

At the northern end of Belle Mare, one finds the Post de Flacq Peninsula which also houses several top of the range resorts as well as a magnificent choice of golf courses. To the other side, south of the peninsula and a quick boat ride from Ile Aux Cerfs, you will find the tropical playground Beau Camp.

Here holiday makers can enjoy a wide variety of water sports, ranging from parasailing to water skiing and every perfect day can be rounded off with a seafood barbecue on the beach of Beau Camp.


The South Coast


The south coast is in general more rugged than the rest of the island with much higher cliffs and more dramatic scenery.  This of course also results in fewer swimming beaches – and therefore less development, which makes it the best place to visit if you want to get off-the-beaten track and experience some adventure of a different kind added to your beach break.

Locals agree that the south coast of Mauritius is the only region that has stayed the way most of the island used to be – beautiful authentic and wild. Here, remote from the relative bustle of Grand Baie and the popular west coast, people who want to escape the crowds and enjoy genuine tranquillity, prefer to spend their time.

In this more unspoilt south, you will find the Blue Bay Marine Park (Blue Baie) where rich coral reefs are protected and offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in Mauritius. It is home to at least 50 different species of coral with at least 80 percent of them still being alive.

Worth mentioning in this area also are Bel Ombre and Chemin Grenier, both unspoilt stretches of sand in a lush green setting; Ile Aigrettes, a nature reserve home to several endemic plants; and the Mahebourg Market, a lively authentic island trading place.


Inland attractions


At the same time, the island of Mauritius is small enough that one can rent a car for a day and venture out to another beach or to visit a particular tourist attraction or landmark, since the coastal roads make for lovely driving and, apart from the many beaches, there are plenty of interesting places to visit.

If you want to spend time up in the north of the island, a few hours’ visit to the botanical gardens, the Jardin des Pamplemousses, will be time well spent between the shady trees and gasping at the giant water lilies.

If you enjoy hiking trails, forests and waterfalls and would like to combine that with the typically lazy island beach holiday, the Chamarel area is a must on your itinerary.

In the Black River Gorges National Park, you can walk on a few trails through the thick jungle-like vegetation past beautiful waterfalls, visit stunning viewpoints and even find some tortoises or enjoy exotic birdlife including pink pigeons and green. The very brave can also attempt some abseiling from the Chamarel waterfall that plunges almost a 100 metres with its spray that rises more than halfway up.

Close to the Black River Gorges National park you will also find the surrealistically striped sand dunes at the ‘Seven Coloured Earth’. These dunes are estimated to date back approximately seven million years and vary in colour from the natural yellow and brown to a magnificent black, red and purple colour.


Shopping and restaurants


If you want to go shopping and experience the culinary delights of the island, you should head north to the shops and restaurants of Grand Baie on the North Coast. This part of Mauritius is full of bustling energy, with lots of interesting shops, a great selection of water sports and Grand Baie, the island’s only resort town.

Grand Baie has evolved from a little fishing village into a thriving tourist destination but retained its small-town feel despite a collection of fine hotels, restaurants and bars. It is a mere 25 km from the capital Port Louis and is a good place to spend a classic ‘resort vacation’.

In Grand Baie one can spend all day shopping, browse for clothes, jewellery, mementos and even high-end labels. For the night owls the town offers some nightclubs, which only get going after midnight.


Hotels and Resorts in Mauritius


Mauritius are convenient for and popular both with families and honeymooners, because its accommodation caters for both.

These options range from large hotels and resorts to beachfront suites and private villas, but all of them are well known for their world-class facilities, high standards of service and a wide variety of activities and entertainment.

Mauritius hotels and resorts differ widely in size and character and your eventual choice of the best one for you will depend on the kind of holiday you foresee. There are ample romantic boutique hotels that will appeal to honeymooners while the larger resorts that often sport dedicated kids’ clubs, will be ideal for a Mauritius family holiday.

Many holiday makers nowadays prefer to hire a private beach villa and enjoy an exclusive island experience, while the more actively orientated may prefer to stay at a resort with amenities like a championship 18-hole golf course.

But a few questions remain, and this article will further explore the factors that would influence your decision to visit the country, like the ever present budgetary considerations;  with what purpose in mind you would like to visit – be it to go on an adventurous visit, a luxurious holiday or just a relaxing break; your age; and how the weather conditions may influence your choice of destination or time of visit.


Factors that would influence a visit to Mauritius


Budgetary considerations


A holiday in Mauritius need not be as expensive as many people think. With a bit of research and added luck, you may be able to find cheap flights to bring you to this island country in the Indian Ocean. A thorough search may pay off, since your flights can take half your budget when it comes to travelling to Mauritius.

Most Mauritius accommodation packages include breakfast and dinner and you can get away cheap with lunches by supporting local eateries or street stalls.

Shop around for combo deals that includes flights, accommodation, transfers, meals, and sightseeing, since going sightseeing on your own might cause you a packet.


Purpose of the visit – luxury or relaxing


Considering the above, a visitor will need to decide how important factors like exclusiveness, solace, modern amenities and luxury is while planning a visit.


Age of visitors


Older people may need to consider whether they are fit enough for the challenges of water sport or if they just need comfortable (or luxurious) accommodation where they can relax, go for long walks, or perhaps play some golf.




Last, but not least, weather circumstances, rainy and dry seasons and day temperatures will not only determine whether it is comfortable or uncomfortable to visit the island, it will also depend on the season whether you will find what you came for.

The best time to visit Mauritius is towards the end of the year, from October through to December, when temperatures are at their hottest. On the other hand, Mauritius is known for its fortunate subtropical climate that normally comprises sun, warmth and blue skies, so perfect beach weather may be expected for almost every month of the year.

Since this Indian Ocean island is located in the tropics of the Southern Hemisphere, it has a tropical climate that covers year-round warm temperatures and a distinct wet and dry season. Summer runs from November to April and winter from May to October.

Summer, with its higher temperatures is also the region’s rainy season while the cooler months are also drier. Mauritius is a small island in a remote location, making it hard to forecast the weather accurately, particularly in the long term.

Its topography causes a number of microclimates, resulting in beautifully sunny conditions and heavy raining merely kilometres from each other. The Chamarel Mountains in the south can get rain during any time of the year, which causes its luxuriant green covering, but the rest of the island generally experiences prolonged rain during January and February, when the region is prone to cyclones that roll in from the Indian Ocean.


What to expect from each season in Mauritius


Cyclone season in Mauritius


During summer, from November to April, the days are hot and humid, but visitors should be cautious of visiting Mauritius during the wet cyclone season, which is normally from January to March.

Statistics suggest that Mauritius is in the centre of a cyclone only approximately every 5 years, but almost every year the island may be hit by the remnants of 3 to 5 storms. Most frequently, cyclones form on the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn where the body of water heats up to 26°C for longer periods of time.

There are best times to visit each and every one of the tourism destinations offered by this country, and there are not-so-good times, but never a time to stay away.

Rainfall considerably varies from region to region and throughout the year. The annual rainfall, which can be about 1 100 mm on the north coast, can increase drastically on the Central Plateau.

The rainfall distribution is quite uneven during the year, with a marked wet period during the summer months and relatively dry period from June to November. This is also reflected in the number of days of rainfall. For the North it varies from 7 days a month during the wettest month to around 1 day a month during October and November.

Popular opinion has it that the best time to visit Mauritius is from May to December when the weather is cool, dry and sunny.

This is a great time to visit the island’s beach resorts and enjoy any of the wide variety of water sports offered. Since tourists mainly visit the island for its warm, tropical climate, they can spend most of the day at the sea on the beach or in the water.

The Mauritian summer months, from October to April, are ideal for beach holidays. The days are long, hot and humid, making cooling off in the ocean the most refreshing idea and even the lightest breeze more welcome. It follows naturally that summer is the peak tourist season in Mauritius, alive with large crowds enjoying themselves on the beach.

During the winter months, which is more or less July to September, the average temperature on the island is much cooler. On most days, you will be able to get by without the need to use air conditioning. It also rains less in winter and when it does rain it is mainly a little bit in the evening or just a passing shower with a few drops during the day.

As an added bonus, some hotels offer slightly lower prices during this off-peak season and even taxi drivers and shop vendors may be bargained with, as they may tend to be more flexible during this season of the year when the number of tourists are less.


What day and night temperatures to expect in Mauritius


Mauritius has in reality only two seasons: Summer, which lasts roughly from November to April and winter, which is experienced from approximately May to October – or more or less these months. The months of October and May are commonly known as the transition months.

The humidity is quite high during summertime mainly on the coastal part of the island.

The hottest months of the year are usually December, January and February when cyclones may occur. The temperatures of the sea are higher during summer and in winter the temperature will drop a little.

In general, temperatures are 3 to 5 degrees Celsius higher along the coastal areas than on the central plateau, with the western and northern regions of the island warmer and drier.

During Summer (November to April) the day temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius on the coast and around 22 degrees Celsius on the Central Plateau. Overall, the average year-round temperatures are 17 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.

During Winter (May to October) the temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius on the coast and around 19 degrees Celsius on the Central Plateau.

During December, January and February average temperatures of around 27-28 degrees Celsius can be experienced, making it the warmest months.

July is considered the coolest month of the year with average temperature of around 20-21 degrees Celsius.

Average temperatures for days are 24 degrees Celsius and for nights it is 19 degrees Celsius.

Sea temperatures are generally pleasant throughout the year ranging from 27-28 degrees Celsius in summer to 23-25 degrees Celsius in winter. Strong anticyclones in winter may occasionally cause the sea temperature to fall by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius.

Due to the kind of weather that can be expected, it is always wise for holidaymakers to pack a light rain jacket along with your swimsuit, some summer essentials, but also a light layer or two for the cooler evenings.

While in summer, the sun is seen from five o’clock in the morning until seven o’clock in the evening, there is less sunshine in winter, usually from six o’clock in the morning until six o’clock in the evening.

The Northern area of the island enjoys about one hour more of sun during most of the year, while the Central Plateau and the Eastern region has to bear with one hour less of sun during winter and during the wet summer months.

If there is wind in Mauritius it would usually be blowing steadily from an easterly direction and the most constant trade winds occur in the winter during the months May to September.

During summer the winds mainly affect the south and east coast. The north and west regions are protected from these winds by the mountains, so they have the best beach weather during winter. If you are planning on staying on the east and south coasts during winter, you should take the trade winds and wind chill into consideration.


The best times to visit or enjoy the different attractions in Mauritius


Apart from just preference, like the tendency to visit between May and September (the dry season and winter) due to more moderate temperatures, there may be other factors that plainly make it more comfortable to visit certain areas.

The cooler weather during periods with less humidity makes that the best times to engage in many of the inland activities such as hiking and quad biking.

Even in winter a tan can still be achieved, as the sun will probably shine throughout the day, especially during midday. Surfers are usually advised to frequent the beaches between June and August, because this is the period when they will be sure to have amazing waves along the west coast, especially in the area of Tamarin and Le Morne.

Diving enthusiasts will have the clearest waters between December and March, whereas Anglers will be delighted at the opportunities available for big game fishing through the months of October till April.


Which is the best destinations to visit during each month


If you are bound to take your holiday during a specific month, a month-by-month guide to travelling through Mauritius may help you to decide which destination(s) would be the best to fit into your itinerary.


Mauritius in January


January is one of the warmest months in Mauritius and it is often one of the wettest. Although relatively rare, the island may be affected by cyclones as already mentioned. But the summer is a great time to visit, especially if you are seeking an escape from the colder weather in your home country.

Mornings usually are sunny already, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm sea temperatures from early on and before it gets too hot. Localised rain and thunderstorms may start to build up since early in the afternoon, making that the perfect time to make use of a spa or other indoor facilities offered at the resort where you are staying.

Since many people choose to spend their Christmas holidays here – especially those wanting to escape the Northern Hemisphere winter – early January is very popular even though this time of year is prone to cyclones and rain, making it not such a reliable time to travel.


Mauritius in February


Similar to January, the weather in Mauritius in February is still very hot and often also rainy. However, as is usually the case in tropical countries, the torrents of rain are often short lived, lasting no more than a mere couple of hours.

While it is not possible to dive at any time during the year in Mauritius, it is the summer months that remain the most popular. The divers enjoy the vibrant marine wildlife drawn by the water draws to the reefs and coral gardens that surround the island.

February may also still be affected by cyclones, so travelling at this time may not be the best and should be avoided it possible.


Mauritius in March


The average day temperatures usually remain the same as it is in January and February, normally a very pleasant 30 degrees Celsius. Rainfall figures may still be relatively high but similarly as during the previous months, the heavy showers are usually short and pass quickly.

So, while the weather is still hot, and it can still be humid with occasional rain, March is a relatively popular time to visit Mauritius.


Mauritius in April


April in Mauritius is still hot, with temperatures hitting 30 degrees Celsius but usually marks the end of the summer and a reduction in the amount of rainfall. Since this circumstances tend to approve towards the end of the month, April can be a great time to spend on the beach and in the sea.

There may still be some heavy showers throughout the month, but it should occur fewer and further apart and humidity levels in general should start to fall as the dry season approaches.


Mauritius in May


Although May is the official start of winter on the island, it is not quite winter as people in many countries know it. Daytime temperatures during the month usually hover around the mid-20s while at night they can drop to 18 degrees Celsius.

This means that you may need a light long-sleeved top when going out in the evenings, but the days are largely sunny and the sea still remains relatively warm, particularly off the north of the island.

The above makes May one of the best months to travel to Mauritius. With the temperatures still warm, but the humidity that has lifted, it makes for a much more comfortable climate. Shop around for good offers to take advantage of at this time of year, and it may be a good time to travel if you prefer to have more space to yourself.


Mauritius in June


Throughout the month of June, the climate in Mauritius starts to cool down and the south east trade winds start to increase slightly in strength. Since the island’s east and south coasts are most affected regions, winter is perhaps not the best time for a stay there.

However, most of the resorts on the east coast have been uniquely designed with these windy circumstances in mind and do they sport plenty of sheltered spots where visitors can enjoy the largely sunny days. You may perhaps need to wear warm layers for al fresco evenings.

Apart from that, June is very pleasant, still offering warm, sunny days and what is more, during June you can get some great-value offers to make the most of. Only those who prefer hotter weather may find it a bit to cool, with average highs of 24 degrees Celsius.


Mauritius in July


Although the winter temperatures on the island are not cold at all when compared with a typical European winter, if you want to catch the best of winter weather here, you should head to the north of the island during these months.

July is usually one of the coolest months of the year and the islanders themselves may even resort to wearing a coat!

July is a popular time of year for citizens of countries in the Northern Hemisphere that have summer holidays then. The trade winds however pick up, making some of the less sheltered beaches a bit breezy and in general bringing temperatures down. Daily average high temperatures then are around 23 degrees Celsius.


Mauritius in August


August generally follows the pattern of July, with warm days that are perfect for sheltered beaches, but you will appreciate a jumper or coat in the evenings.

While August officially falls in the dry season in Mauritius, the island may sometimes be affected by anti-cyclones between June and September. These weather systems may bring some cooler temperatures, even heavy rains and increased wind, but they usually only last for a couple of days.

Strong winds can still affect the east coast during August, however the resorts on the north west coast are popular for family holidays during the school break.


Mauritius in September


In September, the temperature starts to increase again, and the hours of sunshine are getting longer again, making September a good time to visit Mauritius. Together with October and November, September is one of the driest of the year. The weather will still be the best on the west and north coasts, especially during the first half of the month.


Mauritius in October


Locals believe that October is the best time in Mauritius, since both land and sea temperatures continue to rise to a comfortable average high of 25 degrees, and the climate is largely dry. This warm and dry period coincides with half term breaks, making the island a fantastic setting for a family holiday.


Mauritius in November


The increased number of sunshine hours and beautifully warm temperatures is characteristic of the Mauritius weather in November. Humidity increases as summer approaches, and the amount of rainfall gets more, particularly towards the end of the month.

Gearing up for tropical summer rains, this month can be a real mixture with some days more humid than others, but overall it is still a good time to visit Mauritius.


Mauritius in December


December is the beginning of summer and the wet season, with much higher humidity levels and rainfall. The idea of a tropical Christmas and New Year appeals to many people, making this one of the busiest periods on the island.

Rains normally comes as heavy showers and helps lower the humidity, with the sun usually shines through quickly.


Which Season for What Activity


If you have the freedom to choose whenever you want to visit Mauritius, then you will plan your trip according to the activity you want to pursue.

Adrenaline junkies can enjoy several water sports and adventure activities in Mauritius.

Skydiving – is possible if winds are favourable, especially in winter. Underwater sea walks can be undertaken at Trou d’eau Douce and Port Louis. You can go zip lining at Rodrigues, at Casela Nature Park, or at River Galets and parasailing at Grand Bay, at Belle Mare and Ile Aux Cerfs.

Cave sea kayaking in Mauritius begins from Pointe Aux Sable and the best place to try water skiing is at Grand Baie. The best spots to try windsurfing are Le Morne peninsula, Manawa, One Eye, and Small Reef.

A last factor that may influence the time of visit, may be more of a cultural nature: cultural festivals, of which there are quite a few:


Special events in MAURITIUS and when to visit them


The Festival of Colours or Holi festival is celebrated at the end of February or March. People take to the streets during the second day of the festival covered with vibrantly coloured powder.

The Hindu Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated in August or September, honouring the elephant-headed god Ganesh.

With its significant Indian/Hindu population, Diwali is celebrated in October/November with twinkling candles and lamps lit across the island to mark the Festival of Lights.

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