Imagine a volcanic island nation surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, is a paradise for sun, beach, water sport and cultural enthusiasts. Imagine a spectacular destination, home to around 700 plant species, rare birds such as the pink pigeon and kestrel as well as a myriad marine species that make scuba diving and snorkelling one of the country’s most renowned activities. Imagine all this and you have the vibrant island of Mauritius.
From a shopping and leisure mecca in Grand Baie to the Balaclava Ruins just a stone’s throw away from the Baie aux Tortues. Baie aux Tortues was named by 17th century sailors due to the many tortoises found in the area. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the country’s largest open-air market – the Flacq Market, or lounge on the most beautiful beach in Mauritius – the Ile aux Cerfs. Mauritius has an adventure for all.
Relax on our stunning beaches, hike through our national parks and stand on top of mountains overlooking sparkling lagoons. Our friendly locals want to welcome you to the island and our rich curries and sweet pastries are waiting to be tasted. Mauritius is so much more than its beaches, so immerse yourself in our culture, learn about our history and feel the rhythm of our island.
The best family activities in Mauritius
We know the best family activities in Mauritius to keep the kids entertained, from ziplining and parasailing to wildlife experiences and hikes. We also catch up with local vlogger Will Tevs to get the lowdown on fun for the kids while holidaying on the island.
Older kids and teenagers will love the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful beaches and aquamarine waters of Mauritius by parasailing. This adrenaline-fuelled activity involves being secured to a specially-designed parachute which is towed along by a speedboat, lifting the parascender into the air. Rising to around 60 metres, you’ll get an unforgettable perspective of Mauritius from above. This thrilling stunt can be undertaken with one or two people for an experience you and your children will never forget!
Casela Nature Park
Home to over 1800 animals, this historic park is renowned throughout the island for its incredible range of activities for kids and grown-ups. Spanning over 350 hectares and divided into five unique zones, visitors can enjoy a safari-style experience and get up close to wildlife, including giraffes and camels. Thrill-seekers can go zip-lining, ride a summer luge, and even jump off a 45-metre platform into a canyon on a swing. Smaller kids will also enjoy the 4D cinema, mini-golf and rides for younger visitors.
Finding Nemo fans will love Odysseo, an oceanarium located in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis. The experienced team’s emphasis on conservation and education does not economise on fun, however, and visitors can enjoy shark encounters, feed majestic stingrays and experience virtual marine life with 3D projections and cutting-edge tech. With 300 different species and 3500 specimens, there’s plenty to entertain, inform and inspire. Plus, a percentage of ticket sales are donated to conservation projects, meaning you’re also making a positive contribution.
Time on the beach is always a winner for little ones and, if you have never tried wakeboarding, there is no better place to try it than the shallow, crystal clear lagoons of Mauritius. With roots in water-skiing, snowboarding and surfing, this is a great choice for boardsports, extreme sports and skateboard lovers. Riders stand on a wakeboard which is attached to and pulled along by a motorboat, with experienced riders attempting aerial tricks. Expect to fall off plenty – but that’s all part of the fun.
While the beaches of Mauritius are understandably a focal point for many visitors to the island, there’s an incredible interior and coastline to explore for those wishing to get off the beaten path. E-biking – or electrobikes – are an excellent way to do so, as they require minimal effort for maximum reward – win! Discover sleepy villages, sugar cane fields and spectacular views propelled by a little pedal power. While there are numerous e-bike touring outlets on Mauritius, not all cater to children, but DunienZîl do, and promise an “enriching, authentic and unique experience”. Sounds good to us.
La Valleé Des Couleurs Nature Park
Adrenalin-junkies assemble! La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park boasts the longest zipline in the southern hemisphere, enabling you to fly over countless waterfalls, mountains, valleys, pools and ponds. This giant green amphitheatre is also home to the longest suspended bridge in the Indian Ocean, which hangs 80-100 metres above the forest canopy. Other activities include quad biking and buggy experiences, a mountain luge kart, plus plentiful trekking opportunities throughout the park. The landmark geological feature known as 23-coloured earth is also a unique and signature attraction worth exploring.
Budding naturalists will enjoy a trip to the Ebony Forest, a major conservation project committed to reversing the impact of habitat degradation in Mauritius and creating a sanctuary for the island’s unique and rich flora and fauna. Visitors can plant a tree together, enjoy a private visit to the bird release aviaries to see rare species such as the Pink Pigeon and Echo Parakeet, and take a guided, or self-guided, tour on a 300m raised walkway through ancient forest, where you can soak up the sights, smells and sounds of this tropical wonderland.
Blue Safari Submarine
For a highly unique and memorable experience, hop on board the Blue Submarine. The fleet of two submarines can dive to 35 metres where passengers can peer out at the colourful fish, coral, crab and stingray, while a knowledgeable pilot talks you through this magical underwater world; the craft can also take you to the wreck of the Star Hope, where marine-life have made their home. Of the two vessels, one holds a maximum of five passengers, while the other holds 10, meaning you can book this for exclusive use. An unforgettable trip to the deep!
La Vanille Nature Park
Animal lovers, old and young, will love this conservation-led wildlife park, which is home to the largest colony of Aldabra giant tortoises in captivity in the world. Visitors can feed lemurs and get hands-on in the interactive farm, while youngsters can let off steam in the playground. Reflecting the tropical climate of the island, the park is also home to iguanas, monkeys, chameleons, freshwater turtles, deer, wild boar, and Mauritian bats.
La Vallée de Ferney
Stretch your legs with a visit to La Vallée de Ferney, a forest and wildlife reserve situated in the Bambou Mountain range north of Mahébourg. A must-see site for Mauritian conservation, it comprises 200 hectares of native Mauritian forest. With ample opportunities for hiking, both guided and self-guided, visitors can reconnect with nature and appreciate an incredible variety of indigenous species, many of which are rare or threatened. And by visiting, you’re actively contributing to the maintenance and conservation of this special island.
Honeymoons in Mauritius: top 10 things to do
Honeymoons in Mauritius are extra special and perfect for couples who want to combine beautiful beaches with adventure. You couldn’t ask for a more spectacular spot to toast to your new life together. From helicopter rides to horseback riding, we pick our top 10 things to do on a Mauritius honeymoon.
Enjoy a couple’s spa treatment in an outdoor cabana
Mauritius takes nature seriously, and this goes way beyond its postcard-worthy shores. You’ll find it at every turn, from forested mountains to rare wildlife. Nature can even be found in the ingredients of spa treatments, with nourishing local oils and plants used to help you feel connected to the island. Many luxury hotels here take it to the next level, replacing therapy rooms with outdoor cabanas, so you can listen to the soft sound of lapping waves and breezy palms as you unwind with an intimate couple’s massage by the ocean.
Book a private catamaran cruise
A private catamaran cruise is an idyllic way to discover this captivating island together. You’ll get a whole new perspective of Mauritius, watching its emerald-cloaked mountains from afar as you drift along those clear-as-glass waters. Head out in the day for snorkelling, swimming and seaside adventures, or climb aboard in the evening for an ultra-romantic dinner cruise as newlyweds, letting the sunset backdrop set the scene for photos. Date nights don’t get much better than this.
Try dolphin watching
Seeing dolphins swimming in the wild is a very moving experience and one that will live long in your honeymoon memories. Hop over to Mauritius’s west coast, where these graceful creatures love to play. Look out for a bottlenose carving its way through sapphire waters, or see if you can spot a spinner performing its famous acrobatic displays. If you’re lucky, you might get to see a pod swimming along beside you, as these dolphins often hang out in groups of 20 or more.
Go horseback riding at sunset
This romantic activity is a Mauritius honeymoon favourite for good reason. Picture you and your new husband or wife gliding along the island’s flour-soft sands as the sun dips below the horizon, then wading into those shallow blue waters for a splash in the ocean. One of the best places for horseback riding in Mauritius is the secluded Riambel Beach on the south coast. This quiet stretch is free from crowds, which makes the experience all the more intimate.
Take a street food tour
Mauritius loves its food. There’s an incredible mix of cultures here – Creole, French, Chinese, Indian – and that gives the island a real culinary buzz. To get a taste of all these diverse flavours, book a street food tour in the quirky capital of Port Louis and discover where the locals eat. Snack on gateaux piments (deep-fried chilli poppers) and wash them down with a refreshing cup of alouda (milkshake). For lunch, try roti (flatbread) topped with butter bean curry, and later finish it off with a chilli-salted pineapple for dessert. As you wander from the market to the street-side vendors, peer up from your tempting bowl of boulettes (dumplings) and gaze at the beautiful old buildings that give this city its historic charm.
Swim in Chamarel Waterfall
You might be surprised to learn that there’s more to honeymoons in Mauritius than simply beaches. A must-see on the island is the enchanting Chamarel Waterfall, framed by ancient volcanic rock. Not a hiker? Not a problem. You can get an amazing view of the twin waterfalls crashing over the cliff by car. Just take the access road to the Seven Coloured Earth Geopark. If you’re up for the challenge of a three-hour trek to the bottom, reward yourself with a dip in the natural pool when you get there. Feeling the cool spray of this mighty waterfall on your skin makes the walk well worth it. Visit between December and April to see the fall at its best.
Snorkel in Blue Bay Marine Park
This little bay became a national marine park in 1997 and is famed for its magnificent coral garden. It’s one of the best snorkelling spots on the island, and easily reached by bus or taxi from Mahébourg. Snorkel from the shore or head out on a glass-bottom boat tour for the chance to see stunning species of coral and marine life such as parrotfish, clownfish and, if you’re lucky, sea turtles.
Walk through Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens
Step into an oasis of calm at Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. This romantic natural wonderland is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere, founded almost 300 years ago by a French botanist. Walk through the regal wrought iron gates and you’ll discover giant water lilies balancing on tranquil ponds, 85 different varieties of palms, fascinating indigenous plants, and a spice garden full of fragrant cinnamon and clove trees. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, too, like giant tortoises and Java deer.
Fly in a helicopter to see an ‘underwater waterfall’
Mauritius’s ‘underwater waterfall’ is one of the world’s coolest optical illusions. The island sits on what’s known as a submarine plateau or ocean shelf, so it might look like these cascading waters are plunging deep into an Indian Ocean gorge, but it’s all just a trick of the eye. What’s actually happening is the sand from the island’s beaches is being nudged off the edge by the current. It’s a real spectacle, and honeymoons in Mauritius are all about once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so soar over it in a helicopter for the most dramatic views.
Go island hopping
Every one of Mauritius’s offshore islands has its own distinct character. If you’re after lazy days on glistening white sands, go for Ilot Gabriel off the north coast. It’s paradise. Nature buff? Hop over to the small islet of Île aux Aigrettes off the southeast coast, where you can take a tour of its rare plants and seek out wildlife such as Mauritius’s pink pigeon. If golf is your thing, Île aux Cerfs off the east coast has a 19-hole course designed by Masters legend, Bernhard Langer. You can challenge each other to a round or two, then kick back on one of the island’s world-class beaches.