Planning a family holiday in the Indian Ocean? Look no further than Mauritius, a paradise that offers an array of advantages over the Maldives.
We’ll explore seven compelling reasons why Mauritius is the perfect destination for unforgettable family holidays. From the best time to visit and family-friendliness to teen activities and beach suitability for young children, we’ll cover it all.
Discover why hiring a car to explore the island is worth considering, and learn about the resorts that cater specifically to young children. We’ll also discuss the options for staying on the main island or embarking on island cruises.
Let’s dive into the wonders of Mauritius and find out why it’s an ideal choice for your next family getaway.
We’re looking at a holiday in the Indian Ocean, what are the advantages of Mauritius over the Maldives?
When comparing Mauritius to the Maldives for a family holiday in the Indian Ocean, there are several advantages that make Mauritius an appealing choice:
- Diverse Activities: While both destinations offer beautiful beaches, Mauritius offers a wider range of activities suitable for families. Apart from beach activities, Mauritius provides opportunities for adventurous experiences such as zip-lining, quad-biking, kite surfing, deep-sea fishing, hiking, horse riding, and even skydiving. This variety ensures that families with different interests and age groups can find something enjoyable to do together.
- Family-Friendly Attractions: Mauritius boasts a selection of family-friendly attractions beyond the beach. Nature parks like La Vanille Crocodile Park, Odysseo Oceanarium, and La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park offer opportunities to explore wildlife and engage in interactive experiences. The Curious Corner of Chamarel provides an intriguing optical illusion gallery and gardens, captivating both children and adults.
- Golfing Opportunities: Mauritius stands out as a golfers paradise with 18-hole professional courses available at many resorts. This makes it an ideal destination for families that enjoy golfing, allowing them to indulge in their passion while also enjoying other amenities and activities offered by the resorts.
- Luxury and Services: Mauritius offers a wide range of luxurious accommodations, from private villas with butler services to top-notch amenities. Additionally, the availability of helicopter and limousine transfers adds an extra touch of exclusivity and convenience for families seeking a luxurious holiday experience.
- Cultural Richness: Mauritius is renowned for its cultural diversity, with residents of various religious backgrounds coexisting harmoniously. The island is dotted with historical buildings and architecture, providing opportunities for families to explore and learn about its heritage. Colorful festivals take place throughout the year, offering a chance to immerse in the vibrant local culture and celebrate alongside the locals.
- Gastronomic Delights: Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any trip, and Mauritius offers a rich gastronomic experience. Families can indulge in local delicacies such as dholl puri (Indian flatbreads), gateau piment (chilli fritters), Mauritian curry, boulettes (dumplings), and bol renverse (upside-down bowl), among other mouthwatering dishes.
When’s the best time of year to visit Mauritius?
Mauritius experiences pleasant winters with temperatures typically not dropping below 15°C. The summer season spans from October to April, during which temperatures peak at around 33°C, particularly between December and February. This period is ideal for beach activities, swimming, and snorkeling, as the warm weather creates perfect conditions for enjoying the crystal-clear waters.
However, due to Mauritius’ agreeable temperatures year-round, the island can be visited at almost any time. Whether you choose to explore during the mild winters or soak up the summer sun, Mauritius offers an inviting climate that caters to different preferences.
How family-friendly is Mauritius or is it more for couples and honeymooners?
Mauritius warmly welcomes both couples and families, ensuring that everyone can find something suitable for their vacation. The island’s hotels and resorts are designed to accommodate the needs and preferences of both couples seeking a romantic getaway and families looking for an enjoyable holiday.
Mauritius offers a variety of activities and attractions that cater to different interests and age groups. For instance, at Ebony Forest, honeymooners can partake in a romantic gesture by planting a love tree, while children can engage in the forest classroom, which provides educational lessons on ecology, science, and history.
Vallee des 23 Couleurs provides opportunities for couples to create memorable moments, such as proposing on a zipline next to a waterfall. Meanwhile, younger visitors can enjoy the kids’ park and animal park, where they can have fun and interact with the local wildlife.
What does Mauritius offer for teens?
Mauritius understands the importance of catering to the interests of teenagers and offers a variety of options to keep them entertained. Many resorts in Mauritius have children’s clubs that specifically provide activities and programs tailored for teenagers. These clubs ensure that teens have a space to socialize and participate in engaging activities, fostering a fun and inclusive environment.
Additionally, the resorts in Mauritius offer a wide array of activities suitable for teenagers. Water sports such as water skiing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding are readily available, allowing teens to make the most of the island’s stunning waters. Glass-bottom boat trips provide a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world without getting wet.
For teenagers seeking more adventure, Mauritius has plenty to offer. Activities like ziplining, horse riding, kitesurfing, and surfing provide thrilling experiences that cater to their sense of excitement and exploration. The island’s diverse landscape and natural beauty create a perfect backdrop for outdoor activities, ensuring that teenagers have an unforgettable and action-packed vacation.
Is it worth hiring a car to explore the island?
Exploring Mauritius by renting a car is a convenient and popular option. Rental car services are easily accessible, and vehicles can be arranged to be delivered directly to the airport upon your arrival, ensuring a smooth transition to your self-guided exploration.
Mauritius is a relatively compact island, making it easy to navigate and discover its various attractions and hidden gems. With a car at your disposal, you have the freedom to set your own itinerary and explore at your own pace. Whether it’s discovering the vibrant local culture, indulging in delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in the island’s stunning natural beauty, having a car allows you to fully appreciate all that Mauritius has to offer.
The island’s size and manageable road network make it convenient to travel between different regions, whether it’s visiting historical sites, exploring picturesque coastal areas, or venturing into the lush inland landscapes. Renting a car provides flexibility and enables you to uncover the diverse experiences Mauritius has in store, from scenic drives along the coast to venturing into the heart of the island.
Are there resorts that cater for very young children?
There are resorts that cater to very young children by providing various amenities and activities specifically designed for them. Here are a few examples:
- Zilwa Attitude Hotel: This resort offers a kids’ club where young children can engage in fun activities such as treasure hunts, glass bottom boat tours, and more. This allows children to have an enjoyable and interactive experience during their stay.
- Heritage Awali & Golf Resort: The resort features the Timomo and Friends Club, which offers a range of activities for children. These include searching for crabs, participating in Mauritian games, and learning to play Mauritian instruments. Additionally, teens can enjoy horse riding, mountain biking, and beach parties. There is also a dedicated teens’ club equipped with games consoles and Wi-Fi for their entertainment.
- Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa: This resort caters to young children through its Les Petitis Dodo club. It provides a toddlers’ pool and games room, allowing little ones to have safe and enjoyable playtime. The club also offers various activities like Mauritian flag-making, flower craft, face painting, and musical games to keep the children engaged and entertained.
- The St Regis Mauritius Resort: At this resort, there is a Kite Flyers Club that organizes themed daily activities for children. These activities may include nature walks, cooking sessions, and more, providing a fun and educational experience for young guests.
Are Mauritian beaches suitable for young children?
Mauritian beaches are generally suitable for young children due to their favorable characteristics and safety measures. The island boasts lovely beaches in the north, west, and east regions, where families can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. These beaches are often protected by coral reefs, creating lagoons with calm and clear waters. The safe swimming zones are clearly marked, ensuring that children can enjoy the water in secure areas.
In addition to the protection provided by coral reefs, the Mauritius Beach Authority takes beach safety seriously. They post notices on beach boards in areas where swimming may be dangerous, particularly in the south where natural protection is limited. These notices serve as warnings to ensure the safety of beachgoers, including young children.
Mauritian beaches feature soft, powdery sand, which is ideal for children to play and build sandcastles. The shallow areas near the shore allow young ones to splash around and enjoy the water under parental supervision. Lifeguards are often stationed at popular beaches, further ensuring the safety of beach visitors.
Moreover, Mauritius offers various family-friendly activities beyond the beaches. Glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, and exploring nearby lagoons or coral reefs provide opportunities for children to engage with the marine life in a controlled environment.
Do holidaymakers stay on the main island or are there other islands to stay on or cruise to?
Holidaymakers in Mauritius have the choice to stay on the main island or explore other islands in the region. Here are the options available:
- Main Island (Mauritius): The main island of Mauritius is a popular choice for holidaymakers, offering a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious resorts and hotels to villas and guesthouses. Staying on the main island provides convenient access to a variety of attractions, activities, and amenities. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches, explore cultural heritage sites, venture into nature reserves, and experience the lively markets.
- Rodrigues Island: Located approximately 560 kilometers east of Mauritius, Rodrigues Island provides a more secluded and tranquil destination for holidaymakers. It features pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and kiteboarding. Accommodation options on Rodrigues Island include guesthouses and small boutique hotels, allowing visitors to experience the island’s serene atmosphere.
- Day trips to nearby islands: In addition to the main island, there are several smaller islands near Mauritius that can be visited on day trips. One such island is Île aux Cerfs, known for its picturesque beaches and various water sports activities. Another option is Île des Deux Cocos, a tiny islet offering a private beach, a marine park, and opportunities for snorkeling. These day trips provide holidaymakers with the chance to explore different island environments and enjoy unique attractions.
- Cruising options: For those seeking to experience multiple island destinations in one trip, cruising is a popular choice. Several cruise companies offer itineraries that include stops at various islands in the Indian Ocean. These cruises often visit destinations such as Réunion Island, Seychelles, and the Maldives, allowing holidaymakers to embark on an island-hopping adventure.
Whether staying on the main island or venturing to other islands, Mauritius offers a diverse range of options to cater to different preferences and interests. From the beauty of the main island to the tranquility of Rodrigues Island or the exploration of nearby islets, holidaymakers can customize their experience to create a memorable and fulfilling vacation.
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