Characteristics of the island
Mauritius, located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, some 2,000 km east of Africa’s eastern coast, north-east of Reunion Island and east of Madagascar, is a stunning destination with unique features. It belongs to the Mascarene archipelago, which also includes Réunion and Rodrigues. Despite its small size, the island spreads over 2040 sq. km, and is 65 km long and 45 km wide.
Its privileged geographical location makes for a warm tropical climate, with average temperatures ranging from 25° to 30°. December to February are the hottest months, with temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees, while June to August record the coolest conditions, averaging around 18 degrees inland. Mauritius is characterized by a rainy season from November to April, with more frequent and abundant rainfall, while May to October is drier and sunnier, ensuring pleasant weather all year round.
An island of varied landscapes, with a mountainous hinterland dotted with lush green hills and valleys, and a coast boasting white sandy beaches, lagoons and picturesque coral reefs. The hills abound in lush vegetation, with fruit trees, sugar cane plantations, tea fields and native forests. The island is also bordered by popular islets such as Ile aux Cerfs and Ile aux Aigrettes, and feature magnificent nature reserves like the Black River Gorges National Park, Bois Chéri (famous for its tea fields) and the verdant valleys of Ferney or the Seven Colored Earths geological curiosity.
Mauritius is home to many endemic species and a rich plant and marine biodiversity. The surrounding waters are ideal for diving and snorkeling, boasting exotic fish and colorful coral reefs.
Mauritius is renowned for its multicultural and multilingual population. In 2021, according to the World Bank, the island was home to around 1.3 million people. Much of this diversity may be seen in Mauritius’ languages, music, cuisine and traditions. The majority of the population is of Indian origin (68%), followed by African descendants (27%), as well as a Chinese, Muslim and European minority. English is the official language and is widely used in business, education and government. French is commonly used in the tourism industry and diplomacy, while Mauritian Creole is the predominant language in everyday life.
Mauritius is a multi-faith and multi-cultural society where religious freedom is protected by the Constitution. There is no official religion, but the majority of the population is either Hindu (around 48%) or Catholic (around 26%).
All in all, Mauritius is an ideal destination for visitors all year round, offering the chance to travel affordably while enjoying its exceptional natural and cultural heritage.The History of Mauritius
Mauritius is the result of several centuries of colonization. In medieval times, Arab sailors reached its shores, followed by Europeans from the 16th century onwards. The Portuguese were the first to land in 1505, but did not settle there for long. In 1598, the Dutch took control of the island and named it “Mauritius” in tribute to Prince Maurice of Nassau. However, their colony did not prosper, and they left in 1710.
In 1715, the French took possession of the island, boosting sugar cane production, which became the main economic activity. The island also served as a launching point for French expeditions to India and Asia. The British captured the island in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars, turning it into a British colony and renaming it “Mauritius”. The sugar industry was further strengthened and Indian indentured labor was imported for the plantations.
Mauritius gained independence from the UK in 1968 and became a republic in 1992. Since then, it has enjoyed sustained economic growth thanks to the diversification of its sectors, including tourism with luxury hotels, the booming real estate sector, financial services, and agriculture, notably the production of sugar cane, tea, tropical fruits and vegetables.
This economic diversification has propelled Mauritius into one of the most developed economies in Africa, with a relatively high GDP per capita.
Best time to visit Mauritius for budget travelers
The best time for budget travelers to visit Mauritius is generally during the low tourist season. Although Mauritius is a popular year-round destination due to its pleasant tropical climate, there are times when accommodation rates are more affordable and tourist crowds smaller.
On the other hand, the low tourist season is the perfect time to find more affordable rates and avoid the crowds. This period runs from February to April and from October to November. For example, between 15 May and 30 June 2023, Marguery Villas was offering rates of €300 for a night in a superior villa with swimming pool for two people. At Mythic Resort, during the same period, a Grand Luxury Suite for two people was available at €240 for one night.
For those looking for special offers all year round, various options are available for travelling to Mauritius at a lower cost. Early booking enables you to benefit from discounts by booking in advance. The premium offer provides discounts on specific categories of rooms. Spending at least 7 nights in one of these resorts also entitles you to discounts. In addition, a family offer means that an extra room is free for two people, making it possible for several people to travel together at a lower cost. This means that a luxury trip can become affordable for travelers on a budget.
When to travel for budget flights
If you want to travel at a lower cost, it’s best to choose the low season for your trip to Mauritius. Flights are less in demand during this season, which means reduced airfares and special offers from airlines, so you can save money on your tickets. What’s more, accommodation such as Marguery Villas and Mythic Resort, as well as activities and excursions on the island, often offer more affordable rates with discounts around this time of year. Fewer tourists also mean fewer crowds at popular attractions, beaches and sites, offering a more peaceful experience. You get a more flexible travel option to plan your itinerary, with flight prices up to 50% cheaper than in peak season. However, be sure to check on the availability to specific activities in low season given weather conditions. All in all, low season means savings, a more authentic experience and less tourist hustle and bustle.Tips for cheap flights to Mauritius
The various low-cost airlines
Opt for low-cost airlines.
Air Austral, based in La Réunion, serves the Indian Ocean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, with competitive flights to Mauritius.
Air France, a major French flag carrier, connects Paris to the island.
Emirates, a major airline of the United Arab Emirates, serves over 150 destinations worldwide, including Mauritius via Dubai.
Turkish Airlines, one of the oldest, operates to over 300 destinations.
Corsair, which specializes in long-haul flights from France, also offers connections to the island.
These choices offer attractive fares recommended by travel agents.
Tips and advice
There are a number of tips to follow to find unbeatable airfares with these airlines.
You need to be flexible when looking for flights, especially when it comes to dates.
Flight prices can vary considerably depending on the day of the week or the time of year. Our advice is therefore to search over several days, or even several weeks. You can also sign up for price alerts, for example on selected travel websites, to get notification of price cuts for flight tickets to Mauritius. This means you can be informed of special offers and promotions.
If you want to get competitively-priced tickets, avoid peak seasons such as school holidays, annual leave and public holidays.
Offers are also available for early bookings. So, book your tickets as early as possible for a cheap trip to Mauritius. Fares tend to rise as the departure date approaches, so booking early can help you save money. Subscribing to newsletters and following them on social networks will keep you informed about discounts and early booking offers.
And don’t forget to consider any connections and additional costs before booking your flight.
Our final piece of advice is to use flight price comparing sites such as Skyscanner, Kayak, Google Flights or Momondo to check the prices offered by different airlines. Such sites can help you find the cheapest options available for your travel dates.
Flight prices can fluctuate and there is no absolute guarantee as to when you will get the best deal. Make sure you carry out regular searches, compare prices and book as soon as you find an attractive offer that suits your needs for your dream trip to Mauritius.Affordable transport in Mauritius
Scooters and car rental
Affordable transport is plentiful in Mauritius, particularly scooter and car rental. You can explore the island at lower cost by hiring these vehicles, but it’s essential to take into account a few useful details to help you make the most of your stay.
For coastal journeys and flat roads, scooters make a popular and affordable choice. You can hire them from various agencies in the main tourist areas such as Port-Louis, Grand-Baie and Flic-en-Flac. Rentals are generally affordable, offering great freedom of movement. Don’t forget to compare prices, read customer reviews and negotiate to get the best deal.
Car rental agencies such as Wonder Island and Endeavour are also available. Our concierges can help you book your transport easily. Rates vary according to vehicle size and model, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, including insurance and deposit policies.
Before hiring a vehicle, find out about local driving rules, such as driving on the left, compulsory wearing of seatbelts, the ban on using a mobile phone without a hands-free kit and legal blood alcohol limits. Wearing a helmet is also compulsory for scooters.
Rental options are flexible, ranging from one day to several weeks, depending on your needs. Be sure to check the insurance conditions and the deposit required. Additional insurance is recommended for peace of mind in the event of an accident or theft.
Our concierges can provide you with information on local rules of the road and direct you to advantageous rental offers. We strongly encourage you to make use of their services, as we maintain trusted partnerships with local professionals. Caution and respect for the rules of the road are essential when travelling in Mauritius. Compliance with the highway code is often haphazard, pedestrians and dogs cross freely and certain right-hand-drive reflexes may reappear, particularly at roundabouts. Vigilance and caution are the watchwords for a worry-free holiday.
Affordable and eco-friendly transport
Affordable and environmentally friendly transport options abound on Mauritius, offering residents and visitors a variety of ways to get around economically and ecologically. Among these choices, public buses stand out as a cost-effective and well-developed alternative for getting around the island.
The public bus network extends through the main towns, tourist areas and residential neighborhoods, offering convenient connectivity. Fares for city buses, which serve destinations such as Port-Louis, Grand-Baie and Quatre-Bornes, generally range from 15 to 35 Mauritian rupees, depending on the distance travelled. For intercity journeys, such as from Port-Louis to Mahébourg or Flic-en-Flac, fares can range from 40 to 100 MUR (Mauritian rupees), depending on the distance.
Another affordable option for exploring the picturesque landscapes of Mauritius while reducing your carbon footprint is to hire a bicycle. Bike hire services are readily available in popular tourist areas, offering travelers an environmentally friendly way to discover coastal and rural areas.
The use of car-sharing is growing in popularity on the island thanks to online platforms such as Commute, which enable drivers to car-share their journeys with other passengers, reducing costs and environmental impact by optimizing vehicle use.
For those looking for an affordable transport option, shared taxis offer a convenient way to get around. Although they are slower than private taxis due to multiple stops to pick up and drop off passengers, they remain a cost-effective solution, particularly for group travel.
Mauritius is also committed to promoting sustainable transport solutions, such as electric vehicles, and the introduction of the Metro Express linking Port-Louis and Curepipe.
However, it is important to note that buses can sometimes be late, so it is advisable to arrive at the bus stop in advance. Bus timetables vary according to route and time of day, with more frequent services at peak times. Buses can also be crowded at these times, so patience and sharing space with other passengers are essential to make the most of this affordable transport option.
Must-see tourist attractions on a budget
Discovering the must-see tourist attractions of Mauritius on a limited budget is perfectly feasible thanks to hiking. The island has a multitude of trails that enable you to spend an enjoyable day exploring without having to spend too much money.
Le Morne Brabant stands out as one of the most spectacular hikes on the island. Although challenging at times, the climb up this iconic mountain is rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views over the Morne lagoon and Ile aux Bénitiers. Moka’s ‘Les Trois Mamelles’ also offers remarkable hiking experiences, with trails that take in the local flora and fauna as well as panoramic views.
The Black River Gorges National Park is home to hiking trails that will plunge you into Mauritian nature, with lush landscapes, waterfalls and the possibility of observing endemic bird species. For a more leisurely hike, the island of Amber offers unspoilt rainforest and secluded beaches.
In the Rodrigues region, Mont Piton offers a picturesque hike through lush green hills with panoramic views from the summit.
For a successful hiking experience, proper footwear, food and water, as well as information on routes and weather conditions, are essential. Opting for a local guide is also recommended for a safe and rewarding experience. You can find a guide online, through the local tourist office, or by asking local people for advice. If you are travelling in a group, consider sharing the cost of a guide to reduce individual expenses and enjoy an affordable trip to Mauritius.The beaches
Mauritius is famous for its stunning white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and tropical landscapes, which attract visitors from all over the world. Among the island’s most popular beaches is the public beach of Trou-aux-Biches on the north-west coast, renowned for its calm, shallow waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. On the west coast, Flic-en-Flac beach stretches out majestically, offering spectacular sunsets and attracting water sports enthusiasts such as water-skiing and kite-surfing.
At the foot of Morne Brabant, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lies the Morne beach, popular with surfers for its waves. Île aux Cerfs, accessible by boat from the east coast, is a delight with its coral reef-fringed beaches, ideal for diving. At Grand-Baie, in the north, a lively beach with plenty of activities, from water sports to shops and restaurants, is sure to enchant you.
If you’re more into exploring the sea, consider a catamaran cruise to discover the lagoons and nearby islands. For tighter group budgets, motorboat hire offers a cost-effective option, with competitive rates available from various companies.
The island offers a variety of exciting activities on its beaches, from snorkeling and scuba diving to water sports (waterskiing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, paddle, sailing, kayaking…) and deep-sea fishing, not to mention relaxing and sunbathing. So even during the school holidays, an affordable trip to Mauritius is within reach.
Cheap and delicious local cuisine.
The island’s specialities
Mauritius is famous for its affordable and delicious local cuisine, which reflects a rich diversity of cultural influences, including Indian, Chinese, Creole and European.
Among the island’s specialities, curry dishes stand out, prepared with a range of spices and containing meat or vegetables, always served with rice or dal (dried grains).
Another of Mauritius’s food delights is ‘mine frit’, a Chinese dish consisting of fried noodles sautéed with vegetables, meat or seafood.
The ‘dholl purri’ is one of the island’s gastronomic icons, a thin lentil-based pancake topped with various fillings such as curry, chutneys and achards.
Chily cakes are small spicy fried dumplings made from lentils and fried chilies, a popular snack often accompanied by bread or ‘dholl puris’.
Rougaille’ is a spicy tomato sauce that accompanies a variety of dishes such as rice, sausages or prawns.
Vindaye’, of Indian origin, combines fish or meat with a mixture of spices, vinegar and mustard, often served with rice and achard.
Farata’, similar to a thick Indian pancake, is eaten with dishes in sauces such as curry or rougaille.
Ti’jacques’ is a Creole preparation of taro cooked in a spicy sauce.
The sweet and festive ” potato cakes ” are made from sweet potatoes, flour, sugar and spices.
Where to eat local
In Mauritius, there are plenty of options for enjoying delicious local cuisine at affordable prices. Street vendors in the busy streets of towns and villages offer tasty street food such as samosas, meat kebabs, beignets and bouchons. Food courts, found in malls, are popular for their variety of competitively priced Mauritian dishes, such as briani, fried rice and rougailles.
Local markets, such as Port-Louis Central Market and Flacq Market, are full of fresh produce, spices, local crafts and Mauritian delicacies, including curries and rotis. Small local restaurants, known as “snacks” or “bouibouis”, offer authentic Mauritian cuisine at affordable prices, from sandwiches to pizzas.
Don’t hesitate to ask our concierges to suggest other hidden culinary treasures.
Activities and experiences at low prices
What to do
Discover affordable activities and experiences in Mauritius to make your stay unforgettable without emptying your wallet. Explore the cultural heritage by visiting colorful Hindu temples such as Grand-Bassin or Triolet’s magnificent Shivala temple, as well as mosques and churches reflecting the island’s religious diversity. Stroll among the exotic plants of the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, immerse yourself in history at the colonial Eureka House, or visit the traditional villages of Chamarel and Mahébourg for an authentic experience. Stay active with hiking, cycling, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, beach yoga, golf and running.
Take the whole family to explore Casela, Vallée des Couleurs, Belle-Mare Water Park and take a rum-making tour at La Bourdonnais.
Travel agencies such as Exotic Voyages, Voyageurs du Monde, Tropicalement Vôtre, Directours and Mauritius Travel can organize a tailor-made trip at exceptional rates. Make the most of Mauritius without breaking your budget.
What to experience
In Mauritius, a multitude of exciting experiences are available at affordable rates, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a great value trip. The music scene provides a wide range of options, from live concerts in bars where local and international music is played, some with little or no admission fees. Music festivals, whether free or affordable, are an opportunity to enjoy local and international artists in a festive atmosphere. Other venues organize low-cost music evenings, while beach parties organized by hotels, bars and restaurants invite you to unwind while enjoying the island’s idyllic setting.
Alongside these musical delights, you are welcome to discover Mauritius’ Creole culture by attending Sega dance performances and taking part in vacoa weaving classes with local craftsmen. Art lovers can try their hand at pottery in various workshops. Nature can also be explored with guided tours of the ebony forest and the Vallée de Ferney, a nature reserve rich in biodiversity.
In addition, the island is home to underwater trails thanks to Reef Conservation, an organization dedicated to preserving the coral reefs. Finally, for nature lovers, protected reserves such as the Black River Gorge National Park, Ile aux Aigrettes, Blue Bay Marine Park and many others offer a chance to immerse yourself in the local flora and fauna. Religious experiences complete this multicultural picture, with year-round festivities, temples, churches and public gatherings to discover.
Our resorts’ offers
Saving on various travel expenses is an all-important consideration for travelers wishing to visit Mauritius without emptying their wallets. Two stay options at Marguery Villas and Mythic Resort stand out for their special offers throughout the year, ideal for thrifty travelers.
Opt for direct booking to benefit from the best rates. Offers include the “Premium offer” with 15% discount on Deluxe Pool Villa or Prestige Pool Villa accommodation at Marguery Villas, and 25% discount on Penthouse Pool Suite or Elegance Pool Villa accommodation at Mythic Suites & Villas.
The “long stay” offer gives you discounts of up to 45% for extended stays. Book early to save 15% or 20% on your stay. Travel as a group to save even more, with offers such as “pay for 2 out of 4 people” or “pay for 4 out of 6 people”.
Direct bookings also offer you exclusive benefits, including a 10% discount, a flexible cancellation policy, personalized follow-up, and advantages such as early arrival, late departure (subject to availability) and 15% off meals. As a bonus, a surprise gift will be waiting for you on arrival.
For even greater savings, opt for the low season, which offers more affordable rates due to reduced demand. Subscribe to our newsletters and social networks for monthly promotions, exciting competitions and promotional codes.Save money by combining good deals
To save money on your trip to Mauritius, consider these tips.
Opt for local public transport instead of hiring a car or taking taxis, offering an authentic experience at a lower cost.
Explore free attractions such as beaches and nature parks.
Savor local cuisine in affordable restaurants and discover local markets for fresh produce at reasonable prices.
Avoid tourist traps by getting advice from our concierges or experienced travelers.
Bargain in the appropriate local markets, but respect the real value of the products.
Monitor exchange rates before your trip to get the best rate and avoid airport currency exchange counters.
With these few recommendations, you can make the most of an affordable trip to Mauritius.
Conclusion and final tips for travelling to Mauritius on a budget
Finally, Mauritius offers a wealth of experiences, filled with diversity. Its varied landscapes and unique biodiversity mean there’s plenty to do, from visiting parks and public gardens to exploring museums and historic sites. You can also immerse yourself in the local culture by discovering villages, taking part in Indian dance, vacoa weaving or pottery classes, and attending Sega shows. Discover the island’s flora and fauna in nature reserves such as Ebony and Vallée de Ferney, and on hikes through its rich landscape.
For a cost-effective trip, take into account the climate, with its summer and winter seasons influencing prices. Look for special offers throughout the year at our partner resorts such as Marguery Villas or Mythic Resort. Use flight comparators, subscribe to newsletters, be flexible, use loyalty programs and book in advance to save on flights and accommodation. The low tourist season offers more affordable prices. What’s more, by using public transport such as buses, trams or shared taxis, and travelling in a group, you’ll achieve maximum savings. So, make the most of your Mauritius getaway without breaking the bank.
A few more tips
Negotiating is a common practice in Mauritius, but it must be done with respect for the sellers and the locals. Avoid aggressiveness and criticism. Ask about prices before you buy, and offer a slightly lower price. Be prepared to discuss and adjust your prices until a mutually satisfactory agreement is reached. Remain calm, patient and open to cultural exchange if you want to negotiate successfully.
Use travel apps such as TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, Lonely Planet, Guide du Routard, or Tripwolf to find special offers on restaurants, tourist attractions, and savings on flights. Meetup applications and Facebook groups are useful for meeting locals and other travelers. Check reviews and comments for reliable information.
These tips will help you save money on your trip to Mauritius while enjoying its beauty.