HOW TO PLAN AN ITINERARY FOR MAURITIUS IN 10 DAYS
Discover the most beautiful places with this 10-day Mauritius itinerary – unveil the island’s multifaceted charm, far beyond the quintessential beachside paradise. Right, the beautiful island of Mauritius is so much more than gorgeous beaches. And if you have been wondering about how to spend 10 days in Mauritius, you have come to the right place.
This Mauritius itinerary helps you to plan your trip – besides talking about the best places to visit, you´ll also find travel tips to make your Mauritius vacation as smooth as possible.
I spent about 3 weeks on this gorgeous island and fell in love with this little paradise. Yet, since most visitors can only stay 10 or 14 days, I have decided to create a shorter 10 days in Mauritius itinerary that makes it possible to discover the best in ten days.
Mauritius is a volcanic island nation in the Indian Ocean, known for its varied biodiversity, rich cultural heritage stemming from a blend of ethnicities, and a history marked by Dutch, French, Indian, and British influences.
An ideal Mauritius itinerary for 10 days is a blend of relaxation and adventure. This itinerary is a balance that caters to both the serenity seeker and the intrepid explorer looking for an authentic slice of island life.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 10-DAY MAURITIUS ITINERARY
But first things first, here are a few travel tips that are important for your trip – tips like how to get around, the best time to visit, and more.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MAURITIUS
The best time to visit Mauritius is from May to November when the weather is cool, dry, and sunny. This period marks the Mauritian winter, offering more comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities. May to October/November is ideal for those who want to explore the island’s vast natural parks and go hiking.
The rainy season in Mauritius typically occurs during the summer months, from November to April, with the heaviest rainfall happening from January to March. This period is also characterized by higher temperatures and occasionally, cyclones.
VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR MAURITIUS
If you are from the EU, US, UK, and Australia, you do not need a visa to enter Mauritius for short stays. Upon arrival, you are granted a tourist permit that typically allows you to stay for up to 60 days with the possibility of extending your stay up to 90 days after arrival.
However, you must meet certain entry requirements, such as having a valid passport, confirmation of accommodation, sufficient travel funds, and a return ticket.
Check the latest travel advisories and regulations before traveling due to any potential changes in visa policies.
WHAT TO WEAR IN MAURITIUS
In Mauritius, lightweight and casual clothing is the way to go due to its tropical climate.
For beach and resort areas, typical beachwear like swimsuits, shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses are appropriate.
However, bring cover-ups for when you’re not on the beach, as some areas may require modest attire (especially for temples). For exploring the cities and dining out, smart-casual wear is commonly accepted.
Due to occasional rain showers, a rain jacket or umbrella is practical. For outdoor activities like hiking, wear comfortable shoes, and breathable fabrics. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen to protect against the sun.
In the evenings or during the winter months (May to October), a light sweater or jacket may be needed as it can get breezy.
HOW TO GET TO MAURITIUS
Book international flights to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU), the island’s main gateway. This airport is well-connected with direct and connecting flights from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Once at the airport, you can take taxis, buses, or rental cars to reach their specific destinations on the island.
HOW TO GET AROUND MAURITIUS
Rental Cars: Renting a car in Mauritius is a convenient option if you prefer to explore at your own pace. You can rent vehicles at the airport or through various rental agencies across the island. It offers the flexibility to discover less accessible areas, and since the island is relatively small, driving around is quite straightforward with the use of GPS or maps. However, keep in mind they drive on the left side, and traffic – especially around Port Louis – and driving can be stressful.
Taxis: Taxis are a hassle-free way to travel around Mauritius, available at taxi stands in hotels, airports, and urban centers. They’re ideal for short trips or day-long hires with fixed itineraries. Negotiating the fare in advance is recommended as not all taxis use meters. I rented a “whole taxi for a full day” and visited all those places I could not with my guided group tours.
Buses: The bus system in Mauritius is quite extensive and economical, covering most tourist destinations and providing a real taste of local life. Buses run regularly, though less frequently in the evening, and vary from standard to express services, the latter offering fewer stops and more comfort. This is the most ecological and economical way but I only used it a couple of times, including to get from Grand Baie to Port Louis (and return), and to several beaches from Grand Bay.
Bicycles and Scooters: For short distances or leisurely exploration, you can rent bicycles and scooters. This mode is perfect for those staying in coastal villages who want to enjoy scenic routes at a slower pace, but it’s less ideal for long-distance travel or navigating the island’s hilly terrain.
Guided Tours: Guided tours are an excellent way to see Mauritius with the benefit of a knowledgeable guide. They can be private or in groups and often include historical insights and access to places that might be overlooked by independent travelers. Tours can range from half-day to longer tours, covering themes like cultural heritage, natural wonders, or adventure activities. These tours often include boat tours to the surrounding island.
Most of the time, I booked these guided tours (mostly group tours) but also a private tour.
HOW LONG TO STAY IN MAURITIUS
Spending 10 days in Mauritius allows for a comprehensive tour of the island’s highlights, from its stunning beaches to the lush interior, with a day or two dedicated to hiking.
Opting for a 14-day Mauritius trip provides time for deeper exploration and relaxation, as well as a buffer for any rainy days. However, this itinerary is ideal for 10 days as most of us do not have more than that to spend on this island.
SAFETY IN MAURITIUS
- General Safety: Mauritius is considered relatively safe for tourists. However, as with any destination, standard precautions should be taken, such as securing valuables and being cautious in less populated or poorly lit areas.
- Health Safety: Tap water is generally safe to drink, but bottled water was my way to go as I did not want to get sick during my travels. Hospitals and clinics are available for medical needs, with private health facilities providing higher standards of care.
- Road Safety: While driving, be aware of varying road conditions and occasionally undisciplined driving habits. It’s advisable to avoid driving at night, especially on unfamiliar, winding roads.
- Natural Hazards: Mauritius is prone to cyclones between November and April. Stay informed about the weather and heed local advice if a warning is issued.
- Water Safety: When engaging in water sports or swimming, be mindful of the flag system on beaches and only swim in designated areas to avoid strong currents and undertows.
- Personal Belongings: Petty theft and opportunistic crime can occur, particularly in crowded areas like markets or beaches. Always watch personal belongings and use hotel safes when available.
- Emergency Services: Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers and the location of your embassy. The police force is approachable and helpful in handling tourist inquiries and incidents.
WIFI IN MAURITIUS
WiFi in Mauritius is readily available in most hotels, resorts, and guesthouses, often free of charge for guests. Additionally, some cafes, restaurants, and public spaces in urban areas also offer free WiFi spots for customers.
For wider access, purchase local SIM cards with data plans that provide internet access island-wide.
MONEY IN MAURITIUS
The official currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR). You can exchange currency at the airport, banks, and hotels, with ATMs widely available across the island for withdrawing rupees.
Credit cards (and Apple Pay these days) are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops, but carrying some cash is advisable for small purchases and in rural areas.
Exchanging money outside of official bureaus or banks is not recommended due to the risk of receiving a less favorable exchange rate.
10-DAY ITINERARY FOR MAURITIUS
So, here are my recommendations for how to spend 10 days in Mauritius.
5 DAYS GRAND BAIE
I would choose Grand Baie (also written Grand Bay) as your base for the first part of your itinerary. This way, you can easily explore the north as well as the west before spending the rest of your trip in the southeast.
DAY 1 – GRAND BAIE
So, if you arrive in Grand Baie, during the day, settle in and make sure to explore Grand Baie. Why?
Grand Baie is a vibrant and popular coastal village – with beautiful beaches, bustling nightlife, and excellent shopping. It’s a hub for water activities such as sailing, windsurfing, and waterskiing, with clear, calm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Grand Baie’s sheltered bay is fringed by emerald waters and offers a safe anchorage for yachts and pleasure craft, contributing to its reputation as a maritime gateway to Mauritius.
But this locality is not just about its picturesque coastline; it also serves as a window into the island’s diverse culture with its array of restaurants and food stalls serving local and international cuisine, fashion and craft shops, and markets.
With accommodations ranging from luxury resorts to cozy guesthouses, Grand Baie caters to a variety of preferences, making it a must-visit destination on the island.
Spend the first day at the Grand Baie Beach. Whether you arrive here in the morning, or later the day. Head to the beach first, check out some boutique stores and have lunch/dinner at one of the food stalls/restaurants.
The Public Peach of Grand Baie offers a pleasant spot for a swim, albeit it’s not the top choice due to its modest size and limited depth. Particularly for newcomers, the sensation of wading into the tepid waters is nice. So, bring a towel and whatever you need for a few hours at the beach.
PEREYBERE PUBLIC BEACH
INFO: You can also use the bus (or taxi apparently) to get to Pereybere Public Beach and return to Grand Baie by bus. The ride just takes about 10 minutes and costs about 0,50$ (0,50€).
DAY 2 – 3 ISLAND TOURS
Grand Baie is the perfect starting point for your first excursion – get on board a catamaran or speed boat to see 3 islands in the north of Mauritius. To see the 3 northern islands, you have to book a tour. You can do this either online or on the spot (might be a bit cheaper but you do not have to find a tour company and you cannot read the reviews).
The tour might slightly differ, depending on which tour operator you exactly book with, but most of the tours look like this.
FLAT ISLAND & GABRIEL ISLAND
The journey sails towards the enchanting Flat Island, where you can tour the serene reserve, bask on the immaculate beaches, and then head to the serene Gabriel Island which is just opposite.
Both islands are beautiful – with crystal clear water and white sand it is like a tropical paradise. You will have time to snorkel in its tranquil lagoon or unwind on the island’s famous sandbar, and soak up the sun.
Then it is normally time to indulge in a BBQ lunch (limited vegetarian food available, but make sure to mention it when booking) with refreshments on the catamaran.
COIN DE MIRE
Heading back, you will pause at Coin de Mire – this unique-looking island cannot be set foot on but depending on your exact tour itinerary, you might have the chance to do some more swimming and snorkeling here.
This trip will most likely take a full day – and once you are dropped off again in Grand Baie, you might be happy to have dinner at the beach area and call it a day!
P.S. Depending on what kind of people you travel with, it can be a really fun experience – our boat turned into a party boat with a big local family! Mauritians definitely know how to party.
DAY 3 – SOUTHWEST TOUR
This might be a long day, but you get the chance to experience Mauritius’s different side with a Southwest Tour starting from Grand Baie. Again, it depends on what tour exactly you book, but most SouthWest Tours look like this (and if you drive yourself, you can just steal this itinerary).
TROU AUX CERFS
The southwest scenic tour starts with a convenient hotel pick-up, before heading towards your first destination, Trou Aux Cerfs. This renowned natural attraction in Mauritius is a dormant volcanic crater standing about 605 meters above sea level, with a 350-meter diameter and approximately 100 meters deep.
Unlike typical volcanic sites, Trou aux Cerfs is encircled by a lush forest filled with native plants and towering green pine trees.
While the views are impressive, the lack of obvious volcanic features may somewhat lessen the impact.
Then it is time to visit Ganga Talao, often referred to as Grand Bassin, a serene crater lake situated about 550 meters above sea level in Mauritius’ mountainous Southwest.
Along its shores, you’ll find a Hindu temple and a series of small shrines honoring Lord Shiva and other deities. The site’s centerpiece is an imposing 33-meter statue of Lord Shiva, the tallest in Mauritius, exuding peace and serenity.
This sacred location attracts numerous visitors for prayer, meditation, or simply to stroll around the lake and take in the splendid scenery.
BLACK RIVER GORGES NATIONAL PARK
The Black River Gorges National Park, established to preserve the island’s natural vegetation, is one of Mauritius’s most significant sights. It protects much of the island’s remaining rainforest and is a haven for numerous wild animals and bird species.
The Gorge Viewpoint offers a spectacular panoramic vista of vast green landscapes including high waterfalls. The viewpoint’s elevation provides a breathtaking perspective of the gorge. To the right, a majestic waterfall adds to the scene’s allure.
The path to the viewpoint is lined with souvenir stalls, creating a unique atmosphere, and you might even encounter a welcoming group of monkeys along the way.
SEVEN COLORED EARTH
A must-see in Mauritius is the Seven Colored Earth, a remarkable natural wonder and a popular tourist spot. This phenomenon originated from the transformation of basaltic lava into clay minerals, resulting in a breathtaking, almost lunar landscape of multi-colored sand dunes.
Encircled by verdant greenery, this geological marvel, exhibiting sand in seven distinct colors like red, brown, violet, green, blue (I could not see any blue shade), purple, and yellow, is a testament to nature’s incredible artistry.
Additionally, the site features a Tortoise Park and a Souvenir Shop where you can find a range of local Chamarel products.
As Mauritius’ highest single-drop waterfall at approximately 100 meters, the Chamarel Waterfall is an awe-inspiring natural feature. It is fed by the convergence of three streams into the Saint-Denis River, creating a powerful and impressive flow, especially at its peak rate exceeding 40,000 cubic meters per minute.
You can view the Chamarel Falls from the upper deck at the Chamarel Seven Colored Earth Reserve, or from a lower vantage point.
The Chamarel Waterfall is one of Mauritius’ most iconic waterfalls, making it a must-visit attraction for anyone. Also, once in the park, you only have to climb a few steps to watch the pretty waterfall.
This sounds like a busy day and I can tell you, it is. However, this was one of my favorite days in Mauritius – after seeing the Chamarel Waterfall we had lunch in the small village of Chamarel and it was just overall a lovely group tour that I highly recommend.
DAY 4 – DOLPHIN SWIMMING & ILE AUX BENETIERS
This day means a very early start, but seeing dolphins – and swimming with them – is worth all that.
SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS
Dolphins are best seen in the southeast of Mauritius (though I also saw some in the west, too), so you will get there and upon arrival at one of the beaches, you will embark on a speed boat, setting off into the open sea for your encounter with dolphins.
Once you reach a spot where dolphins are, you’ll have the chance to swim alongside the dolphins.
While I loved my encounter with the dolphins in Mauritius, I want to be really honest: Dolphins are AMAZING. The first time I saw some in their natural habitat (which was in Zanzibar), I did really cry out of joy. It was such an incredible experience.
BUT in Mauritius, there were just too many speedboats and too many people all encircling the dolphins. It felt not as natural as the unexpected encounter in the south of Zanzibar. However, if you have never seen dolphins, this is a good way to see them and even swim with them.
Then you will visit the natural Crystal Rock. Located in the southwest of the island, near the lagoons of Le Morne, Crystal Rock is a stunning natural formation.
Its unique positioning and clear surrounding waters make it an exceptional spot for both sightseeing and underwater exploration – but it is also pretty photogenic, isn’t it?
ILE AUS BENETIERS
My tip is to book a tour with a trip to Benitier Islet that includes beachside lunch. Most tours offer a BBQ with tons of meat and seafood and a limited variety of vegetarian options – as well as alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks.
After lunch, it is time to relax and unwind. You can choose to bask in the sun on the beach, take a leisurely stroll along the island’s expansive shoreline, or explore the stunning lagoons and coral reefs surrounding the islet.
This part of the beach/island is quite touristy – with many little stalls selling souvenirs and drinks. Yet, I loved the vibes (actually it felt a bit Caribbean) and it was one of my favorite places in Mauritius.
DAY 5 – PORT LOUIS & BOTANICAL GARDEN
Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, is a vibrant blend of cultures and histories, nestled against a backdrop of mountains. It’s a melting pot of traditions and communities, reflected in its diverse cuisine, architecture, and festivals.
The city’s waterfront area, Caudan Waterfront, is a lively hub with restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. Close to it, you will also find the Central Market, a colorful and aromatic destination for fresh produce, spices, and local crafts.
Historic sites like the Aapravasi Ghat and the National History Museum provide insights into the island’s colonial past and the story of its people.
Despite its modern development, Port Louis has maintained a charming atmosphere with its mix of French colonial architecture and contemporary buildings.
Though Port Louis is a rather small capital, it is also quite hectic and busy. So, I would understand if you skipped that stop and rather spend another day at the beach instead.
The Pamplemousses Botanic Garden, officially named the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden, stands as a renowned tourist destination in Pamplemousses, close to Port Louis in Mauritius. It holds the distinction of being the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere and can be combined with a trip to Port Louis.
TIP: You can take a bus, Line 215, from Grand Baie to Port Louis and will be dropped off in the city center. It takes about 40 minutes and just costs about 1€ (1¢), pay in cash on the bus. This bus also stops at the Botanical Garden.