One of the Mascarenes islands, not far from Madagascar and a few 100 kms from Réunion island, Mauritius is a faraway island whose dynamism and cultural diversity most assuredly fascinate. Going back through last 3 centuries of the history, its 1.2 million inhabitants of today is the result of the meeting of a mosaic of people from India, China, Africa and Europe. This cultural melting pot is the strength of a nation who acquired independence in 1968.
Before settling nicely in your Attitude hotel and exploring the numerous facets of the key and star of the Indian Ocean, here are a few practical if not essential tips to pack in your suitcase to thoroughly enjoy your holiday:
You need a valid passport to enter Mauritius and your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months as from your return date. There is no need for a visa for European citizenship if you are staying for less than 6 months on the island. If you want to rent a car, your domestic driving licence is valid for up to 4 weeks. Just remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road!
Mauritius is a tropical island, it has good all year-round temperatures. In winter, between May and September on average about 21°C. In summer, between October and April, the temperature ranges between 26°C and 32°C. Mauritius can experience heavy rainfall between December and February. The temperature along the northern and western coasts is higher than the rest of the island. The sun sets early, around 18:00 in winter and 19:00 in summer.
WHAT TO PACK?
A warm jersey for the winter evenings, a K-Way for the sudden tropical showers, comfortable shoes to explore the island, trousers for the evenings and… several bathing costumes! Sun screen, sunglasses and hats to avoid being sunburnt. A mosquito repellent lotion is always handy at dusk. No panic if you have forgotten something or most things, the hotels’ boutiques are well equipped, and the shops are never very far.
USEFUL TO KNOW :
The official language is English but the majority of Mauritians speak French. Creole (a vernacular) and French are mostly heard and used in everyday life.
The local money is the Mauritian Rupee. The exchange rate is about 40 Rupees to 1 Euro. Exchange your money at the hotel’s reception and take some cash when going out as most small shops and taxis do not take credit cards.
Time Zone The time difference is 2 hours with Paris (3 during the European winter)
A BIT OF LOCAL CULTURE:
A mix of African, European, Indian and Chinese influences have moulded the Mauritian culture. A few museums and colonial homes are opened to the public and well worth visiting to discover and understand the country’s cultural soul. L’Aventure du Sucre in Mapou, the Blue Penny Museum in Port Louis, Le Chateau Labourdonnais or The Appravasi Ghat are all places of historic interest. Sega sung in Creole is a very lively local music to be discovered in the hotels and around bars. There are a few modern cinema halls showing the best Hollywood and Bollywood productions as well as French films.
Creole is certainly the island’s cultural DNA. Here are a few typical expressions:
Good-morning >> Bonzour
How are you> >> Ki manier?
All well >> Tou Korek
Please >> Siouplé
Religious and Cultural Feasts
In Mauritius, a crossroads between continents, religions, races and cultures, we have a diversity of feasts and festivals. The most colourful and popular are The Maha Shivaratree with processions of colourful kawals, the Chinese Lion Dance, the spectacular Diwali night with thousands of lamps and lights shining in the dark and the Tamoul Cavadee…
Jan 1 & 2 - New Year Feb 1 - Abolition of slavery Mar 12 - National Day May 1 - Labour Day Nov 2 - Arrival of Indentured labourers Dec 25 - Christmas Day
Jan - Thaipoosam Cavadee Feb - Abolition of Slavery, Maha Shivaratree, Chinese Spring Festival Mar - Ougadi June - Eid-Ul-Fitr Aug - Assumption Day Sep - Ganesh Chaturthi Nov - Diwali
Booking your stay in Mauritius
For relaxed, cultural and authentic holidays, choose any one of our Attitude hotels, they are all different. So, adopt an explorer, a zen, a beach or a local attitude according to your mood…We cater for all your special needs and will offer beautiful holidays in a charming hotel while helping you discover our beautiful island.