The best time to visit Mauritius

A visit to the subtropical island of Mauritius should be on everyone's bucket list. This small island offers a huge amount to see and do in between lazy days spent on perfect beaches with immediate access to the glorious Indian ocean. In this article we look at Mauritius all year round and suggest the best time to visit to do the things you want to do on your holiday.

The summer months are magical

Summer is the most popular season to visit Mauritius and it is not hard to understand why. From Grand Bay in the north to the beaches of Flic-en-Flac and Le Morne in the south, via Blue Bay Beach in the south-east: wherever you go, it will all be turquoise waters and white sand. The beaches of Le Morne or La Prairie with a breath-taking view of the famous Morne Brabant mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage site, should also be on your itinerary.

The beaches of Gris-Gris and Tamarin offer incredible experiences. Located in the south, the former is on the edge of a tropical forest with various trails to discover its beauty. In Tamarin, the waves are perfect to try your hand at surfing. To enjoy lazy moments being cooled by gentle breezes, discover the beaches of the east coast such as the Roches Noires, not far from Poste Lafayette.

And if you are wondering when to go to Mauritius to admire nature at its best, this is the ideal time. In December, the flora is in bloom. Stroll through the botanical garden of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam de Pamplemousses to discover its splendors.

Does Mauritius have a monsoon season?

Mauritius can be an unpredictable little island and there are no actual months you can nail down when a monsoon is guaranteed to happen. As mentioned, summer tends to be the rainier season but December to February are still very dry compared to our European expectations.

An average rainfall of 237mm in February does not mean it will be drizzling every day and a lot of that water can come in one big downpour rather than over an extended period. If you are worried about some rain then try to book a resort on the southern part of the island for less likelihood of a shower. Equally, there may be a chance of strong winds as various tropical storms skirt the island, but in terms of a full blown cyclone these are relatively rare and only happen once or twice a decade. There should be little chance of a major weather event affecting your holiday.

October may be the best month

If you are a Goldilocks tourist and want things not too warm or not too cold then October is generally seen as the ideal month – winter transitions into summer and you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Discover other hot destinations during October.

It is largely dry but not overbearingly warm. For parents of schoolchildren this also happens to coincide with half term at home and meteorology may well be your friend if you are planning the perfect family holiday before the run up to Christmas.

Alternatively, May can be roughly considered as autumn in Mauritius, offering an equal amount of balance. For solo travellers or couples without kids it might be worth extending the May Day Bank holiday at home for a week or two in the tropical splendor of Mauritius.

Off season is always on

The off-season also offers many advantages. Temperatures are cooler and rainfall is more scattered in April, and in October the temperature is warmer and humidity is under control. This is the ideal time to venture inland for a few nature hikes.

You can admire the flowering of exotic plants at their peak. Bougainvillea, frangipani, hibiscus and tabebuias are just some of the florals that will enchant you with their flamboyant colors.

A visit to the slopes of Mount Brabant is a must. The mountain is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having tamed its 340 metres and walked the paths that lead through the heart of a lush forest, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the turquoise waters and mountains of Chamarel. Make sure you also visit this picturesque spot and discover its grandiose waterfall.

Alternatively, you could head south to the splendors of the Black River Gorges National Park where several footpaths crisscross its slopes covered with lush vegetation and impressive waterfalls. On your way back to the coast, stop in Chamarel to admire its 83 metre high waterfall. Continuing a little further, you will discover the land of the seven colors, a clearing where soil ranges from ochre, red and purple.

The land of two seasons

When it comes to seasons, things are straightforward in Mauritius as there are only two of them - winter and summer. Both of them provide what can easily be classified as ‘holiday weather’ and the temperatures rarely fall below 17°C. The peaks reach 31°C in the months when countries such as the UK are usually feeling cold and windy. It makes the island a great destination for those looking to escape the winter blues.

It should also be noted that, even though Mauritius is a small island, it can have different weather in different locations on any given day. If you are planning day trips based around microclimates then, as a general rule, the east and south of the island tend to be a little cooler due to the ocean winds during winter. However, the type of terrain will also have an impact.

Summer starts in November and runs through to April when the weather tends to be warm and humid, whilst May to October is cooler and drier. Therefore, if you want the highest temperatures but don't mind a refreshingly warm rain shower then summer is your best bet.

For a stronger guarantee of clear skies and the ability to do more physical activities when the temperature isn't too uncomfortable, winter may be the right choice. Of course, summer does not turn to winter overnight and there are transitional months where things are slightly less up or down. This makes it worth considering what will be the right time of year for you to enjoy this paradise, depending on what activities you have planned.

When to enjoy the best events

There are festivities all year round in Mauritius and any holiday can be enhanced by the music and colour that the locals create to celebrate various religious events. As the country is so diverse these festivals are also very varied and there is plenty to do and see if you get the right month.

More than one New Year

As well as being a beautiful place to wake up to on January 1st, Chinese New Year is also celebrated at the end of the month meaning feasting and dancing amongst the local Chinese community with all the spectacular dragons and drums you would expect. January is also the month of the fascinating Cavadee festival where pilgrims hand hinge hooks from their body with offerings to the Gods. New Year is also celebrated in March by the parts of the population from the Indian Deccan religion. Visit in March for a celebration of the island’s independence from the British when you can enjoy plenty of street parties and festivals going on around the 12th.