The History of Mauritius
The island nation of Mauritius was first discovered by Arabs in 975 AD and named Dina Robin. Around 1507, Portuguese reached here, but both Arabs and Portuguese used the island just as a port of call en-route to India.
The Dutch Connection
In 1598 the Dutch arrived on the island and were the first to colonize it. They named it Mauritius after Prince Maurice Nassau. They introduced sugarcane crops, monkeys and Java deer to Mauritius. They were also responsible for the extinction of the dodo. These flightless birds were plentiful on the island, and since they were not scared of humans, they were easy to capture. The last dodo was killed in 1681. If you plan your honeymoon in the City of Port Louis, you must visit the National History Museum, where you can view a dodo skeleton—the only one in the world—and learn more about these fascinating birds.
The Dutch introduced slaves to Mauritius, importing them from Madagascar. While the Dutch left the island in 1710, slavery continued with the French colonizers bringing in more people as slaves. In the later part of the 18th century, around 80-85% of the country’s population consisted of slaves. Many of them ran away to Le Morne Mountain, which became a sort of fortress. The mountains are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses many hotels and resorts where you can spend a charming honeymoon. The Frederik Hendrik Museum, located on the historical site of Vieux Grand Port, revives the memories of the Dutch settlers.
The Era of French and Dutch Colonies
In 1715, the French changed the country’s name to Ile de France. Under the French, the island grew into a prosperous colony. French is still widely spoken in Mauritius.
In 1810 the British captured Mauritius. Various heritage buildings and museums such as Blue Penny Museum and the Photographic Museum can be visited to learn more about the colonial past of Mauritius.
Way to Independence
The first step for self rule in Mauritius was the elections for the newly formed Legislative assembly in 1947. After 1961 the independence campaign became really serious when the British Government agreed to allow more self-government and ultimate independence. In 1968, while still under the control of Sir Seewoosagu Ramgoolam, Mauritius got her independence within the Commonwealth.
Mauritius became a Republic on March 12, 1992, after 24 years of being a Commonwealth Realm. With good governance, stable democracy and an impressive human rights record, Mauritius is has developed into a prospering nation while retaining its natural and colonial charm. No doubt it is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world.
Regions of Mauritius
If you are planning to book your honeymoon in Mauritius (officially the Republic of Mauritius), then you must get acquainted with the various regions of this mountainous island in the Indian Ocean.
Located to the east of Madagascar, this island nation with an area of 2,040 sq. km is part of the Mascarene Islands. The island of Rodriguez, along with Cargados Carajos and Agalega, are dependent on Mauritius.
Mauritius itself is divided into different regions.
Thisis the most developed region of Mauritius. Honeymooning couples love the north as Grand Baie has plenty of restaurants and the nightlife is fun with discotheques, parties and good music. In addition, there are some wonderful sights. Beautiful churches with red-roofs and a breathtaking view of the Cap Malheureux lagoon make this region a must-see place.
South and South-east Mauritius
This region of Mauritius is completely different from the rest of the island, with high cliffs battered by waves. These cliffs are created as the coral reefs, which surround the island nation, fall steeply into the sea.
However, the western fringes of the southern coastline have some beautiful beaches, and various top-notch resorts and hotels have come up here which are fast becoming favorite honeymoon destinations for newlywed couples.
This is truly the Jewel of Mauritius with its emerald lagoons and exquisite coves, where cool breeze gently flows all through the year. This part of Mauritius boasts of white sandy beaches where you can laze in the sun for hours enjoying the endless, cool and calm sea before you.
West and South-Western Mauritius
If you want to watch dolphins swimming freely, this is where you should visit! Heading to IIe aux Benitiers from Flic en Flac or off the Tamarin Bay, you can see them in plenty, coming to rest and breed. The famous Morne Mountain is also situated here. There are some exclusive hotels which boast of many water sport activities.
Inland and Central Plateau Region
It is in these “highlands” that the island’s four other towns of Quatre Bornes, Curepipe, Rose Hill and Vacos are situated.
Quatre Bornes is famous for its local markets, where you can try your skills at bargaining. Curepipe, which is cooler than the other places in the island, has a botanical garden worth visiting. You must also visit the municipal theater in Rose Hill and the Gymkhana Golf Club (probably the oldest golf club in the southern hemisphere) in Vocas.
If you are looking for a romantic honeymoon destination that offers a mix of enchanting nature, vivid culture and thrilling adventure as well as epicurean delight, we suggest a honeymoon in Mauritius. Cradled by the Indian Ocean, the island nation of Mauritius is almost completely encircled by the world’s third largest coral reef. It has a more than 200-mile-long coastline and the white sandy beaches house numerous honeymoon resorts. Whether you are looking for a cosy honeymoon at a luxury resort or a cheap romantic honeymoon hotel, Mauritius suits all your needs.
Unspoilt beaches stretching for miles, a quiet turquoise sea, emerald lagoons, tropical forests, enchanting mountains, swaying sugar cane fields and rumbling waterfalls—Mauritius is a country where nature shows off its various beautiful facets at every step. The tropical climate is moderate, with temperature fluctuating between 20 and 35°C across the year. No wonder, it is the most popular romantic honeymoon destination throughout the year.
But that’s not all! Mauritius has some great water sport destinations, where you can enjoy water sports such as banana boat ride, parasailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and undersea walking. Grand Bay (or Grand Baie) is a shoppers’ paradise with its big fashion stores as well as traditional craft shops. Grand Bay also has a great nightlife and adventure activities. Port Louis, the capital, offers various options: experience the excitement of horse racing, visit the botanical garden, explore the museums or simply soak in the fragrances of spices and tea leaves wafting from numerous road-side stalls.
The population of Mauritius consists of Creole, Chinese, Europeans, Hindus and Muslims, and the culture is a mix of all. Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ugadi, Eid and Chinese Spring Festival—all are celebrated with equal enthusiasm. Churches, pagodas, temples and mosques dot the country, and coming from India, you’ll feel much at home.
Most hotels and resorts in Mauritius have special honeymoon packages on offer and you will get huge discounts for the bride’s accommodation. Tariff for a honeymoon package is often inclusive of water sports and romantic dinners. Imagine a candle-light dinner under a starlit sky on a beach that glows seemingly endlessly with its white sand!
Mauritius has a tourist-friendly visa policy, and citizens of many nations (including Indians) require no visa. All you need is a valid passport and a confirmed exit ticket. Mauritius is also well-connected with India. You can book a flight to Mauritius from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. With such ease of travel, Mauritius has fast emerged as one of the top honeymoon destinations for newlyweds from India.
Mauritius: Quick Facts
Capital: Port Louis
- Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (IATA: MRU, ICAO: FIMP), Port Loius
- Sir Gaëtan Duval Airport (IATA: RRG, ICAO: FIMR), near Plaine Corail, Rodrigues Island
(For detailed flight information click here.)
Geography: island of volcanic-origin in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by coral reefs.
Climate: Tropical; West and North regions are warmer and drier than the East and South.
Av. Temperature: 20–35°C (coastal areas: 22–34°C; central island: 20–26°C)
Time: GMT +4 hrs
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (USD 1 = 32 MUR)
Languages: Mauritian Creole, English, French
Electricity: 220 volts
Government working hours: 9 am–5 pm (Monday to Friday)
Bank hours: 9.15 am-3.15 pm (Monday to Thursday); 9.15 am-3.30 pm (Friday), 9.15 am -11.15 am (Saturday; only few banks). Banks at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport open to coincide with the arrival/departure of international flights.