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Why Mauritius vacations are so popular with families
With white-sand beaches, lush forests, sweeping sugar cane fields and sparkling lagoons, it’s no wonder so many people travel to Mauritius year after year. Better yet, this spectacular island is extremely family-friendly – offering the best landscapes for enjoying the sun, sea and sand, as well as fantastic child-friendly restaurants, and hotels that know how to bring in the fun. Still not convinced? Here’s our reasons why Mauritius is such a hit with families.
If you’re looking for gorgeous sunshine and warm temperatures for your family beach vacation, you’ll have come to the right place. The weather in Mauritius is great all year round, offering pleasant 30 degree sunshine and a nice breeze to keep young children cool. There’s little variation in weather over the months either, apart from a short wet season from January to March – so the island is perfect for summer and Christmas vacations.
As mum and dad soak up the sun and relax with a cocktail, the children will love the hotel’s exciting kid’s clubs. There are plenty of family-friendly hotels in Mauritius that cater for little ones and teenagers, including the gorgeous Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort with its Timomo & Friends club, entertaining 2-11 year olds with fun cultural activities like crab searching, Mauritian games, and creating traditional musical instruments. As for the teens, they won’t complain about horse-riding, mountain biking and the hip beach parties whilst staying here, as well as the Cool Teens Club with game consoles and WiFi - their Facebook status needs to be updated with photos of their exciting activities, duh.
Zilwa Attitude’s kid’s club will get ultimate cool points from the children too, with alluring treasure hunts and fun games on board a beached boat, as well as fascinating glass bottom boat tours and the occasional show. Kids can even eat their meals at the restaurant with one of the club’s Family Members, so you and your partner can enjoy a romantic dinner under the stars in peace.
For a family vacation that oozes luxury, Constance Le Prince Maurice offers Family Suites with beautiful thatched roofs, lovely views and comfortable bedding, as well as the complimentary Constance Kid’s Club offering a plethora of activities and adventures. From face painting and movies, to pool games and cooking lessons, you’ll never hear “I’m bored” when visiting this lively hotel. There’s even an a la carte children menus for little ones to tuck into, and parents will love checking out the largest wine cellar in the Indian Ocean – why not sip on a fine wine as the kids have fun with their new friends?
The LUX hotels dotted around the island are popular with families looking for a touch of extravagance. Consisting of Le Morne, Belle-Mare and Grand Gaube, these chic resorts are very indulgent, and all have a complimentary PLAY club with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. Looking for a fussy teenager’s approval? The Studio 17 teen’s club offers fantastic beach sports, language lessons, and exciting adventure trips. The whole family will be sure to devour these hotel’s delicious, innovative eateries too, including Grand Gaube’s Banyan restaurant serving flavoursome Mauritian street food.
Of course, being on an island means there are numerous water sports to thrill all ages. Head to the lagoon to find Captain Nemo’s Undersea Walk, where those over the age of seven can descend beneath the Indian Ocean’s surface in search for colourful marine life - a truly remarkable experience. No skills necessary – this is a fantastic underwater walk using a specially designed diving helmet that constantly receives a supply of fresh air from the surface, allowing adventurers of all swimming abilities to explore the world under the sea. If you do fancy a full-on snorkelling excursion, travel to Blue Bay Marine Park for the best underwater scenery in Mauritius – with beautifully clear waters, you’ll be able to marvel at over 50 species of coral, as well as tropical fish including algae, butterfly fish, and pipefish.
Marine life enthusiasts will be sure to enjoy a family deep sea fishing trip too, and with operators located all over the island, you’ll find an excursion no matter where you’re staying. Children from the age of five can board a fishing boat accommodating up to eight passengers, sailing out to sea in search for exotic fish and coral. You’ll certainly catch a glimpse of blue marlin, yellow fun tuna and wahoo, but lucky guests may even spot dolphins or white fin sharks too.
Along the beach of Trou Aux Biches lies Blue Safari, a company offering fantastic submarine rides that descend 35 metres below sea level and journeys to the rustic Star Hope - a shipwreck that’s now home to schools of zebra fish and eels. Kids will love the experience of visiting a shipwreck, and those over the age of eight could even ride a subscooter – much like an underwater motorbike, these small scooters travel three metres below the ocean, with 360 degree views of the surrounding marine life.
Fancy a little day trip? Hop on a catamaran together for a full-day outing to a stunning nearby islet. Ile aux Cerfs is a popular choice – sitting prettily off the east coast, this archipelago offers a striking place to swim, snorkel, water ski, or even take a pedalo ride. In between a day of exploring the surrounding waters and discovering its pristine beaches, head to one of the fresh seafood restaurants for a decadent fish BBQ.
Exciting wildlife isn’t just found underwater though - adventurous families will love exploring Mauritius’ parks in search for elusive animals and fun activities. For a lovely family picnic in the sunshine, as well as tranquil hikes through native forest, be sure to check out Black River Gorges National Park. This luscious landscape is full of rarely-seen animals, including the Mauritian pink pigeon, echo parakeets, macaque monkeys and the Mauritian flying fox, as well as the exhilarating opportunity for adults and teens to abseil the canyon walls. Vanilla Crocodile and Tortoise Park is a popular escape too – an exotic forest nestled in a vanilla-growing area that is home to gigantic Nile crocs, giant tortoises, lizards, bats and wild pigs. You could even try a taste of crocodile meat, though we’re sure most kids will turn their nose. The sugar estate of Domaine de Bel Air is a popular choice for wildlife spotting too – after taking a scenic train ride through the vegetation and vanilla plantations of Paradise Valley, you’ll be met with groups of ostriches, guinea fowl and elegant Java deer.
Visiting a dormant volcanic crater will be an incredible experience for the whole family, and something you won’t forget. Ganga Talao, a crater lake sitting in a secluded mountain area in Savanne, is truly breath-taking, and a sacred Hindu place of pilgrimage. The temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are very fascinating; though we’re sure the younger kids will be more excited about feeding giant eels.
For something a bit livelier, families will love the island’s capital of Port Louis, filled with vibrant, bustling markets, colonial buildings, a Chinatown with magnificent pagodas, and a spot of designer shopping. Take the kids here and you’ll be inundated with authentic Mauritian souvenirs for them to take home to their school friends, or spend an afternoon enjoying the culture and dining on sumptuous street food. Talking of food, the local cuisine here is a mix of Creole, Chinese, European, African and Indian fare, offering families a variety of hearty, homely dishes that will please even the fussiest of eaters. Escale Creole is certainly a family favourite restaurant serving tasty, authentic dishes that are half price for children between the ages of 3-10 years.
All in all, a family vacation in Mauritius is cultural, diverse, exhilarating and relaxing all at the same time, and we know families will have a trip of a lifetime at this jaw-dropping island.