Mauritius is your island in the sun, where family memories are waiting to be made
A true pearl of the Indian Ocean and a 12-hour direct flight from the UK, Mauritius has been a popular holiday destination for decades.
That’s plenty of time to get the kids rested up before you touch down and decide what to see and do first. For such a small island, Mauritius is surprisingly diverse, and as such is able to offer a huge roster of activities. Add the forever hot and sunny climate to the equation and you’re looking at a family getaway that’ll put smiles on plenty of faces.
Best family friendly beaches
Any stretch of shore you lay your towel down on in Mauritius is going to appeal, but there are definitely a few beaches worth special mention. Families in the island’s north lean towards Trou aux Biches near Grand Bay, which is sheltered from the rest of the island by cute palm trees. The sea stays calm day after day, and with watersports and diving, to the coral reef it suits adventurous spirits.
Further east, it’d be remiss not to visit the tranquillity of Belle Mare, the longest beach on the island. While in the south, Gris Gris Beach flanks its magnificent sand with garden spaces for the little ones to play in.
Best family activities in Mauritius
For all the peace and quiet it promises, Mauritius also offers plenty to keep little brains active, with a 500-metre zipline high above the island’s centre challenging the most daring holidaymakers of all sizes. For animal lovers, there are hotspots like Vanilla Crocodile Park, which also houses monkeys and tortoises, among other creatures. The Blue Safari submarine experience, taking you and your loved ones down to experience the coral reefs and marine life, takes love for cute critters quite literally deeper.
Shopping at Port Louis, the capital of the island, also comes massively recommended. Bustling farmers’ markets will keep adults intrigued with fresh fruits, vegetables and flavours, while shopping malls and museums engage young minds in between trips to ice cream parlours and milkshake shacks.
Other family holiday destinations
Take a look around the wider Indian Ocean, and you’ll find a host of holiday destinations that provide fantastic family holidays that are both budget friendly and off the beaten track. Sri Lanka is another superb example of an Indian Ocean island with oodles of charm and family appeal, although Goa is also a superb place to play. Of course, traditional family breaks to Spain always tick the boxes for sun, fun and relaxation on a budget.
Mauritius adds a certain distinctive edge to a family holiday though, as you’ll learn in our travel guide, and to help you make the best decision we’ve listed some top Mauritius family hotels below.
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Located on the beach of Le Morne, this hotel has a tropical flair throughout and is well known as something of a watersports haven. Indeed, you'll find adrenaline hounds taking to the hotel's private lagoon to test their mettle all year round, although there are also perks like beginners' snorkelling lessons for those looking to get the little ones used to the water. Elsewhere, look out for the karaoke nights and live music performances, as well as a big playground for the kids.
Beachfront restaurants give this resort complex plenty of appeal, with its large and lively presence illuminating the Flic en Flac shore all year round. There are two restaurants here, which rotate themed nights over a fortnightly basis so no two meals are identical. Youngsters get plenty to do, from teen discos and activity groups to kids' clubs for ages up to 11 that include meals, entertainment and lots to keep little minds active. While the kids are away, the grown-ups can slink off to the pool or spa for some rejuvenation.
Expect affordable luxury on Belle Mare beach here, as this hotel aims to give your family the treat you all deserve. The infinity pool makes you feel as though you could swim right out into that perfect sea, whereas beyond the kids' club you can all get stuck into kayaking, fly-fishing, banana boat rides and diving lessons. With Japanese, Chinese and Italian restaurants tucked into the resort too, expect a whole host of flavours to entice and surprise.
A beachfront hotel that's brand new and laced with little luxuries is one thing, but this treat in Calodyne also has exclusive access to two private islands. As such, you can expect plenty of bobbing on boats between those locales, while kids can get stuck into treasure hunts, board games and even a few activities taking their cues from Mauritian folklore. Kayaks and glass bottom boat trips are a given, but for more terrestrial pursuits there's also affordable bike hire.
By all accounts, this hotel in Bel Ombre looks like a house by the pool. It's on the beachfront and rooms lean towards the big, spacious and opulent, yet it's also a treasure trove that piques kids' curiosity. Messages in bottles and a phone booth for free calls home are among the quirks, while catamaran and kayak trips over the water make for great days out. Meals feature show-cooking and Asian flavours, although if the kids get too antsy, promise them one thing to rein in their behaviour... crispy wood-fired pizza.