You might think a trip to the tropical Eden of Mauritius exorbitantly extravagant in these cash-strapped times. The island has long been synonymous with luxury, thanks to its extraordinary concentration of opulent hotels.
It's true that Mauritius is popular with the wealthy, not to mention jet-setting celebrities. But that's not to say this sun-drenched island is out of reach for those who are watching their spending. Travelling affordably is possible and without sacrificing the very essence of what makes Mauritius so delicious – you just need to know where to eat, sleep and play.
Where to eat
Mauritian food perfectly embodies the island’s coming together of cultures – a fusion of France and Africa with hints of China and India sprinkled around. There are less expensive, options for those who want to experience Mauritius through its cuisine. Join queues of locals lining up to sample cheap. If you’re looking for something more substantial, find a low-key restaurant or takeaway joint specialising in biryani or mine frites. Markets are a great place to find an affordable lunch, with particularly tasty options in Port Louis, Mahebourg and Centre du Flacq. While you’re at the markets, stock up on mountains of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood to cook up your own Mauritian feast for a fraction of the restaurant cost.
Where to rest your head
Accommodation generally takes up a hefty chunk of your travel. If you’re able to splurge on a night or two in an opulent all-inclusive resort, it’ll certainly provide a memorable end to your Mauritian stay, but there are plenty of options for those who can’t stretch to a pricey package deal. World Leisure Holidays have a number of hand-picked, quality assured 3-star resorts that fit into most budgets.
Adventure on tap
The island’s main attractions can be enjoyed by all travellers. The number one drawcard costs nothing at all, so pack a market-bought picnic and head for one of the many white sand beaches skirting the verdant island. Don’t overlook the interior though – the Black River Gorges National Park is free to enter and offers lookout points, day hikes and bird-watching, all for no fee. Those preferring a more urban adventure can find low cost alternative in the capital, Port Louis. Wander the gardens, browse the central market and get acquainted with the island’s iconic dodo in the Natural History Museum, all without opening your wallet.