Christmas Holidays Mauritius
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas but don’t much fancy the inevitable freezing temperatures which are inseparable from a snowy landscape, why not try the dazzling white sand beaches of Mauritius instead? Sunshine, sand and the cool clear waters of the encircling lagoon will make your festive season one to remember.
During the Christmas and New Year period, the demand for accommodation on the island is at its highest so it is imperative to book well in advance. Prices have been known to double, or even triple, over these holidays and a number of luxury beach villas will be booked out a year in advance. It is also important to remember that most properties require a minimum stay of at least ten nights which cover either Christmas, New Year or both. As tourism has dropped slightly over the past couple of years, however, it is worth looking around as there may be owners willing to make an exception.
The multi-ethnic culture of Mauritius gives rise to an amalgamation of traditions surrounding the Christmas celebrations as there are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Chinese all co-existing peacefully on the island. Although Christmas is a Christian celebration, gifts are exchanged during this period regardless of religious affiliation. Houses are brightened up with Christmas trees and other decorations and traditionally dressed Santa Claus’ spring into bloom in the shopping arcades.
Despite the fur-clad Santas and traditionally decorated Christmas trees, December in Mauritius is the height of summer, not winter. The only expanses of whiteness likely to be seen on the island during this period are the long, sandy beaches. Summer is officially from November to April when temperatures hover around 30ºC. These months are also marked by intense humidity, made bearable by constant sea breezes. If cyclones are going to affect the weather in Mauritius they do so during these summer months, bringing strong winds and heavy rains mainly between January and March, although the weather does not bow to the dictates of the calendar and cyclones can occur at any time during the summer.
In terms of cuisine, Christmas fare on the island is a mixture of fresh local cuisine, French delicacies like selections of cold meats, fish terrine and numerous salads including cabbage, grapes, pineapples, carrots and bacon. Owing to the tropical location of Mauritius, delicious and succulent fresh fruit is readily available, such as flavourful bananas, juicy mangos and Chinese litchis. Owing to the differing colonial influences on the country, moreover, there are English and Dutch specialities to be had as well.
Christmas is typically a time for family and what better place to spend quality time together than on the family-oriented island? The calm, shallow and clear waters of the turquoise lagoon are ideal for children of all ages, as the lack of strong currents and the warmth of the waters make for an extremely safe environment. For a memorable holiday, book as soon as possible and then relax, knowing that the overwhelming hospitality of the Mauritian people will make your arrival as welcoming as possible.