Which is better: Mauritius or Maldives?

Welcome to the ultimate showdown between two tropical powerhouses: Mauritius and the Maldives. With their breathtaking beaches and opulent resorts, they're dream destinations in their own right. But which one is your perfect paradise? Let's compare and find out.

Ocean Pool Villa, Kandolhu Maldives

Hotel havens

Both Mauritius and the Maldives have some of the most coveted hotels in the world. But when it comes to special stays, the Maldives is in a league of its own. Each resort occupies its own private, reef-ringed island and whether you opt for a beach or an overwater villa, the rooms are a delightful aspect of the Maldives experience. Many have amazing features like private pools, Jacuzzis and bathtubs with a view – the Ocean Pool Villas at Kandolhu Maldives are top of our wish list.

Mauritius may not have the private island exclusivity of the Maldives, but the bar is still set high and the white shores are brimming with characterful resorts of all shapes and sizes. On the smaller scale, you have the likes of 20 Degrés Sud, a charming Relais & Châteaux hotel with just 36 rooms, then you have island icons like plantation-style Sugar Beach, set in 12 acres of pristine gardens with modern dining and fantastic family facilities – we love the fairytale Hansel and Gretel kids’ club.

And the winner is…the Maldives for its secluded island charm and one-of-a-kind rooms.

Ravenala Attitide, Mauritius

Cuisine: spice & sea

In Mauritius, the food is a melting pot of spices, exotic fruits and rich curries, influenced by the island’s population of Indian, Chinese, African and French origins. Some hotels have fantastic dining choices, like Ravenala Attitude, with everything from Creole street food delights like dholl puri and samosas to colourful sushi and Italian home cooking. Don’t leave without trying the signature dish: Palm Heart salad.

Over in the Maldives, the local culinary scene is all about fish, coconut and rice. Being a nation of 99% water, seafood is bountiful and traditional Maldivian favourites include garudhiya (fish soup) and reef fish salad. However, in your resort, dining is elevated with round-the-world buffets and gourmet a la carte options – Kuramathi Maldives is excellent for foodies with nine restaurants to choose from.

And the winner is…both. We love the street food scene of Mauritius, but the Maldives' gastronomic restaurants are equally deserving of recognition.

Chamarel Falls, Mauritius

Culture & excursions

In Mauritius, you're spoiled for choice with things to do. Delve into its fascinating history at places like Aapravasi Ghat, navigate bustling markets and hike wild trails in the Black River Gorges – there's so much to discover. While some resorts like Kurumba Maldives give a glimpse into Maldivian life with traditional Bodu Beru performances and a local island visit, the focus remains primarily on poolside relaxation, gourmet dining, water sports and resort-based activities.

And the winner is…Mauritius, with its cultural experiences and island adventures.

The Maldives

Ocean thrills

The Maldives is the ultimate hotspot for marine pursuits, famous for its stunning dive and snorkelling sites where you can swim alongside incredible marine creatures like manta rays and colossal whale sharks. Many resorts, such as Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort, have a superb house reef while their dive schools provide the chance to delve deeper into the wonders of the Indian Ocean. Don’t miss out on a sunset dolphin cruise, a quintessential Maldives experience best enjoyed with a glass of bubbles and a loved one.

Mauritius has its own aquatic allure. Protected by reefs, the island has many top snorkelling spots. Stay at Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas to be close to Blue Bay Marine Park, one of the best places to observe coral life. There are also plentiful in-resort water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding as well as unforgettable dolphin and whale watching cruises.

And the winner is ...the Maldives, renowned for its dive sites and diverse marine life.

Zilwa Attitude, Mauritius

The best value

Mauritius is where your holiday budget will stretch further. The nightly hotel rate is lower than in the Maldives and there are resorts that suit all budgets, from family-friendly havens to luxurious pool villas. For an authentic yet affordable stay, we love Attitude Hotels for their generous inclusions and ‘live like a local' vibe.

The Maldives may have a higher price tag, but value comes in the form of the high quality and exclusive experiences – like a VIP-style arrival in a seaplane and the pinch-me feeling of having a water villa all to yourself. Although there’s plenty of temptation to blow the budget, we feature a range of great-value islands. At Adaaran Club Rannalhi, you can enjoy the spectacular surroundings without the extravagant extras.

And the winner is…Mauritius, with its incredible value for money.

Thundi Water Villa with Pool, Kuramathi Maldives

Weather: island climes

Both Mauritius and Maldives have year-round warm climates. Mauritius temperatures range from 20°C to 30°C, with the best time to visit being during the dry season from May to December when the weather is less humid. Cyclone season occurs between January and March, bringing occasional heavy rainfall and higher humidity.

Being closer to the equator, temperatures in the Maldives consistently average between 25°C to 30°C. The dry season, from December to April, is the most popular time to visit and brings clear skies and calm seas perfect for diving and snorkelling. The wet season is from May to November, characterised by brief but heavy rain showers and occasional thunderstorms.

And the winner is…both. You can visit either year-round or plan your trip around the best time to go.

Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

Scenery: views of paradise

Mauritius’ wild interior is made for outdoor exploration. Days out can mean bird-spotting in endemic forests or winding past sugar cane fields to cascading waterfalls and temples on a car and driver excursion. The island is rugged and dramatic; one of its gems is the iconic Le Morne Brabant, a UNESCO-listed mountain that serves as the poster child for Mauritius. LUX* Le Morne is nestled perfectly in this breathtaking setting.

There's no better way to witness the wonder of the Maldives' castaway islands than from the window of a seaplane. Once on shore, the scenery is all about knockout beaches, and they live up to every postcard image you've ever seen. But the real spectacle lies beneath the waves: coral kingdoms teeming with fascinating creatures that leave you feeling like a visitor on a distant planet. Dive into the underwater world without needing your snorkel or fins by dining at Only Blu,Oblu Xperience Ailafushi's mesmerising underwater restaurant.

And the winner is…Mauritius, for the complete package of island scenery: pretty beaches, city sights, mountains and wildlife-rich forests.

Dhigali Maldives

Beaches: islands and lagoons

The beaches in the Maldives are just as you’d imagine on a marooned island paradise; hermit crabs scuttle across deserted stretches of white, powdery sand, the ocean is every shade of blue imaginable and storybook palm trees pierce the skyline. The beauty of the beaches intensifies during sunset, especially during a barefoot stroll across a swirling sandbank, like the one found at Dhigali Maldives.

Mauritius’ beaches are a mix of long sweeping ribbons and coral-dotted coves. The east coast has exquisite beaches and on beautiful Belle Mare you’ll find one of the best hotels for golf and gourmet dining: Constance Belle Mare Plage. On the west, expect spellbinding sunsets and sheltered beaches; mile-long Flic en Flac is home to several upscale hotels and has calm waters perfect for swimming.

And the winner is…the Maldives, for the dazzling white sands, house reefs and secluded island feel.

Sri Lanka

Marvellous multi-centres

We can add other dynamic destinations to your Mauritius or Maldives holiday. Pair a Mauritian beach escape with an exhilarating South Africa safari, soak up Arabian glamour in Ajman or find thrills on Hawaii-like La Reunion. You can also experience two sides of Mauritius on a twin-centre holiday, twinning a mountain stay at Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge with any of our beach resorts.

In the Maldives, the possibilities are equally exciting. Combine your island retreat with a cultural tour of India or discover the glitzy cityscape of Dubai. Sri Lanka, just over an hour away by flight, is the dream addition to a Maldives escape. Exploring ancient temples and lush tea plantations before spa treatments and snorkelling makes for a well-rounded exotic adventure.

And the winner is…both, with enticing stopover and dual destination options.




Although very different in the detail, both Mauritius and Maldives promise an unforgettable beach escape. Take a look at our latest Indian Ocean offers and talk to our experts who'll share their first-hand experience and help you find the right holiday for you.


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This feature was created on 12th March 2024. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flanagan.

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