Home to some of the most beautiful beaches on earth, a holiday in the Indian Ocean is often the literal fulfilment of a dream. Stretching from Cape Agulhas, South Africa, in the West to the Maldives in the East, our destinations here include the isle of Mauritius and nearby Reunion, as well as the archipelago of The Seychelles.
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The Maldives offer relaxation in spades – with plenty of family-friendly options ensuring your whole brood gets to enjoy barefoot luxury. The journey alone will excite little ones, as the various atolls are accessed by speed boat or seaplane. Children and grown-ups alike will love the activities on offer, from snorkelling through coral reefs to cycling around the palm-fringed islands. If you can escape ‘a deux’, try over water living and you’ll be able to spot the marine life without having to venture beyond your luxury villa.
Mauritius also offers more than just beach splendour. There are activities aplenty, from waterskiing to scuba diving in seas teeming with marine life. Hiking opportunities include exploring the island’s lush, volcanic interior at the Black River Gorges National Park, while the world-class Isle aux Cerfs Golf Club is ideal for players of all levels. The island is also known for its luxury resorts often available at a surprisingly affordable price point, especially during the Summer holidays. With daily flights to Johannesburg of 4 – 5 hours, it’s also easy to combine with a South African safari!
A 40-minute flight away, Reunion is a “younger” island than Mauritius, with dramatic landscapes of emerald forests, tumbling waterfalls and white and black sand beaches. The coastal cities have an energy all of their own, while quaint Creole villages such as Hell-Bourg and Cilaos offer exciting activities such as canyoning and mountain biking. A visit here could see you experience the thrill of a helicopter tour, meet turtles in the Kelonia Sea Turtle Observatory or go surfing in Saint Leu.
For spellbinding beaches, the Seychelles tick all the right boxes, especially if you are seeking a spot of island hopping as each has its’ own character. The warm waters are brilliant for snorkelling, diving and deep-sea fishing, with abundant marine life. You’ll also be amongst the world’s largest population of giant tortoises and some of the most spectacular seabird colonies in the world. Accommodation-wise, you’ll be in for a treat with fabulous resorts and restaurants scattered around the 115 pristine islands. We recommend combining one of the central islands of Mahe or Praslin with a small coral outpost such as Desroches.
A multi-destination trip combining the Indian Ocean with Africa or the Middle East offers a wonderful opportunity to incorporate both excitement and relaxation into your holiday, creating an unforgettable time away from home.
If you are seeking an Indian Ocean beach, that can be easily combined with a week of wildlife and culture, head over to our Asia section – here we feature Sri Lanka which has some lovely beaches in it’s own right (although think surfing rather than snorkelling) and India. The latter provides the chance to combine a relaxed stay on a Keralan beach with the chance to explore the Golden Triangle, combining culture and world-renowned sites in Agra and Jaipur with a tiger safari in Ranthambore.
The Indian Ocean offers the beaches of your dreams, but also plenty of opportunities for adventure!
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