An alluringly exotic melting pot, with no end of intensely beautiful landscapes and charming cultures, the Indian Ocean is a place unlike any other.
Sheltered coves and hidden shipwrecks. Serene mountains and dormant volcanoes. Deserted islands and bustling bazaars. Wild tropical jungles, vast open seas, and tiny coral atolls which can be crossed in an hour. Though joined by their warm, vibrant Creole culture and idyllic beaches, to visit the Indian Ocean region is to dive into one of the most dramatically diverse and unforgettable destinations on earth. Straddling the continents of Africa and Asia, embodying all the intoxicating beauty of both, the area's serene ambiences, fantastic water sports and exceptional wildlife keep tourists returning year after year.
Famed for containing some of the world's most spectacular beaches, every single one of the Seychelles' 115 islands seem tailor-made for couples in search of romance or families seeking an escape from the everyday. The ultimate paradises, every idle whim is realised here. Hop between islands on a personal yacht charter, enjoy an intimate dinner on the beach or surrender to a decadent Coco De Mer couples spa treatment. Tranquil havens, often housing only a single exclusive resort, it's hard to imagine more sublime places in which to leave the outside world far behind. Unplug, refresh and reconnect in the lap of luxury, and don't forget to indulge with some local Takamaka rum.
With its stunning beaches, blissful UNESCO reserves and invitingly warm and gentle seas, the Maldives have a reputation for taking the breath away. A diver's heaven, renowned for its crystal clear waters and pristine natural environment, the wildlife-spotting opportunities here are second to none. With stunning over-water accommodation and thriving house reefs in a large number of resorts, holidaymakers are brought face to face with dolphins, whales, rays, turtles, reef sharks and schools of tropical fish. If that wasn't enough, some destinations feature their own miniature submarines or glamorous underwater restaurants, beyond perfect for a never to be forgotten stay.
Mauritius has it all. A land of captivating contrasts, the island's favourable location, extraordinary topography and unique character make it a must-visit. Simultaneously enticingly well-developed and divinely secluded, possessing rugged mountains and picturesque beaches, it's the perfect location for a laid-back beach holiday or off-road adventure. Choose the sheltered west and south coasts for the best weather, wildlife and most popular beaches, or the untamed east for a refreshing retreat with all the thrilling water sports you could ever need. If you're pursuing creature comforts and cultural excursions, the more sophisticated north around the tourist hotspot Grand Baie might be more your style. The best part? Everything's all within easy reach, no matter where on the island you stay.