The Indian Ocean is a veritable treasure trove of tropical islands, enchanting waters, and unique animal life. But that’s no secret. Tourists have been visiting this prepossessing part of the planet for decades, coming in search of sun, sand, and spectacular scenery. But which ones are the standout islands for tourists where every piece is a paradise? Read on to find out about the must-visit destinations in the Indian Ocean
The Seychelles is a collection of more than 100 islands located off the east coast of Africa. Mahé is the largest island in the archipelago and remains the most popular for tourism. Not only is there plenty to see and do here, but it also acts as a gateway to the rest of the archipelago. Immerse yourself in island culture in the capital of Victoria, or spend your time trying to see as many of the world-class beaches along the island’s coastline as you possibly can.
You won’t find many people who have visited Seychelles disputing the fact that it’s home to some of the world’s most glorious beaches. In Mahé and all across the archipelago you’ll find sandy stretches that cater to all types of travellers, from the adventurous underwater explorers to the beach-dwelling sunseekers.
While there’s plenty more to love about the Seychelles besides its utopian sandy beaches, there’s no question that the archipelago’s vast coastline is what appeals most to the majority of international travellers.
A few hours away across the Indian Ocean lies the Maldives – one of the world’s most famous and sought-after holiday destinations. Perhaps best known as a playground for the rich and famous, you don’t need to have earned celebrity status to enjoy a luxury break in this awe-inspiring corner of the world.
The archipelago is a tropical destination and its weather patterns reflect this. That means the islands see their fair share of rain during the wet season, which usually runs between May and October. While people do still visit at this time of year, especially snorkellers and divers, the majority of the Maldives’ tourism takes place in the winter months. Between November and February, average temperatures never drop below 30ºC, creating the ideal conditions for an island escape.
Whether you want to explore traditional Maldivian culture, get up close and personal with some unique wildlife or simply kick back and relax on some of the world’s very best beaches, the Maldives offers something for every kind of traveller.
The remote island of Madagascar is one of those places that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Formed over millions of years, this island paradise is an epicentre for some of the most exotic flora and fauna found anywhere on the planet. For this reason alone, Madagascar is the ideal destination for nature lovers and adventurers looking to explore an otherworldly landscape.
The animal kingdom rules supreme on the island of Madagascar which is teeming with unique, endemic creatures found both on land and in the surrounding waters. Head out on a whale watching adventure to try and spot the majestic humpback whale, or stay on dry land and keep an eye out for the world-famous lemurs, chameleons and sifakas that roam across the island.
And of course, any trip to Madagascar wouldn’t be complete without admiring the remarkable baobab trees. For the most breathtaking view of these striking natural features, head to the Avenue of the Baobabs, where you’ll find one of the island’s most emblematic vistas.
Find out more about my trip to MALDIVES