Holidays in the Indian Ocean

Islands. There's something strangely comforting about holidaying in 'splendid isolation', and while that phrase originally applied to the British Isles, some rather more sunny examples exist in the Indian Ocean.

Eleanor, Rosie and Charlotte are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • While the highest point in the Maldives is a mere 7.9 ft above sea level, the towering Piton des Neiges on Réunion is a more impressive 10,069 ft

Our guide to holidays in Indian Ocean


There are certainly plenty to choose from, ranging from atolls of thousands of tiny palm-fringed coral islands in the Maldives to the more substantial (and considerably more vertical) volcanic outcrops of Mauritius and neighbouring Réunion and the granitic gems of the Seychelles.


All of the above are perfect for honeymoons, with some of the world's finest hotels in situ, but the appeal is far broader than just for those in the first flush of post-wedded bliss. Families will adore the slick service for all ages at the resorts of Mauritius, while divers can enjoy some of the very best diving in the Maldives. Meanwhile the Seychelles islands are just downright spectacular, and our new favourite, Réunion, offers the chance to trek, surf, paraglide and canyon in, on and over incredibly dramatic landscapes.

Did you know

  • There are about 1200 islands in the Maldives, 800 of which are still uninhabited
  • The Maldives is the lowest country in the world with an average of only 1.5meters above sea level
  • Maldivians used to build their houses in coral, a practice which is now forbidden as coral reefs are protected worldwide. Many coral houses still can be seen in Male and local islands
  • The Maldives has some of the world's smallest islands measuring no more than a few square meters in size. The largest island barely reaches 6km long.
  • The fine coral sand is the result of undigested corals from Parrot Fish, which each produce an estimated ton of sand per year!


Original Highlight

Diving and snorkelling with more manta rays than I could count at Hani Faru Bay in Baa Atoll in the Northern Maldives. It is one of the best spots for mantas anywhere on Earth.

Louisa, Original Traveller

Top picks for Indian Ocean

Sunshine over the Mountains - Reunion


Indian Ocean

Neighbour to Mauritius, and perfect either in combination or as a standalone destination.

Where to go

A Hammock On A Maldivian Beach


Indian Ocean

Paradise islands don’t come much better than the Maldives.

Where to go

Pool at W Retreat & Spa Maldives, luxury hotel in the Maldives

W Retreat & Spa


As if choosing where to stay in the Maldives wasn't hard enough, along comes the W Retreat & Spa.

Where to stay

Aerial view of Constance Halaveli Resort, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives


The new Constance Halaveli has villas either on stilts in a beautiful lagoon or on the pristine beach.

Where to stay

Water villa at Huvafen Fushi, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Huvafen Fushi


One of the most luxurious resorts in the Maldives, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi is located half an hour by speedboat from the international airport.

Where to stay

Birds of the Seychelles


Indian Ocean

An ideal choice for anybody looking for lower-key beach time than is provided by the glitzier Maldives or Mauritius.

Where to go

Anantara Kihavah Maldives, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Anantara Kihavah


A serious contender for one our favourite Maldivian hotspots, Anantara Kihavah leaves no stone unturned, with effortless style and a mega dollop of attention to detail.

Where to stay

Dive Fregate Island

Dive Fregate Island


Fregate Island is situated on the edge of the inner group of granite islands that lie at the heart of the far-flung Seychelles archipelago.

What to do

Dining at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru


Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll, with its verdant, beach-fringed coral islands, is a quintessential Maldivean paradise.

Where to stay

Aerial view of Mauritius


Indian Ocean

This tiny Indian Ocean island has long set the standard for tropical luxury holidays.

Where to go

Villas at Cocoa Island, luxury hotel in the Maldives

COMO Cocoa Island


COMO Cocoa Island is located in the less developed South Malé Atoll of the Maldives, reached by a 30-minute private speedboat transfer from the international airport.

Where to stay

Niyama, luxury hotel in the Maldives



The little sister of one of our favourite Maldivian retreats, Huvafen Fushi, PER AQUUM Niyama opened its doors in March 2012. It is every bit as luxurious and spoiling, with an added dose of funk and attitude in the form of the world's first underwater nightclub.

Where to stay

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