You're planning a dreamy tropical island getaway to escape this everlasting wintery weather, but you can't quite decide where to go (there are worse problems to have). But fret no more as our expert team at Original Travel has conjured up a definitive list to help you decide which paradise Indian Ocean Island (or islands) is for you…

a maldives atoll island

Best for Romance and Relaxation: Maldives

The Maldives is undoubtedly the go-to group of islands for romance and relaxation thanks to the sprinkling of beautifully luxurious and stylish private resorts to relax in. As well as pure relaxation, the Maldives is a fantastic diving location with a startling amount of diverse marine life. Original Diving works with many hotels that have in-house reefs to dive straight into from your beachside villa. For those of you who prefer to stay a little closer to the ocean's surface, there is also world-class snorkelling to enjoy around many of the Maldives' shallow reefs. If you're looking for a combo trip, we suggest exploring Sri Lanka's tea plantations and the World Heritage sites of the Cultural Triangle, before jetting off for a few days of pure relaxation and pampering in the Maldives.

When is best to visit: December - April

aerial view of Mauritius

Best for Local Culture: Mauritius

There is so much more to Mauritius than just a tropical, luscious Indian Ocean island with unspoilt reefs to explore (although this sounds simply superb to us). Mauritius has an eclectic mix of French, British and Creole culture which is noticeably prevalent throughout the island. Enjoy excursions such as local village visits and exploring some of the many markets for local goodies to take home, all whilst indulging in some of the island's delicious local cuisine which is an interesting fusion of its different cultural influences. If you're looking to extend your trip by spending some time in Africa, Mauritius is an ideal Indian Ocean island to enjoy in combination with time spent on safari in the South African bush.

When is best to visit: April - November

A tropical beach in Mahe, Seychelles

Best for Island Hopping: Seychelles

Made up of a whopping 115 islands, it would be a travel crime to just visit one of the Seychelles' stunning islands, all consisting of white sandy beaches with unique rock formations, colourful aquatic life in perfectly clear water and an interesting local culture to immerse yourself in. After all, it's not every day that you're on an island in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. Spend your holiday hopping between islands, taking time to explore the hidden tropical beaches, nature reserves and hiking trails, as well as immersing yourself in the islands' rich culture and Creole cuisine - a delicious blend of French and Indian influences. A thousand miles west of the Seychelles lies Kenya and Tanzania, which would both make excellent 'bush and beach' combination options.

When is best to visit: April - November