The Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Zanzibar. Some of the world’s most stunning destinations are all so close together. Check out my top 10 Indian Ocean holidays and tick one off your bucket list!
Expect breath-taking beaches, underwater paradises and year round shine. All of the islands are competing for the luxury market, honeymoons and special occasion holidays. The result is deluxe hotels, supreme service and unforgettable experiences available throughout. The islands of the Indian Ocean don’t only offer sun and sand, there are also cultural experiences waiting to be discovered. And for those who want a little more adventure, why not combine with South Africa, Tanzania or Dubai. But which islands to choose and where to stay? Here are my top 10 Indian Ocean holidays…
Maldives are the islands associated with barefoot luxury, over water bungalows and incredible diving and snorkeling. There are almost twelve hundred islands but only 200 are inhabited and of those 200, only 105 are island resorts. Hotels in the Maldives are breaking the boundaries here with underwater restaurants, outdoor showers, and water villas with glass floors so you can see the tropical fish at any time. Some resorts offer private islands for honeymooners so you can literally have an island all to yourself. These luxuries can come with a hefty price tag but more and more hotels are offering all-inclusive packages so once you arrive, you will need no spending money. If you are looking for some action at the beginning or end of your trip, combine this with a few days in Dubai.
Where to stay:
Best value: 4* Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, All-Inclusive basis
Set on its own private island, accessible by speed boat, need I say more? With picture perfect beaches, a fitness centre and activities on site, everything you need is right here. As this is all-inclusive you can enjoy sundowners every evening from your own water bungalow. Prices from only €1549 for seven nights, including flights, accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and speed boat transfers. Click here for more details:
Blow the budget: 5* Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, B&B basis.
Spread across two islands this is one of the world’s best luxury resorts. This is home to the famous under water restaurant, Ithaa, which features on almost every travel bucket list. There are 11 other restaurants here including celebrity chef dining and a teppanyaki restaurant served on the beach, the choice is superb. If you stay between the 20th of April and the 30th of September you receive FREE upgrade to Half Board! All villas come with outdoor shower and some have their own private plunge pool. Prices from €2759 for seven nights, including flights, sea plane transfers and accommodation on a B&B basis. Click here for more details:
Five star hotels on white sandy beaches with year round sunshine. Sounds perfect! However Mauritius offers so much more. Whale watching, waterfalls and water-sports, fine dining to creole cooking, Mauritius is an island of contrasts. Paradise beach resort one minute and deep in the jungle the next. Mauritius is renowned for great wildlife and sports enthusiasts will love it’s selection of golf courses. The combination of European, Asian and African influence has created a truly cosmopolitan feel and a island full of culture.
Where to stay:
Great value: 5* Maritim Resort & Spa, All Inclusive basis
Set between 60 acres of tropical gardens, on a magnificent beach, between the capital, Port Louis and the tourist centre of Grand-Baie, the location of the Maritim Resort and Spa is perfect! There is an infinity pool, plenty of on site activities and a wide selection of watersports available. As it is an all-inclusive resort, meals and drinks are included in the price, you even have your own stocked minibar included in the price. Prices from €1609 for seven nights, including flights, hotel on an all-inclusive basis and transfers. Click here for more details:
Blow the budget: 5* Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa, Half Board basis
Set amongst 27 acres of gardens with stunning seaviews, the Maradiva Resort and Spa is paradise personified. Villas have their own private pool and come with a butler service. The luxury spa offers a choice of treatments, a hydrotherapy pool and there is a fitness centre with yoga and aqua yoga. Watersports are plentiful as are the dining options. Prices from €2239 for seven nights including flights, transfers and villa on a half board basis. Click here for more details:
Another archipelago of 115 islands, the Seychelles is a top honeymoon destination. Unlike the Maldives, you will find jungle terrain and small cove beaches amongst picture perfect stretches of white sand. Go island hopping, try some scuba diving or witness their giant tortoises. If you fancy a change of scene, Victoria, the capital has a great choice of bars and restaurants and a bustling indoor market.
Where to stay:
Best value: 4* Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, B&B Basis
Blow the budget: 5* Banyan Tree, Seychelles B&B basis
Secluded villas with your own private pool and sun terrace, this is the perfect romantic getaway. Situated on a stunning beach with a freeform infinity pool, luxury spa and fine dining, it doesn’t get much better than this. Prices from €2569 for seven nights, for flights, villa on a B&B basis and transfers. Click here for more details:
Another island of contrasts, Sri Lanka’s coast is full of tropical white sandy beaches while inland there are tea plantations and rolling hills. Home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka’s culture and traditions are worth a trip alone. Sri Lanka is an ideal two centre holiday. Visit the world’s only elephant orphanage, the capital Colombo and the world heritage sites before relaxing in one of the five star luxury beach resorts. You can also combine Sri Lanka with the Maldives, only an hour’s flight away, its the perfect Indian Ocean combination.
Where to stay?
Best value: 4* Club Hotel Dolphin Waikkal, All-Inclusive basis
This modern resort is ideally located on the west coast, beside a sandy beach. The large swimming pool and on site activities make it a great choice for families too. Highly rated on tripadvisor and with all meals and drinks included, this hotel is hard to beat for value. Prices from €1089 for seven nights, including flights, transfers and hotel on an all-inclusive basis. Click here for more details:
Blow the budget: 5* Jetwing Lighthouse Galle, B&B basis
Sri Lanka’s leading spa resort and one of the small luxury hotels of the world, this is the ultimate place to stay in Sri Lanka. It is situated on a pristine white sandy beach with stunning sea views and mixes modern decor with classic styles. The service, food and facilities are first class. Prices from €1349 for seven nights including flights, hotel on a B&B basis and transfers. Click here for more details:
One of my favourite holidays, I combined a safari in Tanzania with a week in Zanzibar. It’s slow paced relaxed vibe is just what I needed after an action packed safari. Complete with unspoilt white sandy beaches and warm waters, many choose to relax here and rarely leave their hotel. Those who do will find a capital, Stone Town, full of character and charm and a jungle interior waiting to be explored. The plantations are famous for spices, in fact it is often referred to as the ‘spice island’ and if you look closely you may spot the red colobus monkeys that roam freely here.
Where to stay?
Best value: 5* Dream of Zanzibar Resort, All-Inclusive basis
This luxury beach front property has five restaurants and three bars so there are plenty of places to enjoy the all-inclusive facilities. There is a watersports centre, multisports court and gym if you need to work off those extra calories! If you just want to chill out an relax there are two pools, a luxury spa and of course there’s the stunning beach. With prices from €1439 including flights, all-inclusive accommodation and transfers, for seven nights, this is exceptional value for a 5* resort. Click here for more details:
Blow the budget: 5* The Residence Zanzibar, Half Board Basis
This elegant hotel is located on one of the island’s best beaches. It’s modern decor mixed with traditional themes make it the idyllic choice on the island. The resort has sixty six villas, each with a private pool, stunning sea views, private gardens and a personal butler. There are thirty two hectares of gardens, pool, fitness centre, spa and a selection of watersports available. With prices from €1619 including flights, villa on a half board basis and transfers, for seven nights, this is not as expensive as you would expect for such a luxurious hotel. Click here for more details: