Small and seemingly adrift in a vast blue ocean, the islands of the Indian Ocean are some of the most secluded, beautiful, and irresistible places on earth. From Mauritius and the Maldives to the Seychelles and Sri Lanka, the Indian Ocean is where you will find household names for paradise known by lucky travelers from all over the world.
Hidden away hundreds of miles from any continental coastline, the island nation of the Maldives is a place so remote, so breathtaking, and so unique that to visit is to accept the risks of not wanting to go home. Even with over 1000 individual islands to its name, the Maldives is still the smallest and least populated nation in all of Asia. This certainly says something for the privacy you can come to expect when you visit here, where you will find a true vision of paradise on every beach, around every cove, and on every idyllic street of every town. In the Maldives, you will discover a landscape so casually pristine that you might come to wonder how anything can be so perfect. From sand as white as snow and underwater gardens of colorful coral to island hopping for days, luxurious resorts, local cuisines, and every imaginable water recreation at your beck and call, the Maldives is not just a getaway destination — it’s a getaway lifestyle.
Or hop on a flight to the distant island of Mauritius. Quite possibly no other place on earth has been considered a lost land of such paradisal proportions. Pitched faraway in the Indian Ocean and hundreds of miles from anywhere, this island of copious beaches, hidden waterfalls, shrouded lagoons, and mountains rising from the sea is a place much easier imagined than believed. Yet, when you’re here, and indulging in the comforts of a luxury resort, blissfully relaxing beachside, or diving the crystal clear waters of its splendid coastlines — you might find that there is such a thing as the perfect place on earth. From aquatic animals such as dolphins, whales, sharks, and countless fish species, to the giant tortoise on land and a myriad of rare bird species above, Mauritius is endowed with an incredible scope of biodiversity across its varied and awe-inspiring landscapes. As secluded as it is, Mauritius is perfectly accommodating for travelers, whom can avail of world-class resorts and recreation both above and below the waves, such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, nature-watching, golfing, and much more.
But the Indian Ocean doesn’t stop there. Take a stroll on the Seychelles island of Praslin, where you will find the Unesco World Heritage Site of Vallée de Mai — an ancient rainforest complete with thousands of palm trees that can only be found on this island, as well as exceptionally rare wildlife such as the black parrot. Then make your way to one of the Seychelles’ many small towns like Victoria (the world’s smallest capital city), where Creole-style buildings and a mingled culture of food and leisure await the wandering traveller. If you’re in the Seychelles, you may have already found your way to one of its many world-class resorts, where beachside paradise and luxurious amenities are an everyday accommodation in one of the world’s top destinations for weddings, honeymoons, and perfectly indulgent getaways.
How about a really big island? Then we recommend Sri Lanka. A staple of the Indian Ocean, this vast island offers all of the scenic beauty, tropical appeal, and luxurious amenities that you can expect from this part of the world. But one of the main features of Sri Lanka is its size — for an island paradise, Sri Lanka is one big place. For the traveller, this means that the destinations, attractions, and possibilities are endless. Recent history has allowed Sri Lanka to become more developed and accommodating for travellers, whom are fast discovering that this island in the Indian Ocean is worth every bit a trip across the world. From scenic train trips going from Ella to Kandy and many other routes across the country, to 8 Unesco World Heritage Sites, colonial fortresses such as Galle and Trincomalee, several-thousand-year-old temples open for exploration, and jungle safaris in any one of its many national parks where you can spot wild elephants, leopards, buffalos, and rare bird and plant species — Sri Lanka has approximately 1,000 miles of dazzling tropical coastline fringed with white sand beaches and palm tree canopies. It is a place packed with adventures of every size and for every budget, taste, and fancy.