Average 12 hour flight
Time difference +5 hour(s)
Average temperature 27°C
The islands of the Indian Ocean are famed for their picture-perfect beaches and idyllic retreats, and there’s more to be discovered beyond the white sands. Out-of-this-world hiking trails, fascinating wildlife and a dynamic collision of cultures are just a few of the gems that will enchant visitors of all ages.
The Maldives offer private escapes and some of the world’s best snorkelling opportunities, while the Seychelles offer their own brand of extraodinary luxury amidst lush, jungle scenery. The volcanic island of Mauritius is the perfect destination to try out flavourful, multicultural cuisine and explore the Indian Ocean’s greatest diving spots. Sri Lanka is packed with eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rolling hills of the tea country and magnificent, ancient temples.
We've sourced a selection of tantalizing places to stay in the Indian Ocean, from plush hotels to barefoot beach retreats. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family adventure or the holiday of a lifetime, escape to the Indian Ocean and discover the true meaning of paradise.
There isn't a great deal to do in the Maldives - that's kind of the point of holidaying here. Still, if you can bear to tear yourself away from the dreamy beach and into the warm, clear sea, you'll discover some of the most amazing coral and tropical fish in the world. Visit capital Malé to see the Maldives National Museum and the outstanding fish market. Many hotels offer a good choice of water sports, diving instruction and fishing trips. Most have spa facilities, where the treatments are truly relaxing and indulgent. For the ultimate romantic experience, take a boat out to a tiny island and have it to yourselves for the day, or step aboard an early evening cruise and be treated to some of the most stunning sunsets you'll ever see.
There are hundreds of once in a lifetime experiences to be had in Sri Lanka. Whether you're heading out to the hills, learning to surf, going leopard-spotting, fishing, diving, shopping in the textile markets, exploring ancient sites and religious temples or tasting tea fresh from the plantation, you won't get bored. Of course, you may just choose to chill out on one of the many beaches; with soft, golden sands and swaying palm trees, they're the perfect place to do it.
It should come as no surprise that freshly caught fish features heavily on the Maldivian menu – and many hotels give you the chance to go out and catch dinner yourself. As well as seafood, most hotels have a selection of international restaurants, serving up cuisine from China, India, Italy and beyond. Dining in the Maldives is often done under the stars, with a backing track of gentle waves lapping the sands: bliss.
In hotels and resorts, you'll find a choice of international and buffet restaurants, but the local food is unmissable. Sri Lankan curries are amongst the most flavoursome and aromatic in the world. The tropical climate means home grown ingredients are at chefs' fingertips so there are plenty of just-picked herbs and spices. On the coast, the freshly-caught fish is divine (especially when eaten under the starlight at a seafront shack.) Don't miss the chance to visit the plantations and taste the best cup of tea in the tropics.