From island idylls to underwater adventures the Indian Ocean offers a huge diversity of experience. See below for our pick of Indian Ocean escapes.
A sign of sheer exclusivity is when your resort is the only habitation occupying the island. This is certainly the case on Félicité Island in the Seychelles, where Six Senses Zil Payson is found, nestled between dramatic granite boulders and verdant scrub. With just one resort, you can really live out your castaway fantasises (in absolute luxury, of course) on Félicité’s gorgeous white-sand beaches. Its hilly interior means jungle walks are easily done – we recommend heading to the mountain top for sunset, where drinks and beanbags await. Don’t forget the spa, one of the best in the Seychelles, carved into enormous granite rocks and set above crashing waves.
With the rise of experience-led travel we know how much it means to you to spend quality time with family. Simply put, the Indian Ocean has a myriad of ways to have fun with your family. We recommend staying at a luxury resort, where activities can be easily arranged and there’s something for everyone. At Vakkaru in the Maldives, you and your family could learn to scuba dive together in the blue hole, snorkel the house reef, cycle to a beach for a picnic, enjoy a sunset cruise, or even take a chocolate-making class. We love the family-friendly beach villas that open out onto powder-soft sands but also have private, foliage-clad pools at the rear. Parents should also take note that the Vakkaru kids’ club is one of the best in the Maldives – giving grown-ups the opportunity for spa time or a cocktail à deux.
Wildlife and Wilderness
There’s no where quite like Madagascar for a full wilderness immersion to discover its many weird and wonderful creatures including lemurs, fossas, tomato frogs and panther chameleons among steamy rainforests, waterfalls, caves and limestone cliffs. It’s an island of primordial extremes from the giant baobab trees that punctuate the landscape to a sparkling, shifting Indian Ocean, filled with marine life such as humpback whales. Stay at private island escape, Miavana, on Nosy Anko, located on the north eastern tip of Madagascar. This modern, fresh resort is made up of white stone buildings, with interiors draped in a muted colour scheme of pale blues and neutrals. Perfectly in harmony with its surroundings, the resort has the highest eco principles and is the ideal spot from which guests can explore the wonder of Madagascar.
Birds, Bugs and the World’s Best Beaches
Fregate Island will seem like a lost world to those lucky enough to visit. Loaded with folklore, from the pirates who hid their treasure to the extraordinary wildlife that live here, Fregate Island is truly wild. A clever move by luxury resort Fregate Island to not disturb wildlife means that the island is a hotbed of biodiversity – be prepared for a full back-to-nature experience where you feel like you’ve been transported to prehistoric times. Fruit bats will swoop over your pool at sunset, giant tortoises idle on jungle tracks, and enormous millipedes trundle past you as you sunbathe on one of the islands seven sensational beaches. Here is a place where man and beast live harmoniously, where private butlers, utmost privacy and sheer luxury mean you’re free to sit back and enjoy untouched nature at its best.
Nothing beats Sri Lanka for pure diversity in its scope for adventure. On arrival, visitors will find themselves fascinated by Sri Lankan culture, where caves reveal glimmering golden buddhas and gigantic monoliths are topped by ancient fortresses. Within the teardrop isle is a wealth of natural experience from the mist-swirled tea plantations, to scrubby jungle populated by wild elephant to a swathe of tropical coastline that offers whale-watching and surfing on the Indian Ocean. Visiting Sri Lanka also means an introduction to its cuisine and the customs around it: you’ll quickly realise that sitting down to ten or more curries is an excellent way to dine!