The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world and it is home to some of the world’s most beautiful holiday destinations.
To the east lies Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, to the north is India and the Arabian Peninsula and the west of the ocean is bordered by Africa. In the middle of the Indian Ocean lies some of the world’s most breath-taking tropical islands such as the Maldives, the Seychelles and Mauritius.
When people think of tropical island paradises the images that come to mind are sandy beaches, lush greenery and clear blue waters and these are what you will find in the Indian Ocean. If you are looking for sunshine you will not be disappointed, the Indian Ocean is the world’s warmest ocean and the sun shines almost all year round, though there is a rainy season so check in advance to ensure you visit when the sun is shining.
The grand Indian Ocean is home to an enormous amount of sights to see and things to do. From exploring some of the world’s most unique biodiversity in Madagascar to sampling delicious teas in Sri Lanka, there is something to suit all travellers. Beach babes and surfers don’t fret about things to do in the Indian Ocean; there are plenty of beaches to revel in, waves to surf, and reefs to explore with a snorkel and flippers.
One of the best ways to explore the beautiful islands and coastlines of the Indian Ocean is by boat and this is an excellent thing to do as a family. There are a large number of boat trips available such as those around the Maldives Island or along the coast of India. Many of the islands and countries in the Ocean have areas protected in nature reserves, these are a great place to explore and many are often home to some endangered wildlife. On most of the islands of the Indian Ocean there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to try out some water sports like water-skiing or paragliding.
Wine and Dine
If there is one thing you should try on holiday here, it is the delectable seafood that abounds in this region. Close to India and Africa, you can find a wealth of international cuisine that is sure to impress your taste buds. Indulge in exotic foods from Mauritius, the refreshing teas of Sri Lanka, and the colonial French influence in the meals of Madagascar. Aside from the diving opportunities, the food is the top Indian Ocean attractions.
There are lots of resorts that are fantastic for families and set up to ensure that that your children are cared for and entertained. There are also plenty of places to have adventures together and create memories that will really change your family’s life. Some of the top resorts in the Seychelles or Maldives will have tonnes of activities, water sports and children’s clubs and lots of places to eat that will suit everyone. There are also many adventures to be had, seeking out new and wonderful places.
Action and Adventure
Discover the stunning wildlife in the Uda Walawe National Park of Sri Lanka, home to herds of elephants, leopards and wild buffalo. As one of the best places in the country to spot majestic elephants it’s a definite must see. Madagascar is a nature lover’s dream destination, and the several national parks are full of spots for hiking and climbing, as well as sightseeing. Go trekking down the Tsiribihina River, fishing in Anakao village or discover the massive Jurassic sandstone ridge in Parc National de l’Islalo. Mauritius is not short on national parks either and the Black River Gorges National Park is the most expansive and home to some incredible wildlife.
Whether you are an experienced diver or a complete novice the Indian Ocean is one of the world’s best regions for scuba diving. - Almost everywhere you travel in the Indian Ocean region there will be a dive school or dive centre nearby to either learn diving or hire equipment. The marine life of the Indian Ocean is some of the most fascinating and diverse. There are hundreds of rare and endangered species living in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
Life's a Beach
Beaches on the islands of the Indian Ocean have to be among the most beautiful in the world. The water is clear and bright blue and there are some just stunning beaches everywhere you look. Whether it is the famous hang outs in Goa or some tropical beaches in Mozambique, you’ll find what you want. Goa has become a major backpacking destination because of its glorious sandy beaches stretching into the distance, the major beaches are fairly saturated with tourists now but they are still beautiful. Try beaches on the north of Goa rather than the famous Palolem Beach for white sand beaches surrounded by coconut palms. Kenya has some beautiful beaches with calm waters and the tropical beaches of Madagascar next to rainforests are spectacular.
Of all the things to do in the Indian Ocean, relaxing on the tranquil beaches and just taking a breath of fresh air is one of the most satisfying. For the ultimate tropical retreat, venture to an island of the Maldives – one of the several hundred – and just bask in the sun. Take to Unawatuna in Sri Lanka, a beach home to turquoise waters and one of the more popular places in the south of the island. Also in Sri Lanka is the famous Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic, a beautiful Buddhist temple located in Kandy. Wherever you find yourself in the Indian Ocean, you are sure to find a quiet beach and comfortable spa to sit back and relax in.
Goa is world famous for its beach parties and full moon parties, young people flock here for DJs and all night partying in stunning surroundings. If you are in Mauritius, there are lots of beach bars that are renowned for their great atmosphere and music, head to Banana Beach Club for food and cocktails with live music most nights. Everything is centred around the beach so if you are after hard partying and really going wild there are many parties to heaf for, if you want to have a romantic drink with your loved one, looking out over the Indian Ocean, you will find that too.
As the honeymoon capital of this part of the world, there are plenty of romantic things to do in the Indian Ocean. Stay in one of the mind-bogglingly beautiful islands of the Maldives in a romantic resort hotel perfect for two and spend every waking moment on the beach. From couples’ massage to swimming in the crystal-clear blue waters of the ocean, the beaches here hold plenty of adventure and secluded spots for loved up couples. Take your partner snorkelling around the heart-shaped island of Addu Atoll, one of the most recognised diving spots in this side of the world, and certainly worth a trip for two. Take to the beaches of Sri Lanka and cosy up on a sandy stretch, staying until the sun sets over the golden horizon.
This vast region is home to a blend of interesting and exotic cultures just waiting to be discovered further. Jet off to Sri Lanka to discover the city of Anuradhapura, which housed the palaces of Sinhalese kings for over a millennium. Here you can discover modern buildings, a 9th-century monk school, and the history of the area at the Archaeological Museum. Discover the colonial town of Ile Sainte Marie, or Nosy Boraha in Malagasy. Discover Port Louis, the bustling capital of Mauritius and get to know its multicultural heritage. Visit the colonial mansion of Eureka, a Creole plantation building constructed in the 19th century. The Blue Penny Museum is not just about the Mauritian stamps of the 19th century, but of the island’s rich colonial history and exploration, one of the Indian Ocean attractions that should not be missed.