Indian Ocean Holidays

Indian Ocean Holidays

Impossibly blue water, ice-white sands and a remarkable world beneath the waves - Indian Ocean holidays are the epitome of paradise. From the nature-packed verdant beauty of Mauritius to the luxurious, overwater bungalows of the Maldives, you’ll feel a world away from anywhere else on the planet. 

Mauritius: Nature's Playground

Mauritius is full of natural wonders. Grab your snorkel to see a kaleidoscope of corals and exotic fish, alongside turtles, octopus, and if you’re lucky, even a few dolphins. And the highlight? A massive underwater waterfall. This mind-blowing optical illusion has to be seen. It’s also safe to swim and surf over, despite the jaw-dropping 4000-metre abyss below.

Back on land you’ve got lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and bio-protected parks to explore. Hike up the Black River Gorges National Park to see endangered animals, like the famous pink pigeon, all while soaking up the most serene nature trails. And for a bucket-list-worthy Indian Ocean holiday, make your way to the Seven Coloured Earths in Chamarel. These breathtaking sand dunes are made up of violets, blues, reds, yellows and greens.

The Maldives: Island Bliss

The poster child of Indian Ocean holidays, where an endless turquoise horizon becomes your backyard.  Pristine white-sand beaches, massages at open-air spas, and crystal-clear waters. In the Maldives, relaxation is practically an art form. And the aquatic world beneath the surface is second to none. Strap on your snorkel gear and explore technicolour reefs, gentle sea turtles, 700 species of colourful fish. 

Want to dive a little deeper? The Maldives is made up of over 20 ring-like atolls (groups of coral islands) to be explored. The most unspoiled of all is Haa Alif Atoll, which is great for beginner divers and has its own wreck! And if you’re more experienced, head into South Ari Atoll, famous for its encounters with whale sharks and manta rays. There’s also plenty of overwater adventure to play for, from paddleboarding to surfing, and jet skiing to catamaran rides. 

Map of Indian Ocean

24-30 ℃

You can always expect toasty temperatures in the Indian Ocean, with the mercury rarely dipping below 24°C. While the rainy seasons are between April and September, showers typically only come in short bursts, so you’ll be sunbathing again before you know it.

India Ocean weather forecast


11 to 12+ hours
The main airport in the Maldives is Velana International Airport (MLE), on the island of Hulhule. From here you can reach your resort by seaplane or speedboat. The main airport in Mauritius is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International (MRU), 50 minutes to Port Louis. From there you can get a bus or taxi transfer to your resort.

The Indian Ocean is best for...

Nature lovers: The Indian Ocean is full of incredible bio-reserves and home to hundreds of dolphins, which are known to swim alongside boats. Spot endangered species such as the pink pigeon in Mauritius, and paddle your way around the mangrove forests in the Maldives.

Waterbabies: The glassy waters make this an incredible location for diving and snorkelling. Home to spectacular coral reefs, tropical fish, whale sharks, and mysterious shipwrecks. If you’re lucky you could also catch a natural bioluminescent light show in the Raa Atoll, between June and October. A twinkling bright blue is emitted by planktons as they’re brought to shore by the waves.

Honeymooners: The Maldives and Mauritius are both a honeymooners’ dream come true. With romantic dinner dates on the beach, couple’s massages and nothing for miles but bright blue waters and soft white sands.

Fast facts for the Indian Ocean

Language: The official language spoken in Mauritius is Mauritian Creole and English. Most of the locals are bilingual and you will hear other languages commonly spoken, such as French. The official language of the Maldives is Maldivian; however, English is widely spoken.

Currency: The currency used in the Maldives is the Rufiyaa (Rf), and in Mauritius it’s the Mauritian Rupee (MUR)

Local time: Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of GMT/UK time and the Maldives is 5 hours ahead.

Fly to: The main airport in the Maldives is Velana International Airport (ML), on the island of Hulhule. From here you can reach your resort by seaplane or speedboat. The main airport in Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International (MRU), 50 minutes to Port Louis. From there you can get a bus or taxi transfer to your resort. 

Flight time from the UK: Around 11-12 hours.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found on the Mauritius tourism and Maldives tourism websites. 

Visa, health, safety & security: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for the Maldives and Mauritius

Getting around the Indian Ocean

Taxi: While Mauritius is small, it’s not uncommon to need transport from your hotel to attractions that can be 1-2 hours away. You can find taxis outside your hotel or shopping centres. Hotel taxis will be the most expensive, or agree on a price beforehand. You’ll also be able to book a taxi from the airport to cities like Male and Addu 

Bus: In Mauritius there’s a number of bus companies running throughout the island, as well as express buses from Port Louis to the north, south and to the main towns. Bus services in the Maldives are limited, but you’ll find a few in Male and Addu City, as well as a shuttle between Velana International Airport and Hulhumalé.

Car: You can easily get around Mauritius by car. You won’t get very far by road in the Maldives though. The capital might be clogged with traffic, but the inhabited islands are mostly car-free.

Tram: The Metro Express in Mauritius operates two transit lines connecting the capital of Port Louis to the small towns and a few villages.

Bike: Cycling is a great way to experience quiet coastal routes around Mauritius, with the south and east having the least traffic, particularly Le Morne Peninsula. If you’re staying in the Maldives and want to cycle, go for a larger resort with trails to the breakfast buffet.

On foot: Getting around Mauritius on foot will be a challenge. The Maldives, however, can be easily explored on foot as many of the resorts, and all of the resort islands, are easily manageable on foot. The capital Male, can even be walked end-to-end in 20 minutes.
Ferry, seaplane, speedboat and dhoni: The best way to get from one island to another in the Maldives is by ferry. Or work a seaplane into your itinerary. It's a pretty special experience, offering spectacular views, and getting you to almost any island in the country. Speedboats are also quicker and more convenient than ferries for getting you across local islands. And for something really special, charter a traditional coconut timber dhoni, that will hop between inhabited islands and off-the-beaten-track sandbars.

Events in the Indian Ocean

Ramadan: One of the most important and traditional events in the Maldives is Ramadan. For 30 days people will self-reflect and meditate, leading to a festival of feasts and local delicacies as part of Maahefun. 

Maha Shivaratri: This grand Hindu festival in Mauritius swings into action in February or March. With colourful processions, music and pilgrimages to the sacred lake of Grand Bassin, showing deep reverence for Lord Shiva.

The Spring Festival: The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year pops up in late January or early February as per the Chinese calendar. It's all about red, luck, and firecrackers. Catch the wild Lion Dance in Chinatown, Port Louis! 

Indian Ocean weather

Temperature: Expect tropical climates with warm temperatures year-round of 21-31℃.

Best time to visit?

The best time to visit the Maldives is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. This period offers the most pleasant weather with clear skies and lower humidity.

For Mauritius, the ideal time for a visit is during its winter season, from May to October. This time of year brings drier and cooler weather, making it perfect for outdoor activities and enjoying the beaches.

Best hotels in Indian Ocean

Discover the best destinations to visit in Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean FAQs
Indian Ocean FAQs
Which is better, the Maldives or Mauritius?

Mauritius boasts a diverse treasure chest of natural wonders. Despite its fame for beautiful beaches, the pristine national parks, hiking trails, waterfalls, and a vibrant array of wildlife make it a must for nature-lovers. In contrast, the Maldives was made for indulging in unrivalled relaxation.  

Which part of Mauritius is best for a holiday?

The northern and western beaches are where the action's at, with lots of hustle and bustle, amenities, and tourist attractions to keep you busy. They're perfect for those who crave a holiday filled with adventure and sightseeing.

Now, if your idea of a great vacation involves doing absolutely nothing but soaking in the sun and sea, you'll love the eastern and southern beaches. They're quieter, more laid-back, and just right for a chill, "do-nothing-much" kind of holiday.

Which part of Maldives is best for a holiday?

If you want luxury resorts, water villas, and vibrant underwater life, head to the Maldives' North and South Male Atolls. For a more tranquil and secluded experience, the atolls of Ari and Baa offer stunning coral reefs and a slower pace. The Lhaviyani Atoll is perfect if you're into water sports and adventure.