Which Indian Ocean twin centre should you take?
Combining two or more islands is a great way to explore more of the world in one Indian Ocean twin centre holiday, taking in a combination of the Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, La Reunion or Mauritius.
Whether you can’t decide which islands to combine or you’re not sure what each has to offer, we have you covered, allowing you to enjoy the planning process and countdown to your holiday.
Our Indian Ocean Experts have put together their hand-picked recommendations from the trips they’ve embarked on, having travelled extensively, so you can make the very most of your next escape…
Popular Indian Ocean Twin Centres
Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Start your holiday on a cultural high with a visit to the diverse island of Sri Lanka. Take a tour around Yala National Park, home to the highest concentration of leopards in the world or Minneriya National Park to spot elephants in the wild. If you’re a fan of tea, make sure to visit Nuwara Eliya and sample a local brew in its surrounding plantations. We’d recommend a cup of the region’s Dimbula tea and a stay at 98 Acres, Ella Gap for breath-taking views. Some of the real draws in Sri Lanka are its ancient monuments, including Sigiriya, the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, Dambulla Temple, as well as the ruinous cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa – travelling to these areas with a driver guide will be most valuable.
After your exploration of Sri Lanka, you’ll need glistening white sands, crystal clear waters and lush palm trees – topped off with a Sting Ray cocktail. With a stay on one of the Maldives’ most popular islands, Kuramathi Island Resort, you can take a dip in one of the two oceanfront infinity pools, snorkel or dive among the 20 local dive sites or experience an unforgettable sunset cruise with your loved one/s - if you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot a pod of dolphins! Top off island paradise, with an exquisite seafood dining experience at The Reef, then a glass of bubbles at the Champagne Loft.
Mauritius and La Reunion
With a blend of African, Indian, Oriental and European influences, you’ll fall in love with the tropical island paradise of Mauritius. Travel from coast to coast taking in the capital of Port Louis and its bustling Monday street market, the enchanting Pamplemousses Royal Botanical Gardens and Mauritius’ colourful natural wonders, including; Tamarin Falls and the Seven Coloured Sands. But it’s the coconut palms and powder soft sands you’ll want to relax on here, we recommend the relaxing resort of Solana Beach based on the East Coast. You’ll even find free watersports at the boathouse, ranging from canoeing to windsurfing or if you want to head inland, you could quad bike or mountain bike the tropical terrain.
When you’re ready, swap golden sands for dramatic volcanic peaks and a unique forested wilderness on the remarkable isle of La Reunion. Imagine Hawaii with its rugged coastline, cascading waterfalls and whale watching opportunities, and you wouldn’t be far off. Begin your adventure on an early morning helicopter flight before the cloud descends for a bird’s eye view of the island before exploring the dormant volcano of Piton des Neiges, the active Piton de la Fournaise and the islands unique topography, made up of three ‘cirques’ (ancient jungle-clad natural ampitheatres). Finish your trip with a soak in one of the islands best lagoons, near St-Gilles-les-Bains beach – we recommend a stay at LUX* Saint Gilles where there are hidden messages in bottles all over the resort offering free gifts, as well as an open-air beach cinema.
Kenya and Mauritius
If you’re a wildlife lover, then head to Kenya to witness some of the world’s most diverse species in the animal kingdom – you’ll be spoilt for choice! Opt for a Maasai Mara 4x4 game drive from a resort such as Governor’s Main Camp and you’ll spot a number of the Big Five in their natural habitat, or if you have a head for heights, why not take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise for unrivalled views over the plains before enjoying a champagne breakfast? We recommend embarking on a trip to the Great Rift Valley too to spot hippos and flamingos at Lake Naivasha and Nakuru. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a rare white rhino too!
When you’re tired of all those early safari mornings, you’re going to want to relax and there’s fewer places better than the turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of Mauritius. We recommend the St Regis Mauritius Resort for its exceptional service, including butlers, and its intimate, Creole feel. With an atmosphere that’s much friendlier than your average resort, you could have coconut water brought to your sunbed or fresh fruit delivered to your room daily. If you’re fancying something a little more luxurious, you could opt for the extravagant St Regis Villa which sits right on the oceanfront with incredible views of the glistening Indian Ocean.
Seychelles – Mahe and Silhouette
Island hopping in the Seychelles allows you to take in more of its untouched smaller islands that make up this awe-inspiring collection of destinations. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you won’t want to just limit yourself to one on your holiday!
Begin your island hopping getaway on the Seychelles’ largest island, Mahe. Explore the mountains of Morne Seychelles National Park where you’ll discover hidden coves before enjoying a hike up to Morne Blanc for breath-taking views of the island – make sure you have your camera at the ready! Head to the town of Victoria for its colonial charm, brightly decorated Hindu temple named Sri Navasakthi Vinyagar Temple and the bustling colourful bazaar on a Saturday selling hand-made sarongs, local spices and tropical shirts.
After exploring Mahe, take a 45-minute private boat ride to Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa on Silhouette Island. Protected by the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles, this island remains virtually untouched. Explore its coral reefs and white-sand beaches where giant tortoises are left to roam freely and lay their eggs. Organised by the resort itself, you can snorkel or dive in some of the Indian Ocean’s most diverse dive sites, look over breath-taking landscapes, such as Belle Vue and Anse Mondon, before surrounding yourself in the jungle and treating yourself to a treatment at the Eforea Spa – we recommend the Seychellois Massage created to your preferred pressure and area of focus.
Maldives – Maafushivaru and Kandolhu
Known as one of the world’s most popular beach destinations, this island paradise is incomparable to any other. With each resort on its own island, you’ll want to try out more than just one as facilities and activities range from one to the other.
Start your exploration on the small island of Maafushivaru with its authentic and relaxed Maldivian atmosphere. Relax on either idyllic beach this island has to offer or in its translucent lagoon where you’ll be tempted to embark on one of the dive centre’s boat trips, spotting whale sharks, manta rays and turtles as you go. But if a boat trip isn’t for you, then you could stay in one of the resort’s intimate Water Villas with direct access to the lagoon, ideal for snorkelling and spotting the vibrant sea life beneath the water. Technically, you could tick off two islands in one on this stop alone with a visit to Maafushivaru’s uninhabited sister island, Lonubo. Take a short boat ride and you’re there ready to enjoy either a picture-perfect picnic or romantic candlelit dinner combined with an unforgettable overnight stay.
Once you’ve gotten into the Crusoe-vibe, it’s time to visit an even smaller island with a luscious interior, pristine coral reefs and its own beautiful white-sand beaches - Kandolhu Island. What’s special about this resort is its Ultimate All Inclusive package, meaning you can enjoy a la carte dining, five-star service and an unlimited in-villa wine chiller complete with a range of quality international tipples during every day of your stay. The only reservation you’ll need to make is the Japanese restaurant under starlight, Banzai; with its exclusive feel, it only seats six guests and has a range of dishes from succulent sashimi to grilled seafood perfection on the teppan. Then you’re left to retire to your Ocean Pool Villa for a soak in the lagoon or bath, both with spectacular sunset views – the perfect end to your Indian Ocean escape.
If you want to make the most of your trip to the Indian Ocean but aren’t sure which countries are available to you, take a look at our hand-picked selection, as chose by our Travel Experts.