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 handpicked recommendations from the trips they’ve embarked on, having travelled extensively, so that 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 Sri Lanka 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, and 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 Pina Colada cocktail. With a stay on one of the Maldives’ most popular islands, Kuramathi Maldives, 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 ones. 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 Mauritius. Travel from coast to coast, taking in the capital of Port Louis and its bustling Monday street market, the enchanting Pamplemousse Royal Botanical Gardens and Mauritius’ colourful natural wonders, including Tamarind Falls and the Seven Coloured Sands. But it’s the powder soft sands you’ll want to relax on here, we recommend the adults-only resort of Solana Beach Mauritius 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 amphitheatres). 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 lodge such as Governors’ Camp and you’re bound to spot a number of the Big Five in their natural habitat. Or if you have a head for heights, take an exhilarating hot-air balloon ride at sunrise for unrivalled views over the plains before tucking into a champagne bush breakfast. We recommend embarking on a trip to the Great Rift Valley to spot hippos and flamingos at Lake Naivasha and Nakuru respectively. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a rare black rhino too.
When you’re tired of all those early safari mornings, you’re going to want to relax, and there are fewer places better than the turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of Mauritius. We recommend a stay at LUX★ Le Morne for its renowned LUX★ service, incredible spa and mesmerising setting nestled at the foot of Le Morne Mountain. With an atmosphere that’s much friendlier than your average resort, you can sink into a sun lounger and enjoy the beach VIP service, as waiters bring you freshly cut coconuts and fruit cocktails, and they’ll even clean your sunglasses. If you’re fancying something a little more luxurious, you could opt for the extravagant Ocean View Suite, which sits just a few steps from the sand and has incredible views of the glistening Indian Ocean.
Seychelles – Mahé 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 limit yourself to one on your holiday.
Begin your island-hopping getaway on the Seychelles’ largest island, Mahé. The five-star Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa has a collection of stunning pool villas and is the perfect base from which to explore. Hike through the mountains of Morne Seychelles National Park, where you’ll discover hidden coves before ascending to the summit of Morne Blanc for captivating views of the island. Head to the town of Victoria for its colonial charm, brightly decorated Hindu temple and the bustling colourful bazaar on a Saturday selling handmade sarongs, local spices and tropical shirts.
After exploring Mahé, 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. You can snorkel or dive in some of the Indian Ocean’s most diverse dive sites, look over breathtaking 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, the Maldives is an island paradise 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 newly-revamped tiny island of Maafushivaru and you’ll be wowed by its contemporary design and romantic atmosphere. Relax on either of the idyllic beaches or in the 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 your thing, then you could stay in one of the resort’s new Water Pool Villas which have direct access to the lagoon, ideal for snorkelling and spotting the vibrant sea life beneath the water.
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 Maldives. What’s special about this resort is its Ultimate All Inclusive package, meaning you can enjoy à la carte dining, five-star service and an unlimited in-villa wine chiller complete with a range of quality international tipples to enjoy 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.
For twin-centre Maldives stays, temporary restrictions might apply due to COVID-19.
This feature was updated on 26 May 2021. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing.