Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway 

Imagine vacationing in the third largest ocean in the world, with each side bordering a continent! Asia in the North, Antarctica in the South, Africa in the West, and Australia in the East give us plenty of options for resort islands in the Indian Ocean for the ultimate beach getaway! 

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Seychelles

You must have visited mountains, deserts, and bustling cities. But if you’re looking for something different, something with a view, something with lots of fun activities, and something away from the busy city life, we suggest heading to the islands of the Indian Ocean this year to experience a vacation like never before! 

In this article, we have put together some of the best Indian Ocean islands with splendid coral atolls, beautiful nature reserves, and exotic marine life! 

Best Indian Ocean Islands 

Following are some breathtaking islands scattered across the Indian Ocean with clean turquoise waters, shimmering sand, and plenty of fun activities lined up for you! 

1. The Maldives 

The Maldives is an independent island country located in the central south of the Indian Ocean. It comprises almost 1200 coral islands, out of which 200 are inhabited. The tropical islands of the Maldives are spread across 90,000 square km of the Indian Ocean, with vibrant coral reefs and stunning beaches.  

Best Time to Visit The Maldives 

The Maldives sits on the equator; therefore, it has an amazingly warm and tropical climate. Keeping this in mind, we suggest visiting this island between November and April, with the monsoon season long gone. You can also visit from May to October, but due to the risk of rain and thunderstorms, we suggest staying on the safe side and avoiding visiting during this time. 

How to Get There? 

The best way to get to the Maldives is by taking a direct flight to Male Airport or Gan Airport. Both are large international airports with numerous flights to and from various places every week. 

Why Will Your Family Love Maldives? 

The Maldives is one of the best Indian Ocean islands, with numerous sandy white beaches, mysterious volcanic interiors waiting to be explored, and beautiful historic colonial mansions.  

As soon as you’re about to land, you’ll have a mesmerizing view of the network of 1200 islands. You can take a boat, seaplane, or helicopter from the airport to the island where you plan to stay. The islands are quite small and have only one resort each. However, on every island resort, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and activities for tourists, making it the perfect beach getaway with your family.  

The Maldives is surrounded by coral reefs for almost 160 km and offers the best snorkelling and scuba diving sites. The reefs are abundant in marine life, and you get a chance to get up close and personal with the sharks, dolphins, damselfish, and kaleidoscopic parrotfish.  

2. Seychelles 

If you’re looking for Indian Ocean holiday islands that take you back to when the times were simple and beautiful, Seychelles is the place for you! It is an archipelago of around 115 islands, out of which 70 or more are still inhabited. The majority of the activity takes place on 30 islands, including Mahe, La Digue, Praslin, Fregate, and North Island, to name a few.  

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Seychelles
Luxury holidays in Seychelles islands

Best Time to Visit Seychelles 

The weather in Seychelles is quite unpredictable as it lies just south of the equator. You can expect anything from sunshine to tropical showers, sea breezes, and humidity throughout the year. However, from May to September and November to March, the island experiences trade winds; therefore we suggest visiting in April, May, October, and November., when the weather is a bit calmer. 

How to Get There? 

To get to Seychelles, you’ll need to take a connecting flight from Dubai, Doha, or Nairobi. Seychelles is 3323 km from Dubai and Doha, so it takes almost 4 hours and 23 minutes to get there from these two cities. However, Nairobi is relatively closer at a distance of 2097 km with a flight duration of 3 hours and 15 minutes.  

Why Will Your Family Love Seychelles? 

Seychelles is one of the less populated islands of the Indian Ocean and has not come into being due to volcanic activity. However, it has beautiful granite mountains, which contrast with the bright-green vegetation and the cool turquoise waters. 

While Seychelles has many fun activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and glass-bottom boating, it is more famous for being a nature reserve where you can easily have wildlife encounters. While hiking through the Morne Seychellois National Park, you can find the Seychelles black parrot, Gardiner’s tree frogs, and giant green turtles, to name a few. 

In short, Seychelles is the ultimate beach getaway for an intimate family vacation. 

3. Mauritius 

When talking about resort islands in the Indian Ocean, we cannot miss out on Mauritius. Located 1200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa and 500 miles to the east of Madagascar is the spectacular island of Mauritius. It is a true work of nature with magnificent mountains, lush green vegetation, emerald waters, and endless fields of sugarcane. 

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Mauritius
Kiting in Mauritius

Best Time to Visit Mauritius 

Mauritius has only two seasons, summer and winter. It has a mild climate all year round; therefore, you can visit the beautiful island any time of the year. However, to avoid the peak summer heat and winter chill, we suggest visiting anywhere from April to June and September to December.  

How to Get There? 

The best way to get to Mauritius is by taking a flight to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the largest airport on the island. You can get direct flights from 23 cities in 20 countries to Mauritius. 

Another interesting way to get to Mauritius is by cruise ship. It’s fun, it’s romantic, and it’s an adventure on its own. You can get cruises to Mauritius from Reunion and Madagascar. The trip can be anywhere from 3 to 4 days, depending on where you’re boarding and the weather conditions. 

Why Will Your Family Love Mauritius? 

Mauritius is a true heaven on Earth. For starters, it has ravishing natural beauty, including sandy white beaches with soft sand to bask in. Then there are numerous activities to keep you entertained, like mountain climbing, trekking to waterfalls, quad biking, and not to forget snorkelling and scuba diving for an amazing experience with marine life. 

For people who would like to explore the island a bit, there’s le aux Cerfs, Black River Gorges Park, The Dutch Ruins, and the enchanting Casela bird sanctuary

If you’re up to making some memories with your family, Mauritius is one of the best islands in the Indian Ocean to visit!  

4. Zanzibar 

Another best Indian Ocean island is Zanzibar. It is located just off the coast of Tanzania and has a rich culture influenced by Arabs, Europeans, and Africans. The island is famous for having warm and welcoming sunny weather, with some of the best Indian Ocean beaches.  

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Zanzibar
Crystal clear waters at Zanzibar beach

Best Time to Visit Zanzibar 

Zanzibar is known to have a sunny climate most of the time; therefore you can visit it at any time. However, we suggest travelling between July and September, as the weather is dry and you can easily enjoy the activities.

If you visit during November and December, you might experience light rain, but the blue skies are back once it’s over. But, the rains during April and May are long and heavy, with the weather wet throughout these couple of months.  

How to Get There? 

There aren’t many flights to Zanzibar; therefore, the best way to get there is by taking a connecting flight from Doha, Dar Es Salam, Nairobi, or Johannesburg. Dar Es Salam is 114.9 km from Zanzibar, and the distance via plane is almost 3 hours and 40 minutes. On the other hand, Nairobi is 600 km from Zanzibar, and you can easily get there in a little under 2 hours by plane.  

Why Will Your Family Love Zanzibar? 

Zanzibar is an exotic and historical place with colourful coral reefs, lagoons, shimmering white sand beaches, cool turquoise waters, lush green rainforests, wildlife, and spice plantations. Apart from this, it has several mosques, temples, and ruins in small labyrinthine alleys, indicating rich historical significance.  

But what sets Zanzibar is its amazing cuisine that you’ll find in Stone Town. This includes pizzas like you’ve never eaten before, pilau, mishkaki, and Urojo soup, to name a few.  

So, for an amazing family vacation with lots of scenic views, water fun, and mouthwatering food, Zanzibar is the place to be!  

5. Sri Lanka  

Although Sri Lanka is a developed and bustling country, it is still considered one of the best and most worth-visiting islands of the Indian Ocean. It has various beach resorts and cities along its coast with scenic views and fun activities for the whole family. 

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Sri Lanka
Ocean coast of Sri Lanka in the tropics

Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka  

Sri Lanka is a small island country, but its weather varies widely depending on the time of the year. The ideal time would be between December and April if you’re visiting the west and south coasts. For the east coast, we suggest visiting any time from May to October, as these months have the finest climate, good enough to enjoy all activities.  

How to Get There? 

The best and only way to get to Sri Lanka is via flight. You can easily get a flight from any country in the world to Katunayake International Airport, just a bit to the south of Colombo. 

Why Will Your Family Love Sri Lanka? 

If you visit Sri Lanka with your family, you’ll find many places to visit and things to do. First, there’s Sigiriya, a fortress and a monastery dating back to the 5th century. It has beautifully landscaped gardens, a masonry wall, and a mirror wall built especially for the king to see his reflection.  

Then there are elephants, lots of them. At the Udawalawe National Park, around 400 elephants roam freely, living in their natural habitat. If you’re travelling with kids, they’ll surely go wild with excitement for getting up close and personal with the elephants.  

Apart from this, you’ll find beautiful beaches to relax on and untouched islands where you go for exploration. And as it’s an island, you have the opportunity to go deep-sea diving and get a chance to see the mighty blue whales.  

6. Goa  

If you’re looking to visit islands on the coast of India, you should head over to Goa. It is located on the west coast of India and is famous for having majestic beaches, thrilling water sports, luxury cruises, and happening nightlife. 

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Goa
Beautiful landscape beach in Goa

Best Time to Visit Goa 

Goa has a tropical climate with high temperatures all year round. Therefore, we suggest visiting Goa between December and March, when the weather is not too hot and not too cold. You can, however, visit during April and November, but these months are the hottest with lots of rain, which can disrupt your visit. 

How to Get There? 

The best way to get to Goa is to take a flight to one of the major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, or Chennai, and take a connecting flight to Goa. 

Why Will Your Family Love Goa?  

Goa has some of the best Indian Ocean beaches. But its beauty doesn’t stop at the beaches only; it has several water sports, including jet skiing, flyboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, banana riding, bumper riding, speed boating, parasailing, etc., for a thrilling experience.  

Apart from this, the seafood in Goa is finger-licking good! From sheet kodi nustey and fried fish to crabs, prawn curry, and pomfret, you will find a wide variety of delectable Goan cuisine.  

Goa is also famous for holding the Goa Carnival every February for four days. Thousands of tourists fly in to attend this fun-filled event from all around the globe. So, if you’re in Goa in February, don’t miss it!  

If you’re a partygoer, Goa has amazing cruise ships and nightclubs to keep you entertained during your visit. 

So, whether you’re going on a solo vacation, a trip with friends, or with your family, Goa has something for everyone! 

7. Reunion 

Another island in the Indian Ocean is the French island of Reunion. It is located in the east of Madagascar and has the world’s best black-sand beaches, which are truly a sight to behold with their intense blue waters.  

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Reunion
Langevin waterfalls in Reunion island

Best Time to Visit Reunion 

The Reunion island has a tropical monsoon climate with only two seasons, summer and winter. Although the climate is welcoming throughout the year, we suggest visiting from May through November to experience the best weather with not so much rain and significantly lower temperatures. We wouldn’t recommend visiting from January to March as that’s the cyclone season. 

How to Get There? 

The best way to get to Reunion is via air. You can find direct flights from France to La Réunion Roland Garros airport near Saint-Denis and Saint-Pierre Pierrefonds in the south of the island. However, the flight is quite long; therefore, we would suggest visiting Reunion while you’re visiting the other Indian Ocean islands like Mauritius, which is at a distance of 45 minutes by plane. 

Why Will Your Family Love Reunion? 

Reunion is one of the most beautiful Indian Ocean holiday islands offering glorious hiking trails amidst canyons with tranquil pools on both sides. It is also home to Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes. Moreover, the black sand beaches and cascading waterfalls of Reunion make visiting this island worthwhile. 

Coming to the cuisine, it is one of the best! From seafood bursting with exotic flavours and home-cooked Creole meals, you can have a satisfying bite while sitting in the beach’s chic restaurants. Several French bakeries and pastry shops with the most decadent French desserts will also be found! 

8. Madagascar 

Let’s wrap up this article with one of the best Indian Ocean islands with fascinating views and a tranquil experience, Madagascar. If you’ve seen the animated movie, you must know that apart from having an amazing beach, it is home to plenty of wildlife living in their natural habitats.  

Best Indian Ocean Islands for a Beach Getaway - Madagascar
The tropical island of Madagascar

Best Time to Visit Madagascar 

The best time to visit Madagascar is any time! Whichever time of the year you plan to visit, you will find amazing weather. From January to March, the island witnesses rain and turns lush green and fresh with reptiles and lemurs scurrying about. April to June is heavy rain season; however, the warm sun makes up for all the wetness.  

For the rest of the year, the weather is hot and dry, making it the ideal time for visiting Madagascar, exploring the island, and viewing the flora and fauna. 

How to Get There? 

There’s no ferry or boat service from nearby places to take you to Madagascar, so the 

The easiest way to get there is by taking a connecting flight from Paris, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Bangkok to Ivato International Airport at Antananarivo.  

Why Will Your Family Love Madagascar? 

Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world, and with so many diverse things to see, it is the best Island in the Indian Ocean to visit with your family! It is considered a megadiverse as there are almost 200,000 species flourishing on the island in their natural habitat. Therefore, Madagascar offers more options than you can think of if you’re up for some wildlife viewing. 

With its sweeping canyons, majestic waterfalls, and diverse landscape, you will have lots of fun. It has Tsingy, a world heritage site with 200 million years of limestones carved into jagged peaks by the water and wind. Then there’s Nosy Be, a volcanic island with beautiful white sand beaches spread across an expanse of 120 square miles.  

Apart from all the natural beauty, Madagascar is famous for having several species of lemurs that can be easily spotted all around the island. Plus, if you visit during June and November, you’ll find several mighty humpback whales around the water, where they migrate to breed.  

With so much to see and so much to do, your family will surely love Madagascar! 


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Family Travel Middle East
Family Travel Middle East

The Family Travel in the Middle East team of travel writers are all parents based in the Middle East, sharing first hand experiences and reviews from across the region to help you plan your next family adventure.

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