OVERVIEWLuxury Tailormade Holidays
in The Middle East and Indian Ocean
It’s that perfect holiday picture postcard – white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Mauritius, the Maldives and the Seychelles all offer that idyllic slice of paradise, with premium hotels offering everything you could need for that relaxing escape – including spa treatments, water-sports galore and romantic dining on the beach. In the Seychelles, Visit La Digue’s coconut plantation, or take a boat trip to Curieuse Island where you’ll see baby giant tortoise pens. Island hop or go snorkelling in the Maldives, or take a stroll with a guide around Black River Gorges National Park in Mauritius.
That said, this type of holiday isn’t just for sun worshippers – the more adventurous can go off the beaten track and get out of their comfort zone. Whether it’s sky diving in Dubai, visiting the many temples and tea plantations of Sri Lanka, or getting back to nature and hiking the Le Morne Brabant peninsula in Mauritius – the Middle East and the Indian Ocean has something for every kind of traveller.
- Do check whether you require a visa for your destination.
- It is common for UK-style sockets with three square pins to be found in many hotels, especially in Indian Ocean destinations, so you should not need an adapter. In Middle Eastern locations such as Dubai, the city’s current runs at 220–240 volts AC, so your appliances should work off the mains system.
- If you are visiting countries in the Indian Ocean such as the Seychelles, Maldives or Mauritius, ensure that you are up to date with tetanus vaccinations. Consult your doctor prior to travel to check for any additional immunisations that are needed.
- In Indian Ocean countries, tap water is not safe for drinking. Stick to bottled, purified or boiled water, even in hotels.
- Take plenty of mosquito repellent, plug-ins containing high levels of DEET and an after-bite spray to help protect yourself against mosquitoes when travelling in the Indian Ocean.
Best time to travel
The best time to visit countries in the Middle East is between November to March, when temperatures are more comfortable. Bear in mind however that this is a more popular time to travel, so room rates may be higher and resorts more crowded. Between March and May, days get hotter and sun worshippers flock to beaches. Between June and September, the weather is very hot and humid. Many hotels offer discounts around this time, as visitors tend to spend more time indoors due to the extreme heat, which can reach over 40ºC. As for the Indian Ocean, you can expect warm weather pretty much all year round. The Maldives and Seychelles are at their best between December and March. Mauritius has its quietest season between June-August, as temperatures dip into the lower 20s. Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons to be aware of – between May-July and October-January.