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 travelle
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.