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With warm, vivid-blue waters, kaleidoscopic underwater scenery and powdery white beaches, the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean are pure paradise - think Robinson Crusoe, with luxurious linens, sun cream and a way to leave, if you can force yourself. Hospitable people, sumptuous hotels and world-class restaurants and spas make them wonderful places for honeymooners, couples and families seeking relaxing beach holidays. From the bustling island of Male to the idyllic, paradisiacal islands of the southern atolls, island hopping by boat or seaplane is a fantastic way to explore. Pick your beach, or even your own island, and let someone else transport you to your own personal corner of nirvana. The islands are easily combined with Africa or Sri Lanka, where you can get a hit of safari or culture (or both) by discovering ancient cities and civilisations and incredible wildlife.
But the Indian Ocean is a destination in itself - the Maldives, composed of 26 coral atolls and hundreds of islands, is one of the world's most popular travel destinations, and is a diving mecca that yields fabulous marine life on practically every descent. Mauritius was once the crossroads of the African and Arabian trade routes and encapsulates a melting pot of cultures. The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, and you can see everything from tangled jungle (Praslin) to incredible hiking routes (Mahe) and of course, tranquil beaches (everywhere). The Indian Ocean is more than just a beach destination, but the beaches are an ideal place to start.
The Indian Ocean with A&K
It's often dreamed about, but rarely done. Our guest, recently returned from the Maldives, spent two days alone on a pristine paradise island: a tiny coral fringed lagoon around a ring of white sand and splatter of tropical jungle. There were no annoying insects, no humans, just a raised four-poster bed built by a luxury resort with crisp white linen and iced boxes of drinks and snacks, with evening meals delivered by speedboat and served by waiters. 'It was incredible,' he reported. 'Castaway life as imagined by Ralph Lauren.'
It's just one of many extraordinary experiences A&K can arrange for you in the Indian Ocean, from dancing in an underwater nightclub to submarine trips and feeding sting rays. Along with well-established relationships with stunning resorts, we use the very best guides and arrange easy island hopping - flights are rarely more glorious - along with seamless connections with Africa and India.
Whether it's your honeymoon or luxury holiday, travel to the Indian Ocean with Abercrombie & Kent and we'll reveal impossibly perfect white sand, waving palm fronds and exquisite marine life.
The low-lying necklace of the Maldives, straddling the equator, pioneered the over-water villa. Vast emerald lagoons and coral frescoed with multi-coloured blizzards of fish are par for the course, but the expanding range of private island resorts now offer everything from Michelin-starred chefs and underwater spa treatments to tree house villas.
Further south, the Seychelles now boasts superb shabby chic castaway resorts including North Island - Prince William's choice for the royal honeymoon. The flat-topped atolls and lushly forested granite mountains offer heavenly nature - several have their own environmental programmes - including the planet's largest fish, smallest frog and heaviest tortoise.
And don't forget stunning Mauritius. Its wonderful coastline, premium hotels and excellent water sports, come with Hindu temples rising out of the sugar cane, historic tea plantations and fabulous local cuisine.
Even if you don't have your own Robinson Crusoe Island, the Indian Ocean offers an awful lot - and with A&K it's all possible.
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Our Islands & Retreats team are experts in designing the perfect holiday to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of our hotels and resorts featured in our portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout the region, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.
Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.
To find out more about our Islands and Retreats team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 708 or enquire online
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We were delighted with Lynne Cooke. She was efficient, friendly and mostly took note of what we wanted and did her best to accommodate our request. She always replied to all our emails and phone calls promptly.
- KB, London