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Indulge in kaleidoscopic views and powdery white beaches

With warm, vivid-blue waters, abundant marine life and breathtaking beaches, the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean are pure paradise. Hospitable people, elegant Indian Ocean resorts and never-ending vistas make them the ideal spot for a seriously relaxing holiday.

The Maldives, composed of 26 coral atolls and hundreds of islands, is one of the world's most popular travel destinations. It offers some of the most sumptuous of all Indian Ocean hotels, and is a diving Mecca that yields fabulous marine life on practically every descent. From the bustling island of Male to the paradise islands of the southern atolls, island-hopping by boat or seaplane is a fantastic way to explore. The Maldives are easily combined with the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka, where you can discover ancient cities and incredible wildlife.

The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, and you can see everything here from tangled jungle to tranquil beaches. Visit the flat-topped atolls and lushly forested granite mountains of The North island. Several have their own environmental programmes and the planet's largest fish, smallest frog and heaviest tortoise can all be found here.

And don't forget Mauritius. It was once the crossroads of the African and Arabian trade routes and provides a melting pot of cultures. Its wonderful coastline, comfortable hotels and excellent watersports are complemented by Hindu temples, tea plantations and fabulous seafood. Both the Seychelles and Mauritius work well as twin-centre Indian Ocean holidays with the Middle East and Africa.

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