7 of the best Indian Ocean island tours - to Reunion, Mauritius and beyond

These tropical islands, including Seychelles, Anjajavy and Reunion, are the stuff dreams are made of: white sand beaches, verdant interiors and a vibrant local culture. Check out the best trips for each...

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1. Explore the hidden Seychelles

Takamaka beach, Mahe Island (Dreamstime)

Takamaka beach, Mahe Island (Dreamstime)

What better way to enjoy the gorgeous islands of the Seychelles than on this relaxing cruise adventure through the archipelago with Intrepid?

Sailing aboard the small but luxurious ship, Pegasus, you’ll explore the far reaches of this stunning part of the world, dropping anchor beside uninhabited islands and swimming in bays the big cruise liners can’t reach, over eight days.

Sailing times are never longer than four hours, so you’ll get plenty of time to kayak through lush mangrove forests, go birdwatching or simply kick back on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including Anse Lazio and Anse Source d’Argent.

Trip: Cruising the Seychelles Islands

Who: Intrepid

When: August

How long: Eight days

How much: From £1,772 (exc. flights)

2. Hike through breathtaking Reunion

The rugged interior of Reunion (Dreamstime)

The rugged interior of Reunion (Dreamstime)

Encounter breathtaking scenery and an intriguing mix of French and African culture on this extraordinary walking holiday on Reunion Island with KE Adventure Travel.

This far-flung volcanic island rises to over 3000m and its rugged interior boasts a network of walking trails which would not look out of place in Nepal. Three vast eroded cirques, Salazie, Mafate and Cilaos, dominate the centre of the island and provide the backdrop for an adventure that will take you across high passes and through villages and luxuriant vegetation.

Expect exotic bird species, towering waterfalls and hot springs as well as plenty of R&R at the lovely coastal village of Saint-Gilles.

Trip: Reunion Island Paradise

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures Apr, May, Aug & Sep

How long: 11 days

How much: £1,595 (exc. flights)

Want to know more? Read Phoebe Smith's experience of Reunion by clicking here

3. Spoil yourself in Anjajavy

Sunset at Anjajavy Resort (Dreamstime)

Sunset at Anjajavy Resort (Dreamstime)

Sample the best that Madagascar has to offer – or simply unwind and relax –  on this tropical beach trip to Anjajavy with TravelLocal. 

Staying in a luxurious hotel, right on the beach, Anjajavy is the perfect base for exploring the deserted creeks, little fishing villages and Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to wild lemurs and bird species, but you'll also see the coral remains sculpted by erosion and overlapping baobab roots, that this area of Madagascar is famous for. 

Or you could just relax on Anjajavy’s gorgeous beach, taking cocktails among the mangroves and enjoying fresh seafood feasts.

Trip: Ensconsed in Anjajavy

Who: TravelLocal

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 8 days

How much: From £6,900 (exc. flights)

4. Double the delights in Reunion and Mauritius

Church on a beach in Mauritius (Shutterstock)

Church on a beach in Mauritius (Shutterstock)

Combine the ruggedly beautiful mountain scenery of Reunion with the golden sand beaches of Mauritius on this delightful twin-centre Indian Ocean holiday with Rainbow Tours. 

The best way to explore Reunion is by car. The roads are well-maintained, the scenery breathtaking and you can explore at your own pace. You’ll enjoy Creole dishes and traditional French cuisine at local restaurants and cafes. And there are hikes to suit all levels a trip to the volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, is a must.

Mauritius by contrast is all about the beach. Your hotel, the Maritim, has just about every conceivable water sport on offer as well as horse riding and big game fishing.  

Enjoy the best of the Indian Ocean at your own pace.

Trip: Indian Ocean Contrast – Reunion & Mauritius

Who: Rainbow Tours

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,499 (inc. flights)

5: Liveaboard diving in the Seychelles

Exploring the Seychelles by boat (Shutterstock)

Exploring the Seychelles by boat (Shutterstock)

Snorkel, dive, kayak and standup paddle board your way through the beautiful islands of the Seychelles on this live aboard adventure with Dive Worldwide.

You’ll explore the Seychelles' inner islands from the comfort of a modern yacht or traditional schooner, with a nine day itinerary that includes a minimum of eight dives, introducing you to extraordinary coral gardens and abundant marine life including turtles, eels, sharks and rays.

You’ll visit remote islands. Some are so lost in time, the only mode of transport is a bicycle. Others are totally uninhabited. That's on top of seeing nature reserves, national parks and conservation initiatives, coming face to face with a giant tortoise and spotting endemic native bird species.

Other water-based activities include snorkelling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Or you may prefer to relax on board or a secluded beach – it's your trip, after all.

Trip: Liveaboard diving in the Seychelles

Who: Dive Worldwide

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Nine days

How much: From £2,475 (inc. flights)

6. Be all you can be in Nosy Be

Beach in Nosy Be (Dreamstime)

Beach in Nosy Be (Dreamstime)

Indulge all your senses on Nosy Be, the jewel of the Indian Ocean, on this luxury paradise break in northern Madagascar with Evaneos.

Known as the Perfume Island, and voted the 8th most beautiful island in the world, Nosy Be is the perfect place to unwind and escape the pressures of the modern world.

Indescribably beautiful and incredibly laid, Nosy Be offers the chance to kick back in the shade of coconut palms, explore the island in search of exotic flora and fauna, or treat yourself to luxurious treatments available in your spa hotel. 

Trip: Madagascar: Paradise Islands Of Nosy Be

Who: Evaneos

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 14 days

How much: From £1,410 (exc. flights)

7. Cycle across Reunion

Winding road across Plaine des Sables (Dreamstime)

Winding road across Plaine des Sables (Dreamstime)

Get on your bike and experience the volcanic peaks, deep ravines, tumbling waterfalls and emerald forests of Reunion up close on this cycling holiday with Rainbow Tours.

Reunion is a dream destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, and cycling is arguably the best way to explore this extraordinary island.

Ride to Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, where you can trek to the crater's rim to see the striking colours of the peaks and calderas littering the landscape below. Pedal down the exciting mountain pass Col de Bellevue before ascending the winding mountain road up to the volcanic caldera of Cirque Salazie.

Each day reveals new landscapes and new wonders. Each evening, a luxurious hotel and a Creole feast. There’s simply no cycling destination quite like Reunion.

Trip: Cycle Across Reunion

Who: Rainbow Tours

When: July

How long: Nine days

How much: From £3,350 (exc. flights)


Read more:

Wanderlust explores Reunion Island


Make this delicious papaya pie from Mauritius


5 more reasons to explore the Seychelles

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