BEAUTY BEYOND THE WATER: Islands of the Indian Ocean

BEAUTY BEYOND THE WATER: Islands of the Indian Ocean

Seychelles

The Seychelles Islands is a cosmopolitan blend of people from all over the world leaving the islands with an outstanding richness in culture that can be spotted in every aspect of daily life on the Seychelles. Is has echo the multi-cultural backdrop with a blend of varied ethnicities possessing different customs and way of life. This all leaves the Seychelles as a melting pot for people from all 4 corners of the world.  

With all this culture is it only fitting that the Seychelles comes together each year for the annual carnival. The ‘Carnaval des Carnevals’ brings in representatives from all over the world to join the 3 day festivities where all cultures are gathered and celebrated.  

The Seychelles is also a living museum of natural history with most of the islands being nature reserves and parks. The Seychelles is home to some rare flora and fauna with unique specimens like the Coco de mer, which is the largest seed in the world.  There can also be found 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the Seychelles. One is the Aldabra, which is the world’s largest raised atoll. The other is the Praslin’s Valléee de Mai, which was once believed to be the original site of the Gardens of Eden.  

Many of the beaches of the Seychelles are untouched and refreshingly uncrowded. The beaches offers clear blue skies and a rarely found calmness. When walking around the beaches will you experience one breathtaking view after another that are fit for kings.  

The Seychelles are also a great place for water sports, where especially scuba diving and snorkeling are extremely popular and can be done almost everywhere around the islands. Often spotted are different tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle ray and as one of the few places in the world, is it possible to swim with Whale Sharks in the Seychelles. 

Maldives

The Maldives is truly a paradise destination with so many beautiful locations to visit.

Most if the resorts of the Maldives take up their own island, which means that the ratio of the beautiful beaches is some of the best in the world for the guest so they always have a place to relax. Many beaches also have a ‘no shoes’ policy, made to give the ultimate experience when walking the breathtaking beaches. 

The Maldives offers a wide range of resorts, making it impossible not to find the perfect place for the ultimate relaxing holiday. There can be found everything from diving resorts, that are specially designed for divers, to holiday resorts perfect for families and last but no least the luxury resorts which offers perfect romance vacations. The Maldives are also known for their classic Overwater Bungalows, which is built on stilts directly above the beautiful lagoons.  

One of the great benefits of being located in the middle of the Indian Ocean is that the Maldives offers some amazing opportunities for diving and snorkeling. So with an excellent water clarity and amazing underwater life is it possible to spot Manta Rays, sharks, tropical fish and even a few wrecks, if you can think of it, it is most likely found around the Maldives. The Maldives is also a great spot for swimming with Whale Sharks.    

Madagascar

As the fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar has a unique mixture of plant and animals, where many of them are not found anywhere else in the world. Due to the rareness of the flora and fauna of Madagascar, is it often referred to as the ‘eighth continent’.  Madagascar has over 10.000 native plants and 90% of them are not found anywhere in the world. Also the Lemur is an endemic specie that are only found on Madagascar. The rare flora and fauna of Madagascar makes it a truly unique island. Because of the stunning nature is Madagascar home to a lot of beautiful nature reserves and park.  

Madagascar is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is also Madagascar’s largest reserve, called Tsingy de Bemaraha. The reserve consists of fascinating raised limestone plateaus. There are also areas with deciduous forest where it’s possible see brown Lemurs and a variety bird life or even the rare all white Decken’s Sifaka.

On Madagascar you can also see The Avenue of the Baobabs, which is a group of trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the western Madagascar. It is a truly amazing sight that attracts a lot of visitors. The Baobab trees, which are up to 800 years old, originally stood in a forest of Baobab trees, but they were cut down. 

It’s not only the inland of Madagascar that is stunning; also the coasts are extremely beautiful. Ile Sainte Marie lies of the east coast of Madagascar in the protection of the bays. The island use to draw a lot of pirates, but now it is mainly tourists that come to enjoy the clear water for snorkeling. Humpback Whales are also possible to see during the summer.   

Rodrigues

At Rodrigues time seams to stand still. It is a strikingly beautiful place with a lot of flora, beautiful beaches and tiny islets all around, such as Ile aux Cocos. The landscape varies from hilly lands to steep volcanic hills standing up as basaltic organ pipes, with the highest peak reaching 395 meters. Rodrigues is also blessed with wild creeks, marvelous sandy beaches and coral reefs. The lagoon and reefs of Rodrigues are twice the area of the island, leaving it with a beautiful and rich marine life. 

As a small preserved island, is life at Rodrigues simple and perfect for those who wants to go ‘off the beaten track’ for a while. It’s a charming and simple unhurried pace that can be enjoyed in the islands tranquility and natural beauty. 

One of the beautiful places at Rodrigues is Ile aux Cocos, which is located 4 km west of Rodrigues. The small island, emerging from the lagoon is a gorgeous nature reserve covered in coconut trees and has long find sandy beaches. It’s surrounded by shallow water where it is possible to see corals and rocks from above the surface. 

Rodrigues is also home to some of the most breath-taking coral reefs and marine life, making it a perfect place for diving and snorkeling. The marine life is rich in caves, canyons and tunnels, where it is possible to see tuna, sharks and kingfishers, among with a lot of other tropical fish. 

Reunion

Reunion Island is unknown to many of the world’s travelers, but this unique island is simply one of the most intriguing spots on earth. Reunion brings together some of the best things that the world had to offer, and it is one of the few destinations that allows you to experience some of the world’s most wonderful adventures. Because of the size of the island it can be discovered in only a few days.

At Reunion can the extraordinary variety of cultures be seen and felt as soon as you set foot on the island. From Asian to creole, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian, all can be seen living in perfect harmony and is truly a melting pot of cultures.

Reunion is home to many things, including an active volcano, beautiful beaches and a lot of mountains and forest in between, so in a very short period of time will it be possible to travel from volcanic desert to beautiful beaches. Reunion also offers a wide range of things to do. If you are looking for a place to ‘Chill Out’, then you will definitely find it here. But if you on the other hand are looking for an adrenaline rush, then you will also find endless possibilities for that. You can go hiking some truly unique places and go canyoning in some of the many waterfalls. It is even possible to scuba dive and surf in the clear water that surrounds Reunion. So no matter what you desire, Reunion Island has something to offer.