Leave it all behind for a picture-perfect escape on some of the world’s most pristine island destinations.
From the Maldives to Seychelles, Mauritius to the Andamans – the world’s archipelagos are bursting with secluded tropical island destinations. Check out these five pockets of paradise that will satisfy your wanderlust and provide a truly tropical travel experience.
The Maldives: all-inclusive luxury
Just the word ‘Maldives’ brings to mind secluded islands, sparkling lagoons, colourful underwater life and luxurious overwater villas. Home to the world’s most spectacular islands, scattered across the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives boasts 26 natural atolls, each more beautiful than the last. The planet’s lowest lying nation, the Maldives is just three metres above sea level. On the ground, you’ll find luxurious resorts with five-star accommodation, decadent dining and exciting experiences. When you jump into the crystal-clear waters, you’ll find yourself in the company of colourful corals and exotic marine life.
Best time for sunshine: All year round!
Stay for: Four nights; two in a beach villa, two in a water villa.
Unmissable experiences: Snorkelling, dolphin cruises, overwater villa stays.
The Seychelles: a trip back in time
‘Picture-perfect’ is the only word that does the Seychelles justice. Made up of 115 gorgeous islands off the East Coast of Africa, this Indian Ocean archipelago attracts travellers from around the planet to its world-class beaches. But don’t assume this island is only for sunbathers. You’ll also find lush jungles, sparkling waterfalls, UNESCO-listed wonders and fascinating history. Culture vultures can dive deep into the Seychelles’ past, learning of its ties to France and Britain and its journey to independence. Keep an eye out for the adorable Giant Aldabra Tortoises that call this beautiful island nation home.
Best time for sunshine: April to May and October to November.
Stay for: A week
Unmissable experiences: Island-hopping, trekking, scuba-diving.
Mauritius: wild natural beauty
Mark Twain wasn’t kidding when he said, “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” Like most tropical islands, Mauritius, is famed for its wonderful beaches – but this tiny country floating in the Indian Ocean is so much more than that. Lose yourself in the natural wonders of Black River Gorges National Park, marvel at the seven-tiered Tamarind Falls, witness nature’s beauty at the Seven Coloured Earths geopark, or test yourself with a hike to Le Morne Brabant peninsula. Ever heard of the ‘underwater waterfall’? You’ll find it only in Mauritius.
Best time for sunshine: May to December.
Stay for: A week.
Unmissable experiences: Trekking, undersea walk, catamaran cruise.
Rising out of the shimmering waters of the Andaman Sea, Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, is the ideal tropical escape. White powdery beaches, colourful temples, buzzing markets and a flavourful dining scene await. With exceptional weather all year round, Phuket is the go-to destination for relaxation and adventure. Phang Nga Bay is arguably Phuket’s most popular destination, where limestone cliffs jutting out of the crystal-clear waters make for an unbelievable sight. Then there’s the most famous limestone cliff of all: James Bond Island, made popular by the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.
Best time for sunshine: November to February.
Stay for: Four days.
Unmissable experiences: Beach-hopping, temple tours, Thai massages.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands: one-of-a-kind wonders
One of the most popular getaways from India, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a group of almost 300 pristine islands, scattered like jewels across the Bay of Bengal. With the majority of islands untouched, this Indian Union Territory is home to truly unique experiences. Discover South Asia’s only active volcano, Barren Island, then laze around at one of the world’s most spectacular beaches, Radhanagar, where, thanks to its remote location, you can witness the rare and dazzling bioluminescence phenomenon. Adventure-seekers can enjoy a variety of watersports throughout the archipelago: glass-bottomed boat rides, scuba-diving, snorkelling, parasailing and more.
Best time for sunshine: October to May.
Stay for: A week.
Unmissable experiences: Island-hopping, mangrove kayaking, light & sound show at Cellular Jail.
Looking for more island wanderlust? Check out our guide to the Maldives.
Discover our collection of island escapes here.