Wondering where to plan your next beach escape to? The Indian Ocean is the answer and we have the perfect 10 beaches for every kind of beach bum, from surf enthusiasts to active water sports fans, lazy tanners and those seeking to do nothing but admire pure beach seclusion amid stunning scenery, from secluded beach coves to forest-backed shores and blue lagoons. They’re all here and there’s sure to be one for you – find yours!
The Indian Ocean’s beaches have been endlessly photographed and infinitely lusted after. Of all those images you see in travel brochures depicting postcard-perfect beachscapism (yup, we’ve just made that up!) there is a great likelihood that a handful of those beaches are located in the Indian Ocean. We’re so sure, in fact, we’d bet on it! The thing is, that as alluring as the Caribbean can be, there is something else about Indian Ocean beaches (no hurricanes and a milder monsoon season for starters), with an added an air of superior exoticism and a pinch of mysterious allure. And there is endless beauty, of course, beauty in many shapes, sizes and forms, with plenty of blue skies to match.
The top 10 Indian Ocean beaches
Depending on what kind of beach bum you are, the kind of coastal experience you’re after and whether or not you like to get active in and out of the water, we’ve made a selection to fit virtually every kind of beach lover.
This list is not about the most popular beaches in the Indian Ocean, although some of the ones that appear here indeed are, but rather about the most spectacularly beautiful, secluded or special in some, or several, ways. Don’t pay attention to the order in which this selection of Indian Ocean beaches appear, they’re not ranked in any particular way, each is as good as the next one for its own set of reasons. Discover them now.
For fine golden sands and unspoiled beach coves
There are many beaches in all of the Indian Ocean boasting fine golden sands, a few of them also have the romantic crescent shape that adds to their photogenic beauty and enhances the feeling of privacy and seclusion. Here we let you in on two of them.
Talalla, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
Talalla is not one of the better-known resorts in Sri Lanka, but this crowd-free beach on the island’s southern coast is a dream come true for beach cove lovers. Perfect for swimming in the purest, crystalline waters, its crescent shape has earned it a great deal of admirers and adds to its irresistible allure. Just as dreamy are the few beach-hugging resorts here like the Talalla Retreat, for example, perfectly hidden away from the world and only frequented by local fishermen. Kitesurfing is popular here and the resort offers a variety of pampering wellness options, from daily yoga and pilates or boxilates to a surf camp and private wellness coaching.
Merville, Grand Baie, Mauritius
Merville is not the name of a beach in Mauritius but rather, a private beach resort wrapped around an idyllic horseshoe-shaped cove. Found on the popular coastal area of Grand Baie, this stretch of beach feels private and secluded while being within easy reach of Grand Baie’s attractions. The unassuming, rather modest hotel had been the area’s best kept secret for decades, a charming three-star with more natural beauty than luxury. But now, in the process of receiving a makeover after joining the LUX* brand, the Merville will reopen as a high-end beach resort in late 2020 and we feel great things are coming for it.
For the ultimate escape artists, blue lagoons, calm waters and added luxury
For true beachscapism when you can’t spot another human for miles and the white sands melt into turquoise waters that stretch as far as the eye can see, you can’t beat Maldives and Seychelles‘ beaches. They are the pure image of deserted island perfection. It helps that many of the Maldives atolls are in fact uninhabited islands and therefore the only manmade you’ll find is the one resort planted there.
Practically any beach in the Seychelles or Maldives would do, they all fit the bill perfectly but we’ve selected a trio of what we consider to be three of the most beautiful ones, for different reasons. These beaches also come with luxury retreats to match so while they might blow a hole in your pocket, they are well worth the experience.
Petite Anse, Mahe, Seychelles
Hailed by many as Seychelles’ most beautiful and pristine, not that all other Seychelles beaches aren’t absolutely breath-taking and unspoilt, this one beach stands out for its isolated location and, most spectacularly, the lush dense forest that backs its narrow line of pure white sands.
Excellent for swimming and snorkelling, the beach’s crescent shape adds to the feeling of seclusion while the onsite Four Seasons Resort Seychelles boasts tree house villas that seamlessly blend in with the landscape and offer gorgeous view all around. If you don’t stay at the Four Seasons, access to this beach is more limited and you’ll have to plan for a 20-minute downward hike, more strenuous on the way back up. No doubt the best way to enjoy this beach is to pair it with a stay at the gorgeous onsite resort.
Kihavah Huravalhi, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Many say that Maldives’s islands (and beaches) all look the same. It’s not grossly inaccurate to say so but that’s not exactly the case either. Wherever you stay in Maldives, whichever cluster of islands you choose no doubt you will enjoy spectacular lagoons and stretches of floury white sands, but if you had to choose and were struggling to make a decision we have one recommendation (if you have the cash to spare). The Khihavah Huravalhi island, part of the Baa Atoll comes with one splendid five-star resort to match its sublime beauty. Celebrities spotted here include John Legend, who chose this spot to propose to Chrissy Teigen. After staying here, you won’t wonder why…and all of you, will love all of it ♪ ♫
Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles
Once voted the best beach in Africa by TripAdvisor, this stunning beach that once was off the beaten path is repeatedly mentioned as the best not just in Seychelles but in the entire region. Because of its rise in popularity, it’s not as secluded as it once was, yet due to its sheer size it will never feel crowded. It’s a must-see on any Seychelles holiday and if you want the experience to linger than stay close at the five-star Raffles Seychelles, an all-villa retreat with gorgeous infinity pools, high-end facilities, dazzling sea views, private sunset dinners at the beach and an onsite spa.
For wave-riders and dramatic scenery
All of Sri Lanka’s southern coast is excellent for wave riders, with fabulous surf comparable to that of Bali’s, the epicentre of surf and yoga in the Asian continent. Many surfers are being introduced to the great surfing conditions in the south of Sri Lanka, with beaches and waves for all levels. In recent years, new surf camps have begun to spring up, attracting surfers from all latitudes. When it comes to Mauritius, the island may not be as famous for its surf as Sri Lanka is now becoming, but if you know where to go you can bring your board along.
Le Morne, Riviere Noire Dsitrict, Mauritius
Leaving out the fact that the surf to be enjoyed here is consistent throughout the year with swells apt for beginner and advanced surfers alike, there is the small detail of its location, which is actually one of its main draws. With the beach backed by the gigantic rocky outcrop of Le Morne Brabant, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on its own right, you’ll enjoy amazing views of the lush mountain as you sway with the waves. If you’re after a challenge, the high tide waves of “One Eye” will give you endless thrills and spills, as well as become one of the most challenging surfing experiences of your life! Stay at the luxurious LUX* Le Morne Mauritius to round off your experience in the best possible way.
Madiha, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
One of the lesser-known wavy beaches in Sri Lanka, the waters of Madiha are prefect for intermediate and advanced surfers. The stillness of this quiet coastal area adds to its allure and waking up to admire the sun rising over the water is a must. There isn’t much in the way of world-class hotels to be found here (which is actually a good thing!) but you can stay at the exclusive Fortress Resort Resort & Spa (ideal for couples) in the nearby town of Galle, half-an-hour’s drive away in a westward direction, or at the luxurious Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, surrounded by tea plantations, temples and national parks and only half an hour away in the opposite (eastward) direction.
Lucky draw! – we’ll add one more beach to this section as a bonus to introduce you to Seychelles most beautiful (and dangerous) surfing destination. We’re talking about Anse Intendance, a picture-perfect beach, idyllic in every way but with waves so big and tempestuous that they’re not safe for swimming in. If you fancy yourself a real challenge, try this one!
For snorkellers, families and all-around goodness with a touch of culture
In this final section we give you one beach for an additional three categories of beach experiences. The first beach here is great for snorkelling, the second ideal for active travellers seeking to pair beach-bumming with cultural exploration, while the third has all-around goodness and is also ideal for families with kids.
Blue Bay Beach, Pointe d’Esny, Mauritius
Visually stunning, despite the transparency of its waters and their see-through beauty, this lagoon is actually quite deep and ideal for snorkellers, not so much for small children unless they’re supervised. Snorkelling is quite an experience here, with amazing visibility meaning that on any given day you can easily spot a wide variety of colourful marine life. The stunningly located Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa on the other side of the lagoon is a great place to spend the night (or nights!) being also ideally situated close to the crystalline lagoons of the Iles aux Aigrettes Reserve.
Bentota, Galle District, Sri Lanka
Found to the south of Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo, this beach is ideally located in close proximity to great sightseeing. The Taj Bentota Resort & Spa is a perfect beach-facing retreat to choose as a base here with world-class facilities and superb food. After a few hours discovering Colombo’s rich colonial history, architecture and cultural highlights, you can take a dip in this peaceful, quiet beach, which never gets too crowded, not even during the peak months between August and October. Water sports abound here, so you can get active and take your pick from canoeing, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and even whale watching!
Anse Volbert, Praslin, Seychelles
The most popular beach on Praslin, and thankfully, one of the longest too, this seaside stretch is ideal for families with kids thanks to its calm and shallow waters. It’s also ideal for virtually every other kind of beach bummer as it offers all kinds of nautical sports and activities, from windsurfing to fishing, diving and sailing. The drooping palms not only provide shade from the sun, they’re also great for kids to climb on. Shops and restaurants are also conveniently located within easy reach and lined at the road behind the beach. Also nearby, you’ll find the Praslin Museum for an added touch of culture. Linger at the Paradise Sun hotel for an intimate experience and ultimate relaxation.
Indian Ocean beaches for everyone
As good and varied as we’ve tried to make this list, the Indian Ocean has many more gorgeous beaches to be discovered, many of them fitting the bill perfectly depending on your intentions and beach style. Whether you seek sheer relaxation, cultural immersion, utter seclusion, endless thrills or family fun, there is more than one Indian Ocean beach to match your seaside style. With this list, we’re only getting started! If you need more help locating the right beach for you please contact our Indian Ocean experts on 020 7749 9241.