If you’ve been searching high and low for the perfect holiday we may have found a novel solution. A break in the stunning Indian Ocean provides you with quite literally the best of both worlds – the high and the low, the above and the below, sky and sea, and everything between.
Some say the last two great wildernesses left to explore are the depths of the oceans and the distant stretches of the heavens, with an Indian Ocean holiday you have a chance to discover both.
Exquisite cuisine, relaxing massages, or hours of lying dreamily on faultless beaches, all offer the heights of relaxation or the indulgences of sensual pleasure. Yet it is encounters with the majesty of nature that leave us truly wide-eyed or open mouthed. It is the sublime magic of these experiences that you just can’t replicate, a feeling that will remain with you when the tan has faded, leaving behind memories that touch you deeply and can genuinely last a lifetime.
Stars down to earth
Cast your eyes upwards for some of the most breathtaking and romantic stars you’ve ever seen, as a radiant meteor scores across the heavens, inviting you to make a wish. Enjoying little light pollution, the island seclusion of Indian Ocean means it can boast some of the most enchanting night skies on the planet.
Let the soft darkness of a warm, tropical night surround you as you dine under a tapestry of galaxies. Many of the stars may be unfamiliar, and being close to the equator the islands of the Indian Ocean put on a show of both Northern and Southern Hemisphere constellations. Lux resorts offer mobile observatories and fascinating guides to point out these astral attractions, regaling you enthralling tales drawn from local island folklore.
Come dive with me
From gazing heavenwards, cast your eyes down into a turquoise, subaqua world. From many of Indian Ocean’s islands some of the world’s most spectacular marine life can be glimpsed just yards from the shore: dive, snorkel, swim or simply watch from a water villa. Be amazed by underwater encounters with dazzling marine life, from graceful turtles, to ghostly manta rays, or drift through crystalline galleries and colourful gardens of coral, watching vibrant parrotfish flit inquisitively past. You could even meet one of the reef’s most magnificent gentle giants, the whale shark.
River deep, mountain high
Two types of island geography characterise the Indian Ocean’s paradisiacal locations. Coral islands, such as the Maldives, lie low, clinging closely to the sapphire waters and colourful reefs. Volcanic Islands, like Mauritius, are abundant with dramatic, rocky crags and towering peaks. Where the Maldives offer wonderful seascapes and stars, Mauritius provides an opportunity to get a little bit closer to those stars you’ve been looking at by scaling dramatic mountain peaks with a hiking expedition, or satisfying a thirst for adventure by climbing or abseiling in the highlands. Mauritius also boasts canyoning, river trekking and mountain biking, meaning that if you prefer your encounter with nature a little more action-packed, there is plenty to explore.
Rock of ages
Le Morne Brabant on Mauritius’s secluded south-western tip is characterised by a truly spectacular peak that gives this peninsula its name. This basaltic crag climbs an imposing 556 metres from the shimmering blue sea below, presenting the Island’s most impressive landmark. A UNESCO world heritage site, this beautiful pinnacle sports striking cliff faces and secretive caves, inviting exploration from the intrepid visitor. It also shelters a number of rare plants and surrounded by a dazzling azure lagoon, offers views from the summit that are some of the most awe-inspiring you are likely to find in any holiday destination.
Between the sea and the sky
With a lattice of streams, waterfalls and plunge pools nestled amidst the lush tropical vegetation, Mauritius’ natural beauty is an experience that richly rewards exploration. Home to over 300 species of flowering plant found nowhere else in the world, from orchids and anthuria, along with some rather unique flying foxes, geckos and parakeets, the natural heritage of the island is a jewel that is jealously guarded.
Black River Gorge National Park captivates with plentiful flora and fauna, from macaque monkeys to pink pigeons. Soaring crags, and dazzling waterfalls punctuate the dense greenery, whilst fruit and flowers decorate the many trails that wind beneath native filao, banyan and coconut trees.
Green shoots for green goals
After taking such pleasure in the wonders of nature, you may be anxious to know how your holiday might impact upon the very environment you found so beguiling. The islands of the Indian Ocean have more reason than most to care for the environment: the low-lying Maldives are under serious threat from climate change and perhaps Mauritius’ most famous native inhabitant, the dodo, is of course sadly no longer with us.
Happily LUX Island Resorts have partnered with Carbon Footprint Ltd to ensure their Indian Ocean destinations are carbon neutral, offsetting their entire CO2 emissions at no extra cost to guests, in addition to investing in sustainable local projects. Rather than importing water from distant shores, they also bottle their own from natural volcanic rocks close by, ensuring this basic amenity is as pure and refreshing as their resorts aim to be.
Sublime and beautiful
‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ wrote Shakespeare – in the Indian Ocean the wonders of heaven and earth open up to you, more than you might have dreamt. With vast skies and shimmering seas battling to boast the brighter shade of blue, the glory of nature in the Indian Ocean will make a lasting impression, whether you look up or down.