Have you ever noticed the way people who have visited the famed islands of the Indian Ocean look so serene and dreamy when they talk about their trips? You can get that feeling too. The Maldives are home to fabulous luxurious resorts, unique one-of-a-kind spas (like the one that is under water, surrounded by glass) and secluded ribbons of white sandy shores that wrap around the islands. You’ve probably seen the photos of the over-water villas, perched over tranquil turquoise water. No, you aren’t dreaming. These places really do exist in the Maldives.
Meanwhile, the Seychelles, a group of 115 islands, also ranks high among dream holidays. The culture is an interesting mix of French, African, Indian and Chinese. Along with French and English, a Seychellois Creole is an official language. This was once the hangout of pirates in the 1700s. They liked the privacy of the small lagoons and inlets. Today, the pirates are gone and elegant hotels take advantage of the seclusion that the lagoons provide so that guests can truly relax. The best way to see the islands are to walk or bike. If you’re in the mood to island hop, it’s easy via daily ferry service or by air. Be sure to sample the local, flavourful Creole cuisine, especially the seafood dishes.
Of Mauritius, American writer Mark Twain said, “You gather it was made first, then heaven, and that heaven copied Mauritius.” It may never be heaven, but the island is definitely heavenly. It’s well known for its dining scene with dishes borrowing flavours from Indian, Chinese and Creole cooking. Rum is the drink of choice, since sugar cane is abundant and grown locally. In its capital, Port Louis, shopping, boating and hanging out by the water are favourite activities. Wake up and stop dreaming. Your Indian Ocean trip-of-a-lifetime holiday is within reach and your Travel Counsellor can tell you how.
Why you should go:
In the laidback atmosphere of these islands, you can dine right on the beach and scrunch your toes in the sand while you watch the sun set.
Mauritius was the only known home of the extinct dodo bird. It is featured on the country’s coast of arms. You just never know if one might turn up again.
Celebrities shouldn’t be the only people who have discovered the many pleasures of the Indian Ocean islands. Regular people can, too!
Thursday 6th November 2008
Travel Counsellor: Dee Flynn
The Maldives was a dream destination for me and one I had wanted to do for some time! I travelled with another Travel Counsellor and we spent four nights at Filetheyo and four nights at Medufushi and travelled from the main airport in Male to both resorts by seaplane with a speedboat transfer from one resort to the other.
The resorts are absolutely lovely and very peaceful and relaxing. The Maldives is very big into water sports and a lot of divers come to the Maldives for that activity - they wake up at 4 am to go diving and come back for breakfast at 6 am!
Food and accommodation were very good in both resorts and we went all inclusive at Filethyo and half board at Medufushi. You can get an over-water bungalow which is perfect for honeymooners or you can get a room near the beach and literally step out of your room and be in the water!
Also both resorts had excellent spa facilities and I took advantage one day and had a lovely massage.
There is not much nightlife with most... view full story
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