Nothing beats an extravagant holiday. The ultimate indulgence, they can provide you with unrivalled scenery, a wonderful sense of tranquillity and a longing to return to the same place over and over again. Although exploring the cobbled streets of a historical town or having a fun-filled family getaway at a resort can create memories to last a lifetime, an around the world cruise affords you the ability to do it all.
The biggest worry that accompanies an exotic holiday is which tropical island is right for you! Whether you want to hike through the thick, jungle landscape or simply hope to soak up the sun on a private beach, take a look at some of the most striking travel destinations in the world below.
Surrounded by the tranquil blue of the Indian Ocean, the archipelago of the Seychelles is undeniably beautiful. From watching the water lap at the pristine white sands and unwinding on a sunkissed beach to spoiling yourself with a sumptuous seafood dish, it is a remarkable holiday experience and one that you’ll never forget.
There’s so much more to the Seychelles than the beaches, however. Luscious green mountains tower above you, providing your time on the islands with a magnificent backdrop while beneath the surface of the water, you can discover corals reefs and nature reserves.
Composed of 115 islands, you’ll no doubt be wowed by this little corner of untouched paradise. Hike alongside a waterfall, dive beneath the waves or enjoy lunch with a view, your Seychelles holiday will be nothing short of incredible.
“The Seychelles landscape is more diverse than you'd think; from the luscious green jungles to the turquoise blue seas and colourful coral reefs, it was the epitome of paradise on my honeymoon”, shares Sima from The Curious Pixie. “Visit Vallée De Mai and wander through the UNESCO World Heritage Site for the famous Coco de Mer. It's one of the two places in the world where these rare coconuts with the world's largest seed (which looks more like a lady's derrière) grow.”
Emerald trees and sapphire seas are just a few of the things that welcome you once you’ve arrived in Mauritius. This beautiful gem in the Indian ocean offers unparalleled panoramic views over the glistening water, a tropical climate and a host of friendly faces waiting to make your experience on the island as fantastic as possible.
When asked about her trip to Mauritius, Sima shared that one of her favourite things was “to admire the azure blue ocean and magical white sands. Strolling hand in hand with my little shell collector for beautiful seashells. The beaches are full of great finds, but you just have to remember not to bring them home with you. I’d recommend visiting the natural phenomenon of Chamarel's Seven Coloured Earths is a unique opportunity to discover millions of years of history. The small group of sand dunes packs in a strange rainbow of colours - red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. The geopark connects people with nature and it's one not to miss.”
We also spoke to Mattie from the travel blog mlaceyd. She shared her opinion about travelling to Mauritius with us: “I found Mauritius so relaxing. It is famous for wonderful beach resorts all around the coast, but it has some pretty unique nature attractions too - if you Google Seven Coloured Earth you will see what I mean. There are amazing hikes, villages brimming with culture and plenty of wildlife both inland and out to see. Getting around is tricky so this is one place where I would definitely recommend arranging an itinerary before you go, otherwise, you might end up spending a lot to get around.“
From the selection of small towns filled with character to the larger cities, alive with activity, there are a host of attractions and excursions to fill your day whilst in Mauritius. Wander amongst a botanical garden, head out on the water for some deep-sea fishing or tower above the world from the top of the Trou aux Cerfs. This slice of paradise is sure to capture your heart.
Melis from the travel blog Melis Living has also visited Mauritius: “My favourite thing about Mauritius is the cultural mix which really comes through in the food. French pastries at breakfast and Indian delights for dinner; what more could you want? My favourite memory of the island, and what I’d recommend to first-time visitors, is a visit to the capital city. Port Louis is as vibrant and colourful as its friendly locals, and a visit is not complete without tasting the fresh sugar cane juice squeezed right in front of you!”
If you’re looking for an exotic travel destination that offers you untouched views, quiet coves and a history waiting to be uncovered, then Sri Lanka is the place for you. Untouched beaches make the perfect spot to watch the golden sun slip beneath the horizon and the undulating green hills are wonderful for hiking across. This destination has the best of both worlds, combining beautiful beaches with the luscious rolling terrain, meaning that you can discover something new every day.
Sri Lankan culture fuses modern elements with tradition. This diversity is truly unique but, with British aspects entwined in its identity, means that it feels familiar. Visit one of the many tea plantations, try your hand at surfing or head into one of the colourful towns for some exceptional cuisine.
Emma from the travel blog Life of Emma told us that her favourite thing about Sri Lanka is the diversity: “From hill Top scenery to picture-perfect beaches. A whole array of wildlife can be found on your doorstep. Whether it be a trip to the National Park or a dip in the ocean. You will surely enjoy your visit to Sri Lanka, don’t forget to watch the sunsets!”
She also recommends the following things to do whilst travelling: “Yala National Park; home to the highest concentration of leopards in the world, along with the big cats. Yala is a fabulous retreat and also a sanctuary for the Sri Lankan elephants.
Kandy; a world national heritage site situated between the mountains. Exploring the Sinhalese culture through the temples.
Sigiriya; a rock fortress and palace. You can climb the ancient ruins which are engulfed with beautiful gardens, ponds and lakes. A breathtaking view.”
Mattie believes that: “Sri Lanka has the perfect combination of beachside relaxation and city culture – with warm and welcoming locals all over. Kandy and the capital city, Colombo, are great for shopping, exploring markets, eating all sorts of food and watching a regional dance show. Along the south coast, you can learn to surf, while the north is known for windsurfing and sailing – of course, you can choose to do nothing but lie down all day, on the beach or at the hands of an Ayurvedic masseuse. Finally, the train ride between Kandy and Ella – a little village in the hills with waterfalls and incredible treks – is famous for phenomenal views of rice fields and jungle greenery. I definitely recommend moving around the country, there is a lot to see.”
“The Maldives is incredibly beautiful, and the abundance of nature and wildlife is awe-inspiring”, we’re told by Sarah from the blog In Full Flavour. “From rays to sharks, tiny to huge fish, dolphins, an array of birds and other creatures, there is always something new to see every day. The Maldives way of life is also really relaxed, so you are guaranteed to get into the spirit of things and be able to chill out. And the food is fantastic too. All in all, what more could you want?
“Make the most of the beautiful clear sea and go snorkelling or scuba diving. There is so much to discover it's an underwater paradise, and the memories will last forever. I'd also recommend having some clear time for just relaxing on one of the Maldives' many stunning sandy islands or shores, sipping on some fresh coconut water. The night skies are amazing too, so make the most of those clear evenings and do some stargazing.”
So, what can you expect from this tropical wonderland? Mandy from One Slice of Lemon has visited the Maldives several times, each time heading back for the ultimate relaxation. The clear blue waters and the superfine sand make this a picture-perfect destination, but it is the pure relaxation that the island has to offer that has captured her heart: “The Maldives are perfect for a very relaxed week of detox whilst having a range of things to do still on offer. My husband loves to go diving when I’m at the spa. However, we’ll spend our evenings together listening to the water lap at the shore at the on-beach cinema”.
Melis also loves the Maldives: “My favourite thing about the Maldives is the ocean. It really does look like a postcard although photos can never quite do it justice. I will never forget my first look at those beautiful waves whilst feeling the powdery white sand between my toes.
“For a first visit, I’d recommend soaking up every second of the views and enjoying the crystal-clear water. Whether you go snorkelling to see precious sea turtles or take a glass-bottom boat ride to see tropical fish, it’s somewhere to truly unwind and feel at one with the ocean.”
“I often feel guilty on holiday if I do nothing all day, but too much exploring can leave me wanting another break”, shared Mattie. “What I love about the Maldives is there isn’t much to draw you away from a sun lounger or the sea, but the things that will draw you away tend to be pretty life-changing. The biggest sights to see are from nature, such as dolphin watching, swimming with whale sharks or manta rays, and snorkelling or diving with all sorts of underwater creatures. If you time your visit you can see turtle hatching, but regardless you will usually spot a sea turtle or two at some point. Memories of those experiences will stay with me forever; I can’t wait to go back and do more.”