Cultural Family Holidays

10 Indian Ocean wonders to share with kids before they grow up

Last updated 9th April 2023

Refresh your family travel bucket list with 10 Indian Ocean wonders you should see at least once with your kids, before they grow up.


The Seven Coloured Earth, Mauritius

10/10  Seven Coloured Earths, Mauritius

Mauritius is like all the Indian Ocean’s magnificent landscapes in one island. It’s also the Southern Hemisphere, so no surprise that one of the most dramatic of all Mauritian features owes everything to a volcano.

Seven Coloured Earth in Chamarel is like a vast, petrified sea of rainbow coloured rock, swirled together in every shade from indigo to terracotta. Visit at sunrise to see how the description, ‘seven coloured’, underplays the spectrum.

Our recommended family hotels in Chamarel


Anse Lazio Beach, Praslin Island, Seychelles

9/10  Anse Lazio Beach, Seychelles

Beaches are a matter of taste. Although when one beach gets voted ‘most beautiful in the world’ as often as Anse Lazio, it’s tricky to argue.

A mix of bone-white sand and clear seas, Anse Lazio sits in a sheltered bay on the southern end of Praslin Island. If that alone doesn’t fulfil your escapist fantasies, it’s also sheltered by enormous granite boulders against a backdrop of lush, green jungle.

Our recommended family hotels in Praslin Island


Baobab Alley, Madagascar

8/10  Baobab Alley, Madagascar

Around 90 million years ago, Madagascar detached from India to become the world’s fourth largest island. A remarkably bio-diverse environment, it’s the country of ring-tailed lemurs, immense forests, and incredible fragile beauty.

However, one of the most astonishing Madagascan sights is a 250m long avenue of monumental trees known as Baobab Alley. Locals call the baobab ‘mother of the forest’, looking on these 800 year old giants as powerful totems. Similarly, today’s conservationists see them as symbols of the urgent need to safeguard the island’s unique eco-system.

Our recommended family hotels in Antananarivo 


Pileh Lagoon, south west Thailand

7/10  Pileh Lagoon, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand

A perfect Indian Ocean paradise tucked away in Koh Phi Phi National Park, you can only reach Pileh by boat. It’s one of the most beautiful  lagoons in the world and the journey there’s an adventure in itself.

You’ll find Koh Phi Phi Leh in the Phi Phi Archipelago in south west Thailand. It’s a protected environment, an unforgettable family holiday and a constant reminder that this is still one of the most spectacular countries on earth.

Our recommended family hotels in Koh Phi Phi


Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

6/10 Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

Calling Le Morne Brabant a ‘basalt monolith’ really doesn’t do justice to its stately grandeur. It is stunning, no doubt about it. And it stands sentinel overlooking the island’s legendary One Eye surf spot on the Morne Lagoon, so the location is flawless too. However, take a closer look and you’ll find its beauty hides a dark history.

Back in the 19th century, the caves, concealed in the rock’s dense vegetation, were used as a hiding place by runaway slaves. When slavery was abolished in Mauritius in February 1835 a group of police officers sailed to Le Morne to announce the news.  Tragically, the slaves assumed they were being recaptured and hurled themselves from the rock to their death.

Another of the Indian Ocean wonders that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Le Morne Brabant also lies at the heart of Mauritius’ rich and fascinating Creole culture.

Our recommended family hotels in Le Morne


Pdang Pdang Beach, Bali

5/10  Padang-Padang Beach, Bali

Kuta on the west coast of Bali is one of the Indian Ocean’s best-known resorts. Mile upon mile of broad sands trim the city and fantastic is a bit of a signature. There’s everything here from waterparks to shopping malls, so it’s family holiday heaven.

Yet, just a few kilometres to the south of crowded Kuta you’ll discover another Bali altogether: Padang-Padang Beach. This neat and flawless cove might have starred in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but it’s still surprisingly peaceful. Plus, you have to climb down a tiny staircase hewn out of rock to reach it, just one more thing to enchant your kids.

Our recommended family hotels in Padang


Ile de la Reunion, Indian Ocean

4/10  Saint-Leu Lagoon, Île de la Réunion

Île de a Réunion  sits between Madagascar and Mauritius in a world of its own. Known for its incredible volcanic landscape and stunning amphitheatre-like cirques, it’s also one of the world’s 35 bio-diversity hotspots and a natural playground for kids.

There are several lovely lagoons on the island, however, Saint-Leu is the most idyllic of the lot. The waters here are safe and shallow, making it a perfect spot for first-time snorkelling and the spectacular marine life doesn’t disappoint.

Our recommended family hotels in Île de a Réunion


Put the Tamarin Falls on your Indian Ocean wonders list

3/10  Tamarind Falls, Mauritius

Known locally as the Seven Cascades this remarkable natural wonder is made up of several simultaneous waterfalls gushing from a height of 293m through the lush, green landscape of south west Mauritius.

It’s the highest waterfall on the island and, apart from the roar of the torrents, a place of perfect peace and serenity. It’s also another excuse to hike in the Mauritian hills and visit the pretty heritage village of Henrietta.

Our recommended family hotels near Tamarind Falls


Surfing Dolphin Coast, Durban, South Africa

2/10  Dolphin Coast, Durban

The hint is in the name: this is the most dolphin-drenched stretch of South Africa’s sunny east coast. It’s also a magnet for surfers, fantastic for first-time snorkelers or beginner divers and packed with so many cute seaside towns and villages it’s hard to believe Durban is just half-an-hour’s drive away.

Surrounded by endless sugarcane fields and loved for its relaxed, beachy lifestyle, Dolphin Coast is part of the Indian Ocean’s mainland that competes effortlessly with the tropical islands.

Our recommended family hotels on Dolphin Coast


Luxury resorts on coral atoll, the Maldives

1/10  Coral Atolls, Maldives

Not only are the Maldives’ atolls archetypal Indian Ocean wonders, the term ‘atoll’ itself derives from the Maldivian word ‘Atholhu’.

This string of 1200 tiny coral islands lies hundreds of kilometres from land, so the waters are amazingly clear and theatrically full of strange and wonderful marine life. There are 26 atolls altogether and one of the most captivating experiences in the Maldives is staying on one island and sailing around to explore the others.

Our recommended family resorts in Maldives

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