Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius are considered to be the pearls of the Indian Ocean. They are beautiful island countries and all three are geared towards tourism. You’ll find world-class luxury resorts, white sand beaches and turquoise waters. These countries shape our idea of what a tropical paradise is.
That being said, Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius are very distinctive places. You can’t really combine them on the same trip. It’s a case of finding the right island destination for you. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the finer points of visiting Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius and find out which one you should pick.
Hotels & Resorts
Mauritius is distinct from Maldives and Seychelles as it’s a single, large island. Seychelles is comprised of 115 islands and Maldives is comprised of 1190 islands (185 are inhabited).
When it comes to Robinson Crusoe seclusion, Maldives and Seychelles have the edge. Many of the best hotels in the Maldives are located on a single, remote island. You’ll have all the luxury amenities you’ll need to hand. Many of the top Maldivian luxury resorts will give you your own butler and taking a seaplane flight in the Maldives is unique and one of the only places on earth that you can experience it.
Maldives is pretty unbeatable for a relaxing honeymoon, especially if you want to stay in an overwater bungalow. There isn’t really all that much to do in the Maldives. This, in no small part, is what makes it so appealing. You can really unwind, enjoy fine cuisine, swim in the lagoon and explore the beaches.
Hotels in Seychelles often have a more rustic quality, although they’re no less glamorous. If you love to explore the natural world then Seychelles is pretty unbeatable. You’ll find dazzling landscapes and rare wildlife. Many of the best hotels in Seychelles are geared towards exploring the islands’ natural wonders. If you’d like to stay in a bigger resort and have more activities to choose from, Mauritius takes the edge.
Our favourite hotels in Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius
If you’re erring towards Maldives, we’d suggest Oblu Select for the best all-inclusive options – especially for premium all-inclusive. The packages even include boat excursions and transfer to the airport. For overwater luxury in Maldives, we tend to recommend OZEN by Atmosphere: it’s famed as the home of the underwater dining experience.
In Seychelles, you’d struggle to find a better luxury hotel than Raffles on the island of Praslin. It’s even been voted as the best resort in the Indian Ocean and although it’s not on the main island of Mahe, it’s only a short helicopter or 10-minute flight away. Raffles is an all-villa, sprawling resort with the largest pool in Seychelles. It’s certainly one of the larger resorts – almost like being in your own small, luxury village. Praslin is a particularly appealing island to explore and Anse Lazio beach is worth spending some time on, early in the morning if you can before everyone else gets there!
Located in Mauritius’ Flic-en-Flac bay, Sugar Beach is a great luxury choice. The sunsets over Walomar beach are very impressive and the villas and main buildings have a plantation-style. For a true bucket list experience in Mauritius, One&Only Le Saint Geran is a great choice. It’s located in one of the best spots on islands, boasting a mile of beach. It was Mauritius’ first luxury hotel and its crown hasn’t slipped yet.
Many of the world’s finest beaches can be found in the Indian Ocean, chiefly in Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius. But which island country has the best beaches? Let’s find out. Seychelles is by far the more rustic destination. The beaches in Seychelles are noted for their impossibly soft sand. Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most photographed beaches on earth for a reason. It’s located on the island of La Digue and it’s unmissable.
In the Maldives, you’ll find world-class beaches on pretty much every island. The beaches are one of the biggest draws. Most resorts have their own private beaches. The sand is as soft as flour and the waters are the bluest blue you could imagine. As there’s no industry in the Maldives, the environment is pristine. That’s in no small part why the beaches attract travellers from all over the world.
Mauritius is also a great beach destination, especially on the north side of the island where you’ll find the longest stretch of beaches. The most glamorous islands can be found on the east: especially Belle Mare Plage. Overall, the Seychelles and Maldives do take the edge over Mauritius when it comes to beaches.
Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius are certainly not beacons of gay-friendliness. That being said, we’re an LGBT+ travel company and they are three of our most popular destinations. How is that possible, you may wonder? There’s often a dissonance between the official law of the land and day to day life. Things are especially different if you’re a tourist and at Out Of Office, we plan hundreds of gay honeymoons in the Maldives.
All three countries are heavily dependent on tourism. The Maldives various resorts are privately owned and run. They are not subject to sharia law: alcohol flows freely, unmarried couples and LGBT+ guests are welcomed. Naturally, we only work with the most gay-friendly resorts in Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius.
In Mauritius, it’s illegal to discriminate against people for being LGBT+, but the colonial-era law against “sodomy” is still on the statute books. That law is no longer used and LGBT+ activists are campaigning to have it scrapped. In Seychelles, they scrapped their version of the law in 2016.
Public displays of affection are not advised for gay or straight couples when you’re outside the confines of your hotel in Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius.
Best for Nature
All three destinations are a must for nature lovers. Seychelles is especially unique as it’s the only set of oceanic islands to be formed of granite: most islands are volcanic. You’ll find some of the world’s rarest wildlife in Seychelles, including the Aldabra Giant Tortoises. If you’re staying at Raffles, you’ll find the hotel has its very own set of giant tortoises.
Mauritius was once home to the dodo. Although the dodo is long gone, you’ll find ginger fruit bats and pink pigeons. The island of Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs. It was “discovered” by the Dutch. When they arrived, they believed they’d stumbled upon the Garden of Eden. Since the dodo went extinct in 1662, a lot of effort has been put into maintaining Mauritius’ diverse wildlife.
You’ll find manta rays, stingrays, eagle rays, dolphins and whales in the Maldives. As the islands are so small, most of the wildlife in the Maldives can be found in the turquoise waters. You’ll find some of the world’s best coral reefs in the Maldives.
You’ll find a wide selection of luxury yet eco-friendly properties in all three destinations. Ultimately, the climates and areas of great natural beauty make Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius so popular.
The difference between Seychelles and Maldives
So, Maldives, Seychelles or Mauritius – which is better?
If you’re looking for a five-star honeymoon experience in an overwater bungalow, we’d favour the Maldives. The villas are world-class and impossibly romantic. Supposing you’d like a romantic trip with a slightly more rustic edge, Seychelles is the place to be. Mauritius is the destination of choice if you’d like a bigger, more self-contained island to explore.