5 of the Most Amazing Islands in the Indian Ocean!

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: October 5, 2023
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The Indian Ocean is the world’s third-largest oceanic division. It covers 27,240,000 square miles, or roughly 20% of the Earth’s surface water. It is bordered to the north by Asia, to the west by Africa, to the east by Australia, and to the south by the Southern Ocean. The Indian Ocean has some substantial regional seas around its center. This includes the Laccadive Sea, Somali Sea, Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, and the Arabian Sea.

The Indian Ocean has monsoons, seasonal changes, and wind systems, alongside beautiful islands.

©22Images Studio/Shutterstock.com

Some of the world’s most exotic islands are in the Indian Ocean, featuring beautiful beaches and aquamarine waters. Visitors relax and unwind, take in the scenery and wildlife, or go on a tour and sample the local tropical cuisine. There are numerous reasons to appreciate such a lovely cluster of islands rich in culture and history. Even though there are tons of islands in the Indian Ocean, we focus on five of the most amazing islands in the region!

Infographic of 5 Most Amazing Islands in the Indian Ocean
Madagascar and Mauritius are among the many beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean.

5. Maldives

Maldives Island

The Maldives is a network of islands, with 200 of them inhabited.

©Siraphob Werakijpanich/Shutterstock.com

Maldives, officially the “Republic of Maldives,” is also known as the Maldives Islands. In fact, the Maldives is a network of around 1,200 small coral islands and sandbanks in the north-central Indian Ocean, with about 200 of them inhabited. Atolls are clusters of islands where island fancies and movie sceneries come to life. The Maldives are a group of tropical islands across 90,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka and India. They’re surrounded by gorgeously colorful coral reefs and white sand beaches, and are great for couples, families, spring breaks, or even a calm retreat.

The Maldives contains dozens of resorts that entice with underwater delights, built up from the crowns of a submerged old volcanic mountain range. Surprisingly, these islands are only 6 feet above sea level! Barrier reefs protect them from monsoons. The southwest monsoon brings rain during the rainy season (May to August). The annual rainfall averages about 84 inches. Northeast monsoons produce dry and gentle breezes from December through March. The annual average temperature is warm, although it never gets too hot. Temperatures range from 76 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 30 degrees Celsius).

Male - Capital of Maldives

The Maldives capital, Male, is one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

©Chumash Maxim/Shutterstock.com

4. Mauritius

Islands in the Indian Ocean - Mauritius island

This island republic features beaches and coral reefs.

©Myroslava Bozhko/Shutterstock.com

Mauritius is an island republic in the Indian Ocean southeast of Africa and southwest of Asia. It includes seven main islands and archipelagos and is an ideal island getaway with world-class resorts and gorgeous weather. This palm-tree-filled oasis of beautiful, bleached sands, sapphire waters, colorful coral reefs, and tropical rainforests is increasingly popular.

It features poster images such as seemingly endless lengths of white sand, blue green clear water bursting with wildlife, and colorful sea creatures. Wildlife includes Aldabra giant tortoises as well as endemic birds and lizards.

Mauritius ticks all the criteria for an ideal vacation, with a laid-back island vibe to boot.

3. Seychelles

Largest Tortoise - Aldabra giant tortoise on the beach

Seychelles is home to the

Aldabra giant tortoise


©Jan Bures/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for one of the world’s most stunning tropical island locations, check out Seychelles. After being discovered by European explorers in the 16th century, the Seychelles eventually came under British control. In 1976, it declared independence. Sitting more than 800 miles off the coast of Africa, Seychelles is a secluded island nation in the Indian Ocean that spreads over a huge area at a crossroads between Asia and Africa.

There are 115 islands in this group of islands in the western Indian Ocean. Yet, the country is just over 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC! Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue islands are the three main public islands in Seychelles. They all provide fantastic beach time, resorts, and colorful animals. Seychelles is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a slew of gorgeously undeveloped beaches and coral reefs.

2. Sri Lanka

The island country of Sri Lanka is one of the largest islands in the world.

©Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock.com

Sri Lanka is the world’s 25th largest island in terms of land area and located in the Indian Ocean in South Asia southwest of the Bay of Bengal. This giant island offers a diversified landscape that includes plains, hills, and powdery beaches. While the main island constitutes most of Sri Lanka’s area, in total the country is made up of 30 or more islands that are clumped together. Ferries run from adjacent towns to small offshore islands. Sri Lanka is a beautiful island with a sense of wonder that extends to the seas.

From luxurious beach villas and hotels to the Indian Ocean teeming with wildlife, there truly is something for every sort of traveler to enjoy. The island nation of Sri Lanka offers many experiences in a variety of scenic settings. It has no shortage of stunning awe-inspiring locations and natural, historic, and cultural events. Wildlife includes a huge number of endemic plants and even an Asian elephant subspecies named the Sri Lankan elephant.

Unfortunately, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 wreaked havoc on this country. Thankfully, Sri Lanka has recovered from this tragedy and is now stronger than ever.

1. Madagascar

Madagascar - Baobab trees

Madagascar has island species that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.

©Vaclav Sebek/Shutterstock.com

Believe it or not, Madagascar has a lot more to offer than just a fun, family-friendly animation. The hotspot of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands is made up of islands distributed in the Indian Ocean off Africa’s southeast coast. Madagascar is known by a variety of names, including Red Island, Rainbow Island, and the Eighth Continent. Humans have only been on the island of Madagascar for roughly 1,300 years. Although the language and culture are primarily Indonesian, there is no definite history of how, why, or what route the island’s initial occupants arrived.

Madagascar is home to some of the world’s most unusual flora and animals, including wildlife, gorgeous orchids, and baobab forests. The landscapes of Madagascar are diverse, including lush rainforests, barren plains, gorgeous beaches, vast valleys, and gorges. You can’t help but fall in love with the wildlife in Madagascar. It is home to a baffling assortment of species, including dancing lemurs, wildly colorful chameleons, and other unique animal populations. In fact, nearly 80% of the island’s species are found nowhere else on the planet!

Summary of 5 of the Most Amazing Islands in the Indian Ocean

Here’s a recap of the five fantastic islands located in the Indian Ocean:

NumberIslandLocation in the Indian Ocean
1MadagascarOff Africa’s southeast coast
2Sri LankaSouthwest of the Bay of Bengal
3SeychellesOff the coast of Africa
4MauritiusSoutheast of Africa and southwest of Asia
5MaldivesSouthwest of Sri Lanka and India

In Conclusion

The Indian Ocean has beautiful clear beaches, turquoise oceans, picturesque islands, and breathtaking landscapes, making it one of the most enticing travel locations on the planet. It is unique, with its large and small landmasses. Indeed, there are many more islands to explore, but keep in mind that some are off-limits, for the indigenous peoples’ protection.

The Indian Ocean and its amazing islands offer tropical vibes, unique flavors, and captivating scenery. These islands are rich with history and warm hospitality. If you’re looking for a true island adventure, head to one of the Indian Ocean’s island nations!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Siraphob Werakijpanich/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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