4 of the most remote retreats in the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is this planet’s third largest oceanic region stretching from the rugged coasts of Eastern Africa to the shores of Western Australia; it’s warm waters lap the sands of Southern Indo-China and the Indian subcontinent and wash across the beaches of the Arabian peninsula.

The Indian Ocean has become synonymous with remote beauty and unspoiled majesty. The gem like islands that dot its continental rims are recognised as some of the most breathtaking places on earth; a kaleidoscope of granitic paradises and shimmering coral sands that unassumingly nestle amongst a vast expanse of blue. It is this seemingly ethereal magnificence supplemented by a select portfolio of exclusive resorts and holiday properties that asserts the Indian Ocean as the home of the luxury retreat.

Mnemba Island, Tanzania – A country perhaps better known for its safaris than its sun downers; the territories of the Republic of Tanzania in fact extend from the mainland to 40 coastal islands ranging in size from the largest, Zanzibar, to the smallest uninhabited cays such as Toten and Maziwi. Mnemba Island is itself situated east of the quiet northern peninsula of Zanzibar. A tiny but beautifully formed island, Mnemba was named by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the three most romantic places on earth, perhaps in no small part thanks to the island’s heart shaped coastline. Mnemba is encompassed by a large oval reef that not only protects the island from strong tides but is a haven for marine life and thus a hotspot for divers. Mnemba is home to only one guest property, the eponymously named Mnemba Island Resort. Famed for its Robinson Crusoe-esque beach chic the resort consists of ten beautifully crafted en-suite bungalows featuring thatched pine branches and traditional Zanzibari palm matting.

Denis Private Island, Seychelles – We already know that this group of remote granitic islands is a favourite haunt for the likes of Prince William and Princess Catherine and even the briefest of glances will give you some idea why. An archipelago of 115 islands situated North East of Madagascar this smattering of idyllic islands offers unrivalled seclusion and intimacy. Without doubt one of the most detached and remote communities in the Seychelles is that of Denis Island; lying 95km north of the main island of Mahé, Denis is the epitome of seclusion and romance. The private island resort features only 25 stunningly appointed chalets dotted amongst the dense foliage and coconut trees and all featuring a panoramic sea view. The island is a haven for wildlife both on land and in the water so whether you decide to stroll down the meandering jungle pathways listening to the sweet serenade of bird song or explore the vibrant corals of the nearby reef you are sure to uncover something marvellous and exciting everyday.

Kanuhura, Maldives – In a remote corner of one of the most isolated island groups on Earth you will find Kanuhura, a microscopic white sandy isle hiding inconspicuously in the Lhaviyani Atoll. Accessed by sea plane a long wooden planked jetty leads in towards the 18 overwater bungalows that dominate the western shoreline. Boasting some of the best dive sites in the Maldives, a fitness studio, gymnasium, tennis courts, squash courts and a water sports centre as well as a boutique and spa guests can choose to do as much or as little as they wish. If Kanuhura itself isn’t quite remote enough for you then by day boat transfers will convey you to the nearby uninhabited Jenuhura island to relax and lounge or by night offer you the ultimate candle lit dining experience. Although the resort is an ideal retreat for honeymooners and couples, families are also welcome with a number of luxury duplex beach villas established to provide the space and amenities to satisfy the needs of any travelling party.

Vamizi Island, Mozmabique – Another destination you may not immediately associate with remote island chic, Mozambique in fact veils a star studded crest of islands that dot its coast in two distinctive archipelagos. Vamizi Island is located on the northern Quirimbas Island group and for those in search of a more rugged, authentic island adventure this is certainly the place to go. A desert island in every sense of the word there is no natural store of fresh water here so until a group of enthusiastic but environmentally sympathetic British investors established the lavish Vamizi Island resort and built a desalination plant and airstrip to boot there had been minimal human interaction on the island. Not as manicured as other more commercialised islands Vamizi still harbours that sense of wilderness and the excitement of the unknown.  With just 13 villas each of which features a number of beautiful colonial furnishings as well as private gardens, guests are treated to a kind of by-gone elegance. Combined with miles of unspoiled beaches and the clearest of turquoise waters Vamizi certainly earns it place on my list.

James Bell is a Director of Turquoise Holidays.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Matt says:

    I’ve never been lucky enough to travel this far but it’s definitely on my to-do list. Some of those places look incredible :)

  2. Kris Koeller says:

    A great recap. Maldives has long been on our list!

  3. James Bell says:

    Hey Kris,

    Thanks, we certainly love it too!

  4. Denis is a great getaway island, real barefoot luxury. Take a book, suncream and shades cut yourself off from the world and take advantage of some of the best fishing and diving on offer anywhere….

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