The Indian Ocean is the smallest ocean in the world which is filled with exotic islands to visit. The origin and existence of such beautiful islands are not known by many. Most of the travellers are familiar with Mauritius, Madagascar and Sri Lanka, but there are many more significant islands in the Indian Ocean.

These islands have distinctive biodiversity and are often neglected in terms of protection and conservation. Trips to these locations can visually just take you back and be life changing. Here is  list of the top 8 islands in the Indian Ocean that are worth a visit:

  1. Comoros

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Also known as the Comoro Archipelago is made up of four Islands- Mayotte, Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan. The archipelago was mainly formed due to a volcanic activity which happened millions of years ago. It is located on the coast of East Africa, sandwiched between northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. It is a great destination for trekking, cycling, deep sea diving and snorkelling. If you are planning a trip here, anytime between May to November would be ideal for a visit.

 

  1. Mascarene

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Mascarene comprises of three islands Réunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues. These islands are located on the hotspot right above the earth’s crust. Like Comoros, Mascarene Islands were also a result of volcanic activities. It has been identified as one of the eco-regions in the world to be filled with unique flora and fauna. The best time to visit these Islands would be anytime between April to November.

 

  1. Seychelles

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The republic of Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in total and can be divided into two groups- Granite Islands and Coralline islands that are worth a visit. The islands are located northeast to Madagascar. They are the world leader for sustainable tourism. Also, you can rent your own Island here. How cool is that? The best times to visit these islands are anytime between the months of April, May, October or November. Seychelles has amazing beaches, exotic cuisine and a rich culture waiting to be explored.

  1. Socotra

Isla de Socotra, Yemen

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The Socotra Islands is famously referred to as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’ because of the high level of biodiversity. The Socotra archipelago is a wonder destination as it has been identified to have 22 Important Bird Areas. Socotra is a part of Yemen and lies south to the Arabian Peninsula. Best time to visit the Islands is between February to April.

  1. Cocos

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Also known as the Keeling Islands, it is located in the east of Indian Ocean. It is located midway between Sri Lanka and Australia. National parks and Scuba diving is the main attraction to these islands. Late January to early May is the best time to visit these adventure filled islands.

  1. Barrow

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Barrow islands are located on the north-west coast to Australia and home to many endemic species. These islands have visually stunning grasslands all around and beautiful sandy beaches. Barrow islands are peaceful and the only place where nature and industries co-exist, hence the nickname “Australia’s Ark”. The best time to pay a visit to these islands is between June and December.

  1. Java and Sumatra

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These are Indonesian countries that lie in the east of Indian Ocean. Java is the thirteenth largest Island in the world. Sumatra on the other hand is the only place on Earth where you will find tigers, elephants, orangutans and rhinos- all in one place. Best time to visit the place is between May to September.

  1. Christmas Island

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The Christmas Island is located very close to the equator with diverse range of wildlife being found there. It belongs to the territory of Australia. There are about 42 exotic caves in the islands and fresh waster springs. Sixty-three percent of the island is national park making it one of the main attractions to experience when visiting. The best time to visit this place is between July to October.