Over a thousand kilometres from anywhere, the first settlers reached Seychelles less than 250 years ago, allowing it to retain all of its ecological integrity, breathtaking natural beauty and much of its innocence. It is undoubtedly one of the most pristine environments on the planet – a rare paradise and a true escape from the stresses of daily life.
Among its endless attractions are the world’s most stunning and uncrowded beaches, which are kissed by the warm, crystal waters of the Indian Ocean. Imposing granite boulders stand like sentinels, guarding the spectacular sandy beaches of La Digue Island’s Anse Source D’Argent, Praslin’s magnificent Anse Lazio and many others besides.
The geology of Seychelles is as extraordinary as it is beautiful. They are the world’s only mid-ocean granitic islands and are the remnants of the supercontinent Gondwana from which it split millions of years ago. The coral atolls and reef islands are strung like jewels on threads of ivory surf, each one possesses its very own distinct character and charm, inviting island-hoppers to experience them either by catamaran ferry – the inter-island service of Air Seychelles – or by helicopter. Seychelles is a sanctuary for a unique array of flora and fauna that includes some of the most exotic and rarest specimens on earth. Among them is the Coco-de-mer, the world’s heaviest nut; the Seychelles Black Parrot, which inhabits the primeval vallée de Mai; the Seychelles magpie-robin, which has been rescued from the brink of extinction; and the Jellyfish tree, of which only a handful remain.
Last but not least is the opportunity for visitors to savour true barefoot elegance, and enjoy a warm local welcome. Not to be missed is the delicious Seychellois Creole cuisine – a sublime blend of Eastern and Western culinary traditions making full use of the ocean bounty.
Few destinations are able to offer an experience so in tune with the rhythms of island living, and to the culinary traditions and vibrant customs of a people who remain faithful to their roots. Seychelles is a place to do as little or as much as you like. Either kicking back to enjoy the finest beach vacation available, or indulging in some world-class diving, sailing, trekking, zip-lining and horse riding, as well as golf and spa treatments.
With British Airways flying direct from London twice a week, the most beautiful islands on the planet are just waiting to be discovered. Θ