Almost otherworldly in their beauty, the 115 islands that comprise Seychelles are home to some of the rarest flora and fauna on Earth. So rare in fact, the Vallée de Mai, which nurtures the legendary coco-de-mer, was once thought to be the original Garden of Eden. These granite and coral islands scattered in the Indian Ocean also boast a near perfect climate, with temperatures always hovering between 24°C and 33°C, earning Seychelles the reputation, “the land of endless summer”. Seychelles remains one of the world’s most environmentally pristine destinations, and promises a rich diversity of experiences to the many visitors welcomed each year by the islands’ peaceful, multi-ethnic society.
With enhanced air access to Europe, Africa and Asia, Seychelles is effectively just one stop from anywhere on the planet. Just 16 of the islands currently have hotels, many offer quintessential luxury, but all possess their own distinct character and laid-back ambience. From the opulence of world-renowned five-star resorts – Hilton, Le Meridien, Four Seasons, Kempinski, Six Senses and Banyan Tree are all present – to the picturesque charm of smaller hotels, Creole guesthouses, and self-catering, there is something for everyone in Seychelles.
The stunning variety of endemic wildlife in Seychelles makes it a tantalising proposition for eco-tourists and nature lovers alike. Nowhere else can you see the incredible jellyfish tree (only eight remain), the wondrous coco-de-mer, or the paradise flycatcher. The Vallée de Mai, and the legendary Aldabra – the world’s largest raised coral atoll – are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From the smallest frog to the heaviest land tortoise and the only flightless bird of the Indian Ocean, exploring the many nature trails around Seychelles is to experience the planet as nature intended.
With 115 diverse islands sprinkled across 1,400,000 sq-km of sparkling ocean, it is easy to understand why seafarers believed that God created Seychelles with the sailor in mind. Chartering a yacht is possibly the most rewarding way of discovering the hidden treasures of the archipelago.
Seychelles also has some of the richest fishing grounds in the world and you do not have to venture far from the shore to make a significant catch. From sailfish, whaoo, and tuna, to barracuda, trevally, streaker and even the mighty marlin, those who enjoy a challenge will be in the right place.
It goes without saying that the diving in Seychelles is second to none. The myriad of dive sites promises a marine extravaganza as diverse as it is unique. This natural aquarium enjoys comfortable year-round temperatures and lies beyond the cyclone belt, offering incredible underwater action to divers of all levels. Colourful reef fish, octopus, lobster and turtles flash in the shallows around the inner islands, while more adventurous dives include the Ennerdale wreck and environments home to groupers and stingrays.
Celebrate in style
No account of Seychelles’ is complete without mention of its reputation as “the islands of love” – and it is little wonder that couples are inspired to say their vows in this romantic atmosphere. Beneath swaying palms on the soft sand of discreet island hideaways, Seychelles creates the idyllic ambience for an unforgettable wedding or honeymoon. Why not combine the big day with some pampering, rest and relaxation? Seychelles is home to a range of world-class spa and wellness experiences – soothing treatments to rejuvenate body and mind. Whether nestling in dreamy, mountain-side pavilions or overlooking the ocean, you will discover elegance and refinement in pristine surroundings.
There is also great golf available across the islands, with a 9-hole course on Mahé and an 18-hole championship course on Praslin, which offers a sublime experience with stunning panoramas of virgin forests and the azure Indian Ocean beyond.
Seychelles has all this to offer and more. Yet, perhaps its most enduring attraction is the safe, secure environment that visitors enjoy. The pace of life is as laid-back as it gets, and locals are the most welcoming you will find anywhere on your travels. In Seychelles, amid the harmony of a family atmosphere, you will find time to enjoy the simple things in life, to appreciate the Creole culture and be totally absorbed by the ultimate island lifestyle.