Seychelles

For me, Seychelles is a place to flop and drop. An archipelago of 115 mostly uninhabited Indian Ocean islands south of the equator, it’s a six star destination, which offers barefoot luxury on some of the worlds’ most spectacular white sand beaches. It is also home to some of the most luxurious private island resorts, including North Island, where Prince William took Kate on honeymoon. It is perfect for couples and honeymooners (Four Seasons on Desroches also offer babymoon packages) and multigenerational families who want peace and quiet and a restful ‘back to nature’ experience.

 

Seychelles looks just like the pictures: a quite incredible natural palette of blues and greens, with lush tropical vegetation, and distinctive big granite boulders, right beside the turquoise ocean. It also has some of the cleanest waters on the planet, in a protected marine reserve, where no motorised watersports are allowed. It offers diving, sailing, snorkelling, big game fishing, hiking and bird watching, and one golf course, as well as pampering private spa experiences and a delicious fusion cuisine, from African, Chinese and Indian influences.

 

Seychelles is now more accessible, and affordable, thanks to a British Airways’ twice weekly direct flight from Heathrow to Mahé, whose international airport was modernised last year. It takes just 10 hours to fly there, and as the country is just 3 hours ahead of the UK, there’s minimal jetlag. The Seychelles feels like a tropical island. When you land here, you can feel the heat and humidity, and see dense tropical greenery, right next to the runway.

 

Seychelles is an ideal destination for island hopping, by plane, or helicopter, as every island has its own character, and different experiences to offer. The inner granite islands include Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette Island, North Island, and Fregate Island. The outer coral islands include Denis Private Island and Desroches.

 

A 15 minute flight hop from the main island of Mahé, Praslin Island has picture postcard perfect beaches, Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio, and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Vallée de Mai, a prehistoric nature reserve with the unique coco de mer palm. From here, you can do day trips to Aldabra Island, with the world’s largest population of giant tortoises and rustic La Digue. For birders, The Seychelles has over 200 species. Cousin Island, a nature reserve just a kilometre in diameter, is home to over 1000 nesting seabirds, and Bird Island, is an ornthologists dream.

 

A classic trip is straight to Denis Island (my favourite), then either Praslin or Mahé. Mahé also has plenty to see and do, including a trip to Victoria, one of the world’s smallest capitals, whose Creole-style painted houses, have white picket fences and immaculate gardens.

 

On tropical islands, wall to wall sunshine cannot be guaranteed, but being near the equator, the temperature in the Seychelles remains fairly consistent throughout the year. In winter, June to August, it is a bit cooler and less humid and rainy, while in the Seychelles summer from December to February, the temperature can rise to well over 30 degrees. The warmer weather coincides with the wet season, with really heavy rain showers possible at this time of year. The best months to travel to the Seychelles are April, May, October and November.

Susie suggests:

  • Hire a mini moke for two days on Mahé, to explore both sides of the island
  • On Praslin Island, take a day trip to discover the UNESCO-listed, Vallée de Mai, and its beautiful beaches
  • Take plenty of sun cream and a hat!
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