Achingly beautiful scenery, sublime beaches and ultra-exclusive resorts, the Seychelles has it all.
With British Airways now flying there direct, there has never been a better time to discover an idyllic Seychelles island and experience some natural beach bliss.
Located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa, the Seychelles is an enviable archipelago of 115 islands, 42 granite and 73 coral, and these remote idylls are a haven for rare fauna, birdlife and marine life.
A consistent wishlist wonder for travellers, the Seychelles has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Vallee de Mai on Praslin (famous for the rare Coco de Mer palm tree) and Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll.
Unsurprisingly, high-end travellers are attracted to a selection of luxurious hotels and resorts overflowing with exceptional facilities. Of course, the remote location and exclusive privacy is all very much part of the eternal attraction.
Adventurous travellers may wish to island hop, or perhaps combine the Seychelles with a safari in South, or East Africa for the ultimate honeymoon finale or dream family escape.
Beyond the famously blissful beaches, this ‘Original Garden of Eden’ more than lives up to its sensational reputation. Crystal-clear turquoise waters and outstanding marine attractions make it an enviable location for world-class diving and snorkelling.
With attractive year-round temperatures (approximately 24-30°C), warm ocean temperatures and enticing sunshine, the period between May and October is generally considered to be the best time to travel. Whilst keen sailors and windsurfers should aim for this travel window, divers and those wishing to go snorkelling may wish to consider visiting during the months of April and May, or October to November, as these provide the best times for underwater visibility.
Whilst the most famous Seychelles beach may be Anse Source d’Argent Beach, on La Digue, the picturesque Anse Lazio located on Praslin consistently ranks in the top ten beaches of the world. The incredible scenery, imposing palms and accessibility make it ideal for swimming and snorkelling — the water is fairly deep — and there is usually a lifeguard present during high season.
Whilst the tropical Indian Ocean is home to a diverse collection of marine-life and vibrant coral reefs, the nature reserves are home to giant Aldabra tortoises and impressive flora and fauna. The colourful vegetation makes it a veritable treasure trove for plant-lovers, with hikers able to venture into the dense green foliage to see exotic flowers such as wild vanilla and endemic plant species. Highlights include redwood and ironwood trees and, of course, the unique natural phenomenon of the Coco de Mer — the most famous of the Seychelle’s six endemic plant species. Possessing the largest seed of any plant in the world, this tree is endemic to Praslin and Curieuse only.
Those keen to explore — whether beneath the ocean, on top of the waves or at the lofty mountain heights — are simply spoilt for choice, with watersports, such as fishing, sailing or scuba-diving, to volleyball and horseback-riding. The lush green landscape makes for some incredible island golf courses, whilst off-shore, a yacht charter is the best way to appreciate the rich green and blue colour contrasts.
The main travel hub and largest of the 115 islands, Mahé is 17 miles long by ten miles wide and is home to the capital, Victoria (named after the British Queen). Here, visitors can venture to Morne Seychellois, the highest point of the Seychelles, see fishermen along the coast, sunbathe on Beau Vallon, photograph granite peaks and visit local restaurants and shops.
Guests can languish in luxury within a selection of indulgent private villas and suites.
The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, on Mahé Island, is situated next to one of the world’s top ten beaches, Petite Anse Bay, and boasts 67 hillside villas and suites. Head to the Hilltop Spa for breathtaking 360 ° views, enjoy a romantic dinner on the beach, relax on the beach with dedicated beach butlers catering to your every need, or perhaps try some paddleboarding or catamaran sailing.
For families, Constance Ephelia is an attractive alternative with extensive facilities and two great beaches to choose from.
For those wishing to visit Praslin island, Raffles Praslin provides a modern resort with eighty-six villas, located beside pristine sands and surrounding forest and is ideal for couples seeking a spa, romance and service from beach butlers.
Alternatively, Constance Lemuria is an eco-friendly resort with an idyllic, 18-hole, championship golf course, 105 suites, three beaches, including Anse Kerlan (where turtles lay their eggs), thrilling watersports, a Turtle Sanctuary and remarkable granite boulders.
For those seeking the ultimate private island experience in the Seychelles, North Island is the pinnacle of barefoot perfection. Renowned for exquisite exclusivity and privacy, conservation is key here.
Similarly, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles At Desroches Island is an idyllic natural hideaway with pristine white sands, a tropical reef, world-class diving and Giant Tortoises.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Couples wishing to escape to a quintessential private island paradise should stay at Six Senses Zil Pasyon, on Félicité, for complete seclusion, sensational dining and a dazzling beachfront.