Tantalising white sand beaches are dappled with the silhouettes of swaying palms, the sapphire Indian Ocean laps gently at the shore, and amid banyan trees and fairy terns you lay swaying in your hammock, wondering where else in the world there could possibly be a place as idyllic as this. Just a few degrees south of the equator, the 115 granite islands of the Seychelles are a luxurious sanctuary where hopeless romantics come to idle away a couple of weeks in bliss.
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The two main islands are Mahé and Praslin. Enveloped in steamy jungle heat, lined with sugar white sands and with mystical granite peaks rising from the ocean, magical Mahé is the largest of the islands. Come here to picnic at picturesque coves and swim in azure lagoons. Some of the world’s most endangered species reside in the forest interior, including the Gardiner’s Seychelles frog, tinier than a human finger tip. Anse à la Mouche and Turtle Bay boast fine white sands and crystal clear waters, while Sunset Beach delivers the most outstanding, fiery red sunsets.
A short hop from Mahé by plane or an hour by boat, you’ll fall upon some of the whitest beaches in the world on the exotic island of Praslin. Framed by granite boulders and takamaka trees, the talcum powder sands of Anse Lazio are some of the most stunning on the island, and cobalt waters invite you to swim and snorkel all day, before rewarding yourself with a refreshing bottle of SeyBrew lager. Praslin is one of only two islands in the world where the rare Coco de Mer grows, deep in the Vallée de Mai’s prehistoric forests, and a guided walk into the jungle is definitely worth the effort.
Take a day trip to La Digue for a more authentic Seychellois experience, in which locals travel by bicycle or ox-cart and fishermen stroll past traditional Creole houses with their catch of the day. For nature, head north west of Mahé to Silhouette Island, where a melting pot of endangered birds and animals find solace in the magnificent Marine National Park.
Exploring the Seychelles...
One of the joys of visiting the Seychelles is discovering the diverse geography, character and history of each island. Island-hopping is a great way to do this and we recommend taking in Cousin Island, a beautiful nature reserve and home to some of the Seychelles’ rarest birds, and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, known as the original Garden of Eden.
Easily accessible from Mahé or Praslin, this quintessential island paradise is best explored by bicycle, the mode of transport favoured by many locals. Enjoy a tour of the fascinating old vanilla and cinnamon plantation at L’Union Estate, meet its giant tortoise residents, and then head to Anse Source d’Argent, considered one of the best beaches in the world.
Snorkelling & Diving
The Seychelles is famous for its crystal clear waters and the depths surrounding Coco Island are often referred to as a ‘living aquarium’ due to the plethora of tropical fish. Another premier dive site is Shark Bank off Mahé, where heading into the serene waters will reveal whitetip reef sharks and eagle rays.
On an archipelago with such bountiful flora and fauna, mouthwatering fresh fruit is readily available, as are inspiring Creole dishes. Our favourite places to eat on Mahé include the seafood fusion menus of Chez Plume and the Creole-infused French and Italian dishes at La Scala.
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Flying time from the UK is approximately 12 hours 30 minutes via Abu Dhabi and 13 hours 30 minutes via Dubai.
Emirates Departures from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow daily via Dubai.
Etihad Airways Departures from Heathrow and Manchester daily via Abu Dhabi.
From Mahé there is easy access to Praslin, with the 15 minute flight operating up to 15 times per day, and for Denis Island and Desroches Island the 30 and 40 minute flights operate once daily respectively. Silhouette Island is a 25 minute drive and further 40 minute boat transfer, or 15 minute helicopter flight from Mahé.
Note: All our inclusive holiday prices are based on Emirates Economy flights. Prices with Etihad Airways are available on request.
Creole is the official language. English and French are also widely spoken.
4 hours ahead of GMT.
Seychelles rupee. Major credit cards are also accepted at all hotels.
British citizens do not require a visa for entry into the Seychelles. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond your return travel date.