For those looking to “get away from it all,” the Seychelles may be the perfect escape. The Seychelles is an archipelago, a group of exquisite, unspoiled islands that lie in the Western Indian Ocean situated northeast of Madagascar and 1,100 miles east of Kenya. This geographical isolation has had ecological consequences, as much of the Seychelles flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Most visitors are drawn to the scintillating beaches and turquoise waters that dot the sea like a white pearl necklace. The coral atolls encompass giant lagoons, full of marine wildlife. The islands had no indigenous people and are now composed of people who have immigrated from African, Asian and European cultures.
There is an abundance of activities available in the Seychelles including visits to national parks, bird watching, fly fishing, sailing, beach-going as well as all the water sports. Snorkeling, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing make for a lovely holiday for the whole family. You can rent a jeep or moped to jaunt around your choice of islands engaging in your favorite activities with total freedom and privacy.
Mahe is the largest island and home to the international airport, the capital city, Victoria and 85% of all Seychelles residents. It is surrounded by coral reefs, making its powdery white sandy beaches optimal for a dream island vacation. The Seychelles possesses a reliable national airline, Air Seychelles, which makes island hopping fast and fun.
Aldabra is the second-largest atoll in the world comprising more than a dozen islands bordered by a vast lagoon. Aldabra has earned the distinction as UNESCO World Heritage Site by prominent naturalists due to its pristine coral reef ecosystems and is still protected from full-scale tourism. The atoll’s islands nurture a vast array of both unique flora and fauna as well as the world’s largest population of 150,000 giant tortoises and its lagoon boasts the most vibrant marine life of the entire archipelago.
Praslin Island, a small granite island billed as the original site of the “Garden of Eden” for its incredible variety of plants, 100 of which are endemic to Pralin and neighboring islands. Particularly well-known is the Coco de Mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse.
The Seychelles have long been a favorite destination of many ornithologists eager to catch a sighting of some rare breeds. The main islands are the world’s oldest granitic ocean islands. Antiquity means a high level of endemism while oceanic isolation means huge seabird colonies. The Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world including the sooty tern, fairy tern, white-tailed tropicbird, noddies and frigatebirds. There is also a remarkably high number of migrant species making up almost three-quarters of the species on the Seychelles, so you never know what you might see.
La Digue, a quaint little island, is renowned for its stunning beaches. The array of deserted beaches, each seemingly more beautiful than the next, is exquisite. Visitors are especially attracted to Anse Source d’Argent or the shores of L’Union Estates, considered two of the most beautiful and unique beaches in the world.