The Seychelles is widely considered to be one of the most pristine paradises left on earth today. The massive granite and coralline boulders which make up the 115 islands are cloaked in tropical forest, lined with the whitest sand imaginable and surrounded by coral reefs bristling with life. In fact there is a rich diversity of unique animal life both above and below the water. Most are completely uninhabited and the entire archipelago is strung out over more than a million square kilometres, lying 1000 miles off the African mainland. Despite this remote location, connections are fairly good with both Johannesburg in South Africa and Nairobi in Kenya.
It may come as a surprise to hear that the three main islands are fairly heavily populated and well developed, which has allowed a profusion of cultures to flourish. Mahe is the largest of the three and also functions as the regional hub. It tends to work well for those who prefer the larger resorts or if only a couple of nights are required. La Digue is the smallest and enjoys a very laid-back atmosphere, with no motorised transport and simple accommodation. For many, Praslin represents a happy medium between the two. It still offers peace and quiet but also the standard of accommodation and activities to match.
It is, however, for the smaller, more isolated islands that the country has become so well known. Most of them are home to just one small and exclusive property each. North Island steals the show with its splendour and comes with a matching price tag. Fregate Island offers top-end exclusivity, a step down in cost from North Island, and Denis Island offers something a little more affordable but still very special.
The Seychelles requires a lot in terms of both time and money but has much to offer because of the different characteristics of each island. Many travellers will therefore choose to spend their entire trip here, rather than combining it with a safari on the mainland. Barefoot luxury awaits!