You will have no doubt day-dreamed of the Seychelles – those Indian Ocean islands where palm trees pop out from behind smooth, granite boulders, framing a deserted white sand beach and crystal clear water…
Unlike the Maldives, the Seychelles has both granite and coral islands, and unlike Mauritius, large numbers of them haven’t experienced heavy tourism. But it’s not all about beaches, the vegetation and the wildlife on these islands is as beautiful as it is historical – Vallee de Mai is a UNESCO protected palm forest, which has remained unchanged since prehistoric times, and on Praslin, Curieuse and North Island you can see ancient, giant tortoises in their natural habitat. If not admiring the vibrancy of the fauna in each islands’ lush vegetation you will be bowled over by spectacular underwater displays – alongside coral reefs are whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles. Shallow, sheltered beaches and a malaria-free climate make the Seychelles one of our top luxury destinations for families as well as honeymooners, and anyone else who will appreciate a slice of paradise filled with natural wonders.
Top accommodation in the Seychelles comprises of relaxed, barefoot luxury on private islands or slick resorts with all the bells and whistles. Our Seychelles itineraries tend to take in at least two destinations, as hopping between the islands is all part of the fun.
On the main island of Mahe guests can chose between the super-chic villas which hug the lush hillside at the Four Seasons, home to a talculm powder sand and gentle-sloping beach. Or the more intimate and tranquil Maia Resort & Spa, where the 30 individual pool suites all come with unique ocean views, butler service and privacy is paramount. On Anse Intendance; colonial decor, a fabulous spa, a plantation-style main house and lush gardens evoke an Asian/ Seychellois fusion at Banyan Tree. On the neighbouring island of Praslin, the stylish and contemporary villas of the newly opened Raffles offer the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful island, home to the world famous Anse Lazio beach.
For those seeking true escapism and tranquility, Denis Island’s 25 elegant cottages, each nestling near the ocean shore amid lush tropical gardens, combine comfort with a natural Creole flair. At Fregate Island guests will discover the ultimate in eco-luxury combined with discreet service in an outstandingly beautiful setting with tropical forests, hidden coves and seven dazzling white beaches. Further south, Desroches Island Resort is an idyllic coral island surrounded by 14km of immaculate white, soft sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, and a protective reef which is home to some of the best diving sites in the Seychelles.
North Island is undoubtedly the Seychelles’ most luxurious island hideaway. Lush with endemic vegetation and wildlife, this private island is a veritable Noah’s Ark and is arguably home to the one of the world’s best all-inclusive beach resorts with just 11 locally crafted private villas. Despite a constant stream of royal and celebrity guests and a long list of accolades, the island remains first and foremost a place of sanctuary and outstanding natural beauty.
For those looking for the perfect family holiday destination, head to the island of Praslin, the second largest in the Seychelles. Constance Lemuria has extensive grounds, three beautiful beaches and one of the best kids clubs we’ve seen – matched only by their sister property, Constance Ephelia on Mahe. Of course there is plenty to keep the parents busy with deep sea fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and golf on their award winning championship course. Those looking for something more low key can hop on a boat over to sleepy La Digue island, where guests of Domaine de l’Orangeraie have complimentary use of bicycles to explore the many beaches and make the most of this car-free, paradise island home to yet more award-winning beaches.