When you think of an exotic beach destination, what do you picture? Over-water bungalows in Bora Bora? Longtail boats in the Thai Islands? Sea turtles and lava flows in Hawaii? For a truly memorable experience, why not consider the Seychelles?

The Republic of Seychelles sits just over 900 miles off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. The country is comprised of 115 different islands, many of which are uninhabited. The country’s history was influenced by the French and the British (and their slave trades, which brought people over from mainland Africa). Because of this, the islands are an interesting mix of cultures with three official languages: English, French, and Creole.

If you’ve heard of the Seychelles at all (it’s not really promoted yet in the Americas as a holiday destination), you may think of it as a honeymoon destination for the rich and famous.  After all, this is where Prince William and Kate Middleton spent their royal honeymoon!

The Seychelles are about more than just beaches and honeymoons. In fact, the country really impressed me with everything it has to offer.  It’s rare these days to find so many options in such an unspoiled yet luxury setting.

Here are the top five things I loved about the Seychelles:

1.      Beaches, of Course

The Seychelles are home to what are arguably some of the best beaches in the world. Fine white sand, turquoise water, and a year-round tropical climate makes this place seem too good to be true. I kept joking that some of the islands were basically just one big beach! And the best part? None of the beaches I visited were crowded.

2.      Fascinating Native Wildlife

The Seychelles were mostly uninhabited by humans for a very long time, but that doesn’t mean there was a lack of life on the islands. In fact, the Seychelles are home to exquisite and unique flora and fauna.  For example, the Aldabra giant tortoise is native to the Seychelles and is one of the largest of its species in the world.

You can find them roaming free on islands like Cousin and Curieuse, as well as within enclosures on the more popular tourist islands like Mahe and Praslin.

The Seychelles is also home to the Coco de Mer palm, which produces the heaviest seed/nut of any tree in the world! You can even find carnivorous pitcher plants on some of the islands, including in Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahe.

3. Good Infrastructure

Seychelles airport

The Seychelles rely on tourism as its major economic industry, hosting both cruise ship passengers and independent travelers throughout the year. The tourism infrastructure in the country is great! Nearly everyone speaks English, the roads around the islands (while narrow and twisting at times) are well-paved, and it’s very easy to get around even if you’re traveling on your own. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling throughout the Seychelles and at no point felt unsafe or uncomfortable. The islands cater to tourism very well.

4. Delicious Food

Island cuisine is often quite tasty, and this is true in the Seychelles, too. Seafood and creole dishes are featured on most menus, and the seafood is especially fresh and delicious here.

5. Bespoke Luxury

Maia Seychelles

Yes, there are high-end 5-star resorts in the Seychelles that come with higher than average prices.  Of course, the service and quality they offer makes them well worth any price difference you might find.  They are unquestionably, among the best in the world and include the Four Seasons and Raffles, or the opulent private Fregate Island.

More moderate resorts are available as well, each with its own touch of luxury. Since there are so many beaches, the water is never far away even with hotel lacking direct beach access.  As a side note: there are NO private beaches in the Seychelles.  Part of the beautiful appeal of the islands is that all beaches are considered public, even those connected to hotels.

Bonus: It is easy to pair up with a safari in Africa!

As an added bonus, the Seychelles are in a perfect location to combine with a safari in a place like South Africa! You can easily visit the Seychelles before or after your safari (about 5 hours away by air).  You can easily go from game

Summary

All things considered, I definitely recommend the Seychelles for those seeking an uncommon beach vacation experience. As always, I recommend working with an expert.  A little professional knowledge can go a long way in turning an ordinary trip into something spectacular.

I’ve helped many others plan trips to the region with the same care and attention I plan my own.  It’s an area in which I am honoured to be experienced.  It would be such a treat to help you experience this magical land for yourself. Contact me to make an appointment.  You’ll be glad you did!

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