The Sensational Seychelles
If you need a little time out from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and you want to go where the world moves to a slower pace and nature shines upon you showing off some of her best work, take a look at the beautiful Seychelles. Made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, the Seychelles is a breath-taking archipelago with some of the world’s best beaches. They’re a top spot for royalty and celebrities – Prince William and Kate Middleton spent their honeymoon in the Seychelles, possibly at the recommendation of David and Victoria Beckham.
Here, you’ll find stretches of perfect beaches, pristine waters and a slower, more relaxed way of life. Hammocks strung between palm trees, sun-filled days warming the temperature seas and gorgeous marine life bobbing below the surface.
Once a pirate hideout (and, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to hide out here?), it’s believed that the famous pirate Olivier Levasseur hid treasure worth US$160,000 somewhere on these islands that remains undiscovered to this day. You may like to pack a beach spade, just on the off-chance!
You may not find Levasseur’s treasure, but you will find a paradise! You may also find the world’s biggest and heaviest free-roaming tortoise, Esmeralda. Esmeralda weighs over 304 kg and is thought to be up to 170 years old! He’s (yes, despite his name, Esmeralda is a male) one of many Aldabra tortoises living on Bird Island. The Aldabra atoll is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the largest wild Aldabra giant tortoise population in the world.
The Seychelles are also home to some rare species of birds, including the bare-legged Scops Owl or Syer. This owl was so rare that it was believed to have become extinct, however in 1959 it re-appeared. You may be lucky enough to see it at the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahe Island.
Also on Mahe Island, you’ll find the capital of the Seychelles, Victoria. As far as capital cities are concerned, Victoria holds the record as being the smallest in the world. The population sits at around 26,000 with a total population in the islands of just 92,000. You can explore Victoria on foot in less than a day.
Now, while you’re in the Seychelles, you have to check out the Coco de mer, or sea coconuts. These babies produce fruit that takes 5-7 years to mature, measure around 40-50cm in diameter and weigh 15-30kg! It also produces the largest and heaviest seed in the plant kingdom. A very good reason to be very careful when walking beneath these trees!
Much of the Seychelles has been given over to nature reserves and there are strict regulations in place in order to protect the marine life, making it a diver’s paradise. The fish life is prolific and the corals and sponges are spectacular. If you’re visiting in August or between October and January, you may even be lucky enough to spot a whale shark in the outer islands.
Although the Seychelles is a fantastic destination for a fly-and-flop holiday, cruising the Seychelles is also an incredible experience. Cruising means you’ll be able to visit several islands allowing you to explore and discover the best of several islands, rather than staying put. But you can still enjoy the luxury of lazy days as you glide between islands, relaxing on the deck with a drink in hand, soaking up the spectacular scenery. How much better can life get?
Click here for cruise packages to The Seychelles or click here to speak to one of our Ultimate Cruising experts about the options.