MENU
FIVE questions
you should
ask ...
CALL US
Speak to one of our travel
experts
within 5 rings
020·7962·9933

Which of these is important to you?

  • Concierge style service. Your own dedicated travel manager who'll look after you until you travel.
  • Better value. Exclusive fares you won't find online to save you money.
  • 24 hour helpline. A worldwide team just a phone call away if you need help while you're overseas.
  • Top on Trustpilot. More highly rated than all our competitors with 98% saying they'd book again.
  • Risk free. Fully licensed with Client Trust Account to protect your money. ABTA, ATOL protected.

Your calls always answered within 5 rings.

x
You've read the reviews so why not call us NOW?
Tell us what you need. We'll find you a solution
Indian Ocean Reviews 1685
Indian Ocean Offers 18
Earthly Paradise

Seychelles serenade

The splendour of scenery and wildlife is cherished on these idyllic islands, as Mary Lussiana reports

An earthly paradise was how boatswain Thomas Jones described the Seychelles when, in 1609, the British merchant ship Ascension was separated from its fleet by a storm and dropped anchor in Mahé.

And ship's agent John Jourdain, who was sent out by the East India Company, wrote in the first known description of the islands: 'It is a very good refreshing place for wood, water, coker nuts, fish and fowle, without any fear or danger ...'

Some 400 years later, the same can still be said. It boasts some of the world's best beaches and most diverse wildlife.


Koko Bar: Sit back and enjoy a delicious cocktail beside the pool at the Six Senses


NATURE’S BEST
The hotels are wonderful, but these islands never forget that the top selling point is still the fresh, natural splendour that first caught Thomas Jones's eye
It is all about the destination here, says Edouard Grosmangin - even though, as manager of the new Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort, he is justly proud of his hotel.

This ethos of cherishing nature is echoed everywhere on the heavily-forested Félicité Island, where Six Senses opened recently. Its 30 villas slope towards the blue ocean, perfectly poised to catch the sunrise.


Swim in your own pool at one of the two bedroomed pool villas...bliss!


PURE TRANQUILITY
The beaches have just a few hammocks swinging lazily in the breeze - and of course, perhaps a hawksbill turtle or two coming to lay their eggs.

The hotel doesn't compete with nature, rather it allows you to stare at the ripe mangoes and emerald green lizards from your bathtub or bed.

There are no room service charges (try the coconut pancakes with lime syrup and mango compote at breakfast). It is also within easy reach of other islands, which you can explore.

Twenty minutes away is Praslin, the second largest island in the archipelago, where the Unesco World Heritage Site of Vallée de Mai was mistaken for the Garden of Eden by British General Charles Gordon in 1881. He thought the suggestive seed of the Coco de Mer palm, the largest seed in the world, must be the forbidden fruit.


A beautiful view from one of the bedrooms at Six Senses


Praslin is also famed for its soft white sand. Anse Lazio, on the island's north edge, is considered by many to be the best beach in world.

Admire it from a seat at restaurant Bonbon Plume, where under thatched umbrellas you can eat octopus curry.


A MINI CYLCE TOUR
On another day, we bicycled around La Digue, a slow-paced island opposite Félicité, where not long ago the only mode of transport was ox cart.

We passed vanilla plantations and takamaka trees (also the name of the local rum) and swam off the beach of Anse Source d'Argent. The water is translucent and two dogs chased large fish in the shallows. Needless to say, this quarry is too nimble for their clumsy paws. Along the shoreline, giant granite boulders add structural beauty.


You're right amongst nature at the pool villas


MORE ACTIVITIES
You can kayak across the ocean to the Île Cocos, part of the Marine National Park, where snorkelling reveals powder blue surgeonfish, Moorish idols, parrotfish and the striking oriental sweetlips, with black and yellow stripes and dots that could grace a catwalk.

Other islands in the archipelago include North Island, where William and Kate honeymooned, and Frégate, the luxury eco-resort where celebrities arrive by helicopter.

There are plenty of fish to be spotted on the corals around Félicité, but it's also worth heading inland to see the trees.


TAKING CARE OF WILDLIFE
South African Steve Hill, the resident permaculturist, who eradicated rats and introduced tortoises to the island, has been here for nearly nine years.

He has supervised the removal, across hundreds of acres, of the coco plum, which strangled many native species. In its place he planted indigenous trees and shrubs to encourage birds such as the Seychelles white-eye and fody. As we walk around avocado and mango trees, stop under the shade of the takamaka — and look at the fruit of the bigarade — Steve gives his vision for the island's future.

Commitment to preservation comes from the top, and is on the school curriculum. Steve believes Félicité can be the Seychelles' bio-diversity hotspot. Here, nature is the star of the show.


First published in the Daily Mail -  February 2018

More articles below...

For more inspiration, read what travel writers have to say...

Honeymoon heaven?

Imogen Edwards-Jones thought the Maldives were just for romantic couples...

Is Sri Lanka an island paradise?

Thomas Burrows believes there's no doubt

Seychelles paradise

Sandra Howard finds it hard to fault stunning Fregate Island

A love for nature

Christa D'Souza discovered an eco-resort setting a whole new standard

Mad for the Maldives

Tom Chesshyre decides which resort is right for you

Chic Sri Lanka

Freddy Halliday finds the air in Sri Lanka is filled with optimism

Botswana and the Seychelles

My perfect mix of thrills and pampering

Floating playground

Max Hastings found these islands were a playground of underwater wonders

Maldives rediscovered

Louise Atkinson finds romance in the air in these idyllic islands

Serendip Sri Lanka

Gareth Huw Davies finds joy on the island that gave its name to serendipity

The River Kwai

Roderick Gilchrist journeys to the spectacular jungle location of the famous bridge

A happy return

Max Davidson reports on a golden new dawn in Sri Lanka

So that's what they mean by Paradise!

Sri Lanka really is paradise

The tiny island that's huge on fun

Sally Chaplin's all-action family discover paradise in Kandima

Saluting the sun in paradise

Is Tristan Davies on a blissful yoga break?

Maldives joyzone

These lovely islands are a hit with Ronan Keating and his family

Magical Mauritius

Marcus Scriven has body and soul rejuvenated by a beauty queen

The biggest wow on Mauritius

Tom Laing has a jaw dropping experience

Falling upside down in love with the Maldives

Honeymooning TV presenter Amanda Byram samples aerial yoga in paradise

Epic luxury on the beach

Tammy Hughes finds that pampering in the Maldives is of blockbuster proportions

Delightful Dodo Island

Its national bird may be long gone, but Mauritius is far from extinct, as Doreen Parry discovered

Barefoot paradise

Laura Hamilton finds herself living a life of luxury - and shoes are not needed

Family fun in the Maldives

Presenter Jamie Theakston and his young sons fall in love with the Four Seasons

A new level of luxury

TV presenter Alice Beer finds perfection in the Seychelles

Swing into Mauritius

This island may be small, but according to Harry Denning, it is a riot of colour and creativity

Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements

x