So how remarkable is the Republic of Seychelles? Upon arrival in the 19th century, British General Charles Gordon thought he’d found the original Garden of Eden. Set in the Indian Ocean near the east coast of Kenya, the 115 islands of this isolated paradise is still like no other tropical spot on Earth. Read on to learn five top reasons Seychelles is your one-of-a-kind island honeymoon destination.
If you have an image in your mind of a perfect beach, chances are you’re thinking about Seychelles’ Anse Source d’Argent beach on its La Digue Island. That’s because it claims to be the most photographed beach in the world due to its absolute beauty. With its azure waters, lack of urban development, and signature dramatic granite formations that jut out from its powdery pink-hued sand, it is impossible to beat. But while photographers love it for its artistic qualities, honeymooners seek this remote spot because it is simply one of the most romantic beaches on earth.
Rarest flora and fauna
As an archipelago set in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, Seychelles boasts some of the most unique animals and plant life that have thrived in this remote sanctuary for centuries. For example, when visiting, you don’t want to miss a chance to view the Aldabra giant tortoises that live on La Digue Island. They are hard to miss, as these lovely land-dwelling reptiles grow more than a yard in length and live for up to 100 years. Seychelles is also home to three of the rarest birds in the world: the black parrot, fruit pigeon and Seychelles. And then there’s the famous indigenous coco de-mer coconut. The largest in the world and only grows in the prehistoric forest of Vallee de Mai on the island of Praslin.
After all this talk about La Digue Island, one of the must-see spots in Seychelles, it should be noted that you can only reach this isle by boat. Though not far from another island, Praslin, this 20-minute trip only underscores just how secluded this paradise is from the busy, modern world. For a classic Robinson Crusoe-type environs, seek out Anse Marron beach. Anse Coco claims to be one of the most unspoilt and untouched spots. Want to know more about just how secluded is Seychelles? On La Digue – which is the third most populated isle in the republic, by the way – oxcarts are the primary mode of transportation. However, recently, hiring a bicycle is permissible. My, how times are a-changin’!
Amazing water sports
Seychelles boasts amazing weather most of the year. But if you’re traveling all this way for the ultimate snorkeling and diving experiences, aim to visit at April-May or October-November for world-class visibility. Praslin’s Anse Lazio is ideal for snorkeling because it has a protected area of warm, clear shallow water. The main island of Mahe, with the capital Victoria, may seem the most built-up spot in Seychelles but it also has plenty of coral reefs to explore. And if you surf, you’re in luck: Anse Lascars on Silhouette Island is where you want to be. Just make sure you know what you’re doing. You’ll find big waves of up to six feet on any day throughout the year.
Beyond the beach
Tearing yourself away from the beach may seem nearly impossible on Seychelles but it is worth noting (as a sort of public service announcement!) that Seychelles is also proud of its protected hiking trails, especially on Mahe Island. In fact, Seychelles boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is the famous Aldabra Atoll, one of the largest coral atolls in the world. There’s also the prehistoric Valle de Mai Nature Reserve on the tiny island of Praslin, famous because it thrives untouched as a primeval forest. It is also where you can see the coco de mer nut that grows on these ancient palms. No wonder UNESCO ranks these spots as natural treasures worthy of preservation.