VIP Trip: Scintillating Seychelles
In an overcrowded world that is becoming more polluted by the day, the Seychelles is fast gaining recognition for the integrity of its unique ecosystems, and for the vast potential of its tourism options. There are numerous reasons for this awakening of interest, placing it head and shoulders above other island destinations. In fact, the Seychelles remains one of the purest, most environmentally intact destinations on Earth, offering a great diversity of experiences and accepting a mere 160,000 visitors a year. Now that’s what we call exclusive!
Seychelles, in a nutshell
Since the beginning of time, when the Seychelles’ 115 granite and coral islands became scattered over a secluded corner of the Indian Ocean, they have remained sanctuaries for some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on Earth. Each isle possesses its own particular geography and character, from untouched forests and bird sanctuaries to private resorts and hideaways. Never before have you been more spoiled for choice of when it comes to unspoiled island venues.Out of all of the Seychelles’ islands, currently only 16 have hotels, several of which offer the most luxurious amenities, and all of which possess their own natural charm. They offer everything from the opulence of world-famous five-star resorts, to the picturesque charms of affordable smaller hotels, Creole guest houses, and self-catering lodgings. The islands of Bird and Denis, located to the north of Mahé, Frégate to the east, and Desroches and Alphonse to the south, each offer diverse and unforgettable island experiences. Travel to the islands of the far south and be rewarded with the heart-stopping beauty of Cosmoledo, Farquhar and the jewel in the Seychelles’ crown, Aldabra, which boasts a magnificent lagoon and is teeming with wildlife. An efficient network of inter-island boat, plane and helicopter transfers will accommodate almost any itinerary, affording you the opportunity to explore and discover the unique features of each island.
Why visit the Seychelles...
With so many islands scattered across the Indian Ocean between four and 10 degrees south of the Equator, it is little wonder that another of the Seychelles’ biggest draws is the impressive diving opportunities it offers for experienced and novice divers alike. Myriad dive sites promise a diverse and vibrant marine extravaganza. This living aquarium enjoys comfortable year-round temperatures of between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius and lies outside the cyclone belt. Colourful reef fish, octopuses, lobsters and turtles make their home in the shallows surrounding the inner islands.
Experience nature at its most beautiful
More adventurous dives offshore include the Ennerdale wreck, and rocks that are a playground for stingrays. Swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea that are regular visitors to the Seychelles’ waters, or dive off the spectacular coral walls of the outer islands. The accredited diving centres of most hotels and island resorts offer everything from one-day introductory courses to advanced international diving instructor certificates.
If you’re looking to escape, you can’t get much further away from the crowds and bustle of city life.
INFO: To learn more about the Seychelles, visit seychelles.travel
The Seychelles is blessed with almost perfect year-round weather, with temperatures ranging between 24 and 32 Celsius. The year is divided between the northwest trade winds (from December to March), when it is generally hot and humid, and the southeast trade winds (from May to September), when it is drier and cooler. The period between the trades (March, April and May, and October and November), is normally calm and relatively windless.
The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR), made up of 100 cents (Dhs1 = SCR3.68).
Seychelles has three official languages – English, French and Creole.