Nowhere in the Indian Ocean is the sand as powder white and nowhere has such a wide array of beautiful tiny islands, strung out across hundreds of miles of deep blue ocean. The two main islands of Mahé and Praslin have dozens of secluded beaches. Jump on a ferry and half an hour later you are on La Digue with its world-famous boulder strewn beach, a few lazy little hotels and no vehicles other than ox carts.
The islands are slightly awkward to reach, and as there are so many lovely islands to explore you should try and stay for at least a week or even two if you want to take in three islands. They come in all shapes, from the conically volcanic Silhouette, to Bird Island, a breeding ground for millions of sooty terns. The atoll Alphonse has superb wall diving and shallow lagoons which draw saltwater fly fishermen from around the world. North Island and Fregate are two of the most exclusive and luxurious island hideaways on the planet, while on Desroches your villa comes with a couple of bicycles so you can cycle through the coconut plantations to Madame Zabra’s beach which you will probably have to yourselves.
The Seychellois are delightfully friendly, though service isn’t as sparklingly efficient as in Mauritius and most hotels and charming little Creole guesthouses don’t try to compete with the excellent facilities of their southerly neighbour.
This is a place that casts a spell of romance and relaxation, where 24 hour news quickly becomes irrelevant in the face of more important matters such as which cocktail shall I try before dinner tonight, or can I be bothered to go snorkelling this afternoon or should I just lie on this cushion soft sand a little longer.