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Seychelles
 
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 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 the 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.
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Seychelles
CALENDAR: JANUARY TO MARCH
 
Balmy northwest trade winds prevail in the Seychelles from January to March, creating a gentle breeze in a climate which otherwise would be rather hot and humid at this time of year. There is likely to be rain, but it’s warm and far from constant. Enjoy island hopping across the archipelago, snorkelling on the reef and walking at a lazy pace along the sands.
CALENDAR:  APRIL
 
The humidity level in the Seychlles drop in April as the trade winds turn around. The air is still warm, but somehow fresher than before. It’s an excellent time of the year for all manner of water sports. Birders should consider visiting Aride Island, a nature reserve with huge seabird colonies. You’ll find enormous numbers of frigate bird, tropical shearwater, lesser noddy, and roseate tern.
CALENDAR: MAY TO SEPTEMBER
 
Winds pick up between May and September, so we compensate for this by booking accommodation on the leeward side of the islands in pleasantly protected positions. It’s warm and not too humid, making it a pleasant climate for wildlife watching. You can see Aldabra giant tortoise, Seychelles black parrot, and a variety of curious plant species such as the jellyfish tree and the highly prized coco de mer.
CALENDAR : NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
 
The Seychelles tend to be hot and humid as the year draws to an end, with intermittent rainfall. Our favourite option is to stay at a remarkable resort such as North Island and enjoy the many activities on offer. Early mornings you can mountain bike and walk then as the day warms up, to take to the water, go fishing or drive around the island by buggy.
CALENDAR: OCTOBER
 
Trade winds turn once again and everything is calm. It’s a glorious month to travel anywhere within the archipelago. Birdlife International is conducting research on Cousin Island, which is not only an Important Bird Area but also home to Aldabra giant tortoise, hawksbill and green turtle, lizard, gecko, and skink. Conservation efforts here won a Conde Nast ecotourism award and are setting standards for sustainable tourism in the Seychelles.