With BA’s direct flights to the Seychelles resuming in March after a 14-year hiatus, now is the time to start planning a trip.
You’ll struggle to find a reason not to visit this exquisite corner of the earth, but for the sake of argument, here are 14 reasons you should…
1. There are direct flights
Below is the new aircraft BA will use when it resumes Seychelles flights in March, after a 14-year gap. Non-stop twice-weekly departures (from £699) mean no more bleary-eyed change of planes in Middle Eastern airports for seekers of paradise on these 115 Indian Ocean islands just below the equator.
2. Your phone won’t work
Which might be a good thing. Unapologetically rustic, Bird Island remains one of the best-value resorts in the islands. A million terns, noddies and frigate birds do all the chattering as mobile phones don’t work here.
3. The sealife is exceptional
Desrcohes Island in the Amirantes offers great scuba diving and fishing and has been totally revamped. Book by December 31 and qualify for a 30 per cent discount in 2018. Don’t expect to economise on anything else. The Four Seasons is opening a resort there early next year.
4 … but you don’t have to get wet
Sometimes you want to see reef fish but don’t want to get wet. Creole Travel has imported a mini-hydrofoil glass-bottomed boat to add a Jules Verne touch to its tours. One for aspiring mini-Cousteaus.
In numbers | Seychelles
5. You can hike and sail on the same day
You can now combine a leisurely hike on a coastal path in Morne Seychellois National Park with a catamaran cruise to the marine park at Baie Ternay. Snorkels provided, but don’t forget the sunscreen. Visit Masons Travel.
6. The views are ridiculous
In a good way. The tiny Treasure Cove hotel at Bel Ombre hides a terraced restaurant with one of the best views in the whole of the Seychelles. Ignore the kitsch illuminated outdoor sign and focus on the good-value Creole food and the amazing sunsets.
7. There’s an (affordable) new spa
The Boat House restaurant on Beau Vallon Bay is a local institution, and it has just opened a day spa next door. Friendly and affordable, it’s a mere stone’s throw from a stunning beach. 00248 424 7466.
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- Why the Seychelles are the most beautiful islands on Earth
8. … and a brilliant art gallery
Who needs Gauguin? Nobody captures tropical colour and light like Michael Adams, whose charming west coast home is the best art gallery in the Seychelles. He’s famously shy, but ask to meet him if he’s home.
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9. It hosts a hidden spice plantation
One of the last authentic plantation houses on Mahé sits in a hidden valley above Anse Royale. Run by the doughty Micheline Georges – Le Jardin du Roi a heavenly spot in which to sniff vanilla, nutmeg and cloves.
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10. You can play the mogul
Release your inner megalomaniac with a flight over the islands by luxury helicopter and pretend you’re en route to your own private island. Fluffy white cat, cigarette holder and glamorous companion not included.
11. … and marvel at the world’s largest seed
Coco de mer, from a type of palm tree, is the largest seed in the world and can weigh up to 44lb – and the Vallée de Mai, on Praslin island, is the place to find them. Walk among the whispering palms and spot giant geckoes and black parrots.
12. They have flying foxes
The Seychelles’ best free treat is watching giant fruit bats cruising above the forest at sunset. Choose the mysterious Silhouette Island if you have a thing for flying mammals. La Belle Tortue guesthouse is a gem.
13. It’s a honeymoon hit
It’s hard to beat the newly redesigned Denis Island (tip: say Denis the French way, like the Blondie hit, not as in Denis Thatcher), a 25-villa resort with fabulous organic food which is already a firm favourite with honeymooners.
14. With six-star hotels
Six Senses Zil Pasyon awards itself six stars – and we won’t quibble. The resort offers enormous pool villas, restaurant menus with an emphasis on sustainability, and easy access via a short boat ride from traffic-free La Digue. A proportion of the cost of your holiday goes towards habitat restoration, too.
Reviewed: The Six Senses Zil Pasyon