Anyone lucky enough to get to go to the Seychelles should count their blessings. This group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean is undeniably one of the world's most spectacular and idyllic destinations. Imagine the turquoise sea lapping up on endless stretches of powder-white sand while in the background sit lushly green hills and magnificent white boulders. And best of all, you'll probably have one of these beaches all to yourself. How do you decide which island to visit first? They're all deliriously stunning, but you'll probably head first to one of the three main ones: La Digue, Praslin, or Mahe. The interior of Mahe is entirely mountainous and a large part of it makes up Morne Seychellois National Park.
Because it's so dreamily scenic, the Seychelles are a honeymoon capital. Besides the sublime beaches, there are also jungle treks through the mountains where you're sure to spot interesting wildlife. The islands are also quickly becoming an important ecotourism destination with all their rare birds and giant tortoises, not to mention the surrounding colorful coral reef teeming with tropical fish in every color of the rainbow.
At one time, the Seychelles were too expensive for the ordinary traveler. Extravagant options still remain, but this paradise also has many new and affordable guesthouses, often located on some of the most stunning spots. Tourism commissions are now targeting not just millionaires but the rest of us, although getting to the far-flung islands in the first place remains expensive.
At top attraction is Morne Seychellois National Park. Although the scenically absurd coast of Mahe is the country's number one destination, you also have to explore the interior of Mahe to visit this green wooded park full of natural wonders. Densely forested mountains are replete with walking trails (bring a park map!) where you'll have a chance to see a huge variety not only of birds, but of habitats, everything from mangrove forests to the country's highest mountain, the Morne Seychellois. The best way to explore the park is with a guided tour since the excellent guides are nature interpreters who will answer all your ecological questions. Make sure you drive from Victoria over the mountains to Port Glaud. The drive goes right through the park and is simply heart-stopping in its views.
Another don't-miss destination is La Digue. This tropical haven appears in hundreds of advertisements and travel magazines and it's easy to see why. Think of aqua-blue water as far as the eye can see, bays and inlets full of hidden remote beaches, rolling hills covered in jungle vines and magnificent old trees. Many head to Anse Source d'Argent on the island's west coast for its beauty and its proximity to neighboring islands.
Air Seychelles operates flights from Paris, Rome, Milan, London, Chennai, Johannesburg, Singapore and Mauritius to Mahé, Seychelles and Praslin, Seychelles.