Aspirational travel is back on the cards for UK travellers and there’s no better place to aspire to than the Seychelles
Long a magnet for weddings, honeymoons and romantic breaks, the Indian Ocean hotspot ticks the winter sun and active family holiday boxes too, with excellent island hopping to be had amid its 115 islands, especially among the ‘Inner Islands’ such as Praslin, Mahé and La Digue.
Plus, having begun its vaccination programme back in January 2021, the Seychelles offers a safe haven from the ongoing Covid pandemic, with digital nomads attracted by the Workcation Retreat Programme.
Here are five very good reasons to head to the tropical paradise in 2022.
Loll on idyllic beaches
Let’s face it, the dreamy beaches provide the initial attraction for many. Images of forest-flanked, bone-white sands accented by smooth granite boulders and caressed by gentle turquoise waters are etched into travellers’ minds, gracing many a luxury travel brochure or magazine.
Stunning sandy stretches as Anse Georgette, on Praslin, or Petite Anse, on Mahé, offer picture-perfect romantic backdrops, while La Digue scores big with the delightfully secluded Anse Cocos and the boulder-backed dream that is Anse Source D’Argent.
Relax in the lap of luxury
Exclusivity and high-end service are Seychellois hallmarks, ensuring the islands top the wishlists of many a honeymooner or loved-up couple, with North Island having been the choice of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Five-star offerings of international hotel brands such as Raffles, Hilton and Four Seasons rub shoulders with private island resorts such as Denis Island, Six Senses Felicite and Fregate Island Private.
Yet trips needn’t break the bank. Affordable options on the main islands include beach chalets/bungalows on Praslin’s Cote D’or beach, perfect for those on a budget, while the Seychelles Secrets programme governs the sustainable self-catering proposition.
Enjoy active options aplenty
The calm Indian Ocean waters deliver excellent kayaking, snorkelling and sailing, with new entrant L’Escale Resort, on Mahé, even featuring a superyacht marina. Surfers will appreciate the wilder waters off Anse Intendance, in southern Mahé, while the excellent visibility and biodiverse marine life beneath the waves makes for world-class diving.
Top picks for active couples and families include Club Med Seychelles, on Saint Anne, and Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa. Set on its own island, Silhouette, the latter offers everything from a dive centre and kayaking to tennis courts and an excellent Kids Club.
Silhouette’s Grand Barbe Trail is also one of the best bets for hikers, another being Salazie Nature Trail, on Mahé.
Discover natural wonders
Some of the Seychelles’ most iconic features stem from its rich flora and fauna. One is the towering coco de mer palms that flavour forest hikes in Praslin’s Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. Another is the giant tortoises which thrive in the outlying Aldabra Archipelago – and enthral visitors at the Botanical Gardens in the capital, Victoria.
Birdlife is another strength, their conservation having long been a local preoccupation. Indeed, sustainable practices underpin the business models of local operators such as Cosmoledo Eco Camp on Wizard Island, the solar-powered Alphonse Island, and the conservation-minded Denis Island, while the nation itself sits within an extensive marine biosphere reserve.