For those looking to “get away from it all,” the Seychelles may be the perfect get-away. After all, the most important feature of the Seychelles is their isolation. This 115-island archipelago is located about a thousand miles off the eastern coast of Africa, smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The islands are scattered over 150,000 square miles (400,000 sq km) of the Indian Ocean and range from granite rock islands with lush vegetation to coral atolls that barely rise out of the sea.

This geographical isolation has manifested itself in nearly every aspect of life here. The Seychelles history, for example, has been relatively tame, as the islands were uninhabited until modern times. Though the French and English maintained colonial control until 1976, there was no bloody revolutionary to speak of. This geographical isolation has also had ecological consequences, as much of the Seychelles flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Most visitors are drawn to the scintillating beaches and turquoise waters that dot the sea like an exquisite pearl necklace. The coral atolls are home to giant lagoons chock full of marine wildlife.

Aldabra—a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to over 150,0000 giant land tortoises—happens to be the second largest atoll in the entire world. Aldabra has been billed as one of the wonders of the world by prominent naturalists due to its pristine coral reef ecosystems and is still protected from full-scale tourism. Mahé, home to the international airport, the capital city and a vast majority of the country’s inhabitants, is surrounded by coral reefs, making its powdery white sandy beaches optimal for a dream island vacation.

Nearby St. Anne National Park, a short boat-ride away, is one of the best places in the Indian Ocean to view marine life. Terrestrial fans will want to visit Praslin, which is home to Vallée de Mai, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This tropical forest is the best place to check out the coco de mer, which is the famous palm that yields the world’s biggest fruit (and one of the most interestingly shaped ones at that).

Desroches, the main island in the Almirantes Group, is renowned for its scuba diving. Other islands are even more off-the-beaten-track, such as La Digue: with ox-carts dominating the streets and an easy-going spirit, visiting La Digue is like taking a trip back in time. These islands are also a favored destination of migratory birds who travel thousands of miles to frequent these spectacular islands. Drawn to the idyllic surroundings and ideal weather, they also endure punishing long flights, except they don’t pay for airfare. With nearly half of the country’s land preserved as natural parks, the Seychelles are an ecologists dream.

Nearby St. Anne National Park, a short boat-ride away, is one of the best places in the Indian Ocean to view marine life. Terrestrial fans will want to visit Praslin, which is home to Vallée de Mai, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This tropical forest is the best place to check out the coco de mer, which is the famous palm that yields the world’s biggest fruit (and one of the most interestingly shaped ones at that).

Desroches, the main island in the Almirantes Group, is renowned for its scuba diving. Other islands are even more off-the-beaten-track, such as La Digue: with ox-carts dominating the streets and an easy-going spirit, visiting La Digue is like taking a trip back in time. These islands are also a favored destination of migratory birds who travel thousands of miles to frequent these spectacular islands. Drawn to the idyllic surroundings and ideal weather, they also endure punishing long flights, except they don’t pay for airfare. With nearly half of the country’s land preserved as natural parks, the Seychelles are an ecologists dream.

Attractions

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Vallée de Mai

Located on the quintessentially tropical island of Praslin, this virgin forest was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for good reason. This park is the best place to ogle at the coco de mer palm, which produces the largest fruit in the world and vanilla orchids. Some of the Seychelles rarest birds are also found here such as the Seychelles Bulbul and the endemic Black Parrot. This valley was once thought to be the Garden of Eden by early explorers and it will sure make you wonder.

La Digue

La Digue

This quaint little island, is renowned for its stunning beaches, made famous in a number of advertisements and swimsuit shoots. The array of deserted beaches, each seemingly more beautiful than the next, is stunning. Visitors are specially attracted to Anse Source d’Argent considered one of the most beautiful and unique beaches in the world or the exquisite shores of L’Union Estate.

Morre Seychellois National Park

Morre Seychellois National Park

On the largest island of Mahé lies the impressive mountain range that is home to this national park. The peak is the highest in the country, offering exquisite views of the sea beyond. Enjoy a day hike into the lush forest, with breaks along the way to appreciate the visually-vivacious vistas.

St Anne Marine National Park

St Anne Marine National Park

There aren’t many “parks” that are made up of six islands, but this is indeed the case here. With boat trips departing from Victoria Harbor, this park is one of the Seychelles most easily accessible and is a great place to see where the Hawksbill turtles nest. The calm clear waters and well-endowed coral reefs make for super snorkeling conditions.

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Bicentennial Monument
Found at the junction between Independence Avenue and 5th June Avenue in Victoria, the bicentennial monument was inaugurated in 1978 and erected to celebrate 200 years of settlement on the island by Charles Routier de Romainville. It represents the three elements of Seychelles society: Europe, Africa, Asia.

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 Granite BoulderLa Digue

 This natural wonder forms part of L’Union Estate and is classified as a National Monument. Covering an acre of land at Anse L’Union on the west coast of the island of La Digue, it is by any standards an impressive monolith.

The granite boulder was formed during the Precambrian, around 750 million years ago, by the slow cooling of molten rocks (magma) deep within the earth’s crust which gave it its especially large crystals.

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