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Luxury Holidays to Seychelles
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Seychelles These 100-or-so Indian Ocean islands have a land area of just 175 square miles. It''s a deceptive statistic. The Seychelles'' appeal spans the broadest of spectrums. Here there are near-empty beaches of legendary magic. Granite mountains dressed in the lush greens of the tropics. Coral islands to suit every Crusoe. Colourful birdlife and exotic flora (like the unique Coco de Mer double coconut). Prestigious 5-star resorts and spas. Romantic desert-island sanctuaries. Friendly islanders whose exotic pedigree - like their delicious Creole cuisine - is a fusion of African, European and Asian influences. It''s this feature of the Seychelles - their sheer diversity - that we especially love. With a choice of a dozen islands to stay on, you can island-hop to your heart''s content. Prefer to stop the world and simply dream in the shade of a beachside palm? The Seychelles beckon . . .
Island AdventureThe most adrenalin-pumping activities on offer here are either in or on the sea. The iridescent Indian Ocean waters are yours to enjoy by means of well-organised watersports of every kind. You''re never far from a stunning beach to die for - or to dive from (diving, like all other watersports, is well catered for).
Nightlife & Party with LocalsOn Mahe most hotels have evening entertainment with local singers and bands. There are one or two local nightclubs in and around Victoria. Elsewhere entertainment tends to be low-key - even inaudible!
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining OutSeafood and curries loom large in Seychellois cuisine, both in hotel and local restaurants (there are about half a dozen of the latter on Mahe - Victoria''s Pirates Arms is the best-known). Enjoy the flavours but don''t expect ‘silver service''. Delicious Creole seafood and curries play their own memorable part in the Luxury holiday in Seychelles experience.
World Class Golf CoursesLemuria Resort on Praslin offers a stunning 18-hole championship course framed by 150 hectares of palm groves. This course was conceived to host a number of international competitions including the Mauritius Open.
World''s Best Scuba Dive SitesThe Seychelles have a number of dive centres and the sport is very popular, especially from the outlying islands. There are four marine national parks, and more than 150 species of tropical reef fish have been identified. Dolphin and porpoise are common between the islands.
Family Luxury Holidays in SeychellesChildren and the Seychelles are a natural combination. Kids will just love those beaches and warm reef-sheltered lagoon waters. Most larger hotels have children''s activities programmes. Some hotels and resorts offer babysitting services ensuring a fun Seychelles holiday experience for the entire family. The Seychelles is the perfect family holiday destination.
Events in Seychelles
The Seychelles events calendar centres primarily upon Mahé and is focused upon cultural and religious festivals and sporting (mostly fishing) competitions. Don''t expect too much hi-tech razzamataz - enjoy the informal island mood and join the fun!
FebruaryThe month of the Kavadi Thaipoosum Festival, when Seychellois Hindus carry milk in small pots, offering it to Lord Murugan (the warrior deity of the hills).
MarchThe middle of the month sees SUBIOS 2007 - an annual underwater film and image festival combining daytime diving and snorkelling activities with evening film, video and slide presentations by speakers from around the world. March also brings La Semaine de la Francophonie, a celebration of the Seychelles'' French connections.
AprilThe eyes of local fishing fans will be on the International Rotary Annual Fishing Tournament weekend (for both trolling and bottom fishing).
MayFetAfrik is a big May event here - is a multi-artistic festival that''s, a colourful and lively expression of the islands'' African and Creole culture.
JuneCoinciding with Seychelles National Day on 18th June is the Agricultural & Horticultural Show - a key 3-day event showcasing interesting displays and exhibits. The June Festival of Classical Music, a joint Seychelles-Kenya occasion feature professional musicians, choristers and soloists from several countries.
JulyThe Miss Regatta Beauty Pageant is a celebration of youth, fashion, design, music and beauty'' - and why not? The Seychelles Round Table Regatta is a 2-day funfair event held at Beau Vallon beach, with watersports events its focus.
AugustThis month sees the celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary - dedicated to the church of La Digue and highly popular with Seychellois from all islands, who flock to La Digue for the occasion.
SeptemberVinayagar Chadurthi is celebrated by Seychelles Hindu faithful to mark the anniversary of Lord Vinayagar, the Elephant God.
OctoberThere''s a Creole mood in the air at the end of October as the Festival Kreol kicks in - hear it in the music, feel it in the rhythm and taste it in the food. The Festival Kreol is the top event of the Seychelles cultural calendar, offering the visitor a week full of the colours, sounds, flavours and fragrances of this corner of the Creole world.
NovemberThe Hindu Deepavali festival signifies the advent of joy and happiness, when the goddess Lakshmi graces the shops and houses and showers her blessings upon her worshippers!
Sightseeing in Seychelles
Apart perhaps from Mahe Island, luxury holidays to the Seychelles are not really a destination that''s strong on sightseeing (only on Mahe and Praslin can you hire a car). The beach, the sea and relaxation are top of most visitors'' agendas - and each is a core feature of the islands'' special magic. Encircled by seas of the purest blue, these 100 or so islands lie scattered across the Indian Ocean. Some, of granite, rear dramatically from sea to sky, draped in rich vegetation and brilliant flowers of the tropics. Others are formed of coral, and rise just feet above the sea. Wherever you travel in the Seychelles lagoons and coral sand beaches are rarely far away. Enjoy a stress free luxury holiday in Seychelles, the holiday experience of a lifetime!
WHAT TO SEE DURING YOUR LUXURY HOLIDAY TO SEYCHELLES
MaheThe main island of Mahe is where you''ll find Victoria. It''s one of the world''s smallest capitals and easily explored on foot. Though it sports a tidy modern look, in some ways Victoria is not without charm, and the courthouse and post office appear untouched since colonial times. The delightful National Botanical Gardens and weekday local market repay investigation - as do the interesting Natural History and National History Museums. Look out, too, for the replica of London''s Vauxhall Bridge Clock Tower! Explore the island and discover the superb national park scenery around the Morne Seychellois central peak. Among the 60 or so palm-fringed beaches, the mile-long sands encircling Beau Vallon Bay in the north are Mahe''s most popular resort area - while in the south you can slip into castaway mode on largely deserted beaches. Jardin du Roi, a restored working plantation and spice garden, is well worth a visit. As everywhere in the Seychelles, watersports head most Mahe visitors'' to do'' list. The snorkelling is especially good in the Ste Anne National Marine Park to which non-snorkellers can enjoy glass-bottom boat trips. There are also several dive centres around the island (see also the At a Glance section for more information on scuba-diving). If nature walks and trails take your fancy then the Morne Seychellois National Park is a ''must'' - the summit views are spectacular. The more ambitious can opt for a helicopter tour for a real bird''s eye-view. Shopping in this Victoria can''t compare with Bond Street, but handicrafts and works by Seychellois artists are popular buys at local galleries. Most hotels present evening entertainment by local singers and bands - and there are bars and even one or two nightclubs in and around Victoria for those who want to go straight from the dance floor to the beach next morning! Two hotel casinos offer you the chance to dice with Lady Luck! Praslin On Praslin you won''t find any towns or man-made ''sights'', its natural attractions and well-organised watersports more than compensate. On Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette you are enjoying beaches that feature regularly in lists of the world''s Top 10, while the beautiful Vallee de Mai is like nowhere else on the planet. Cycling here is always great fun - and golfers will be bewitched by the superb 18-hole, par 70 course at Lemuria Resort. You may find a little informal entertainment at your hotel - and watching those sunsets can be quite demanding!
Ste Anne National Marine ParkEasily accessed from Mahe, this encompasses the six islands of Ste Anne, Cerf, Round, Moyenne, Beacon and Long Island (three of which have restaurants), and its clear waters and protected coral reefs offer perfect snorkelling.
PraslinOn Praslin, the second-largest island, head for the world-famous Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose prehistoric Eden-like forest is home to the unique double-nutted coco-de-mer palm tree - and the elusive Seychelles black parrot. Among Praslin''s loveliest beaches is Anse Lazio in the far north (buses will take you around all the beaches from Grand Anse).
La DigueThe rare black paradise flycatcher has chosen to make its home on this idyllic island. Who would not? Hire a bicycle and explore the lanes and tracks amid coconut and vanilla plantations, spot gracious old plantation houses like Château Saint-Cloud- and some of the most stunning beaches in the islands.If your idea of a luxury holiday to Seychelles is doing virtually nothing apart from snoozing, swimming, snorkelling, fishing, some gentle cycling, pottering around the odd craft shop, fish market or nature reserve, maybe even a little relaxing bird-watching - then La Digue is for you.
Other IslandsThe sea and water-related activities are what bring most visitors to the smaller Seychelles islands. Desroches is especially noted for its scuba-diving, as is Denis (also a favourite for seasonal deep-sea fishing). Bird Island is another popular choice with fishermen, and Alphonse is a leading fly-fishing venue.
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