Whilst we cannot physically transport you to our destinations themselves at present, we would like to offer you a little virtual escapism. We do hope that they will be a welcome distraction as we sit out these extraordinary times, and act as an inspiration for your next adventure.
In our eighth Isolation Escape we invite you to island hop through The Seychelles, a cluster of 115 coral and granitic islands, off the east coast of Africa. Truly epitomising the expression ‘tropical island paradise’; pristine soft white sands on coconut fringed beaches lie adjacent to the brilliant underwater shapes and colourful reefs, while above them rise rolling peaks shrouded in verdant mountaintop forests, supporting an exceptional biodiversity.
Landing in Mahe, perhaps hopping straight over to Praslin, new arrivals are instantly rewarded with the promised scenes of white-sand beaches lapped by the Azure waters of the Indian Ocean. It is inland however, that we like to focus our time here, hiking through rainforests, or discovering the eclectic creole culture in the republic’s capital, Victoria, known for its colourful, bustling market and striking local architecture. Praslin’s rugged, jungle-covered interior is home to Praslin National Park, which encompasses Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising a well-preserved palm forest, showcasing Praslin’s endemic, cheeky coco de mer, as well as five other palms unique to the island.
A short hop from the Seychelles principal islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, the 43 inner islands set on the shallow Seychelles Bank, are the world’s only oceanic islands of granitic composition. Secluded, private islets are home to exclusive villa resorts, boasting dramatic rocky outcrops, set within a treasure trove of extraordinary flora, encircled by blinding white beaches. Beyond the land, the crystal-clear waters teem with a colourful medley of marine life including turtles, eagle rays and parrot fish, decorating pretty coral reefs and eerie underwater caverns.
Beyond the Seychelles Plateau, 230–1,150 kilometres (140–710 mi) from Mahé, the comparatively flat corraline atolls of the Outer Islands are characterised by elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. More often than not, the low-lying reefs form atolls around a central lagoon, punctuated by sandy emerald islets. Beautifully combined with a stay on the inner islands, the Alphonse group is particularly notorious for providing some of the most desirable saltwater fly-fishing in the world thanks to its vast hard white-sand flats and a coral perimeter reef, housing sixty different species of fish, including Bonefish, Milkfish and Giant Trevally for which it is has obtained its almost fabled reputation amongst saltwater anglers.
Our final and perhaps most breath-taking stop on our journey through the Seychelles brings us to Aldabra Group, lying in the southwest of the island nation, 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the capital, Victoria, on Mahé. Now accessible to a few lucky visitors, Cosmoledo and Astove Atolls are home to an untouched paradise with an abundance of fauna and flora and a playground of awe-inspiring marine life and exotic seabirds. With minimal human pressure on its environment over the years, the encounters available are proof of how remote and preserved this magnificent atoll is. Home to approximately 150,000 giant tortoises, flocks of migratory birds, flying in and out in their thousands, nesting hawksbill and green turtles, 320 species of corals and over 1,000 species of fish, as well as the the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Aldabra Atoll, this group of islands redefines exclusive opportunities within an unparalleled, untouched biodiversity.
If you’d like to start planning a holiday to the Seychelles while waiting for this storm to pass, please drop us a line and we’ll be delighted to send you further information on this pure and exotic paradise.