Sey­chelles

Asia Dreams - - LUXURY ISLANDS GETAWAYS: BALI -

Aplay­ground for the rich and the fa­mous, Sey­chelles is a breath­tak­ing ar­chi­pel­ago con­sist­ing of 115 is­lands. Un­touched by man for most of its his­tory, the is­land na­tion boasts stretches of un­spoiled beaches, forests teem­ing with frol­ick­ing wildlife and clear sparkling wa­ters filled with vi­brant com­mu­ni­ties of aquatic play­mates.

The is­lands of the Sey­chelles are di­verse and rich in their own ways, with gran­ite is­lands, co­ral sand cays and co­ral is­lands. The va­ri­ety of ter­rains and the sur­real beauty of the Sey­chelles make it a par­adise for hik­ers and divers alike.

Since open­ing its in­ter­na­tional air­port in the 1970s, the Sey­chelles has wel­comed tourists from all over the world to mar­vel at its bounty of nat­u­ral at­trac­tions. With azure skies, pris­tine wa­ters and heart­break­ing sun­sets, it's clear why the Sey­chelles is a world-fa­mous hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

stay

Trav­ellers look­ing for ac­com­mo­da­tion in the Sey­chelles will be spoiled for choice with the va­ri­ety of op­tions. For an un­for­get­table stay ex­pe­ri­ence, Le Chateau De Feuilles ranks highly on ev­ery trav­eller's wish list. Sur­rounded by ex­quis­ite beaches, the ho­tel of­fers un­matched 180 to 300-de­gree views of the stun­ning seascape. The post­card­per­fect Anse Marie-louise Beach is con­ve­niently close by for visi­tors look­ing to en­joy wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties.

For a unique trop­i­cal take on lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion, look no fur­ther than Four Sea­sons Re­sort Sey­chelles. Set in a lush nat­u­ral jun­gle set­ting, Four Sea­sons of­fers guests a range of ex­clu­sive tree­house vil­las over­look­ing the turquoise wa­ters of the In­dian Ocean lap­ping gen­tly at the pris­tine white-sand beaches. Each villa comes with a pri­vate in­fin­ity pool for guests to en­joy the pic­turesque set­ting. A range of ameni­ties is avail­able in­clud­ing pri­vate yoga classes, 24-hour in-villa din­ing, in-villa spa treat­ments and ac­tiv­i­ties such as co­ral reef restora­tion. Visi­tors look­ing for an au­then­tic lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ence can look to the range of bou­tique vil­las and fam­ily-run guest­houses that are avail­able. A stay with the lo­cals is an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, with friendly hosts known to give guests an im­promptu tour of lo­cal sights, del­i­ca­cies and cus­toms, end­ing with a pit stop at a lo­cal drink­ing hole, re­gal­ing guests with colour­ful po­lit­i­cal opin­ions and a long-winded his­tory of the Sey­chelles.

see

The Sey­chelles' wealth of nat­u­ral beauty is in­cred­i­ble. Ex­pect swathes of ver­dant for­est and green rolling hills, beaches with per­fect white sand and pris­tine wa­ters and colour­ful co­ral reefs in which trop­i­cal fish swim freely.

The strat­i­fied en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions on the 115 is­lands have given rise to a won­der­ful va­ri­ety of ex­otic flora and fauna. Visi­tors can find sea turtles nesting on the pearles­cent sands of the is­lands' beaches, spot Aldabra tor­toises laz­ing in the shade of coco de mer palms (nick­named the love nut for the unique dou­ble co­conut shape), chase in­dige­nous fresh­wa­ter crab in the sea­side shal­lows or try their luck find­ing the elu­sive black par­adise fly­catcher in La Digue.

Brew afi­ciona­dos can make their way to Taka­maka Bay dis­tillery and learn the his­tory be­hind the is­lands' most re­garded dis­tillery and its fas­ci­nat­ing rum-mak­ing process. Visi­tors are highly en­cour­aged to pick up a bot­tle or two of the beau­ti­ful elixir, and pos­si­bly stay for din­ner at the dis­tillery's ca­sual bar-restau­rant.

din­ing

For tourists a lit­tle peck­ish af­ter all the hik­ing, snorkelling and sight­see­ing, the Sey­chelles of­fers a myr­iad of culi­nary de­lights to choose from, from fine-din­ing restau­rants at the is­lands' re­sorts to warm tav­erns by the sea serv­ing cul­tural epi­curean de­lights.

Sur­rounded on all sides by the sea, the cui­sine of the Sey­chelles in­cor­po­rates plenty of seafood, freshly caught and pre­pared on the very same day. Visit Vic­to­ria Mar­ket for a truly lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, with fish­mon­gers ca­jol­ing visi­tors with a mind-bog­gling va­ri­ety of seafood, from bar­racu­das and monk­fish to oc­to­pus. The lo­cals usu­ally sim­ply grill seafood over a char­coal fire, sea­soned gen­er­ously with gar­lic, ginger and chilli and served with pip­ing hot white rice. Ad­ven­tur­ous visi­tors should try the shark chut­ney. A uniquely Sey­chelles dish, a shark is skinned, boiled and finely mashed be­fore be­ing cooked with blimbi juice and lime, fin­ished with fried onion and spices. An­other lo­cal sta­ple for Sey­chel­lois is the ba­nana. Sey­chelles is home to more than 20 dif­fer­ent ba­nana species, from small sweet ba­nanas to giant plan­tains. Fried with sugar and but­ter, baked with co­conut milk and sugar or flam­béed with rum or brandy, the lo­cals are crazy over their ba­nanas! An in­dige­nous fruit that visi­tors should try is the bread­fruit. A re­mark­ably ver­sa­tile in­gre­di­ent, it can be boiled, baked or deep fried. Try the tra­di­tional way of eat­ing it – bake the whole fruit over char­coal fire, crack it open to re­veal the tan­ta­lis­ing steamy white flesh, sea­son with lard and salt and dig in.

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