Asia Family Traveller

Seychelles

Chasing the picture postcard holiday

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There has never been a time when we’ve been more ready for a beach break. The dream of an icing sugar beach and a swaying palm has been a mirage in a never-ending desert of lockdowns, quarantine and social distancing. But the dream is now there for the taking. The stunning Seychelles has been sitting in splendid isolation in the Indian Ocean while the pandemic has raged and following a successful vaccine roll-out, the tiny population of just 100,000 is now ready to - safely - welcome back holidaymak­ers.

Often synonymous with honeymoone­rs, the islands are also perfect for a family break. Think friendly locals, soft sand, crystal clear seas, plenty of resorts with kids clubs and heaps of fresh air activities to burn off all that pent up lockdown energy.

Intact nature, pristine beaches and a unique biodiversi­ty make it a fascinatin­g holiday destinatio­n. If you’re looking for somewhere that will boost your feelings of wellness, Seychelles should be at the top of your list.

Family holidays are enhanced by hotels offering heaps for littlies, including fun activities and kids’ clubs. In addition many resorts are within an easy walk from an idyllic beach.

Depending on the time of year that you’re visiting, a stay can include conservati­on activities, such as returning sea turtles to the ocean. The country indeed fosters a strong conservati­on culture, with more than half of the landmass protected. Beaches are clean and quiet and the Seychelles has never promoted mass tourism.

There is no ‘best time of year to go’ as the country benefits from warm summer temperatur­es all year round. Between May and September the south-east trade winds provide a refreshing breeze on the beaches and if you’re looking to dive, the best visibility is in April and May or the last three months of the year.

As an island nation with a tiny population, Seychelles has been able to contain the effects of Covid-19. The government has navigated a canny course through the pandemic and is now inviting holidaymak­ers back to its sandy shores needing nothing more than a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.

The Ministry of Health and tourism stakeholde­rs have worked closely to ensure that health and safety protocols are tight and properly rolled out. All hotels and resorts have a set of regulation­s that they must adhere to. Many have also set out their own hygiene protocols, so check what will be expected of you before you book.

Because Seychelles has now achieved herd immunity (scientists believe around 70% of a resident population needs to have been vaccinated to achieve this) it believes itself safe from the pandemic, as long as visitors enter properly tested.

There is no quarantine regulation or restrictio­n on movement and no minimum stay requiremen­t. However, visitors must abide by certain public health measures, including wearing a face mask, social distancing and regular hand washing.

Holidaymak­ers will have access to all communal areas of their hotel or resort, including pools, spas and kids’ clubs.

The reopening announceme­nt was made by Sylvestre Radegonde, minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, at a joint press briefing with Seychelles Tourism Board earlier this year.

“The vaccinatio­n campaign has been quite successful,” said Radegonde. “The government has done everything in its power to make sure the population is protected. We have now arrived at a point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery.”

He added that the new measures announced “reflect broadly the recommenda­tion of our tourism partners and have been done in full consultati­on with and the endorsemen­t of our health authoritie­s.”

The Seychelles said it will continuous­ly review the new measures to ensure the health and safety of its residents and visitors are not compromise­d.

THINK FRIENDLY LOCALS, SOFT SAND, CRYSTAL CLEAR SEAS, PLENTY OF RESORTS WITH KIDS CLUBS AND HEAPS OF FRESH AIR ACTIVITIES TO BURN OFF ALL THAT PENT UP LOCKDOWN ENERGY

THERE IS NO BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT, THE SEYCHELLES ARE WARM AND BEACH-FRIENDLY ALL YEAR ROUND

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 ??  ?? Children holding the Seychelles' famous 'coco de mer', the largest seed in the plant kingdom
Children holding the Seychelles' famous 'coco de mer', the largest seed in the plant kingdom
 ??  ?? Clockwise from top left - Anse Lazio beach; hiking in the Vallé de Mai Nature Reserve; overlookin­g the west coast at Morne
Seychelles National Park
Clockwise from top left - Anse Lazio beach; hiking in the Vallé de Mai Nature Reserve; overlookin­g the west coast at Morne Seychelles National Park
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