Essex Central Magazine - August 2018 - Issue 57

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THE SENSATIONAL

6J>BIH=J?F@D>H;J>ICGDEHGDFE HE>J?FEI;=FFEJ3H,FABDGI8JG?I 4I;:?I@@ICJ5FHCGCJH:?DE9@; 5IHAGD3A@JC:IEIB;8JCA5@D=I 5IH:?ICJHE>JA@GBH%I :@ACD,I BICFBGC/J Located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa, the Seychelles is an enviable archipelago of 115 islands, 42 granite and 73 coral, and these remote idylls are a haven for rare fauna, birdlife and marine life. Unsurprisingly, high-end travellers are attracted to a selection of luxurious hotels and resorts overflowing with exceptional facilities. Of course, the remote location and exclusive privacy is all very much part of the eternal attraction. Adventurous travellers may wish to island hop, or perhaps combine the Seychelles with a safari in South, or East Africa for the ultimate honeymoon finale or dream family escape. Beyond the famously blissful beaches, this ‘Original Garden of Eden’ more than lives up to its sensational reputation. Crystal-clear turquoise waters and outstanding marine attractions make it an enviable location for world-class diving and snorkelling.

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With attractive year-round temperatures (approximately 2430°C), warm ocean temperatures and enticing sunshine, the period between May and October is generally considered to be the best time to travel. Whilst keen sailors and windsurfers should aim for this travel window, divers and those wishing to go snorkelling may wish to consider visiting during the months of April and May, or October to November, as these provide the best times for underwater visibility. Whilst the most famous Seychelles beach may be Anse Source d’Argent Beach, on La Digue, the picturesque Anse Lazio located on Praslin consistently ranks in the top ten beaches of the world. The incredible scenery, imposing palms and accessibility make it ideal for swimming and snorkelling — the water is fairly deep — and there is usually a lifeguard present during high season.

Whilst the tropical Indian Ocean is home to a diverse collection of marine-life and vibrant coral reefs, the nature reserves are home to giant Aldabra Tortoises and impressive flora and fauna. The colourful vegetation makes it a veritable treasure trove for plant-lovers, with hikers able to venture into the dense green foliage to see exotic flowers such as wild vanilla and endemic plant species. Highlights include redwood and ironwood trees and, of course, the unique natural phenomenon of the Coco de Mer — the most famous of the Seychelle’s six endemic plant species. Possessing the largest seed of any plant in the world, this tree is endemic to Praslin and Curieuse only.