The Seychelles: travels to an idyllic archipelago | PONANT Magazine

Set a course for the Garden of Eden

If you’re looking for the keys to paradise, you are certain to find them in the Seychelles. White sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, powerful and preserved nature, unusual fauna, and more besides. Located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa, this archipelago deploys its generous beauty across islands of granite or coral. An Eden-like wonderland.

Isle see you there…

The Seychelles archipelago, is a chain of 115 islands of varying sizes located to the northeast of Madagascar, just below the Equator. 115 natural and wild lands scattered like confetti, capped with palm trees and surrounded by some of the most beautiful turquoise waters in the world. There are endless opportunities to mix and match pleasures both great and small – from leisure to adventure, relaxing to experiencing nature.

From Mahé and its queen Victoria, capital of the archipelago, right up to Praslin and La Digue, via Curieuse Island and the Aldabra Atoll, each island has its treasures. Sail from one surprise to another, enjoying the incredible feeling of setting foot on an unexplored land full of adventures each time you dock.

Land and sea in harmony

The Seychelles archipelago offers a wonderful natural dialogue between the land and the sea, between a vast array of colours, shapes and textures
When it comes to the land, admire these islands of mysterious beauty where granite ridges break through imposing tropical forests. On Praslin, the Vallée de Mai is an incredible prehistoric plant sanctuary, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There, the gigantic but fragile sea coconut reigns supreme – the archipelago’s endemic palm tree with its “indecent” fruit, the “butt nut”. With impressive measurements, weighing between 20 and 45kg and measuring around 50cm across, it’s the largest fruit in the plant kingdom. An appropriate national symbol: the butt nut proudly features on entry visas and on the coat of arms of Seychelles.

When it comes to the sea, every beach is more extraordinary than the last. We have, perhaps, a little soft spot for Anse Lazio, on Praslin, and Anse Source d’Argent, on the authentic island of La Digue. Its thousand-year-old granite silhouettes anchored in its white sand make it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

 

Animal kingdom

Its abundant nature is matched by exceptional fauna. Whether on land or underwater, the fauna of the Seychelles is quite simply unique. It is worth remembering that half of the archipelago’s territory has national park status. Thus the Aride island nature reserve, a sort of ornithological El Dorado, is in itself home to thousands of birds including around 30 rare species. As for the giant tortoise (which can grow to 1.2m long and weigh 300kg, and live, it is believed, for 150 years), larger even than its relative in the Galapagos, it has chosen to live in the very south of the archipelago, on the wild islands of Aldabra. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this is the largest (emerged) coral atoll in the world.

Finally, don’t forget to dip your head underwater, because the view there is just as astonishing, whether in the heart of the coral reef of the Alphonse lagoon, or in the Sainte-Anne island marine national park, a veritable giant aquarium whose shallow waters cover 1,400 hectares. There is a whole host of ideal spots for enthusiasts of snorkelling, scuba diving and all other forms of underwater sports, offering opportunities to see angelfish, parrotfish and manta rays, amongst other species.

Setting sail for the Seychelles, means departing for a fantastic natural treasure hunt. The promise of experiencing an incredible adventure, a waking dream where the reality often surpasses the imagination.


Get away to the Seychelles

Snorkelling, giant tortoises, Aldabra Atoll, idyllic beaches… Sail to the Seychelles with PONANT.

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