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Seychelles: Paradise Encapsulated

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SeychellesWith refreshingly beautiful beaches not overrun by excessive numbers of tourists and beach umbrellas, Seychelles has developed quite the reputation as an exotic destination for many well-to-do Europeans looking to escape the typical beaches of Saint Tropez, Nice, or Marbella. So, those of us with lighter wallets will have to stick to Varadero.

The Republic of Seychelles was named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, the Minister of Finance for Louis XV. It is comprised of a grouping of 115 islands, less known than its nearby neighbouring islands: Mauritius, the Maldives, Zanzibar and Réunion. It is located to the east of the African continent, east of Kenya and northeast of Madagascar.

The first thing you’ll notice when visiting Seychelles and its main island of Mahé, is the stage that has been set by its diverse historical influence. With a mix of colonial relics, modern art and architecture, and mixed French, Creole, pan-African, Indian, and Arcadian cultural and musical influences, the rhythm and flow of Seychelles is anything but dull or simplified. Its main languages today are Creole, French, and English.

Seychelle’s many islands make it the perfect spot for romantic and secluded island getaways for honeymoons and romantic adventures. There are many chartered companies that can take you back and forth between the islands. Its blue waters also make it a great spot for water activities and sports. Sailing, fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming, and surfing are many of the popular offered activities by various hotels, resorts and independent companies.

Although Seychelles is not the kindest destination for backpackers or those with a tight budget–its magnificence, untouched beaches and clear blue waters–is something that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. It’s been said that one can write about the stunning beauty that envelops every part of Seychelles, but like all things endowed with beauty, words are never sufficient and often don’t do them justice.

Photo courtesy of Olivier Cochard-Labbé