Among the 115
islands of the Seychelles you will find the luxuriant, tropical paradise that
appears in countless advertisements and glossy travel brochures. But however
seductive the images, they simply can't compete with the real-life dazzling
beaches and crystal-clear waters.
There are more
shades of blue and green in the Seychelles than it is possible to imagine.
Forming a backdrop to the relaxed tropical image of the Seychelles are the
rhythms, colors and flavors of Africa and gris gris, the local brand of
Aldabra is one of the world's largest raised coral
atolls, stretching 34km (21mi) east to west and
enclosing a huge tidal lagoon, which is home to
tiger sharks, manta rays and thousands of seabirds.
Aldabra is also the original habitat of the giant
The only people who live on Aldabra are scientists.
Anyone wishing to visit must first get written
permission from the Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF),
based in Victoria, which manages the island. There
is accommodation for about eight visitors. The
nearest airport is on Assumption Island, about 27km
(17mi) south of Aldabra. From there, the Indian
Ocean Explorer runs one-week cruises round the
The best beach on Praslin - in fact, one of the best in the country - is Anse
Lazio, in the far north of the island. The beach has glorious white, soft sand,
a few rounded granite boulders and a lively line-up of waves. The water is a
magical turquoise color.
There's also a sheltered area with great snorkeling at the end of the beach.
There's even a terrific restaurant at the end of the beach road. The beaches
east of Lazio are protected by a reef, which makes the water like a giant bath -
it's shallow, warm and safe.