Dendy Walwyn knows more about the idyllic Seychelles than most. We spoke to her about this paradise on Earth.
For those who’ve yet to visit, would you give us an overview of Seychelles?
It’s simply one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are 115 little islands that are mostly 1000 miles from anywhere, with a tiny population (91,000 at the last count) and an astonishing number of unique animal and plant species only found in the Seychelles.
More than 30 years ago when I first went to Seychelles it felt as if I had landed in the Garden of Eden and, even today, flying into the main island of Mahe and looking at the little islands below me, dotted in the turquoise Indian Ocean waters, it feels like I am dropping into another world.
With so many gorgeous islands to visit, how should first-timers prioritise which to visit and/or stay on for their first trip?
Mahe is the largest island, so there are more choices for where to stay. It’s home to the bustling (although small) capital of Victoria and there’s lots happening here. If people do spend their holiday on Mahe, we find that many of them go on day trips to Praslin and La Digue, and find out how easy it is to island hop!
Praslin is smaller and more relaxed. It’s also a great hopping point to visit other nearby islands on day trips — such as La Digue, Curieuse, Cousin or Aride.
Silhouette Island is a scenically dramatic island with few inhabitant. It’s more of a get-away-from-it-all sort of place but with all the advantages of a resort too — the Hilton Labriz.
For those travelling with children, Constance Ephelia (on Mahe) is one of the best choices — especially with teenagers — as there’s lots to do, from zip-lining to abseiling to kayaking and a whole host of other activities. Little ones are happy pretty much anywhere in Seychelles with a bucket and spade, sandy beach and with the ocean the temperature of a warm bath.
How easy is it to island hop around the Seychelles?
It’s very easy to island hop around the Seychelles. You either hop by light aircraft and fly between the islands, travel by sea aboard a boat or charter a helicopter. Any way you choose, you'll have short travel times to make the most of your time on the islands. For example, between Mahe and Praslin is a 20-minute flight or one hour by sea aboard Cat Cocos (the high speed catamaran that travels between Mahe, Praslin and La Digue).
Where, in your opinion, are the best spots in the Seychelles for experiencing ultimate luxury and relaxation?
Sitting on the wooden deck in one of the villas at the Four Seasons, set high on the hillside watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean. Being pampered in one of the open air treatment rooms at Banyan Tree’s spa with the sound of the waves in the background. Even just lying on your back, star-gazing at night almost anywhere in Seychelles as there’s so little light pollution.
If the Seychelles were a person, how would you describe them?
Warm, loving and beautiful.