If you're looking to truly escape far, far away on a tropical island getaway, the Seychelles may be just the paradise you've been searching for. I know that after ogling photos of its palm-fringed beaches and spectacular ocean scenery, this remote island archipelago has found a place on my "Island Dreaming" list. (I like that term better than bucket list. Who really wants to think about "kicking the bucket" when you're contemplating a fabulous island vacation?) Despite their beauty and popularity with certain travelers -- especially folks coming from Europe -- we Island Runaways know little about them. So, without further ado, here are a few fast facts I have unearthed about a part of the world looks simply enchanting.
(Anse Marron on La Digue. Photo by Jean-Marie Hullot, Flickr.)
Fact ONE: The Seychelles archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. To give you some perspective on how remote it is, consider the fact that it is 994 miles east of Kenya. Although it may be almost a thousand miles off Africa's coast, the Seychelles nation is considered an African country, albeit a very multi-ethnic one, and is a member of the African Union.
(Beau Vallon Beach on Mahé island in the Seychelles. Photo by David Stanley, Flickr.)
Fact TWO: The Seychelles consist of not two, not five, but one hundred and fifteen islands! That's a lot of gorgeousness to explore. Forty-five of those are granite-based islands; many others are coral islands.
(The perfect tropical island getaway. Photo by Olivier Cochard-Labbé, Flickr.)
Fact THREE: Mahé is the largest island of the archipelago, and has a population of about 78,000 people. Travelers visiting the Seychelles usually touch down in Mahé, which is home to the Seychelles International Airport. Its capital -- and the capital of the entire country -- is called Victoria.
(Clock tower in Victoria. Photo by David Stanley, Flickr.)
Fact FOUR: One of the most beloved islands of the archipelago is La Digue. Tourists adore its white sand beaches, gin clear ocean waters, and authentic environment. Both professional and amateur photographs love to shoot La Digue's beach Anse Source d'Argent, which interestingly enough means "source (or spring) of money."
(Grande Soeur, a small island near La Digue. Photo by Jean-Marie Hullot, Flickr.)
Fact FIVE: While you'll find amazing natural wonders under the sea, the Seychelles also are home to incredible land-based nature that shouldn't be missed. With 1000 species of flowering plants, more than 220 species of birds, as well as reptiles (including the largest land tortoise on earth) these islands brim with beauty.
(Petit Anse on la Digue. Photo by Didier Baertschiger, Flickr.)
Needless to say, getting to the Seychelles from the United States takes some time. If you were flying from Miami, you'd been in for approximately 34 hours of travel, and that's for an Etihad flight that stops in New York and then Abu Dhabi before going onto Mahé island. Still, these pictures definitely have set me dreaming of discovering the Seychelles in person...one day!