David Price from Hill Robinson explains why the Seychelles are becoming the in place for a superyacht charter.
This exclusive destination has a great deal to offer. Not only are the islands famous for the many world-class beaches but enlightened conservation measures have ensured that almost half of the limited landmass has been set-aside as a “living natural history museum”, boasting some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on earth – a heaven for ornithologists and nature lovers.
Seychelles is already home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the fabulous ‘Vallée de Mai’ on the island of Praslin where the coco-de-mer, the world’s only double-lobed coconut, has become an icon to sensuality and mystery, and ‘Aldabra’, the largest raised coral atoll on earth.
The islands also provide spectacular opportunities for safe swimming, snorkelling, and diving in warm, crystal waters fringing beaches of powder-soft sand, framed by age-old granite boulders and lush palm forests. Whether novice or aficionado, diving in Seychelles is to enter a pristine world of astonishing diversity and teeming marine life. Whether diving the granite reefs of the Inner Islands or venturing further afield to the coral reefs of the Outer Islands, you can be assured of enjoying the diving experience of your life, amid turtles, rays, dolphins and even that gentle giant of the seas, the whale shark.
Fishing in Seychelles is increasingly being recognised for offering some of the best sport on the planet. Deep-sea fishing is especially popular for offering one of the best mixed-bags on the planet and one that includes yellowfin and dogtooth tuna, wahoo, trevally, streaker, barracuda, sailfish and the mighty marlin. Traditional bottom-fishing or palangrotte promises grouper, emperor, bream among many other species of bottom-dwelling fish. Seychelles is fast becoming a Mecca for bone-fishing on the flats of its Outer Islands and even off the mainland and the sport is considered to offer some of the best challenges to be found anywhere.
The main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue provide enticing opportunities to discover the diversity of Seychelles’ amazing flora and fauna on guided nature trails and also to recalibrate mind, body and soul in a wide choice of spa and wellness centres dotted throughout the islands. Golf is also gaining in popularity with a nine–hole course on the main island, Mahé and a magnificent championship course on the neighbouring island of Praslin.
Seychelles is also expanding its calendar of events with the third edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria, which took place in February 2013. The previous two editions have gradually increased in size and now boast participation from upwards of 25 foreign floats including the Rio and Notting Hill carnivals, Dusseldorf, Indonesia, Russia and Italy. Other events are the annual Seychelles Regatta, the SUBIOS Festival of the Sea, the Eco-friendly Marathon, Feast of the Assumption, Seychelles Ball, Festival Kreol and the Mind Body & Soul Festival.
Victoria, the charming capital, is situated on the main island of Mahé within walking distance of the port and is a convenient stepping stone to discovering the charms of authentic island living and the vibrant culture as well as the attractions of island-hopping. Throughout all the principal islands you will discover quaint art galleries, craft shops, old Creole-style plantation houses, picturesque restaurants serving delicious Creole cuisine, scenic viewpoints, secret valleys and natural wonders above and beneath the waves.
An efficient network of inter-island boats, aeroplanes and helicopter transfers can accommodate almost any tailored schedule while a discreetly modern infrastructure ensures that you are only ever as far away from the rest of the world as you desire to be.
Seychelles has long been recognised as the jewel in the Indian Ocean’s crown and represents a last exotic frontier for vessels wishing to escape the congestion and convention of the more common ports of call. Among these islands where summer never sets and where harmony is a way of life, you will find everything you need for a truly memorable sailing vacation. The memories will never desert you.
An unsurpassable sailing experience for today’s discerning traveller, the Seychelles islands remain safe, authentic and … ‘another world’ entirely. A refreshing departure from the highly processed experiences of more crowded and commercialised destinations, Seychelles remains deliciously unplugged and true to its island soul.