For those searching for a slice of paradise, sailing around the Satellite Islands combined with a stay at one of the luxurious beach resorts on these tiny atolls makes for a heavenly holiday. Each small gem is encircled by protective coral reef, with white sand beaches, lush untouched interiors and giant Aldabra tortoises, left free to roam in their natural habitat.
The tiny satellite islands of the Seychelles archipelago are divided into the Inner Islands, clustering in the north around the main island of Mahé, formed mainly of granite and the more southerly, mostly coral isles, known as the Outer Islands. While many are uninhabited, there are several exclusive beach resorts, creating a truly exceptional private island-style holiday experience. The diving and snorkelling are outstanding, and you can expect to see grey reef shark, yellowfin tuna, stingray and moray eel. The underwater world around both Félicitié and Cerf is especially rich in marine treasures.
Bird lovers will flock to the appropriately-named Bird island, named after the millions of sea birds who call it home, the largest colony being sooty terns. Cousin Island is another popular haunt for birders and wildlife lovers in general, owing to the large number of giant tortoise and geckos found here. It is also an important nesting site for the endangered hawksbill turtle. Another island popular for bird spotting is Denis, the only place in the world (aside from La Digue), where you can spot the ultra-rare dark blue paradise flycatcher. Denis Island also excels in barefoot luxury accommodation and will appeal to those looking for a private desert island experience. Silhouette is another of the Inner Islands offering exclusive luxury accommodation and although it is the third largest island in the archipelago, it is one of the least developed and granite mountains and lush rainforest of the interior are protected within a national park.
The less-visited Outer islands include Alphonse and Desroches, the only two islands with tourist accommodation. Both offer luxury properties, excellent diving, watersports and deep-sea fishing.