Paradise island with wildlife-friendly rainforest
Silhouette Island is just a 45-minute boat ride north-west of the main island of Mahé. It’s got a turbulent history – think rum-swigging pirates and spice plantations – but these days it’s a one-hotel retreat with milk-white beaches and a jungle interior.
Some of the best beaches curve around the north and east coasts, where thick forests and wave-polished boulders shelter clear turquoise bays. Anse La Passe is one of the finest beaches. It unspools from the front door of the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, which tops the fine sands with sunloungers and a PADI diving centre.
Out to sea, you’ve got a dive-friendly ocean well-stocked with turtles and rays. Behind, there’s the mountainous interior that lends the island its name; the sharp-toothed silhouette of Mont Dauban can be spied all the way from Mahé. The accompanying jungle is straight out of Jurassic Park, thanks to the virgin rainforest. Luckily, the only critters you’ll find here are rare Seychelles specials like giant tortoises and black-crowned night herons.
Direct flights from the UK to the Seychelles take approximately 10 hours. You can also choose to fly via the Middle East.
A 30-minute drive takes you from the airport to the private ferry dock. From here, it's a 45-minute boat ride to Silhouette Island.
The Seychelles keeps a steady temperature all year round, with the mercury usually hovering between 24°C and 32°C. April marks the end of the rainy season, warming up in time for May – the sunniest month of the year. July is the coolest month, with temperatures dropping down to a comfortable 24°C. November is the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so the temperatures rise and the number of rainy days slowly start to increase.
The Seychelles is completely visa-free. Officials will just hand you a visitor’s permit when you go through customs. Just make sure you have your passport, details of where you’re staying and proof of onward travel (i.e. details of your flights back home).
A 5-10% service tax is added to bills in most hotels, restaurants and bars. Feel free to increase this if the service exceeds your expectations.
English and French are the two most commonly spoken tongues, but Seychelles Creole is the official language.