If you dream of palm-fringed beaches, lapped by warm, azure waters and sprinkled with soft, white sand, the Seychelles will almost certainly be your idea of heaven. This idyllic destination is made up of over 100 islands dotted on the perfect blue waterscape of the Indian Ocean. Exotic and dreamy it may be, but the Seychelles also have a distinct character all of their own, making it as intriguing as it is relaxing. Flights to the Seychelles land in the international airport, close to the capital of Victoria, and most of the tourist resorts cluster on a handful of the area’s granite islands. It’s here that you’ll also find the bigger towns and cities, including Beau Vallon and Victoria itself.
Things to do
Unsurprisingly, top of the list of Seychelles must-sees are its world-class beaches. Despite being one of the things the country is most famous for, they remain unspoilt and peaceful. And active types can enjoy the coastline too, diving down to explore the colourful coral seascapes, or windsurfing along the shore. To see more of the island, put your sturdy shoes on and hike across the countryside on the island of Mahé. Along the way you’ll encounter hidden coves, waterfalls and breathtaking sea views. Culture fans won’t miss out during their stay either. Victoria is perhaps the best place to go if you’d like to see a few top hotspots. Many of the museums are huddled in gorgeous, colonial buildings, and there are some great markets to stroll around if you’re after a bargain.
City of the sun
Approximately 45 miles east of Beirut, close to the Syrian border, lies the city of Baalbek, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Historically a Phoenician city, it was known as Heliopolis – or City of the Sun – during the Hellenistic period. And during Roman times, three magnificent edifices were created there – the Temple of Jupiter, The Temple of Bacchus and the Temple of Venus. While the temple of Jupiter has the sheer scale, the Temple of Bacchus is exquisitely decorated and extremely well preserved. And the Temple of Venus is no less impressive, a circular structure whose roof is supported by pillars.
Food and drink
To get the full Seychelles experience, you have to sample some of the gorgeously indulgent Creole dishes while you’re there. From rich curries to fresh seafood, the islands are home to some top-notch restaurants, both in the bigger cities and the beachside resorts. Victoria is the epicentre when it comes to island nightlife. With its fashionable haunts, theatres and clubs, there’s something to suit everyone. Just make sure to try the local Seybrew beer along the way.