Among the 115 coral islands that make up the Seychelles are some of the most idyllic island getaways in the lndian Ocean, or indeed the world. Here you will find the luxuriant, tropical paradise that appears in countless advertisements and glossy travel brochures. But however seductive the images, they simply can’t compete with the real-life dazzling beaches and crystal-clear waters of Praslin and La Digue, or the cathedral-like palm forests of the Vallee de Mai. There are more shades of blue and green in the Seychelles than it is possible to imagineMarch to May September to NovemberLazing on some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet Exploring the secluded islands for sensational snorkeling, diving and marine life Meandering through the wild and wonderful vegetation of Praslin’s Vallee de Mai Relaxing on La Digue-renowned for its laid-back ambience, idyllic beaches and friendly folk Visiting Aldabra, one of the world’s largest coral atolls and the original habitat of the giant land tortoise Hunting for hidden pirate treasure on the eerie and mystical large island of SilhouetteRead Aldabra Alone by Tony Beamish, which looks at life among the giant tortoises during an expedition to the Aldabra groupListen to Creole pop an folk musician Patrick VictorWatch Jacques Cousteau’s documentary The World, much of which was shot on Assumption lslandEat carri coco (a mild meat or fish curry with coconut cream) and nougat (a sweet, stick coconut pudding) for dessertDrink the local lager, Seybrew, or try a fresh fruit juiceBonzour. Comman sava? (‘Good morning. How are you?’ in the local language)Palm-fringed beaches; land tortoises; coral atolls; upmarket resorts; diving enthusiastsGiant tortoises are endemic to only two regions in the world: Seychelles and the Galapagos lslands: the famously erotic nut of the coco de mer palm grows only on the female tree and can weigh up to 20kgMost Seychellois are Catholic and the majority are avid churchgoers. But there is also a widespread belief in the supernatural and in the old magic of spigic known as gris gris. Sorcery was outlawed in 1958, but there are quite a number of bonhommes and bonnefemmes di bois (medicine men and women) practicing their cures and curses and concocting potions love, luck and revenge.