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Dreams Are Made of Sun and Sand

Written on : 13 June 2019
By : Samantha Franco

Some places are simply magical, they can only be described as paradise. This is the case with Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, and Martinique. Spellbinding beaches, turquoise waters, lush hills and abundant marine life are a few of the characteristics these Islands share. Regardless of what destination you choose next, you are guaranteed an authentic Island experience that will have you and all your loved ones wishing this was your forever home.

Seychelles

Seychelles

Located in the western Indian Ocean is the Republic of Seychelles. Life here is characterised by majestic seascapes, timeless beauty, warm-climate year-round, exquisite beaches and amazing coral reefs. These are just a few of the many features that make this nation such a sought-after paradise for travellers.

Seychelles consists of 115 granitic and coralline islands, occupying an area of 455km2. These islands are the only oceanic islands in the world formed of Granite, and, if that isn't enough to lure you in, they are also the world’s oldest Islands.

The Seychelles Islands offer a ton of adventure and leisure activities, such as hiking, swimming, snorkeling, cycling and fishing. If you are a thrill-seeker we recommend you challenge yourself to climb the massive granite outcrops of Mahé, reaching up to around 1000m. This is a unique way to explore this stunning corner of the world. If you are looking for a more tranquil adventure, visit Vallée de Mai. Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is one of the rarest places on Earth where coco de mer grows in its natural form. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a magical forest, with rich tropical vegetation and many species of rare endemic palms. A walk through the reserve is guaranteed to invigorate your senses and make you feel one with nature. As you can see, Seychelles offers much more than just being able to lay on the beach. You will surely experience a nation largely unaffected by the modern world.

Seychelles is a vibrant melting pot. It’s main cultural influences come from the Arabic, Portuguese, French and English. The official languages of Seychelles are Creole, French and English. Seychelles was a French colony, and then an English colony before becoming independent in 1974. An amazing fusion of religious beliefs, cuisine, art, music, customs and traditions, can be seen.

Maldives

Maldives

Maldives is the perfect combination of luxury and adventure. Pristine white-sand beaches,  crystal-clear waters, lush palm trees, sunny warm weather and lots of great diving make this beautiful country what it is; heaven on earth.

This archipelagic nation, situated in the north-central Indian ocean, consists of a chain of about 1,192 small coral islands and sandbanks. Only 200 of the islands are inhabited. The islands are surrounded by jaw-dropping beaches and incredible gorgeous lagoons, protected by reef structures All the islands are low-lying, none rising more than 1.8 metres above sea level. The average annual temperature varies from 24 to 30 °C.

There are numerous things to do in Maldives. Whether you are looking to have a relaxing holiday or seeking thrilling adventures, the Maldives have something for you. To fully appreciate the beauty of this island nation, you need to go diving. The Maldive Islands have some stunning coral reefs, but it’s the abundance of marine life that sets it apart from many other diving destinations around the world. One of the most sought after diving spots is the Ari Atoll due to the presence of both pelagic fish and colorful reefs, as well as the ease of reaching it. North and South Male Atoll also offer various diving sites, and their close proximity to the capital and the airport make it favorites among many travellers. If you love marine life but don’t necessarily want to submerge into the deep waters then dolphin watching should be on your to do list. It is believed that 20 different species of dolphin call the Maldives home. These include Spinner, Bottlenose, Risso’s Spotted and Striped Dolphins. Dolphin watching can be done from the beach but if you want a closer look, it is best to go on a boat ride where a tour guide can take you to the areas where the dolphins are usually spotted.

The population consists of a mix of people who trace their descent from Sri Lanka, India, Africa and Arab countries. The official language is an Indo-European language called Dhivehi but you will also often hear people speaking Arabic, Hindi and English. This blend of cultures reflects in the cuisine, crafts, customs and traditions.

Mauritius

Mauritius

Known for its sun drenched lagoons, turquoise blue waters, and sandy-white beaches, Mauritius is paradise on Earth. A beautiful and multicultural Island that offers astonishing biodiversity, stunning flora and fauna, kitesurfing, lush green golf courses, hiking and much more.

The Republic of Mauritius is located in the southwest Indian Ocean, between Africa and Asia. You can easily place it on the map, taking as reference Madagascar, which is less than 1,000 km away. The Island of Mauritius has a total area of 1865km2 and consists of a broken ring of mountain ranges some 600 to 800 meters above sea level.

When visiting Mauritius you are sure to have an endless amount of things to do and places to see. One of the top things on your list should be visiting Port Louis, the capital and the largest city. Port Louis offers so much that you could spend more than two days and not cover it all. We suggest you make a stop at the central market, here you will find locally grown vegetables, spices, tea and other souvenirs to take home with you. If you are craving a more adventurous excursion, then scuba diving in Blue Bay is the right choice. The Blue Bay Marine Park is located on the southeast region of Mauritius. The water is calm and crystal clear, and there are over 50 different species of coral to leave you amazed.

Mauritius has a highly multicultural population of 1.2 million. It is possible the most multicultural Island in the Indian Ocean, where many ancestral cultures have been preserved and where three major religions coexist in peace and harmony: Islam, Hinduism and catholicism. These differences are not a weakness, in fact they contribute to the wealth in the diversity of customs and traditions which make the island a unique place where tolerance and kindness prevail.  

Martinique

Martinique

Looking to travel to the other side of the world? Go on a caribbean dream vacation to the Island of Martinique. It is the definition of a refined French-Caribbean Island. It is filled with ruins, monuments, flora and fauna, crystal blue waters and warm locals, all perched near a live volcano.

Martinique was formed by centuries of volcanic activity. The highest point on the island is Mont. Pelee, which stands at 1,397m. The mountainous north of the island offers stunning tropical forests, waterfalls and hiking trails. In the southern part of the Island you will find the most marvelous beaches. This along with a drier climate, make the southern region a flourishing tourist hub.

You won’t have a chance to be bored on this beautiful island. There are hundreds of activities for the whole family. One of our favorite things to do is visit Habitation Clément. It is part rum distillery, part plantation, part heritage site and museum, in a vast agricultural area of 160 hectares, nestled in the town of Le Francois, in the South-East of Martinique. Each year over 100,000 visitors come explore this grandiose place.  Are you an adrenaline junkie? If so take on the challenge of scaling the side of Mont Pelee. Though the smarter and safer way to visit Mont Pelee involves driving to an area, located about a mile away from the summit, and then making the rest of the trip on foot. Either way, you are guaranteed a fun time and an astounding view once you reach the top.

Martinique’s customs and traditions are a reflection of it’s mixed population. The island has a hybrid identity, combining French and Caribbean characteristics. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the Euro. The official language is French but almost the entire population also speak Antillean Creole. The cuisine is undoubtedly one the best features of Martinican culture. Combining local spices and flavours with a hint of French inspiration is a true success.