Mykotori

These dreamy islands in the Seychelles should be on your bucket list, says JANE MEMMLER

IT WAS one of those moments. You’ve just hopped out of the shower and the phone rings.“Would you like to come to see the turtles hatching on Grand Anse beach?”Not losing a second, I quickly threw a frock over my dripping hair and beat a watery path to the door, just as my taxi – well, electric golf cart – was screaming to a halt outside.My driver, clearly as anxious as I to witness this rare event, pushed the boundaries of battery power careering around the winding roads that carve through the lush gardens down to the beach.

There in faint moonlight we watched, alongside the island’s sustainability manager, Anna Zora, as 121 baby Hawksbill sea turtles made the dash of their lives down to the safety of the sea, beyond reach of predator crabs darting furiously over the sand.Félicité is one of 115 islands that make up the paradise archipelago that is the Seychelles and Grand Anse is just one of the protected beaches where turtles feel so comfortable that, at last count, 51 nests have been laid.

Conservation is taken seriously here and the intention of protecting and reintroducing the island’s endemic species, both animal and flora, are primary objectives for the government and the managers of Félicité Island, hotel operator Six Senses.Zil Payson is the island’s only resort, occupying a third of this lush one-mile-square granitic plot while the other two thirds is covered with vegetation, some of which has invaded Félicité, according to island ecologist, Steve Hill.

His mammoth task is to restore the island’s indigenous botanic species once he’s managed to raise the $2.5 million needed for this worthy project.Getting to the Seychelles has just become so much easier with British Airways’ new twice-weekly direct route from Heathrow.In just under 10 hours we touched down on Mahé, where we picked up our helicopter transfer, (as you do) for the 50-minute flight to Félicité.

Swooping low over dozens of rocky outcrops edged by talcum powder beaches lapped by luminous water, is like flying over a tropical film set – each island having been styled with prerequisite swaying palms, granite boulders and bordered by white fringes of foam caressing the shoreline.

We do, indeed, feel like movie stars as we land on the island’s helipad at the edge of the resort and are presented with cool scented towels and fresh tropical juice.I survey stupendous surroundings, neat lawns and a beach adorned with lanterns in front of an elegant open-air restaurant and bar where hammock- style seats sway in the breeze under the eaves.

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