Seychelles North Island Heaven In 10 Photos
Just south of the equator, the Seychelles is a cluster of extraordinarily beautiful Indian Ocean islands. The nation is made up of more than 100 tropical islands, many of them too small to be inhabited. I wanted a destination for a very special family holiday, and for part of it chose North Island, the undisputed gem of this wonderful region. It’s a magnificent place, emphasising a top quality experience, freedom, and privacy over all else, and here’s a little look at what we experienced on this lush island paradise.
Seychelles North Island
At 930 miles from Africa – an escape from the madness of the rest of the world – the Seychelles feels truly isolated and remote. It’s a three hour flight from Nairobi, the closest major city, to the main island Mahe, and North Island is a 15 minute hop from here by helicopter.
Sea, sand and forest – the island has a compelling mix of turquoise ocean, emerald forest and palms, and white coral sand, which is apparently created by parrot fish feeding on the reef! The plan is to continue removing most of the non-native plants and trees and return endemic species to their rightful place. I suspect that it will look quite different but even more beautiful in 20 years’ time.
Anyone can learn to drive – North Island is a private island, and the owners make the traffic rules, which suited my 10 year old daughter perfectly. There are plenty of well laid out tracks for getting around the island, and each villa has its own electric golf buggy. Jemima now has her licence too.
Space, acres of it – it’s a private island with just 11 guest villas, which means no more than 22 guests most of the time, and plenty of space for all, whether in the villa or on the beautiful beaches. It’s the ultimate luxury for many, along with the freedom to do whatever you want each day, and eat anything that appeals at whatever time of day you’d like it.
Wildlife too – guests can join North Island’s environmental team on their beach patrols to look for nesting turtles. Among other wildlife on the island that’s benefiting from habitat restoration are giant tortoises and several endangered bird species.
View from the North Island gym – yes I did use it! – I know it was a holiday, but when the view is this good it was scarcely a hardship.
There’s history here as well as gorgeous new buildings – for most of its brief inhabited history, North Island was a private plantation and owned by the same family from 1826 until the 1970s. The island was bought by a group of conservation visionaries in 1997, paving the way for a new era in island conservation and eco-tourism, funding the restoration of the island’s original wildlife and flora over a long term. The clever use of the original buildings enhances the atmosphere and romance of the island.
The people make it what it is – fun, laid back, effortlessly brilliant! – where else have you stayed where you’ve been served by barefoot staff? Or others with dreadlocks or tattoos? It doesn’t matter what you look like; if you are brilliant at looking after people and have a sense of fun, you’ll find a role on North Island. Everyone is happy to chat, and they are all great characters with stories to tell.
Sexy speedboats – a holiday on North Island includes a half day fishing and scuba diving, and there’s a fleet of very gorgeous boats for guests to enjoy these activities. They are very comfortable and really look the part.
Learning to cook – lots of children enjoy cooking. They will be ably assisted here by Nick and Josh, making pizza, salads, grilled prawns, or whatever they or their parents would like. One of the best aspects of a holiday on North Island is your complete freedom with meals, it’s a bit like having your own private chef who will create daily menus inspired by the freshest seafood and local seasonal produce.
Lots of lovely fish – North Island is made of granite, but the sea surrounding it has a wealth of coral and an amazing abundance of marine life thriving on the healthy reef; we saw dozens of ludicrously colourful species of fish, star fish, sea slugs, giant clams, a shark, a stingray and dolphins, and we were only out there for half an hour. The colours and shapes of the corals is also spectacular, especially in the ‘Coral Garden’.
If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have, or you think there’s something more about planning a Seychelles North Island holiday that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.