This amazing part of the world is the ultimate IndianOceanretreat. A luxury holiday to the Maldives with Elegant Resorts offers dazzling beaches, superb sunshine and the warmest of welcomes. For couples, honeymooners and incurable romantics, the crystal blue lagoons and stunning coral islands are a perfect destination.
Each Maldivian island is unique, yet they are all idyllic, and every one provides Elegant Resorts clients with an exquisite luxury resort of the very highest quality. A tropical idyll of dazzling beaches and swaying palms, it also has the ultimate in eco-friendly spa luxury. Once you’ve arrived, the focus is on pleasure and relaxation – and the Maldives is an ideal setting for some serious spaindulgence. They range in sophistication from straightforward Balinese massage centres, to world-class holistic sanctuaries.
The Maldives also has some of the best scuba-divingin the world, with a vast array of reef fish, turtles, stingrays and friendly sharks. Truly the most blissful of destinations, the Maldives may well be the last real paradise on earth.
Getting there can also be extremely enjoyable, why not stop off in Dubaifor a few days and enjoy the dazzling heights and seemingly never-ending facilities, not to mention the excellent shopping, before heading off for a tranquil escape close to the equator. Our Senior Travel Consultants would be delighted to put together a luxurytailor-madeitinerary for you.
The Maldives’climate is almost perfect, balmy mornings and sun-filled days are followed by gentle breezes in the evening and a star-filled sky. Temperatures are fairly constant – around 30 degrees Celsius. The only difference is the dry and wet seasons.
The period from May to November is the Hulhangu Monsoon season, leading to significantly higher rainfall, particularly on the southern islands. During this time there may be strong winds and stormy, overcast skies. Whilst less popular as a summer destination during this time, the temperature remains hot and there is a strong chance of extended periods of sunshine in between showers.
During the Iruvai dry season which starts in January and continues through April there is a reduction in humidity and rainfall, whilst February and March provide the most sun. The Maldives is at its most popular between December and April, when visitors come to take advantage of the long warm days. However, whilst the temperature is relatively consistent, the weather is always unpredictable and storms can suddenly strike, regardless of the season, although they do tend to be short lived.
Whatever time of year you choose to visit, the Maldives offer azure blue seas and sunshine, making it perfect for a relaxing luxury holiday.
These figures show Maldives monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall.
DivingWith just two-hundred inhabited islands and only around ninety developed for visitors, a holiday to the Maldivesis both fascinating and tranquil. Twenty-six natural ring-like atolls are home to 1,190 coral islands. The atolls each boast a glorious coral reef and lagoon which gives each island its unique natural quality above and below water. No trip to the Maldives would be complete without an exploration of the beautiful coral reefs, whether you’re snorkelling or diving, there are thousands of species of marine life to discover in the warm, crystal clear waters. You’ll find that the resorts feature PADI dive centres and offer snorkelling equipment allowing you to explore this glorious underwater world.
Staying above water can be just as exhilarating, with all manner of water-sports, dolphin-watching, ‘dhoni’ boat fishing, sailing in splendour on a private yacht, or rowing to a deserted island for a candle-lit dinner or champagne breakfast.
Mosques Built in 1656 during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar I, the Hukuru Miskiyy, (Friday Mosque) is the oldest mosque in the Maldives. A rare and exceptional site the mosque is built from coral stone with different types of wood (sandalwood, redwood and teak) for the windows and doors. Intricate Arabic writings and ornamental patterns decorate the walls inside and out.
Capital : Malé
Language : Dhivehi
Currency : Maldivian Rufiyaa
Voltage : 220V
Visa : A 10% service charge plus 8% GST is added to all services. Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration of the Republic of Maldives for the most up to date information, well in advance of travel.
A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for entry into the country for those arriving from infected areas.
Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Ramadan, which is observed for one month each year, is a period of fasting when the pace of life is slower, public areas are busier and there are certain restrictions, for example, consuming food in public, drinking alcohol and use of restaurants. In 2013, Ramadan will be celebrated for one month from 9th July.
Accommodation Upgrade Aside from the spa facilities and coral reefs, many resorts say their biggest attraction is the ‘lagoon villa’ accommodation. These luxurious wooden over-water bungalows often come with outside Jacuzzis and lounging decks, perfect for a spot of private tanning. Slide straight from the villa into the ocean for a dip. They are also the first type of accommodation to be booked up so do speak to your Senior Travel Consultant at the time of booking to avoid disappointment.
Luxury Yachts For a unique holiday experience, why not discover the Maldives on a luxury yacht. Yachts provide the perfect addition to a hotel stay, an unforgettable two-centre holiday or even the ideal interlude between islands on a three-centre experience. The Sultans Way by Sultans of the Sea power yachts are built by the prestigious Italian manufacturer, Azimut – slick, sleek and highly sophisticated, each of the three yachts features spacious guest cabins with en suite bathrooms, outdoor terraces, complimentary use of water sports facilities and the crew – Captain, Chef, Steward/Butler and Diving Instructor – highly expert and unobtrusive, specially chosen for their innate ability to perceive when you need pampering and when you need to be left alone. Yachts can be hired for as many days as you’d like to take exploring the more remote islands of the Maldives.
Excursions Many of the resorts we feature, offer excursions such as big game fishing, private island picnics and traditional dhoni boat trips.
One of the world’s best kept secrets the Seychelles is a delightful island-country, surrounded by the beautiful seas of the Indian Ocean. Spanning an archipelago of one-hundred and fifteen islands and enjoying a tropical climate, year round, its home to glorious beaches, breathtaking natural wonders and a tiny capital making it the perfect barefoot-in-the-sand paradise destination.
On a luxury holiday to the Seychelles, you can either spend all of your time on one island or opt for an island hopping adventure, combining one island, with another, or even three islands, for the ultimate beach holiday.
Rather surprisingly, the island is also home to a spectacular 18-hole championship Golf Course at Preslin. A Par 70 course it presents an exciting challenge to all levels of players, professionals and amateurs alike. If golf’s not your thing then horse-riding, water sports and guided nature walks are available; the island is filled with national monuments, reserves and marine parks as well as a casino and local bars and restaurants serving some delicious Creole cuisine.
The Seychelles boasts year-round sunshine, though showers can be expected anytime. Heavy rains are more likely to occur between November and March, while swimming in the sea is not possible at several of our resorts between May and September.
Due to the small size of the islands, the climate remains clam with temperatures varying little throughout the year. Seasons are controlled by the trade winds; from May to October, the southeast trade winds bring cool winds, lower humidity, lower rainfall and lower temperatures (on average 24°C); the time between October and November is a bit of transitional period until the north-west trade winds arrive, bringing with them warmer temperatures (31 °C), higher humidity levels and more rainfall, the amount of which, varies from island to island. As most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt the Seychelles do not experience extreme weather conditions.
These figures show Seychelles monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall.
Whatever your diving ability you’re sure to find a dive site to suit you and the majority of our featured hotels have their own qualified dive centres such as Frégate Island Private and North Island. In general the best diving conditions are between March and May and between October and November. Divers can expect to see an array of fish species including Angel fish, Butterfly fish and Sweepers in the shallow inshore reefs as well as Octopus and Spiny Lobsters. Soft corals and gorgonian fan corals can be seen at dive sites such as the Canyon at Desroches Island whilst the larger fish species such as Giant Groupers and Ribbon-tailed Stingrays can be found at the more remote sites. The Inner islands are home to the spectacular Whale Shark with peak viewing times in August and October.
For many men and women, a spa treatment is a vital ingredient in the creation of their perfect holiday; it can soothe and calm as well as heal and relax. Recognising this, resorts and even tiny island boutique hotels all feature a large pleasure dome or bijou spa, thus providing us with calming surrounds and a place where we can lie still and mentally review our lives for a calming hour or day – treatments can range in duration from short hourly treatments to all day rituals and many incorporate the healing properties of plants, flowers and the ocean into the products used. At North Island you can enjoy the Barefoot Ritual – a symbolic introduction to the island’s barefoot living, this is a traditional welcome in which the dust of past travels is washed from your feet, refreshing them for the journey ahead. At luxury resorts guests can enjoy regimes to calm the mind and spirit with guided yoga and meditation sessions whilst a comprehensive menu of wraps, scrubs, therapies and massages incorporate traditional ingredients such as coconut creams, essence of frangipani, white turmeric, sea mint and salt.
The golf course on Praslin Island overlooks not one but three glorious beaches and a stunning expanse of the Indian Ocean. An 18 hole Par 70, Championship Golf Course it presents a challenge to both amateurs and professionals alike. Covering 6105 yards, the first twelve holes are on the lower levels but from the thirteenth hole, the course stretches to the higher levels and ocean views. Hotel guests enjoy complimentary green fees whilst equipment hire, lessons and club cars (required due to the course’s terrain) are all available for hire.
Soft sandy beaches, warm waters and an idyllic climate make the Seychelles the perfect playground for children. Many of our featured hotels offer two and three bedroom villas some with private pools whilst children’s clubs and babysitting services as well as children’s menus can be the decision makers for mums and dads. The Castaway Kids’ Clubhouse at Fregate Island Private aims to educate and teach children (and parents) about the local environment, including conservation of the island’s natural heritage. In addition, a host of games, DVDs, craft materials and books are available to amuse children aged from 5 to 12 years.
The one hundred and fifteen islands of the Seychelles fall into two distinct groups; the tall granite, Inner Islands and the low-lying coralline cays, atolls and reef islands of the Outer Islands, which are themselves divided into five groups: the Amirantes group situated two-hundred and thirty kilometres from Mahé, the Southern Coral Group, Alphonse Group, Farquhar Group and the Aldabra Group. Because the islands are so different to each other, we recommend that you visit more than
Capital : Victoria
Language : Seselwa Creole, English and French
Currency : Seychelles Rupee
Voltage : 240v
Visa : The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not issue a travel advice for Seychelles at this time.
Australians are advised to read the General Advice to Australian Travellers which provides general information about safety and security, local laws and customs, entry and exit requirements, health issues, travel and health insurance and consular assistance and registration.
Attacks by Somali pirates near the Horn of Africa are increasing in frequency. Incidents of piracy have also occurred in Seychelles’ territorial waters. We strongly advise Australians to maintain a high level of vigilance and to exercise extreme caution when travelling in, or in the vicinity of, these waters. See our advice to Australians travelling by sea for further information.
All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, there is a more frequent occurrence of large, destructive tsunamis because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches. See the Tsunami Awareness brochure.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For more information on our advice to Australians see our travel bulletin on avian influenza.
Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Seychelles. Australians may obtain consular assistance from the nearest High Commission. This is in Mauritius at:
Australian High Commission, Port Louis
2nd Floor, Rogers House
5 President John Kennedy Street
Port Louis, Mauritius
Telephone (230) 202 0160
Facsimile (230) 208 8878
All Australians travelling to Seychelles, whether for tourism or business or for short or long stays, are encouraged to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australians can register in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate or on-line. The registration information provided by you will help us to find you in an emergency – whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family emergency.
If the situation changes and a travel advice for Seychelles is issued, travellers can be automatically notified by subscribing to our e-mail subscription service.
Foreign Affairs Canada, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the US State Department also issue travel advice for their citizens.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305
Whilst the Seychelles boast year-round sunshine and a temperate climate there are certain times of the year that are better suited to some of the activities available:
Snorkelling – good all year round
Diving – good all year, but visibility is better between April and October
Surfing & Windsurfing – best between May and September
Sailing – good all year round
Fishing – best between October and April
Bird-watching – best around April/May for the breeding season and September/October for migration
Walking & Hiking – best from May to September
Turtles –Oct to February (with peak viewing in December) to watch turtles laying eggs and from mid January to April (with peak viewing in February/March) to watch the hatchlings emerge from their eggs and make their precarious way to the ocean
Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve
The Seychelles is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, a primeval palm forest once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden and home to a collection of rare plants which flourish nowhere else on earth. Take a walk through this amazing palm forest and discover the endemic coco-de-mer (sea coconut) – these trees can grow up to thirty-four metres tall with leaves spanning up to ten metres in length, but more importantly they are the bearers of the largest nut in the world often referred to as ‘love nuts’ or the ‘double coconut’ due to their appearance – they look like two coconuts stuck together. The forest is also home to the black parrot, the national bird of Seychelles, which owes its existence to the palm forest.
Victoria, the Capital of the Seychelles
Victoria might be one of the smallest capital cities in the world but it has plenty to offer visitors including some beautiful beaches. The tiny city can be explored in about two hours either on foot or bicycle; head to the Natural History Museum for a complete account of the islands’ past; stroll through the Victoria Botanical Gardens where amongst the spice and fruit trees, most of which can only be seen in this garden, you’ll find a population of giant tortoises, fruit bat colonies and an orchid house. Alongside the souvenir shops in the city centre there are many markets selling local handicrafts or the outdoor market where the day’s catch is colourfully displayed.
For a picture-perfect castaway setting combined with the comfort of luxury living, the exquisite island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is hard to beat. Pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise seas and dramatic landscapes combine with a melting pot of cultures and some of the world’s finest hotels to make Mauritius a great all-round destination.
Its’ clear, warm waters are abundant with fish life and rich coral that make for superb diving and offers visits to a varied selection of diving highlights, such as wrecks, drop-off dives, reefs and shark areas. If you prefer to stay above the water, spend your days lazing beside the pool or on the beach experiencing an impressive beach service as supplied by beach staff who’ll deliver iced water, cocktails and snacks whenever requested.
Whether it’s a romantic break or an activity-packed family holiday you’re planning, Mauritius certainly has something for everyone. And although its appeal has become far-reaching, it still remains exclusive and attractive to the discerning holidaymaker.
Enjoying a subtropical climate, with relatively little seasonal variation in temperature Mauritiusoffers the perfect holiday weather throughout the year.
Summer runs from November to May (high season) with average temperatures reaching 30°C during the day. Cool sea breezes accompany the heat, making it comfortable. May to October is wintertime, with the coldest months being July and August when temperatures average at 20°C to 25°C.
The highlands are the wettest point on the island and cooler than the coast; temperatures in Curepipe city, located on the high plateaus, have been know to drop as low as 15°C – 16°C, which is very cold for Mauritius. There are no rainy seasons or monsoons, but the island may suffer from cyclones – although these are rare.
These figures show Mauritius monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall.
Pamplemousses Gardens – these enchanting gardens are home to an impressive collection of indigenous and exotic plants. One of them is the talipot palm, said to flower once every sixty years and then die. You may also see tortoises, some over a hundred years old. Head to Tamarin which sits in the shadow of the Riviere Noire Mountains, for excellent bathing and to surf the impressive two-metre waves created by the big ocean swells.
Just off the shore from the mouth of the estuary at Grande Rivière Noire, the ocean bottom falls away to seven hundred metres, providing the perfect environment for jacks and other bait fish which attract the bigger predators such as tuna, shark and marlin – perfect for the big game fisherman.
Pay a visit to the twice-weekly (Thursday and Sunday) clothes market at Qatre Borne. Popular with the locals who flock here from miles around to rummage the stalls, you may be able to find top-quality garments (with almost imperceptible flaws) at low prices. Check any items you purchase carefully, since quality varies enormously.
The islands’ heraldic animal, the dodo, has been extinct since the 17th century (eaten without reserve by the Dutch settlers). The skeleton of a dodo can be seen at the Museum of Natrual History, Port Louis.
Capital : Port Louis
Language : English
Currency : Mauritian Rupee
Voltage : 230V
Health : For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Visa : Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mauritius for the most up to date information.
Immigration officials at port of entry require all visitors to Mauritius to provide accommodation details. Failure to do so may result in denial of entry to Mauritius.
If you are arriving in Mauritius from a country known to have malaria, you will receive a follow-up visit from the Mauritian Health Department and will be required to give a blood test to check for the malaria-causing parasite.
If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, evidence of a yellow fever vaccination is required.
Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
There is perhaps nothing more romantic than escaping to an island paradise of sublime natural beauty and a barefoot-chic ambience to exchange vows. And the magical service and attention to detail bestowed on all couples ensures a wedding day of memories to be cherished for a lifetime. At Le Touessrok, weddings are hosted in the exquisite Wedding Pavilion in the Hibiscus Garden, on the resort’s beaches and gardens, and on the exotic Ile aux Cerfs where the Paul et Virginie restaurant and bar provides a stunning environment.
Families should head to the Water Park in Belle-Mare where waterslides, big swimming-pools, wave-pools, Jacuzzis and heaps more guarantee a great day out for children and parents alike. The small fishing village of Poudre d’Or was a popular hiding place for pirate’s treasure and ever since a farmer discovered a suitcase filled with gold coins in the 1950s its’ been attracting treasure hunters from all over the world.
It was also the setting for a dramatic maritime disaster in 1744 – the sinking of the Saint Géran which later inspired the romantic novel, Paul et Virginie by the poet Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. A golf course on an island is not that unusual. But a golf course that can boast its own island, all to itself, now that’s fairly unique.
A golfcourse on an island is not that unusual. But a golf course that can boast its own island, all to itself, now that’s fairly unique. But that’s exactly what Le Touessrok golf course can boast, because it’s located on a small island called Ile Aux Cerfs, just a five minute water taxi ride from the mainland of Mauritius. The golf course itself (7,082 yard, par 72, designed by two-time US Masters champion Bernhard Langer) is absolutely breath-taking, with almost half the holes running beside the turquoise blue waters of the IndianOcean, only white sandy beaches separating golfer from swimmer, whilst the remaining holes play over and around tidal bays filled with mangroves, providing spectacular views of the nearby ‘Cat and Mouse’ mountain and the lush greenery of the Mauritian countryside. No matter how difficult the challenge, the course’s spectacular beauty will linger in the memory.