The Seychelles are synonymous with luxury, romance and tropical paradise. A gorgeous string of 115 low-lying coral islands in the Indian Ocean, they’re also an adventure playground for scuba divers, birdwatchers and nature lovers. Take to its splendid beaches – glorious ribbons of whiter-than-white powder sand and shimmering azure waters, backed by verdant hillsides and craggy boulders, with next to no one in sight. This might be hard to picture when you first arrive on the island of Mahé – the biggest and busiest of the archipelago – but a westward hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will reveal such rewards. The main island also boasts Morne Seychellois National Park, where an extensive network of hiking trails leads to a 905-metre summit of sweeping views. If this isn’t enough, then the smaller island of Praslin may well tempt you away. The entire island is a national park, encompassing Valée de Mai Nature Reserve and more oasis-like beaches like Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio. Explore the park to encounter black parrots, bulbuls, vivid tree frogs and the native coco de mer plant, or watch giant Aldabra tortoises roaming freely on Curieuse Island, off the north shore. This tropical life thrives beneath the waves, too. Dive in to see schools of iridescent fish, manta rays and even whale sharks swim through the dazzling coral reefs. Accommodation is ample on the Seychelles, with luxury resorts, villas, apartments and lodges lining the shores of Mahé and Praslin. There’s also plenty to choose from on La Digue Island.