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Seychelles Beaches

Anse Royale

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Anse Royale, on the southeastern coast, is at its best between October and May - at other times of year strong winds churn up the water. Royale is scattered with huge granite boulders, dividing it into a series of little private coves, and pleasantly shaded by takamaka and palm trees.

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Anse Soleil

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Some way off the beaten track, Anse Soleil lies on the southeastern coast, with plenty of fish to entertain snorkellers. A solitary small café dispenses snacks and cold drinks. Nearby, Anse à La Mouche is lovely by day, but is especially celebrated for its night-time bio-luminescence - micro-organisms give off light as fish or swimmers move through the water - making a snorkelling session after dark quite magical.

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La Digue

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If some of the other beach-goers at Anse Source d'Argent seem especially good looking and well dressed (or undressed) it's because this beach is a favourite spot for modelling and film shoots. But there's plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the deliciously clear waters (shallow and sheltered by a reef) and the enormous granite boulders that have been sculpted by the elements for millennia. Visitors coming here via the adjacent Union Plantation are charged a US$3 entry fee.

Swimmers are advised to steer clear of the strong undertow on Grand Anse, though surfers seem to enjoy pitting their skills against the waves here. The current is also strong at neighbouring Petit Anse, which despite its name is reasonably grandiose. Swimmers should head to northernmost tip of La Digue, where Anse Patates, near the village of Patatran, is blessed with soft white sand and calm seas. The best beach on Desroches is Bombe Bay. Accessible only on foot or by bike, it has a vast expanse of white sand that's ideal for exploring and sunbathing throughout the year. On Silhouette, Anse La Passe is bordered by a hotel, while Anse Lascars, on the eastern side of the island, can be reached only on foot or by boat. It takes its name from ancient tombs believed to be the final resting place of two dozen Arab sailors whose dhow was wrecked here. And on Frégate, the lush vegetation contrasting with the translucent ocean is the star quality that brings beach lovers to Anse Victorin.

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Mahé

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Of the horde of glorious beaches on the main island of Mahé, Beau Vallon, on the northwest coast, is very much the most popular. Backed by hotels, it also hosts plenty of watersports operators (paragliding is especially popular) but its chief attraction is that there are no strong currents, rocks or corals, so it's ideal for families.

As on all of the Seychelles beaches, topless sunbathing is accepted but full nudity - despite the archipelago's claim to have been the site of the biblical Eden - is definitely not.

Anse Intendance, on the south coast, has been lauded as the most beautiful beach in the Indian Ocean, and a single glance at its half mile of powdery white sand strongly reinforces this claim. There is no reef, so the waves make it suitable for surfing. Intendance is also a turtle nesting site.

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Police Bay and Petit Police

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Police Bay and Petit Police, to the south of Intendance at the very bottom of the island, are both magnificent to look at and for sunbathing, but strong currents put swimming off limits.

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Port Launay

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Port Launay, a wide stretch of sand with plenty of shade, is also a Marine National Park - so the beautiful shells and corals which wash up on its shores are to be admired but not taken home! If Port Launay is too crowded, there are other, smaller beaches between here and Baie Ternay which are often deserted.

Praslin

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Praslin's main beach, Côte d'Or, also known as Volbert, sits on the northeastern coast. It's the island's main resort area, with dazzling white sand and superlative snorkelling offshore around the islets of Chauve Souris and St Pierre.

Getting to Anse Lazio, at the north of Praslin, involves a long, winding drive, but is more than worth it. Perhaps the most picturesque beach in the Seychelles, Lazio is beautifully framed with statuesque granite rocks and lapped by crystal clear waters.

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