There is nothing quite like a Seychelles honeymoon. The islands' outstanding natural beauty makes it the perfect place to celebrate the start of married life.
Here are some of the most romantic experiences the Seychelles have to offer.
Stay on a private island
If barefoot luxury is your thing, you're in luck; the Seychelles is the perfect place to be shipwrecked in style. At a handful of exclusive private island resorts you can explore pristine wilderness in privacy and safety. There are no roads, cars, or dangerous creatures to worry about, just a few other guests and discreet yet attentive staff.
These include Desroches Island (€630 per person per night), a remote coral atoll and part of the Amirante Archipelago in the Seychelles' outer islands.
Here, villas sit under coconut palms on impossibly soft white sand, each with its own pool, outside shower, kitchen, and villa assistant. Desroches is also known for its top-rate activity center, one of the best in the country. Guests can kayak, waterski, paddle surf, dive, snorkel and go deep-sea fishing, among other things. Those in favor of land-bound activities can roam the jungle by bike or on foot and visit the resident giant tortoises.
In the far north of the Seychelles archipelago, North Island (from €2765 per person per night) is an unspoilt tropical retreat of 11 airy, hand-crafted villas, and has played host to celebrities and royalty. Yes, it's one of the most exclusive resorts in the world, with requisite jaw-dropping tropical beauty and world-class food and service, but it's also a nature conservancy, and it's the wildlife that makes it really special.
When Wilderness Safaris took over the island they replenished it with endangered Seychellois plants and wildlife including giant tortoises, fruit bats, and numerous bird species. If you're there during the right season you could see endangered green and hawksbill turtles nesting on the beaches or whale sharks and tawny nurse sharks passing through the waters.
There are only 17 villas on Frégate Island (rates from €2900 per residence per night), so you'll have plenty of room on any of the island's seven beaches (two of them can be reserved for ultimate privacy). Not that it would be any hardship spending all your time in your villa, what with your own Jacuzzi, infinity pool and dining pavilion overlooking indigenous forest and brilliant ocean.
This private island is also a force in conservation. It's a sanctuary to thousands of tropical birds, and home to a number of critically endangered species, including the Frégate Giant Tenebrionid Beetle -- which is not found anywhere else in the world. Where possible, all ingredients used in the restaurants and the Rock Spa are grown at the island's own plantation. For interested guests there's a free 'ecologist for a day' program.
Denis Island Lodge (from €408 per person per night) is the stuff of Robinson Crusoe fantasies -- fish shimmering under cerulean waters, powdery white beaches, and a verdant, forested interior that has been the focus of efforts to save endemic species. And then there's the understated luxury of the villas and the first-class food served in the waterside restaurant -- most of which comes from the island's own farm.
For those with an active bent, Denis sits close to the edge of the deep water Seychelles Bank so is an excellent place for game fishing.
Guests can wander the island freely and there's plenty to see here, including the 1881 lighthouse, an ecumenical chapel and a giant tortoise enclosure.
Hire a private yacht
Beautiful luxury hotels are commonplace in the Seychelles but exploring the country's 115 islands by yacht can take your desert island dreams to the next level. Just you and your partner exploring uninhabited atolls, snorkeling in secluded spots and watching the sun set over the open ocean from the deck of your craft.
International company the Moorings charters yachts from Mahé. A 3-cabin catamaran costs from around US$4500 per week. A skipper and cook and provisions will set you back around an extra US$350 a day.
Mahé based Seychelles Yacht Charter organizes a variety of excursions. Fully crewed yachts cost from €900 a day and for the ultimate in romance, you can take to the seas under the sails of an old-fashioned schooner.
Take a scenic helicopter flight
Get a different perspective on the Seychelles' beauty by taking to the air on a scenic helicopter flight. As well as providing a shuttle service around the Seychelles, Zil Air can take you on an aerial sightseeing tour of the dazzling seas and islands below. Their 75-minute package takes in Mahé, La Digue, Félicité & Ile Coco as well as giving you a you a bird's eye view of the giant palm trees in Praslin Island's Vallée de Mai, thought by many to be the original Garden of Eden.
Get a full-moon massage
The Seychelles is bristling with fancy spa resorts offering a myriad of treatments: if you've always wanted to be covered head to toe in chocolate or have a honey slathered on your face, you've come to the right place. Hit the islands at the right time of the month and you and your beloved can be massaged under the gentle night breeze on the roof terrace of the Four Seasons spa as part of their "full moon" package, the ultimate in spa romance.
Dine in privacy on the beach
All luxury hotels on the Seychelles will offer you and your spouse the chance to dine alone in a romantic spot around their property. From tables surrounded by candles in the sand, to a private barbeque on a boat, to Fregate Island's tree house, high up in an old banyan tree, the options are many.
Perhaps most romantic of all is a gourmet picnic delivered to a deserted island. There's nothing like returning from an undersea adventure to find fine food, champagne on ice and not another soul to be seen for miles.
By Nana Luckham
For more great content to help you plan your African vacation, visit AFKTravel.com, the authority on African travel.