Friday, September 22, 2017

Island Resorts

Seychelles: Dive into Paradise on Denis Island

Amid the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, a very special island is surrounded by a lagoon that one prominent travel journalist calls his favorite dive spot.

(Image Copyright F. Vladi)

The island nation of the Seychelles, located off the eastern coast of Africa, has long been renowned for its tropical beauty and bevy of luxurious resorts – and for those who love diving, the crystal-clear waters and incredible biodiversity add to the country’s allure. The islands of the Seychelles have, of course, all received many accolades from visitors, and now Denis Private Island can add another to its list. Mr. Varun Sharma, a well-known UK travel journalist from the popular show, Inside Luxury Travel, has named the Denis Island lagoon as his “favorite dive of the year.”

(Image Courtesy of Denis Private Island)

This far-flung isle is actually the second most northern island in the country, and its remoteness may be part of why it has such a pure, untouched underwater environment. First visited in 1773 by the French explorer for whom it takes its name, Denis de Trobriand, the small coral island is 60 miles north of the capital city of Victoria, on Mahé. A lonely lighthouse built in the early 20th century still stands watch at the isle’s northern tip, and otherwise, just a small resort of 25 bungalows is nestled within the island’s wild 375-acre expanse.

Privately owned by the Mason family since 1999, a philosophy of harmony with nature imbues the resort – organic vegetables, meat and milk can be found on the restaurant’s tables, and fragrant oils from the island’s many coconut palms are used in an array of relaxing spa treatments. Even trees that fall in the forest are put to good use, as local artisans transform the tropical wood into original Seychellois furniture. According to the resort, the owners aim for a unique melange of luxury and sustainable tourism – “It is our pride to treat Denis with a gentle touch and ensure that its treasures remain an object of rare and untouched beauty.”

(Image Courtesy of Denis Private Island)

The dive centre on the island is small, but equipped with top gear and expert PADI accredited instructors, suitable for both beginner and advanced divers. The aquarium-like waters around the island, including the shallow lagoon, have a special environmental protection, making the area even closer to perfect than the rest of the stunning Seychelles. The amazing underwater sights vary with the seasons; while sailfish, dolphins, turtles and brilliant tropical fish can be seen all year, divers can also spot manta rays and harmless whale sharks from September to November.

Alain St. Ange, head of the Seychelles Tourism Board, was thrilled to hear of the high praise from a journalist as prominent as Mr. Sharma. “We always knew that our diving is one on the very best and that a swim in the turquoise blue seas of the Seychelles remains like swimming in an aquarium, and we are thankful to Mr. Sharma for bringing one of our unique selling points to the world at large,” he said. Should any of the 500 million viewers of Inside Luxury Travel be lucky enough visit Denis Island for themselves, they are certain not to be disappointed!

Visit the website for Denis Private Island: http://www.denisisland.com/

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