"There are plenty of islands around the globe that offer white sand and turquoise seas – even the Outer Hebrides if you are lucky with the weather. But the Seychelles are special for much more than the softness of the archipelago’s deserted beaches and the indigo splendour of its ocean. There are the granite boulders that dot the shore and give each island its soaring silhouette. There are the equally monumental giant tortoises that plod the dirt tracks on the smaller islands. There’s the angular beauty of the white-tailed tropicbird as it scythes through the darkening sky at sunset. But most importantly, there’s the welcoming charm of the islanders as they welcome you to their paradise on earth."