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Annabel on top of Magic Mountain looking at the lagoons of Mo'orea, French Polynesia

Annabel, Hidden Beaches Specialist

Annabel has been travelling the world since before she could walk, having parents that were avid travellers meant she was lucky enough to experience different cultures as part of her upbringing. Whether it was taking a hot air balloon across South Africa, standing on the edge of Victoria Falls, having New Year's Eve in Sydney and flying on Concorde, she has a wealth of experience.

After gaining a First in Ancient History at the University of Exeter, she also completed her MA in Classics and Ancient History, studying at the British School in Rome. She then spent six years working at a wine merchant and travelling to various wine regions. The desire to incorporate her love of travel with a new career brought her to Audley and the Hidden Beaches team. Since starting she has visited French Polynesia, the Caribbean, Zanzibar, the Seychelles and been on safari in Tanzania.

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Audley Travel specialist Annabel

Start planning your trip to the Seychelles with Annabel

Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

I recommend visiting - Mahé Island

The Seychelles has to be one of my preferred destination. There is so much to discover and it's difficult to choose just one island to take the top spot. If you want an idyllic beach trip with sweeping white sandy beaches and turquoise sea, then the Seychelles will never disappoint — whether you walk along the promenade at Beau Vallon on Mahé, visit the Valle de Mai on Praslin or relax somewhere more private such as Bird Island. I love visiting these tropical islands, somewhere I can enjoy the beautiful beaches on a lazy day but also explore the cultural diversity of island life and all it has to offer.

Premium overwater bungalow, Le Meridien, Bora Bora

I recommend staying at - Le Meridien Bora Bora

First Class

As you arrive at the jetty on Le Meridien Bora Bora, the realisation that this hotel has a prime location facing Mt Otemanu fills you with excitement and anticipation.

Le Meridien is situated on a motu — a small island facing the main island of Bora Bora, from here you have a fabulous view. The over-water bungalows (a must have if you're staying in French Polynesia) have the biggest glass panel floor that I saw while visiting the Society Islands. No need for a private pool, you can access the lagoon straight from your bungalow.

The snorkelling was phenomenal and with crystal clear waters you are able to see an abundance of marine life. If you're not able to spot a turtle in the water you can head down to the Turtle Centre and meet the latest patients being rehabilitated. At the end of the day you can enjoy a cocktail in the bar and watch the sun set behind the mountain.

I'll never forget when…

After spending three days on a fantastic safari I was still hoping to spot the notoriously reclusive leopard. On my last night while staying at Beho Beho, a leopard came to drink from the waterhole, just 25 m (80 ft) away from me. She looked straight at me as though I was interrupting her — and then, after a good ten minutes, crept back into the darkness. What a brilliant end to the safari.

Photos of Annabel

  • Annabel at Baraza, Zanzibar Annabel at Baraza, Zanzibar
  • Annabel on Beau Vallon Beach, Mahé, Seychelles Annabel on Beau Vallon Beach, Mahé, Seychelles
  • Annabel at the Butterfly Centre, Zanzibar Annabel at the Butterfly Centre, Zanzibar
  • Annabel waiting for Mount Otemanu to reveal itself, French Polynesia Annabel waiting for Mount Otemanu to reveal itself, French Polynesia
  • Annabel on safari in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania Annabel on safari in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
  • Annabel on the beach at the Pearl Bora Bora, French Polynesia Annabel on the beach at the Pearl Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  • Annabel by a traditional canoe on Le Taha'a, French Polynesia Annabel by a traditional canoe on Le Taha'a, French Polynesia
  • Annabel at the Turtle Centre at Le Meridien, Bora Bora, French Polynesia Annabel at the Turtle Centre at Le Meridien, Bora Bora, French Polynesia