Visit La Digue, one of the most charming islands in the Seychelles, before escaping it all for a week on the exclusive and private Denis Island.
2 nights La Digue, including breakfast; 7 nights Denis Private Island, full-board. Includes flights and transfers.
12 days from £5,375pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Denis Private Island
The languid charm and utter tranquillity of Denis Private Island make it a jewel of the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by turquoise sea and a haven for wildlife, this beautiful island is a sanctuary for all.
Meander along the wandering paths of this small, exclusive retreat and you might begin to think you are the only guest. Cottages are well-spaced and hidden behind cascading bougainvillea and frangipani, and the overall atmosphere is one of quiet seclusion. Clean lines and crisp, contemporary design in the restaurant and bar create an air of natural calm. Outdoors the protected reef surrounding Denis is one of the finest dive sites in the Seychelles with regular sightings of turtles, sailfish, rays and dolphins. Hawksbill and green turtles lay their eggs on the shore, and the lagoon is perfect for snorkelling and kayaking. Walk or cycle around the island, visit the island farm or take a guided nature walk and stumble across giant tortoises and rare birdlife.
The 25 spacious cottages are decorated to a very high standard with cool stone and wooden floors, private gardens with outdoor showers and extended terraces.
After the beach - 3 days
La Digue is a sleepy island where nobody is ever in a hurry. With bicycles and ox carts the main modes of transport, you can just hire a bike, pop a mask and snorkel into the basket, and head off to a deserted beach. Meander to a viewpoint, stroll through the coconut plantation or take a boat trip to nearby islands where you can snorkel and swim in the clear seas. And if you are lucky, you will see the black paradise flycatcher at La Digue Vev Reserve, the only place in the world this bird exists.
Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie has 55 elegant villas overlooking magnificent tropical gardens. The restaurants offer Mediterranean and Creole food, and there is an impressive spa and stunning infinity pool.
Denis Private Island
25 rooms, 1 restaurant, 1 pool
Denis Private Island lies just 30 minutes by light aircraft from Mahé. The island's main building is situated on the northwest of the island, while there are 25 cottages, each with their own private beachfront, nestled in the lush vegetation. Sandy paths lead between bougainvillea, frangipani, palm and casuarina trees to the villas, some of which look directly onto the beach whilst others are tucked further back.
The look of the place is rustic island chic, with the buildings designed to blend into the foliage.
As you'd expect from an extremely beautiful private island with only a handful of other guests, the service is relaxed and friendly, and tailored to the individual.
The atmosphere is also laid-back, Denis Private Island being the kind of place you can say goodbye to shoes for the duration of your stay. There's no mobile reception, internet in rooms or TVs, meaning that guests engage with the natural surroundings and forget about the stress of everyday life. The recommended dress is light tropical wear, although the evenings are more elegant and men are requested to wear long trousers in the bar and restaurant. Shoes are definitely not required!
There aren't specific activities for children on Denis Island, however children are welcome here. They will enjoy seeing the ancient giant tortoises which are in a reserve close to the rooms and the colourful reef fish offshore. As well as exploring the natural wonders of the sea and land, they can splash about in the pool, play tennis, billiards and board games, and even learn how to bake cupcakes. Babysitting services are available for a charge.
Denis Private Island is a coral cay on the edge of the Seychelles bank, 95 km from the main island of the Seychelles Archipelago, Mahé.
The island is surrounded by tropical reef which can be explored directly from the white sand beach, while in the island's jungle-clad interior you will come across a variety of flora and fauna. On walks around the island look out for the 100-year-old lighthouse and the many different bird species that call the area home.
As this is a private island there aren't any other facilities, so make sure you bring anything essential, but the resort is on hand to look after all needs.
Denis Private Island is a perfect Robinson Crusoe island. It has white sand, turquoise seas, coral reefs and palm trees. With its luxurious accommodation, it is ideal for those looking for an idyllic tropical island beach holiday.
Due to its remote location it is for those looking to get away from it all, without the intrusion of modern life such as TVs, endless email checking and the noise of bars or traffic.
The Audley Seychelles team sends a lot of people to Denis Private Island and returning clients give it consistently excellent reviews. It always delivers on food, service and comfort, and the island is everything you could want from a hidden beach. We warmly recommend it.
There are 25 cottages and villas of between 90 sq m and 325 sq m, each offering a high standard of comfort. Choose between Beach Cottages, Deluxe Beach Cottages, Beachfront Spa Cottages, the Family Villa and the Beach Villa.
The rooms are furnished in a contemporary style, with wooden furniture that is made on the island lending a relaxed feel to the place.
All rooms on Denis Private Island are equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fan, double basins, jet showers, outside private courtyard, outdoor shower, bath, WC and bidet, tea and coffee making facilities, mini fridge, iron and hair dryer.
Rooms all have their own private sea-facing verandas dotted between casuarinas and coconut trees to ensure your total privacy. Some overlook the sea directly, whilst others are set back a few metres from the beach. All rooms have a stretch of private beachfront with sun loungers.
Meals are served in the restaurant but candlelit dinners on the beach, in the wine cellar or on your private veranda can be arranged on request for a charge.
The Beach cottages have plenty of space at 90m2. There is a sea facing veranda on which to relax with a cool drink.
Deluxe beach cottage
The Deluxe beach cottages are large at 130 sq m. There is an extended veranda to enjoy, as well as a sala and daybed.
Beachfront spa cottage
The Beachfront spa cottages are very spacious at 150 sq m. There is an extended veranda to enjoy, as well as a sala and daybed. For relaxing yet further there is a private courtyard with its own massage pavilion.
The Family villa is 169m2 and is ideal for families, having a separate bedroom and lounge area with two permanent beds that can accommodate two children under 12 years of age. There is a large sea facing deck with enough furniture for all the family.
The Beach villa is the ultimate choice on Denis Private Island. It is 325 sq m and has a living room, large veranda, outside patio and private outside courtyard with barbecue area, plunge pool, sala and daybed. The villa is stylish and private and ideal for those looking for serious luxury.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
Denis Private Island offers a range of activities both in the ocean and on land.
Those who wish to explore the island can enjoy walks or bicycle rides, visits to the farm and guided nature walks to discover the island's rich flora and fauna.
Water sports include diving and snorkelling on the house reef, which is just metres from the beach, and canoeing. Guests can also borrow kayaks to explore the lagoon, which is a lovely way to spend an hour or two, enjoying a different perspective of the reef and the island.
Denis Private Island is also a fisherman's dream. Choose between going out in the resort's boats to try big game fishing, or have a go at saltwater fly-fishing in the flat waters around the island.
The library has a selection of magazines and books, the only TV on the island and board games. There is also internet access available here, free of charge on the hotel's computers or through a wireless connection for a charge.
There is a small PADI affiliated dive centre that offers courses for novice and advanced divers alike and where snorkelling equipment is available. The protected reef surrounding Denis Private Island ranks as one of the finest areas for diving in Seychelles and there are a number of dive sites allowing sightings of turtles, sharks, sting rays, sailfish, tuna and dolphins. Whale sharks and manta rays are often sighted from September to November.
The island has access to nine dive sites which have a gradual drop-off, allowing for dives between 5 and 35 metres.
Food & drink
Denis Private Island is renowned for its gourmet cuisine. A fabulous array of freshly caught seafood, marinated meats, exotic salads and fresh vegetables are to be found on the menu, enhanced by local herbs and spices from the island's gardens.
There is one dining room, situated just back from the beach and with open sides to allow a breeze to circulate. The dining room serves buffet breakfasts, and buffet lunch with salad and a variety of hot dishes. The five-course dinners are table d'hote and on Wednesdays and Saturdays there are special evenings with either sushi or a Creole spread.
The island has its own farm and rears poultry for eggs and meat and cows for milk. There are also fruit, vegetable and herb gardens to provide fresh ingredients for the chefs. Everything grown is organic and seagrass is used as compost for the plants.
The bar is the spot for a refreshing sundowner drink and looks out over the pool area with the sea beyond.
The island produces its own coconut oil for massages — although there isn't a spa you can enjoy a treatment in your cottage or villa, or in the dedicated massage pavilion of the Beachfront spa cottages.
Location: La Digue
La Digue is a sleepy island where life is relaxed and nobody is ever in a hurry.
Creole houses nestle under papaya trees with flowers overflowing from window boxes and plant pots. Fishermen dawdle along the road with fish hanging from sticks, wooden pirogues glide across the water and ox-carts and bicycles are the principal forms of transport.
Wildlife of La Digue
Offshore, La Digue is surrounded by a necklace of coral reefs. Here, snorkelling will reveal corals, sponges, and all manner of fish from emperor angelfish to starfish and turtles. Hundreds of black paradise flycatchers are protected in La Digue Vev Reserve, a lovely spot to while away a few hours, where gentle trails lead through takamaka and badamier trees.
Whilst small, just 5 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide, La Digue is not short of exquisite beaches. The coast is lined with pretty coves, soft, white sand, interspersed with granite boulders that turn pink in the sunset. The beaches are flanked by coconut palms and fairy terns and white-tailed tropicbirds are a common sight.
La Digue is ideal for relaxation, although there are gentle activities to enjoy as well. You can enjoy bike rides along the coast, visit the coconut plantation and ramble to view points and deserted beaches. You can also take boat trips to the islands of Iles Cocos, Marianne and Les Soeurs, all of which are even quieter than La Digue.
Domaine De LOrangeraie
Accommodation: Domaine De LOrangeraie
Le Domaine De L'Orangeraie is a rather brilliant addition to the accommodation on La Digue. Located in the northwest corner of La Digue, Le Domaine is just a short walk away from the beach and is set in beautiful tropical gardens which all of the 45 villas overlook. For a small hotel there are lots of facilities including a very impressive spa, an infinity pool with pool bar, and a selection of restaurants serving Mediterranean and Creole food. A lovely addition is the complimentary bicycles so guests are able to explore all the other idyllic beaches on the island.
The 20 Garden Villas are superbly furnished with the theme being dark wood and white linen with most of the furniture having been imported from Bali. They feel modern, well appointed and spotlessly clean and have an en suite bathroom with a corner bath, marble bathroom surfaces and double wash basins.
The Villa de Charme rooms are the next step up and are beautifully elegant. They are luxury thatched villas located in the sloping hills, offering wonderful views of the tropical gardens. The spacious villas have one bedroom, a bathtub, rain-shower and a large terrace. The Villa De Charme 'Elegance' are the same as the Villa De Charme but have an additional whirlpool and are slightly more secluded.
Le Domaine De L'Orangeraie is designed for those who do not need to look straight out at the sea, want an excellent standard of accommodation but are perhaps put off by larger hotels on the bigger islands.
Day by day
Fly to the Seychelles from London via Abu Dhabi.
On landing in Mahé you will be met by an Audley representative who will show you around to the domestic terminal for your flight to Praslin. This flight is only about 15 minutes and you can enjoy the beautiful views over the islands as you go. Once you arrive in Praslin you will be collected at the airport and taken over to the jetty to catch the 15minute ferry to La Digue. When you arrive at the jetty in La Digue you will be collected and taken over to your hotel.
Today perhaps have a walk down to the main street where you can hire a bicycle for a few days or for the duration of your stay. This is the best way to get around the island and gives you complete independence to go where you want, and when. They come with baskets in the front so you can pack a picnic, and snorkel masks and fins, and just head to a secluded beach!
Today you will be collected from your hotel and taken over to the jetty in time for the ferry to Praslin. On arrival in Praslin you will be collected and taken over to the airport for your flight to Mahé.
On landing in Mahé you will check in for your flight to Denis Island. The flight over to Denis Island takes about 30 minutes and it offers beautiful views of the Islands and the azure blue waters of the Seychelles. You will be met at the airstrip and taken over to the hotel by golf buggy where you will be welcomed with a refreshing drink and a cold towel. You will then be settled into your cottage and you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying your first afternoon on this incredible island.
At leisure on Denis Island where you can spend your days enjoying the pristine beaches or unwinding on your private terrace. There is a tennis court, and a lovely library where you can play a number of board games and you can even play snooker near the lounge. There are also numerous activities which you can enjoy including canoeing, diving and deep-sea fishing which are easy to arrange locally.
The lagoon surrounding Denis Island offers some superb snorkelling, with marine life such as triggerfish, parrotfish, rays and turtles. There is also a PADI certified dive centre offering courses and dives for all abilities and you can hire all the equipment you need for snorkelling or diving.
Denis Island is rated as one of the best deep sea fishing sites in the Seychelles so if you fancy trying your hand at catching some big fish perhaps head out fishing today.
The island itself offers some lovely walks through the forest, offering a nice change of pace from the beach. Inland, you will find the giant tortoise colony and old village craft workshops, as well as beautiful indigenous plants. Either explore independently, or with a guide on a nature tour where you can learn about the island's history, flora and fauna first-hand.
If you feel like a bit of pampering, why not enjoy a spa treatment from one of the resident masseuses. They offer a range of therapies in the privacy of your garden courtyard or in your cottage.
Your last day to make the most of your time on this wonderful private island.
Today you have the morning to relax and enjoy the last few hours on the beautiful island of Denis before your flight over to Mahé. Once you arrive in Mahé you will be transferred to the International terminal and check in for your flight back to London via Abu Dhabi.
Arrive back in the UK this morning.
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