The 115-island country with the smallest population of any African state, the Republic of Seychelles, is a hidden gem located in the Indian Ocean and is perfect for a romantic getaway. The Outer Islands of Seychelles are the less visited of the island-country, offering pristine beaches, lonely rock outcrops and untouched habitats for many species of wildlife. The Outer Island groups, namely Alphonse and Desroches, currently offer luxurious lodges for accommodation, as well as idyllic and untouched spots for fishing, sailing and diving.

The best and most interesting facet of the Seychelles is their multi-ethnic population comprised of peoples from all four corners of the earth. Every nation is represented on the island, including freed slaves, European settlers, political exiles, adventurers, traders of Arab and Persian origin as well as Chinese and Indians. Creole (a lilting, French-based patois), English and French are widely spoken in the Republic, and knowing a few phrases makes your stay more enjoyable as you’ll be able to interact with the locals.

Travel to the main island via Air Seychelles, and get to the Outer Islands via Zil Air. No visas are required to enter the country, however a valid passport, return or onward tickets, proof of accommodation including contact details and sufficient funds for the duration of the stay are all documents that will need to be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport.

When visiting the Outer Islands, you can stay at the beach front resort of Alphonse Island at a cost of between $3,689 and $9,497 per night per person. Another exquisite resort is the Desroches Island Resort on Desroches Island. The price ranges from $1,101 to $2,202 per double room per night. When on the main island of Mahé, a popular hotel is the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Hotel & Spa, which is a 5-star resort offering the most scenic views of the Indina Ocean and spectacular sunsets. Prices range between $557 and $807.