Clichéd or not, the islands of Seychelles are about as close to paradise as you can get: once you have felt the sand between your toes and paddled in the crystal clear waters here, beach holidays will never be the same again.
Made up of 115 topical islands in all, the Seychelles archipelago is a destination where white, sandy beaches are as pure as the driven snow; where frothy turquoise waters harbour colourful coral reefs and bountiful marine life; where secret coves allow you to have your very own Robinson Crusoe moment with only birds and tortoises for company.
Mahé may be the biggest and the busiest of all the islands and home to the capital Victoria, but it has its fair share of secluded bays, which are accessible only by yacht, motorboat or on foot. Together with its sisters Praslin and La Digue, it attracts a constant surge of tourists.
More adventurous travellers, on the other hand, may prefer to take a flying boat to more remote islands such as Fregate or Bird Island and enjoy secluded beaches all to themselves. These islands are especially popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers due to their abundance of wildlife.
The absence of people on many of the islands means that rare plant life has thrived throughout this Indian Ocean archipelago. Tropical life abounds below the waves too, and is best viewed by going scuba diving or snorkelling, experiences which are made all the more memorable here thanks to the crystalline seas.
Seychelles is more than just a natural sanctuary, though. The country is a veritable melting pot of cultures: its inhabitants descend from African, Asian and European immigrants, who have brought their customs and traditions with them to the islands. This heady mix is particularly pleasing on the palate thanks to the archipelago's fabulous fusion food.
Seychelles is an extraordinarily alluring destination, and one that's guaranteed to whet your appetite for a return trip – assuming your bank balance can handle it.