A Jewel Amongst the Islands with Luxurious Holiday Accommodation
90 km north-east of Mahé, Denis Island rises crescent-shaped from the sea and, like its sister island Bird, is extremely flat with two-metre high sand banks. Lots of greenery, long sandy beaches, and a protective coral reef are just some of the other things that these islands share. Unlike Bird, however, no seabird colonies reside here, but rather a wide variety of native land birds, which were allowed to thrive after egg-consuming mammals were banished from the island. In 2009, the Seychellois even managed to encourage the paradise flycatcher to settle on Denis. Besides a few specimens on La Digue, this bird is now unique to the island.
You can reach Denis from the main island in just 35 minutes via propeller plane. About 50 locals inhabit the privately-owned island, which is just 1.5 square kilometres in size.
Beautiful small roads, also accessible by bike, lead through the vegetation-rich interior of the island, where, amongst others, the coconut, takamaka, and Indian almond trees thrive, and rare birds have their home. It pays to participate in a guided natural history tour, and especially in professionally-guided bird-feeding sessions.
In the north-western corner of the island, twenty-three quality cottages and two villas offer luxurious accommodation with barefoot ambience for the perfect combination of convenience and natural life. Just behind the resort, the beautiful beach extends into a fabulous snorkelling spot. The former planter settlement behind the runway contains a few historic houses that are still standing, as is the now-dilapidated lighthouse. On this side of the island, the approximately 100 employees of the hotel live. These Seychellois work in a variety of roles, including maids, gardeners, fisherman, and more. Local products are also grown here and prepared for the resort's visitors in the form of Seychellois cuisine.
Many guests come to this exclusive resort to switch off and enjoy the tranquillity, romance, and natural beauty of the island. Those seeking permanent WiFi, varied TV channels, and fully air-conditioned rooms are better off looking elsewhere.
In terms of spots, on Denis it is possible to go sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and play tennis. Pelagic fish travel to the lush fishing grounds near the island, and boats and fishing equipment are available to make the most of this. Nearby, a coral reef drops from 18 to as much as 100 metres in depth. Here, encounters with large fish, even sharks, are certain. The best months to go diving are from October to May, as the rest of the year brings with it markedly reduced underwater visibility. Employees of the PADI diving centre take care of the divers.
The island takes its name from Captain Denis de Trovriand, who, in 1773, was the first European to land on the island and take it for the French crown. After many, many years of copra industrialism, a German bought Denis, before a British travel entrepreneur couple gradually made the island more attractive for eco-conscious holidaymakers twenty years later.
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