Seychelles is the name for an archipelago of 115 small islands in the heart of the Indian Ocean. All the islands are splendid in their own right, one more exotic than the other, yet they share a common denominator: lush tropical vegetation, lined by white sandy beaches running down to crystal clear water in shades from emerald green to dark blue. It is a sight which never fails to impress the newly arrived traveller: beach after beach, sometimes appearing as unending expanses of white sand and sometimes as rare white pearls enclosed by small coves and lagoons. The dazzling white and extremely fine sand is a product of erosion, from the coral reefs and from seashells. Ones first impulse is to dive straight into the warm crystalline water where the abundant fish can be spotted right up to the shoreline.