Alphonse Island, about 400km southwest of Mahé, is a world-famous fly-fishing destination. The gin-clear waters of the sandbanks that shelve the perimeters of the lagoon are made for battles with the bonefish, the giant trevally, the triggerfish and other species. Alphonse is also increasingly promoting its diving potential, which is unrivalled in the country (if not in the Indian Ocean). The best thing is that it also appeals to romantics and families in search of a no-fuss hideaway.
Alphonse is a small, thickly vegetated island that's surrounded by a vast lagoon and healthy reef gardens. From the air, it looks like a giant shark's tooth. It does have some great beaches, although they're not the main drawcard.
Just 5km south from Alphonse is Bijoutier, a tiny islet surrounded by glassy waters, with splendid snorkelling. Further south lies St François, whose sensational submerged sandbanks have achieved cult status among bonefishing enthusiasts.