Exquisite Languor on Empty White Beaches
The shallow lagoons and perfect beaches of this small, untouched island offer a slice of paradise in a forgotten comer of the world. And, like paradise, Desroches is difficult to reach – some 1,000 miles off the East African coast and only recently opened to tourists in a deep escape mode.
It is a pristine, low-lying sand cay of shockingly white beaches (in the wild Amirantes archipelago of twenty-eight islands named after Admiral Vasco da Gama), barely half a mile wide and 3 miles long, and banded by concentric circles of aquamarine and turquoise waters of incredible visibility. You can walk the 10-mile palm-fringed, white-sand circumference in three hours or bicycle along paths through the giant coconut plantation that covers the interior. Although it’s far removed from the pretensions of civilization, the only hotel is, ironically, the very epitome of civilized hospitality. Desroches Island Lodge’s ten sea-facing villas house twenty deluxe suites, and the dining is simple and excellent.
The island’s protective reef offers world-class deep-sea fishing and the best water activities in the Indian Ocean, but the inclination to tuck into a bestseller on your breezy veranda may be just too great to resist.