Until the advent of steam ships and the opening of the Suez Canal, it was a strategically important port of call for ships sailing to Asia and Southern Africa from Europe. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled here in 1815 until his death in 1821; you can pay your respects at his grave today. Charles Darwin visited in 1836 and described it in his diary as “a curious little world within itself”. Its remote location means it is rich in wildlife, including a 185-year old tortoise. No visit is complete without swimming with the gentle giant whale sharks. As you’d expect, the seafood is out of this world!