Travel

Seychelles

When I think about Seychelles, I think about Paradise: wonderful beaches, luxuriant vegetation, pristine water, round granite boulders….
It’s for me one of the best holiday spot on the planet, especially if you want to relieve the stress and recharge your batteries. The languid pace of life will make you believe that time has stopped, only the rhythm of the tides will be here to remind you it hasn’t.
And as Seychelles is an archipelago composed of 115 jewel-islands, each with its own character, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your getaway.
Seychelles
You’ll arrive at Mahé International Airport. From there, you can either decide to stay on Mahé or to continue your journey, by air or by sea, to one of the 16 more remote islands offering a large range of accommodation, from luxury 5* hotels to charming small hotels, self-caterings and picturesque Creole guesthouses.
I’ll suggest you to continue and stay on Praslin and/or La Digue.
 
Praslin
 
Praslin is the second largest island of the archipelago and can boast about having some of the most beautiful beaches in Seychelles and even in the world.
Anse Georgette can only be reached by boat or through the Constance Lémuria Resort after permission. And, as only 30 non-residents are allowed on the beach at any given time, it’s strongly recommended to obtain permission in advance to avoid disappointment.
It’s a secluded and beautiful small beach, never crowded, which offers a postcard setting.
However, you have to be careful of the strong currents.
Don’t expect to find any restaurant facilities here, but that’s part of its beauty. So if you want to make the most of your day at Anse Georgette, you can either have lunch at the Contance Lémuria Resort or bring a picnic. If you only feel a little bit hungry, local people will be here to delight you with fresh coconuts and fruits, they normally stand under the biggest tree at the entrance of the beach.
If you stay until dusk, you’ll be rewarded by the wonderful show that the sky offers at sunset.
The other beach not to be missed is Anse Lazio. This beach is far more famous than Anse Georgette and there is no restricted access, this is why most of the tourists tend to go there. However, the beach being much bigger, everybody will find space, whether in the sun or in the shade.
Forget to go there by bicycle, as there is a huge hill you’ll have to overcome before reaching the beach.
Forget also to go there by bus, as it will stop at the beginning of the hill! I did it once, but I can ensure you that it isn’t the most pleasant experience, especially on the way back!
For lunch, I’ll suggest you to try the Bonbon Plume. The place lost some of its charm and is more expensive than before but the restaurant is as near as it could be from the beach and food is still excellent. Save some space for dessert, as I’ll not allow you to leave without having try their coconut cake, an unforgettable memory…
If you adventure until the further end of the beach, you’ll find, nestled in some rocks overlooking the ocean, a sand floored hut called the Honesty bar. The Honesty bar is unlike any other I’ve been before: you serve yourself directly in the fridge and leave the appropriate payment in a box if the owner isn’t around. Obviously, a place like that can only survive if everybody plays the game, so please do!
Boat trip is a good option to discover several islands in one day. You can go to Curieuse to see its population of some hundreds giant tortoises, or to Cousine and Aride if you’re more into birds.
For my side, I prefer the combination of Grande Soeur and Coco Islands, as I love snorkelling.
Grande Soeur is a small island composed of two white fine sand beaches surrounded by pink granite rocks and coconut-trees descending towards splendid turquoise waters. There are also 10 giant tortoises hanging around, you shouldn’t have too much difficulties to find them. To enjoy the landscape at his best, make sure to visit the island at high tide. Once you’ll have explored this little paradise, it will be time for lunch: your skipper will have prepared a delicious fish barbecue and some salads. 
The highlight of the day will be the snorkelling session at Coco Island, one the best spot thanks to its preserved corals. It will be like swimming in a giant aquarium. No worries if the weather conditions aren’t good enough to snorkel there, you skipper will take you to Félicité Island, which is an amazing alternative.
Even if you come to Seychelles mostly to enjoy the beach and the ocean, it will be a shame not to visit the Vallée de Mai, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have the possibility to take a closer look at the famous coco de mer, an endemic palm of the islands of Praslin and Curieuse, which produces fruits that are Nature’s exact replica of the female pelvis.
Try to visit early in the morning to avoid the heat and the tourists.

 

La Digue

La Digue is the fourth biggest island of the archipelago (the third inhabited), and is only accessible by boat from Mahé (1h30) or from Praslin (15 min). So it’s very easy to come only to spend the day. But I have to warn you that you might not want to leave after only one day here. So if you have time, try to schedule at least 2 full days at La Digue.
There was a time when no car was allowed on La Digue. Even if it has changed (with around 20 cars are in circulation, used mostly by the resort to drive the guests), the main means of transportations remain bicycles and ox-carts.
Bicycles will give you more liberty and facility to wander around.
People come to La Digue to experience exquisite beaches (again) but also to enjoy its relaxed creole atmosphere.
Anse d’Argent is the most famous beach in the Seychelles and the place you can’t miss, under any circumstances. It is, not without reasons, one of the most photographed beaches in the world. Not less! To reach it, you’ll have to pass by L’Union Estate, a lovely open-air museum of plantation life (100 Rs per person) that worth to stop and have a look.
If your legs and bottom aren’t hurting too much, you can continue to Grande Anse, from where you’ll have the possibility to access to Petite Anse and finally to Anse Cocos by a vague track at the north of Petite Anse. Although beautiful, they are unsafe for swimming due to strong currents.
For the more courageous, still not tired after all that cycling, the climb to Belle Vue, which is La Digue tallest peak, offers an amazing lookout.
Try to keep time to visit La Passe, the village where the ferry embark and disembark. This will be your chance to buy some local souvenirs as well as a well-deserved ice cream.
Luxury
 
If you want a more luxury escape, you can also think about one of the private islands such as Denis Island, Desroches Island or North Island (where William & Kate spent their honeymoon). With only one resort on each island and a limited number of rooms to ensure quality and tranquillity, you’ll sure to be pampered and to experience true luxury.
Food
 
The Seychellois cuisine is a combination of flavours from Africa, France, China, India and UK, brought to the islands over the centuries.
If you enjoy seafood and fresh fruits/vegetables, you’ll not be disappointed.
For a real experience of the Seychellois cuisine, go out of your resort and try local restaurants, cafes and take-away.
The more audacious, will have the possibility to taste a quite unique dish: the fruit bat, which apparently taste a bit like venison.

 

Useful information
 
No visa is required for most of the countries.
March/April and October/November are the best months to plan a visit.
Sun rises around 6am and sets around 6pm all year round.
Driving is on the left side of the road.
The British standard electric plugs are in used.
The time difference is GMT+4 during Summer and GMT+5 during Winter.
The currency is the Seychellois rupee (1€ ≈ 16 Rs / 1£ ≈ 20 Rs / 1$ ≈ 12 Rs).
The 3 officials languages are Creole, English and French.

Bon voyaz !

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