Six reasons to visit the Island of the Seychelles
Seychelles’ natural beauty has fascinated travelers for centuries but this archipelago of 115 islands, many of which still slumber in their original, pristine state, offers great diversity besides.
Now This is Beach
Seychelles provides an unparalleled experience of sun, sea & sand with many strands regularly topping world lists.
One favorite is Anse Lazio on Praslin Island, where sapphire waters and silver sands conspire to present a timeless dreamscape to sun- worshippers. Following close behind is La Digue’s Anse Source D’argent with its dappled turquoise waters and background of granite sentinels. The main island Mahé has 65 beaches of its own. Topping the list is Anse Intendance with its two-kilometer strand and impressive breakers; Carana beach with its lazy swells; Beau Vallon, which is more touristy and very much the place to see and be seen and south Mahé’s Anse Royale, the locals’ favorite. Every island has its signature beach and always check the surroundings for a beachside restaurant for that feet-in-the-sand dining experience.
Where Two Becomes One, Island Style
Prince Harry and Kate Middleton’s choice of Seychelles for their honeymoon catapulted the islands to fame as the ultimate honeymoon destination. With such fabled natural beauty, it’s difficult to imagine a more perfect locale for weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, or impromptu romantic breaks. Seychelles is one place where beauty and year-round tropical warmth ensure that love is always in the air. And with seasoned wedding planners on hand to take care of the details, you’re free to enjoy everything else –from stays in luxurious resorts and exclusive island hideaways to activities such as sailing, diving, spa & wellness, golf, trekking, and island hopping.
Where nature is another experience
Seychelles is a veritable Noah’s Ark and home to a spectacular array of flora & fauna including some of the world’s rarest species. Don’t miss a trip to one of Seychelles’ UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the incredible Vallée de Mai on Praslin, where the world heaviest nut, the coco-de-mer, shaped like a woman’s pelvis, grows on ancient palms in a hidden valley. Back on Mahé, the Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of the capital, Victoria, offers a bite-sized experience of Seychelles’ natural world and an impressive collection of endemic palms, the famous cannonball tree, an old orchid garden, and the famous coco-de-mer. For nature lovers, there is a network of walks and trails crisscrossing the islands of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue where it is always advisable to take a guide and avoid the midday sun. Boat trips to island sanctuaries such as Curieuse, Moyenne, Aride, and Cousin are also a must.
Did someone say Food Crawl
French cuisine was brought to the islands by the first settlers and later added to by English colonists and influences from immigrants from India and China, making Creole cuisine a melting pot of cultures. Taste spicy curries and gratins made with freshly-caught seafood at the Marie-Antoinette Restaurant and Le Bistro ; enjoy a diverse Creole menu at Auberge Chez Plume; top drawer, fine-dining at La Grande Maison; great Chinese at Chilli Bar; visit the night bazaars to taste homemade local food and drinks; pop into scenic Eden Island for a more cosmopolitan menu of Indian fare at Maharajas; great pizzas and decadent desserts at Bravo and a selection of treats at the popular Boardwalk. Seychelles also has excellent takeaways where you can savor fine, traditional food at attractive prices.
Perfect for Watersports
They say God made Seychelles with sailors in mind, and viewing these islands from the ocean in the same way as the early explorers, is difficult to beat. Start with a trip to Praslin or La Digue on the fast catamaran, Cat Cocos, and enjoy the sublime panoramas and even sightings of dolphins and the odd whale.
Excursions are available from the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue to surrounding islands for swimming, snorkeling, and beach BBQs. For the more adventurous, there are great thrills to be had on deep sea-fishing or diving expeditions where you will be amazed by the rich marine life. On one dive, no less than 800 different species were spotted! Companies such as Silhouette Cruises also offer spectacular sunset cruises with different options.
It’s Time to Go Local
Seychelles’ capital, Victoria, is easily walked in half a day. Start with an early morning visit to its traditional market and your finger on the pulse of the Seychellois Creole way of life. Nearby, is the impressive Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. Everywhere are hidden art galleries, museums (particularly the Museum of Natural History) souvenir shops, retail outlets, and a choice of bistros, bars, and restaurants to keep you hydrated on your meanderings into this Creole nation’s throbbing heart.
Author Credit: Glynn Burridge