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SEYCHELLES

The land of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a bum shaped fruit that can land you in jail just for eating it!

Seychelles has one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and an abundant marine life which makes it a great place to scuba and snorkel. The pristine blues of the water coupled with the thick green forest is a sight not to be missed. It’s unique vegetation of coco de mer tress and 5 foot long palm tree leaves are endemic to the island itself. I call it the Jurassic forest since that’s how overwhelmingly beautiful and terrifying it can get at the same time. You can trek in one of the most untouched places and encounter snakes and crabs on the journey. It’s a wild place and that makes it a must go! It is a con-glomeration of numerous picturesque islands but most of the population lives on the three main islands: Mahe, Praslin and La Digue! Each one of these is worth visiting for the different kind of experiences it offers.

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LET'S PLAN

When is it a good time to visit Seychelles?

Seychelles lies just below the equator so it’s a warm place all through the year. There’s never a bad time to visit but if you’re keen on diving and snorkelling then the best time is Oct-Nov and Mar to May. Rest of the time, the waters are filled with sea weed and the visibility is dense. The hottest season is from Dec to Feb and the wettest is Jan and Feb.

Who should I go with?

It’s a perfect place for couples and families. It’s an ideal honeymoon destination. There are many water activities to indulge in with your family. If you want some quaint time with your partner, you can also chose from the many romantic resorts . Road trips here are very picturesque.

What should I pack?

Seychelles is an island and imports most things from the outside world. Hence, very common things can be unreasonably priced. I would suggest you carry things like flip flops, snorkel masks, sunscreen, and other basic items and if you’re a vegetarian, I’d suggest pack some snacks too.

Is a Visa required?

Seychelles is a visa-free country which means that there are no visa requirements for any person wishing to travel. For updated travel info: http://www.mfa.gov.sc/static.php?content_id=1

How do you travel within the country?

There are cars available on rent if you have an international licence. Ferries are available between islands and they should be booked in advance. Other ways to travel are local buses and taxis.

What’s the budget like?

I won’t say this place is budget friendly. Car rent is around 45€ per day and a meal could be around 7-10€ per person.

PLACES TO GO

PRASLIN

Let's get started!

We started from Mumbai with a flight delay but managed to make it on time to Mahe for our ferry to Praslin Island. Cat cocos ferry is the only one transporting people through islands and it sails twice a day. Get a booking in advance and keep a print out of it.

 
Upon reaching Praslin, we found many locals waiting to rent their cars and we booked one for 45 euros a day and drove to our resort. It’s one of the best ways to travel around as it gives you a lot of freedom of time and space. On our way to our resort, we were already witnessing the bluest of blue waters and the smell of the beach was filling our noses. We couldn’t help but giggle at that. Four days is an ideal time to spend in Praslin to see most of the major attractions.
Accomodations:

There are some very high end resorts to stay here. There are some mid range hotels and several ‘BnB’ places as well. Overall, there are wide options to choose from. Cote D’Or is  the most touristy place in the island and filled with many water front hotels. Anse Lasio has a mix of beaches and hills for a view. You can opt for any as the island is not that big so getting around is hardly an issue.

Places to visit in Praslin:

National Park of Valle de Mer: (Day 1) – Valle De Mer is a world UNESCO heritage site. This nature reserve consists of a plethora of palm trees with leaves as long as 5 feet. You see a lot of coco de mer fruits which is an exotic fruit and has the largest seed in the plant kingdom. This fruit is endemic to the island. It takes around 30 years for it to mature and if you’re found with it, you can be sentenced to jail and hence is also called as the ‘ Forbidden Fruit ’. The wildlife is very untouched and primitive and goes back to the time when Seychelles was a part of the sun-continent Gondwana. it can be done in half a day and truly a place of remarkable beauty.

Cote D’or: (Day 1) – Anse Volbert or Cote D’or is the most popular beach of Praslin. It is the longest beach in Praslin and it is full of tour operators who provide day trips to nearby islands. The beach itself is very long and has plenty of tree cover along the beach. This area is filled with restaurants and hotels and hence the beach is generally full of tourists. As it is a crowded beach, there are several activities that can be done in and around the beach such as snorkelling, windsurfing, swimming, scuba diving and sailing. It is definitely the hub of all water activities in Praslin.

Anse Lasio Beach: (Day 2) – This is one of the most beautiful beach we have ever been to. Located at north west end of the island, the beach is surrounded by a plush forest with white sand and crystal clear water. Driving is the easiest way to reach this beach and the route is very scenic. A local bus also runs from Cote D’or Beach and drops you at the end of a hill from where you need to trek 10 mins through the forest to reach the beach. This is an excellent place for snorkeling. It is very rich in corals and marine life. The best place to snorkel is towards the boulders at the extreme ends of the beach.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can climb the large granite rocks and take a plunge in the beautiful water below.

Visit the tortoises at Curieuse Island: (Day 3) – The Curieuse island is a small Island north of Praslin. It takes about ten minutes of boat ride to reach the island and there are several tour operators that take you out on a day trip to the island. The operators can generally be found on Cote D’or beach and they offer day trips with excellent lunch with barbecues. If you are a vegetarian, its best to let them know about your dietary preferences before hand. Alternatively, you can take a taxi boat to the island which is much cheaper. The tour starts with the home of more than 300 large tortoises at Baie Laraie. You can feed and interact with the tortoises but care should be taken while feeding them as they can give some nasty bites. There is a nursery where baby tortoises are nursed and fed till they are old enough to be left in the wild. There is a walking trail from Baie Laraie to Anse St. Joseph, which is at the other side of the island. The trail takes about 45 minutes to walk and goes through the mangroves on a wooden bridge and offers an excellent beach at the end of it. Curieuse island is also home to some unique flora and fauna like the green turtles, black parrots and Coco De Mer Palm trees.

Snorkel at St. Pierre: (Day 3) – You can include a snorkeling excursion with your trip to Curiuse Island on the islet of St. Pierre. It is a graveyard of corals but it still has marine life with some schools of fish. Snorkeling at Anse Lazio was far better than here and this place can be missed.

Sunset at Grand Anse: (Day 4) – Grand Anse is at eastern side of the Praslin Island and is the largest beach. Our hotel Coco De Mer and Black parrot suites was located at this beach. This beach offers an incredibly beautiful drive along the coast and offers some incredible spots for snorkeling. The sunsets here are incredibly majestic. We recommend you drive along the coast and stop at any location and have a small picnic before the sunset.

Traveling for fewer days?

Snorkeling at Anse Lazio and the tortoises of Curiuse Island are the highlights of Praslin and should not be missed.

LA DIGUE

The ferry to LaDigue from Praslin is just 15 minutes away via Cat Cocos. LaDigue is a tiny island with just 10Kms in diameter. It is mostly commuted by cycles. All hotels rent out cycles to go around the island! The entire city centre can be explored on foot within two hours. Two to Three days are sufficient to explore the island.

Accomodations:

La Digue city centre has the majority of the accommodations. The accommodations vary from five star resorts to villas. We stayed at a homestay with a kitchen and a lawn and it was great to cook our own meals for a few days.

Places to visit in LaDigue:

Source D’Argent Beach: (Day 1) – This beach has been rated the most beautiful beach several times. The white sand, emerald waters and the towering granite boulders, makes this beach one of the most picturesque beaches. The entry to this beach is through a L’Union Estate and there is a steep fee of Seychellian Rs115 per person to enter the estate. While in the estate you can also check out the vanilla plantation. An interesting activity to do here is guided kayaking tours on clear bottom kayaks. These kayaks are completely transparent and you can see the ocean floor through the kayak at all times. This is an incredible way to see the coral life around the island.

Hike to Eagle’s Nest: (Day 1) – You can hike the tallest peak in LA Digue known as Nid d’agile or the eagle’s nest. It offers incredible views of La dig and surrounding islands. If you do not want to trek so much, you can take a taxi to Belle Vue restaurant which is almost half way up the peak and offers incredible views of the sunset. Its best to reserve before hand if you wish to dine at Belle Vue restaurant. The trek to Eagle’s nest is not the easiest and you should be well prepared before embarking on this trek.

Pointe Grand Anse: (Day 2)  – You can cycle along the road from your accommodation to this beautiful beach on the south eastern tip of La Digue . It takes about half an hour of cycling along the ever-changing gradients of La Digue to reach this beach. A local bus also plies from the city centre to this beach if you are not in the mood to cycle all the way here. It has a beachfront restaurant called Loutier Coco which offers excellent buffets at a reasonable price. The beach is extremely beautiful but caution must be taken before swimming here as the currents can get really strong.

Anse Cocos and Petite Anse: (Day 2) – From Grand Anse you need to trek through the plush forest and granite boulders to first reach Petite Anse and then trek a further 20-25 minutes to reach Anse Cocos. Both these beaches are beautiful and the advantage is that there are very few tourists here. At Anse Cocos you can swim in a natural pool which is surrounded by the granite boulder.

Traveling for fewer days?

There are day trips available from Praslin to La Digue and you can visit Source D’Argent Beach and the vanilla plantation on your day trip.

MAHE

Mahe is the largest Island in Seychelles and is home to the capital of Seychelle, Victoria. Mahe is big enough to have very distinct vibes in different parts of the island. While Victoria and Beau De Vallon are busy, the western coast is quaint and peaceful.

 

Accomodations:
Accomodations in Mahe can be split into resorts and hotels around Beau De Vallon & resorts in western coast of Mahe. We stayed at Savoy Seychelles in Beau De Vallon. The resort was pretty good with an incredible swimming pool. We stayed at Villa Vanilla in the western coast of Mahe and it’s a villa in the center of the forest.

 

Places to visit in Mahe:

Victoria town: (Day 1) – Located in the North East of Mahe, Victoria town is a 20 minute ride from the Mahe Airport. You will have to board your Cat Coco ferry from Victoria Harbour when you want to travel to Praslin or La Digue. Victoria town has two city centres. The first one is the clock tower and the other one is Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market. Both are ten minutes walk away from each other. Victoria town has a lot of sites to offer which includes museum, harbour, national botanical garden, Bel Air Cemetery and the Victoria house. Victoria is the only place where you have a decent nightlife in Seychelles. There are night clubs and bars located close to the clock tower and the market.

Beau De Vallon: (Day 1) –  Located 15 minute car drive north of Victoria, this beach is arguably the most popular beach of Mahe. The beach is very touristic and has a lot of beachfront resorts and hotels. Being so popular with tourists, Beau De Vallon is the centre for all water sports activities from jetski, snorkelling and scuba diving tours, parasailing and swimming. The beach is very active throughout the day and the waters are safe to swim in. There are lots of beachside restaurants that offer multiple cuisines to suit your palate. You can kitesurf and windsurf here but there are no rental shops to rent equipment.

Tea factory & Morne Blanc hike (Day 2) – Located at the western coast of Mahe on the Morne Blanc mountain, the iconic tea factory offers incredible views of the tea terraces and overlooks the ocean. It is a forty minute drive from victoria town. You can learn all about how the tea in Seychelles is made here. It also offers a small and easy trek around the tea plantations to some incredible views of the west coast of Mahe. There is a separate trek to the top of Morne Blanc mountain whose trail starts a few meters away from the the tea factory. This trek takes about 40 minutes and will certainly make you sweat. It is advisable to stick to the trail and towards the end of the trek you will reach a wooden platform which offers some incredible panaromic views of Port Luanay.

Port Luanay National Park and Baie Ternay Marine National Park: (Day 2) – Located at north west coast of Mahe Island, these marine national parks are a ten minute drive from each other and  have a very eerie yet very beautiful landscape. The water recedes hundred meters during low tide and leaves a very large marshy beach behind. Baie Ternay is an excellent place to snorkel and scuba dive to see sting rays, squids, octopus, white sharks and whales besides other coral life. This is one of the most bio diverse corals in all of Seychelles. Though there are restaurants along Port Luanay beach, there are no restaurants on Baie Ternay and the beach is generally completely deserted. This is the beach for thrill seekers and explorers. You can hire a snorkelling/scuba dive tour from Port Luanay and you can enter Baie Ternay national park through the ocean and dive at offshore spots. The views of these places are so incredibly unique that they are a must see in Seychelles.

Grand Anse beach: (Day 3) – Located at west coast of Mahe, this beach is the longest beach in Mahe. As there are no corals, the waves are generally higher compared to Seychelles standards. As there is ample space, it is suitable for families. However, there are not many activities that happen on this beach and the beach is more or less deserted. 

Eden Island: (Day 4) – This is an upmarket Island twenty minutes drive away from Victoria at the east coast of Mahe. It has a lot of high end shopping plazas and restaurants. It also has a harbour and a lot of catamarans and boats can be hired for trips here. This place offers luxury yatchs and catamarans for hire.

Traveling for fewer days?

Victoria market is a very popular spot in the morning where fresh produce is sold and it’s visited by travellers who like to photograph a unique setting of colours and scent. If you’re not interested in the market, you can hop on the beau vallon beach or have a small trek up the national park.

TRIVIA

Coco de Mer is a palm tree fruit which takes upto 20 years to mature. There are many legends surrounding the history of this tree. The french named it after seeing it float around the sea often. They believed these fruits emerged from an underwater city and thus named it ‘coconut of the sea’. It was later found to coming from this unknown island at that time which is now known as ‘Seychelles’. You can buy the outer shell form many souvenir shops and the cost is quite hefty but the whole fruit is endangered and it’s against that law to poach one.

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SEYCHELLES The land of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a bum shaped fruit that can land you in jail just for eating it! Seychelles

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