Serenity. Peace. Bliss. That’s Seychelles for you. My husband and I were searching for offbeat honeymoon destinations before our wedding and nothing in our research could beat Seychelles. An archipelago of 115 islands, Seychelles has a lot to offer to the nature-loving tourist – from breath-taking beaches to coral reefs, from rare varieties of flora to surprising fauna, the fun never ends. Probably that’s the reason why Prince William and Kate also chose Seychelles as their honeymoon haven. The best part- As you start landing, you will notice, on one side you see the pristine Indian ocean and on the other, lush green mountain ranges.
During our trip to this exquisite destination, we covered three major islands- Mahé (the capital city), Praslin and La Digue.
Mahé: The largest island in Seychelles archipelago is where you will land to begin your journey. We would recommend that you choose any of the beachfront resorts for your stay, even if they are a bit expensive. They provide a truly enriching and relaxing experience worth every buck that you spend on them.
Must visit places in Mahe:
- Anse Royal: One of the most stunning beaches you would have ever seen, we found this beach to be one of the friendliest out of all beaches that we have ever come across. Perfect for those who love to swim in clear ocean waters.
- Beau Vallon: The most popular beach in Mahe, Beau Vallon is vibrant and provides access to a multitude of activities including snorkelling, surfing, jet-skis, kite surfing and many more. Adventure lovers are in awe of this beach.
- National Botanical Garden: Located in the heart of Victoria, the botanical garden gave us a glimpse of the rich bio-diversity of Seychelles. While there, you must pay a visit to the giant old tortoises. Feeding those calm, saintly animals is pure joy!
- Le jardin du Roi (King’s garden) spice garden: Walk amongst the greens of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and more. Modelled after 18th century France, this place will make you revel in its beauty as well as fragrance. After the walk, you can and should go to the in-house café to enjoy the delicacies made from freshly plucked spices. Don’t forget to try some of the rare varieties of ice-creams available here
- Eden Island: This artificially created island is a must visit to experience a luxurious life sprinkled with local flavours. The restaurants here are located by the bay and provide a beautiful absorbing ambience along with delicious food and drinks.
Pro-tip: Hire a car the moment you land in Mahe. This will save you from spending huge bucks on taxis and you will gain enough flexibility to explore places at your own pace. Other beaches to explore include Anse Intendance, Petite Anse, Anse Takamaka and Baie Lazare.
Praslin: A well-organized and fascinating ferry ride took us from Mahe to Praslin and gave us the opportunity to enjoy different shades of blue and green as we traversed the Indian Ocean. Again, its recommended to stay in a beach front resort to make the most out of your stay in Praslin. Our hotel provided us a room that had doors opening straight towards the beach. We were quite literally living in a ‘villa on the beach’.
Must visit places in Praslin:
- Anse Lazio: Fringed by Takamaka and coconut palms, this is the beach you probably saw on most Seychelles tourism guides and videos. Although we had to do a little bit of hiking over the hill to access the beach, but the crystal clear waters here are certainly worth the effort.
- Curiuse Island: Accessible by boat tours from Praslin, Curiuse Island is now the breeding ground for giant tortoises, which you can find in appreciable numbers here.
- Vallée de Mai National Park: A prehistoric forest that preserves at least 4000 examples of the rare giant Coco de mer fruit palm which is unique to Seychelles and also the national symbol. An ideal place for nature enthusiasts, this place is home to a large variety of trees as well as several species of lizards and rare birds. This park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Côte d’Or: For most people, this beach is ‘love-at-first-sight’. The waters are shallow and safe and the sand is really soft. Moreover, a number of little shops and restaurants line the beach offering you some really cool souvenirs as well as great food.
- St Pierre scuba diving excursion: This tiny island is a beautiful diving site and can be reached by boat from Côte d’Or in a few minutes. Our experience with ‘Whitetip Divers’ was brilliant! The instructors explained everything with utmost care and took us to one of the most pristine spots for scuba diving. Never had I even imagined that the underwater universe could be so colourful and breath-taking.
Pro-tip: While there are several places in Mahe as well which offer you snorkelling/scuba diving, resist the temptation and prefer Praslin or La Digue for your water adventure.
La Digue: Another ferry from Praslin, and we found ourselves at La Digue- the smallest of the three main islands of Seychelles. This tiny and charming island welcomes you with open arms and astounding beaches. And mind you- be prepared to roam around the island in a bicycle. Taking a bicycle on rent is the first thing that you’ll be required to do here because other vehicles are a strict no-no here. A heaven for photographers, you wouldn’t be able to keep yourself from clicking, even if you are not a professional.
Must visit places
- Anse Source D’argent: One of the most photographed beaches in the world, Anse Source D’argent requires you to pay an entrance fee of around 100SCR and also allows you to explore a famous museum and giant tortoises.
- Beach Hopping: We hopped on to our respective bikes and did quite a bit of beach hopping. Rather than recommending you to go to specific beaches other than the one mentioned above, we would suggest hopping on and off your bicycle, every time you approach a new and tempting beach or view point while travelling through the narrow lanes of La Digue.
Pro-tip: The island is very small, so you can just assign 1 or 2 days from your complete itinerary to La Digue. No need to hurry from one spot to another. Just relax and enjoy.
With warm and welcoming locals and tourist-friendly destinations found across the archipelago, Seychelles is truly a slice of paradise on earth.