at mayonne island
Upon thinking of what heaven would look like, I think of the Seychelles archipelago. Just have a look at the pictures! It just doesn’t look real. But it is what it is, and that’s what leaves a smile on my face about every time I think of these beautiful islands located in the magnificent Indian Ocean.
Unfortunately, isolation and a pristine environment comes with a price, and a trip to the Seychelles will cost you money. This is not a budget destination. This country caters to honeymooners, celebrities and high-end tourists. But if you have the money, then this place should be on the top of your list of places to visit. Prince William and Kate Middleton had picked up Seychelles as their honeymoon destination. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had flown to a secret hideaway on one of the islands here in Seychelles.
Anse Lazio voted the 4th best beach in the world by TripAdvisor users
As per a local…the Seychelles were uninhabited islands. 13 men and 1 female slaves of various races landed on the islands first after their ship was wrecked off Seychelles. These 13 men and the only woman populated the Seychelles. So basically all Seychellois people are interrelated. Although i doubt if this is true or just a made up story to tell the tourists.
Seychelles (pronounced as ‘say-shells’) is an island country consisting of 115 islands, Nearby countries are Madagascar and other smaller island countries.The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small, The temperature varies little throughout the year from 24 to 30 °C. We stayed on three out of the many islands viz, Praslin, Mahe and La Digue. and the stay over here was overwhelming, each island has its own speciality.
What to eat?
Being an island it is best known for sea food. The Seychelles’s cuisine also known as Creole cuisine has been influenced by African, British, French, Indian and Chinese cuisines.Though Fruit bats are considered a delicacy in the seychelles, we did not even bother to try their bat curry :x.
Drink Seybrew: Bavarian-style lager.
Ekyu: Local beer.
Calou: Alcoholic drink made from coconut sap and used in many Seychellois dishes.
Coco D’Amour: Tropical liqueur made with coconut extract.
Bacca: Alcohol made from sugarcane liquor and mainly used on ceremonial occasions.
Dark Takamaka rum: Popular night cap.
If you enjoy a good beer you must try the local Seybrew beer, it tastes similar to a light Bavarian style beer and is a must to get you through those balmy days.
A dark Takamaka Rum on the beach under the stars is the best way to end a day on the Seychelles
No visa is required, but Seychellois (pronounced se-sel-wa) authorities make sure you are not entering to stay for good. Therefore, the following items MUST be presented to the immigration officer:
> Your return ticket.
> Your hotel voucher.
An initial entry permit is granted for 1 month but can be extended for a maximum of 3 months at a time up to a maximum of 1 year in total.
See the official travel website The only international gateway to the Seychelles is Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) near Victoria on the island of Mahe. Air Seychelles is the national airlines and as regular flights from many destinations, we flew from Mumbai by Air Seychelles which had a collaboration with Jet airways, it’s about 4 hours flight to Mahe from Mumbai and the timings are perfect as you land in Mahe in the morning. more details here – http://www.airseychelles.com
The Seychelles Tourism board is a great point of reference and they will be able to answer any and all questions you might have. Their website is http://www.seychelles.travel
The islands’ currency is the Seychelles rupee (SCR). To get the best rates, use credit cards as much as possible, and get your cash from ATMs. However, it is also possible to buy rupees from the airport and from several banks. Credit cards and European debit cards are widely accepted, with the notable exception of gas stations. Petrol must be paid with cash.
Cat Cocos operates 3 catamaran ferries serving multiple daily crossings between Mahe and Praslin and a daily crossing extension to La Digue. The sailing normally takes one hour. The fare is around €90 to €100 per person (price at June 2015) for a same day return ticket from Mahe to Praslin. Tickets can be purchased from the Cat Cocos office, opposite the pier, on the same day before travel subject to availability. Alternatively, e-tickets can be purchased online at Seychellesbookings.
Similarly, Inter Island Ferry operate a route between Praslin and La Digue with 8 daily departures taking only 15mins in crossing time. Tickets cost around €15 for an adult single, and can be purchased at the office or online with Seychellesbookings. Most arrivals at Praslin are timed to coincide with Cat Cocos departures to Mahe.
Our ferry to Praslin
We landed in Mahe and took the ferry to Praslin
Island of Mahe
Praslin is the second largest island in Seychelles, well-known for its picturesque beaches and tropical forest. Praslin is a perfect combination of beach and forests. You can relax on one among world’s most beautiful beaches, as well as go on forest trails to sight the famous Seychelles bulbul and black parrot and yes, the Coco de mer but more on this later.
How to get there?
Praslin is well connected with the inter island ferry system in Seychelles. There are ferries connecting Mahe- Praslin every hour. Ferry ride is about 60 minutes. Booking can be done online and over the counter. So after getting down at Mahe international airport you can take a taxi to the ferry terminal. Praslin also has a domestic airport. If you want to avoid the ferry you can fly to Praslin. The fares for ferry and plane differ drastically. I would recommend a ferry ride to get the feel of the island country.
Accommodation at Praslin There is a varied variety of hotels ranging from 5 stars like Constance Lemuria to simple ones Plus there are places where you get cottages/chalets on rent.
We were staying at Amitie Chalets. located on the other side of the island from the ferry, a 15 min taxi ride, about 20 euros fare. You can check http://www.airseychelles.com for domestic flights, Mahe to Praslin. as they are close to the airport.
Their superior chalet, Curieuse at 90 euros a night with breakfast and wifi included was simply fantastic.
Our stay at Praslin
This particular chalet is 15 meters from the beach with a king-sized bed, walk in shower, separate kitchen/dining room, and a veranda with an unobstructed view of the beach.
Complimentary fruit basket and champagne
There are two restaurants within walking distance, two that provide free transportation to and from, two take-a-ways. A bus stop is located 50 meters from here, 5 rupees per person one-way regardless of the distance, or you can rent a car for 30-40 euros a day (price depends upon availability).
‘Best place in all of praslin’ With friendly hosts and a great cottage…everything was as we wanted it to be for our honeymoon. They helped us with renting a car too,
Us with ilene
Ilene who works there was very friendly and helpful. We stayed here for 3 nights. And the beach being right in front of you was the final cherry on the cake. Would love to come back here again.
View from verandah
Our accommodation on the Praslin Island was so spectacular that it needs a blog post on its own. We could have stayed here forever 😉 I can guarantee you, it was one of the best stays so far!
Things to do at Praslin
Anse Lazio voted the 4th best beach in the world by TripAdvisor users – See more at: http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/2516/Praslin+Islands+Anse+Lazio+voted+the+th+best+beach+in+the+world+by+TripAdvisor+users#sthash.VmnFyvDA.dpuf “Picture perfect, with crystal clear, warm waters, shade, sun and powder white sand” This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has clear blue waters and clean white sand just like rest of the beaches in Seychelles. But the magnificent granite boulders bordering the beach is what makes this beach special. It is filled with sea life and great to snorkel in especially the right corner, don’t give it a miss.
The view in Anse Georgette is breathtaking. It’s a perfect combination of the blue waters and clear white sand. You need to walk through Constance Lemuria to get in there. It is preferred to call in advance and book.
Zimbabwe point – The highest point in Praslin, Grand Anse, breathtaking views.
Vallee De Mai
It is a nature park and a UNESCO world heritage site.
It is well known for its tall Coco De mer trees and well preserved palm forests. You can also spot the Seychelles bulbul and black parrot there.
The endemic black parrot exclusively subsists on these palm trees.
Coco de mer
Coco De mer which is only found in Seychelles is grown as an ornamental tree in many areas in the tropics, and subsidiary populations have been established on Mahé and Silhouette Islands in the Seychelles to help conserve the species.
The fruit is used in Ayurvedic medicine and also in traditional Chinese medicine. In food, it is typically found as flavor enhancers for soups in southern Chinese cuisine, namely cuisine around the Canton country.
Coco de mer palms
The tough outer seed coat has been used to make bowls. One coco de mer nut can make two bowls fixed with wooden handle and with a cover is used to carry water.
We have to take a boat ride to reach this island. It is usually a day trip.
Crossing the emerald-coloured sea was fascinating! We were given a map of the island and told to travel to the other end by lunch time and food will be served there.
There’s a doctor house just at the beginning.
The forest trail was a nice experience and we spotted few birds.
Trail to other side of the island
We were greeted by the giant tortoises on the other end at the tortoise conservation center.
Seeing all these tortoises walking around and eating leaves was a great experience. Some of them even made some noises, that was fun.
There are generations of tortoises, right from baby tortoises to over 100 year old ones. You can feed them and play around, click photographs.
The tour manager had arranged for barbeque along the beach. We enjoyed yummy food amidst of amazing scenery.
After food we strolled along the beach and swam for a while, then proceeded to an area for snorkelling in the boat.
the sea life and the corals were simply phenomenal, Before we left the small Seychelles island to go back to Praslin, we had some joy in the waters. We couldn’t say no to this nice beach and the turquoise water.
Island – 2 : La Digue Arriving at La Digue feels like sailing straight into a painting, brimming with brush strokes of blue, green and tan. The beaches here are spectacular, particularly Anse Source d’Argent, which is strewn with granite rocks.
Pandiculating at a beach cafe
La Digue is the third largest inhabited island of the Seychelles in terms of population, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island. In terms of size it is the fourth largest granitic island of Seychelles after Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette Island. It has a population of 2,800 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe Once, one was not allowed to own a car at La Digue. This has recently changed, but the main means of transportations are still bicycles.Tourists are requested to adapt to this lifestyle; it is possible to rent bicycles right near the pier. There are a few personally owned vehicles, but most cars and buses belong to hotel companies.
Calou guest house
We stayed in La Passe, at Calou Guest house, at their garden bungalow, (€110 for 2 persons on Half Board or €85 for 2 persons on Bed & Breakfast) It’s a nice place to stay and decent staff and good food! their buffet was ample yet sumptuous
Dining area, where the buffet is set
Nadine was very pleasant and made our stay comfortable, two dogs at the guesthouse who are very playful .10 min cycle ride from the jetty and located at the foothills with a nice view.
Things to do
La Digue, is a quite place where you can relax, after the amazing but a little tiring Praslin (with the watersports and mountain trails).
Either you can rent bikes at the pier or at the hotels itself.
Anse Source d’Argent – best beach on La digue, its secluded and protected with granite boulders all over, the combination with fine white sand and a million shades of blue water , is soothing and will make you fall in love with this place.
There are other plenty beaches where you can lie down/snorkel, which you can stop by, as you ride your bicycles over the the road along the island.
We had booked half board so we were at the guesthouse for breakfast and dinner, lunch was usually at some random places, one place worth mentioning was Chez Jules – at Anse Banane.
Very nice! sumptuous food, limited menu, and a very small place but a friendly host and a good cook. We had tuna salad and creole fish curry and it was so delicious, that i still remember the taste !
After our lunch we went to the beach with fresh lime juice and took a nice big nap.
He has a dog named Rex who is super friendly. Overall worth the visit. Even though it was on the the other end of the island.
Similar to the day trip as mentioned for Curiose in praslin, We visited this place as part of a daily cruise from La Digue with Creole Travel.
Bye bye La Digue 🙁
Mahe The last days we spent on Mahe. It took us an hour by boat from La Digue. Our plan was to see as much as possible and this was only possible by renting a car. So we did! Our day started with first checking into a hotel. On staying at budget on previous islands we went for a fancy 5 star…but it was nothing compared to the hospitality received at amitie and calou.
Mahé is the largest island of Seychelles, lying in the northeast of the nation in the Indian Ocean. Mahe is home to the capital of Victoria .The island retains its idyllic beauty, with 3,000-foot mountains and scores of gorgeous beaches. Many plants, including the so-called Jellyfish Tree and several rare orchids, are unique to Mahe’s shores.
Relaxing by the beach
The Seychelles Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens and the Codevar Craft Centre, all in Victoria, are not to be missed.
City centre of Victoria
Victoria! It’s a nice British colonial city with a market worth visiting, some amazing churches and a botanical garden. After sipping some coffee and a pineapple-passion fruit juice in the city center, we went on a walk.
At ganpati temple in Victoria
The Arulmigu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple is the first and the only Hindu temple in Seychelles, has Ganesha as the presiding deity. As proud as we can be …went in and offered our prayers.
Beau Vallon is a bay on the north western coast of Mahé in the Seychelles. Beau Vallon Beach is a very frequented and maybe the most popular on the island. It is known as a base for diving and snorkelling due to its clear waters and coral reefs.
The road trip from Beau Vallon to the western coast continued through the world famous Morne Seychelles National Park. It was a scenic drive with some stunning views and with a visit to the tea factory! Though we were not interested in the tea factory, there was this wonderful view of the hilly landscape of the Seychelles islands, which we won’t forget
Sainte Anne Marine National Park
Sainte Anne Marine National Park It lies about 5 km from Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles, and encompasses eight small islands.
Indian naval vessel alongside for Seychelles national day celebrations
The islands are known as one of the prime tourist locations in the Indian Ocean for scuba-diving, glass-bottom boat excursions and snorkeling among the coral reefs.
The colorful underwater world attracts tourists from around the world who are watching here the magnificent coral gardens, reef sharks and colorful tropical fish.
The main island of Ste Anne is an 87-villa resort while Cerf Island and Round Island have Creole-style restaurants. It also has one of the largest areas of “seagrass meadows” in the Seychelles. It is very beautiful.
Local tour operators offer day trips to the Marine Park Moyenne Island Its a small island in the Ste Anne Marine National Park off the north coast of Mahé, Seychelles.
There are rumours that pirate treasure is buried on the island,but no gold or other treasure has been found as of yet.
There are two graves on the island which have been said to be those of pirates, although this cannot be confirmed.
Mission Lodge is another highly recommended spot to visit. Situated just below the summit of Sans Soucis, the Mission Lodge affords one of the most extraordinary views of Mahé’s west coast
Lazing around mission lodge
Do not miss most popular Nightclub “Lovenut” in the centre of Victoria, 100 metres walk from central Taxi station. Also entertaining are “Tequila Boom” at (Bel Ombre) and “Katiolio” (near Anse Royale) night clubs. “Katiolio” was one of the first nightclubs to open on Mahe and boats an open-air that is directly beside the ocean.
Mahe is the best island in Seychelles for shopping. So if you want to take home a few momentos from your holiday, have a stopover here before you head for the airport. You won’t find big shopping malls here but there are a speciality shops which sell local products. Seychelles is well-known for handicrafts especially hand carved wooden stuff. One such specialty shop is the Kenwyn House primarily a gem house, also has historical significance. You shouldn’t miss Sir Selwyn Clarke market for its numerous gift shops. While visiting, be sure to buy the classic and traditional Seychelles souvenir, the coco-de-mer, or the ‘nut of the sea,’ a nut from trees native to the islands in the Seychelles – but this requires an export licence. Other locally made souvenirs, although not as unique, can be purchased like sea shell and pearl jewellery, textiles and straw hats, in addition to needlework & crochet, paintings by local artists and woodwork.
The Seychelles islands are a pricey, boring honeymoon destination, as we thought it would be? Well, the prices are high but you’re definitely not going to be bored and it’s not only for honeymooners!
We will remember the Seychelles as islands with very friendly people, lots of activities to do, best beaches on earth, a diverse vegetation and colourful buildings.
On our last day before our flight we checked out if hotel and drove the west coast of Mahe which offered so many nice views of the coastline. We got the impression that this part of the island is not that popular among tourists. We actually don’t know why, as it’s so picturesque!
We found that you can eat cheaply if you do your homework and there are cheaper style guest houses as well as glamorous 5 star establishments. Can’t wait to get back!
If you enjoyed reading this post feel free to share it with others. Maybe some of your friends are planning to visit the Seychelles in the near future and will need some additional reading on the destination.
And hey, don’t forget to follow us – @dustyrucksack on facebook for more posts soon.
#dustyrucksack #seychelles #islandtrip #honeymoon #holiday #islandhopping