TRAVEL DIARY :: SEYCHELLES
Close your eyes and picture your perfect beach escape. What do you see? We’re guessing something that looks a lot like the Seychelles. This African paradise is still woefully underappreciated in the Western Hemisphere. It’s paradise in every sense of the word. With 115 mostly-uninhabited islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, you can relax on a world-class beach, swim with the fishes, hike a tropical mountain or do literally nothing. My husband and I had set to take a three day couple escape from Dubai and Seychelles was the perfect destination . We headed to the three most popular and populated islands — Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
These islands have, in the past, been the choice for celebrity honeymoons, from David and Victoria Beckham to Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton.
Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, Seychelles
Heaven On Earth
The Seychelles islands have quite the impressive lineup of beaches on their roster. Sunny and sandy, warm and tropical, these beaches are by far the main attraction for visitors. Options are limitless for would-be sunbathers. The nation’s star is La Digue’s Anse Source d'Argent, frequent winner of “best beach in the world” titles and one of the most photographed areas in the Seychelles. But that doesn’t mean it’s packed — the delightful thing about Seychelles beaches is they manage to stay relatively secluded. On Mahé, Anse Intendance and Beau Vallon tend to be the most popular, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wander and try to find your own secluded stretch of sand. Finally, Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio round out Praslin’s top picks, each with its own character and features. Don’t feel limited by where you’re staying, though — beach hopping is definitely encouraged!
It's About the Journey
The flight from Abu Dhabi only took 3.5 hours which is perfect for a long weekend. Also since we are Lebanese we got the visa upon arrival and it was smooth sailing from there. All what was left was to plan our stay, and below you'll find some of our recommendations.
With 115 islands in the archipelago, the question has to be asked — how will you get around? Seaplanes and ferries are the most common option, but once you’ve arrived feel free to branch out. La Digue’s primarily transportation method is bike and with weather this gorgeous how could you say no to extra time outside? Of course renting a clear-bottomed kayak or a private boat will get you out on the water for fun in the sun. And on the larger islands like Mahe, renting a car and driving the famous Sans Soucis and La Louise roads up to the island’s best viewpoints can’t be missed.
Mother Nature Outdid Herself While you might be tempted to spend the entire trip at the beach, you’ll want to venture inward and discover the other natural treasures of the Seychelles. On Praslin, explore Vallee de Mai National Park, home to the enormous coco de mer palm tree whose fronds stretch up to 15 feet across. On Mahe, explore over 9 miles of hiking trails through Morne Seychellois National Park for views of dazzling coastline and thick tropical forests. Finally, if you want to get a little more wild, meet the Aldabra Giant Tortoise of the Seychelles. Only a few thousand of these vulnerable creatures are left on a few of the country’s islands and atolls.
Dive A Little Deeper
You can’t talk about the stunning Seychelles beaches without mentioning their equally spectacular underwater neighbors. Diving, snorkeling, surfing and swimming are all key attractions on the islands. Diving is especially attractive, and you can encounter brightly-colored sea life, coral reefs and shipwrecks throughout the archipelago. From Fisherman’s Cove reef to Shark Bank there are plenty of dive spots where you can get up close and personal with hawksbill sea turtles, lionfish, octopus and at least four shipwrecks.
Find Your Paradise
Picking a place to stay in the Seychelles probably seems like an impossible task. That’s because it is. So many luxurious resorts dot these islands that sticking to just one is like trying to pick just one beach. Of course, The Four Seasons and Banyan Tree stand out as top luxury experiences, with private pools and stunning views. But for budget-conscious travelers there are plenty of guest houses that have great accommodations for a fraction of the price. Try Colibri Guest House on Praslin or Georgina’s Cottage Beach Guesthouse on Mahe. They’re both beachside and have private rooms waiting for you. We stayed at the Avani hotel and it was great with amazing staff and excellent food. Their space was top notch too.
When to Travel?
Best time is April - May & October - November when its not too hot nor too humid.