The Seychelles are a truly spectacular group of islands off the coast of Africa. Life here is placid and free of the stress and fusiness of Western civillasation yet it’s also a nation with one of the highest GDP per capita in Africa.
A country that defies the stereotypes and often lives in the shadow of other wrongfully hyped destinations such as The Maldives, The Seychelles were a natural travel choice after my trip to Hawaii. Here is a video from my journey to The Seychelles, plus a few pictures from paradise. I explored the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, each of which brim with their own distinct personality and panache.
Scroll to the bottom for flight links.
Anse Severe – La Digue Island
La Digue is my favourite of the islands in The Seychelles. This small island paradise contains very few cars and most people use bikes to get from A to B. With almost no theft here, it’s not even neccessary to lock one’s bike. Anse Severe, on the Northeastern shore of La Digue, not so far from the endearing Takamaka Cafe, is probably the best of all the many snorkelling spots on La Digue.
Recommendations for where to eat on La Digue:
This establishment is located by the beach (in fact some of its tables are in the sand, hence its charm). Meals are plentiful and well-cooked but prepare to pay handsomely for them. The service is highly commendable and the bar area is quite cosy.
This family- run shack serves some of the best octopus i’ve eaten anywhere in the world, at a decent price and with all the crudeness, love and quirky touches you’d expect.
There are also cheap sandwiches and several other hot meals on offer. Beachside seating and a passing Aldabra tortoise on the side of the road added even more charm to this quaint place.
This quaint takeaway serves up a riveting selection of dishes at great prices. We had the tuna salad and an avocado salad, both of which tasted great! The ladies in the kitchen know their stuff.
Ice cream scoops for a cool 15 rupees.
Where to stay on La Digue:
Anse Gaulettes – La Digue Island
Venture north from Anse Severe and experience the rocky, untamed wilderness of this part of the island. Look out for wild Giant Aldabra Tortoises that wander the narrow roads (please don’t sit on them).
Anse Source D’Argent – La Digue Island
Anse Source D’Argent is the sort of place you’d shoot a Bacardi commercial – and many have been made here. This slice of paradise offers one of the Seychelles’ best and most picturesque beaches.
Wade around the rocks at the southern fringe of the beach around midday and you’ll end up on Anse Pierrot which you will probably have all for yourself. Be sure to wander back up through the shallows before the tide comes in the afternoon or you’ll end up having to swim.
Anse Source D’Argent is part of L’Union Estate so you’ll have to pay a small fee to enter the area. Stop by the Giant Aldabra Tortoise enclosure where you’ll see some of these magnificent reptiles in action, quite literally.
If you’re thirsty, there’s a small beach bar at the start of the beach that serves a refreshing selection of fruit drinks and cocktails.
Grand Anse, La Digue Island
At some times of the year, Grand Anse is a great surfing spot as the waves hit the beach with verve. When I was here, however, the waves broke right by the beach and faded into the steep bank almost immediately. This didn’t stop the local body boarders from riding their luck at dusk though.
If you’re feeling adventurous, clamber over the rocks and make your way to Petite Anse, a more exposed beach that you can also access by following the rocky trail between the two beaches.
Getting to Grand Anse is only possible by bike and the path winds up and down the hillside so pedal carefully lest your chain fall off (speaking from experience 😉 .) You’ll also find a decent restaurant at Grand Anse.
Beau Vallon, Mahe Island
Mahe is the biggest of the islands of The Seychelles and Beau Vallon is to its capital what Copacabana is to Rio – a lively, riveting stretch of sand that everyone seems to love. Beau Vallon was the first beach I set foot on as I did away with my jet lag with an all-day snooze. Head to the hills to watch the sun dip over Silhoutte island in the distance at the end of each day.
Where to stay in Beau Vallon:
My girlfriend and I arrived at Mahe airport in the morning, where Paulo was on hand to pick us up. He’s attentive, flexible, amicable and goes the extra mile to ensure his guests are informed and have what they need at all times.
The property itself is modern, clean and even a tad edgy, with a small swimming pool at the bottom of the garden. A lot of attention has been paid to the details – USB and European power sockets being but a couple of observations of note.
Paulo’s wife and kids live on the ground floor and are very friendly ,making it an unparralled homestay with all the modcons you’d usually have to fork out a small fortune for at large hotels and resorts.
Do yourself a favour and sample the breakfast platter – fruits, bread, fresh crossaints, tea / coffee, yoghurt and lots more. There’s also tea / coffee on the balcony from 5 pm on, where you can watch the sun drop serenely over the ocean horizon.
Villa Roscia is located a stone’s throw away from the less touristy end of the endearing Beau Vallon beach. Jetty transfers (ferry to Praslin) also available at a fair fee. Highly recommended.
Anse Major Nature Trail, Mahe Island
There are hikes galore on many of the islands in The Seychelles and The Anse Major Nature Trail is one of Mahe Island’s most endearing.
Catch the bus from Beau Vallon police station to the small settlement of Danzilles and walk up to the end of the road from there. Watch out for Batman Studios on your left as you enter the trail (a tourist trap that lures bypassers in for a sight at their caged bats). The trail is easy to walk and is graced with lush vegetation on all sides as well as jaw-dropping vistas of Silhoutte island in the distance.
The tranquil Anse Major beach awaits you at the end of the trail. Grab a water taxi back to Beau Vallon for the full Anse Major Nature Trail experience.
Read more about the Anse Major Nature Trail here.
Anse Major, Mahe Island
Anse Lazio, Praslin Island
Praslin Island is the second-largest of the islands of The Seychelles. Life here is more quiet and sedate than it is in Mahe and its smaller size means that everything is much closer and easier to get to.
Anse Lazio is probably the most beautiful beach i’ve ever set foot on. This spectacular gem of a beach is best reached by car (or taxi) and is located on the north of Praslin. Crystalline waters, smooth (rounded) boulders and silky white sands give it a distinct look and feel.
Beneath these placid waters you will find all manner of colourful fish and marine life- tame as they are in these parts. The left and right-hand sides Anse Lazio are best for snorkeling but watch out for sharks in the deeper waters.
I came within 12 feet of a Grey reef shark and though the odds of a shark attack are very low, being rounded by a 2-3 metre giant of the sea was a hair-raising if not unforgetable experience. Stay out of the water if you have even the slightest of cuts and treat the marine life with respect.
Where to eat on Praslin:
As the most centrally located restaurant in the small town, Pirogue pulls a crowd and serves up some decent dishes. It’s a great place – lunch offers are pretty decent, for dinner – prepare to wait for a table (or book in advance)
Where to stay on Praslin:
Villa Beddier has all the amenties and mod cons you’ll need for a stay in C’ot D’or, Praslin. Book via their own webpage for the best prices but expect to pay in cash at the end of your stay. Look out for the complementary jetty drop-off at the end of your stay.
The rooms are well furnished and very spacious – spanning a long balcony, Master bedroom, toilet, kitchen and living room.
Located by the beach and in the heart of the little village, guests are endowed with several supermarkets, restaurants, ATMs and souvenir shops in close range.
Vallée de Mai, Praslin Island
If you’re looking for the garden of Eden – this is it. A giant palm forest that takes you back to the days when Africa was known as the massive continent of Gondwana, the place feels like a cross between Jurassic Park (minus the dinasaurs) and The Amazon.
The giant Coco De Mer palms are endemic to The Seychelles and bear a striking resemblance to both male and female genitalia.
Cote D’or Beach – Praslin Island
Cote D’or Beach is an uderstated stretch of beach along the shore of the adjacent town, which is home to several cafes, restaurants and accomodation options.