SEYCHELLES - One Month in Paradise
January 1, 1970
by Monica Bejar
Seychelles: General facts
1.- Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean and lies about 1,500 km east of mainland Africa.
2.- It has 3 main islands:
- Mahé, which is the main island, and where the capital Victoria is.
- Praslin, the second biggest island which has one of the most high rated beaches in the world.
- La Digue, a small island which has one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
3.- The currency is the Seychellois Rupee which is 0.06 EUR, 0.09 AUD, 0.07 USD and o.05 GBP, but a lot of things require payment in Euros (for example diving, renting a car or even booking an hotel)
4.- The official languages are English, French and Seychellois Creole. The ones they use the most are Creole and French.
The adventure begins…
Seychelles is a little bit harder to reach, and by hard I mean that from Sweden it took us 3 flights, 2 stopovers and a total flying time of 21 hours to get there. But boy, was it worth it. We spent one month in this exotic and dreamy destination mostly advertised as a “honeymooners spot” and believe me when I tell you that if you want to experience the most pristine beaches and perfect weather in a relaxed environment, this is the place for you! With that being said, I have to warn the party enthusiasts that while there are bars and clubs, Seychelles didn’t strike me as a party type of country.
Our first stop was Mahé. We spent there two whole weeks to start getting to know the culture, and adapt ourselves to the climate and because we wanted to dive a lot and this island has some diving centres. As I said before, Seychelles is considered one of the best honeymoon locations in the world, which means that most of the tourist don’t spend more than 2 weeks. Seychelles is very expensive if you do it the tourist way. You have to keep in mind that is an island in the middle of nowhere and have to import almost everything tourists need. Now, if you are like me and can eat fresh fish and tropical fruits everyday then you can save some bucks. We decided that if we were going to spend a month in a not-so-cheap country we would like to have our own kitchen where we could cook our own noodles once in a while and have milk for breakfast as our plan was to be more fancy in our dinners, so we booked everything through Airbnb . It is cheaper and you have the advantage of already know local people who can help you and give you tips and discounted prices in some things like renting a car.
We decided to stay in the Beau Vallon area because the diving center was very close to our place. There also were stores and a pharmacy nearby and the bus stop if we wanted to take it to Victoria, the city centre. Every Wednesday there’s a bazaar where they sell fruits, handcrafted products and food and both tourists and locals come to enjoy this with some of them improvising music and dance.
To make the most out of Mahé I would suggest you to rent a car at least for a day and go beach hopping. I read somewhere that Petit Anse was a very pretty beach but you can only get there through the Four Seasons Hotel. So we decided to go and ask and they didn’t have any trouble at all to letting us in with our own food and towels, ready to spend some time at the beach.
La Digue is the smallest populated island of Seychelles, you can bike around it in one day, and it has no cars. So if you are looking for more relaxation I recommend you this island. We thought it would be too quiet and maybe not so many eating options and we only spent there 2 nights which were not enough.
We dedicated one day to visit the famous Anse Source d’Argent which is one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
The next day by recommendation of our Airbnb host we did the most awesome hiking trail. Believe me when I tell you that even if you are not the hiking type, the views and the hidden gems you get to see through the hike are so worth it! The Sunny Trail is guided by a La Digue local called Robert, and he makes sure you are safe while climbing and sliding through the rocks, he also prepares a light lunch that you can enjoy at a wonderful beach while you cool down.
The last week and a half we decided to spend it in Praslin as it also has a lot of things you can visit. The symbol of Seychelles is the Coco de Mer, most of the souvenirs are shaped in this form, the passport stamp is a coco de mer and Praslin is the home of the Vallée de Mai a palm forest which has the largest population of coco de mer and it’s a UNESCO Heritage Site.
During our time in Praslin we rented an Airbnb home which was close the Cote d’Or area so we rented bicycles and we were able to bike everyday to this beach which is very pretty, has a diving center and some day tours go from there.
Speaking of tours, we took one to visit the giant tortoises at the Curieuse Island and snorkelling around Coco Island. I have been to Galapagos before and they are very strict with the distance you have to keep from the animals, including tortoises, so it was very exciting to be able to hang out a little closer with these beauties this time. And the snorkelling at Coco Island was the best snorkelling I’ve ever had! We were diving a lot in this vacation and I almost dare to say that the snorkelling was better. There were a lot of turtles, rays and even sharks. I highly recommend taking a day tour if you have enough days at Praslin.
During our last days we decided to rent a car to go beach hopping and we visited the famous Anse Lazio, this beach is usually among the best beaches in the world in Tripadvisor and I guess the word gets around because it was kind of crowded which never happened before. We found hidden spot and enjoy a coconut, the beach and the last days of this paradise.
- At Seychelles people drive on the left. So if you come from a country where they drive on the right be careful and look to both sides of the road before crossing.
- Wi-fi is not the strongest feature of Seychelles so a good option is to buy a SIM card there and fill it with internet data which works very good. We only used 2 mb in 1 month and it was around 30 euros.
- Seychellois people are very happy and nice people, they are also very honest and you will feel safe at every moment.
- All of the beaches according to the law in Seychelles are public, even if the access is through an hotel so you shouldn’t have a problem trying to get to beaches like Petit Anse or Anse Takamaka
- Seychelles is a destination to take it easy and enjoy your time at the beach and relax. Be sure to bring a lot of books (or better yet, a kindle), or some movies in your computer to fill those late quite nights.
Pack your bags and dare to go to paradise!