Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean just off of the east coast of Africa. The Seychelles is a biodiverse area and serves as the home for a few rare species, such as the Aldabra tortoise. The capital is Victoria, and the country’s population is about 100,000 people. The dominant religion is Roman Catholicism, and the primary languages are English, French, and Creole. The time zone is 8 hours ahead of EST.
The islands in Seychelles are beautiful, so visitors have a lot of places to choose from when relaxing, diving, swimming, hiking, and exploring. Tortoise lovers absolutely must visit Curieuse Island, though, to see ginormous sea turtles and go snorkeling. Be sure to bring lots of water if walking across the island, and even an umbrella for the sun if needed. It can be a difficult hike not because the trail is particularly long but because the weather is very hot; kids in particular may have a hard time. Another great place to visit to see giant turtles is Moyenne Island, which is home to the Sainte Anne Marine National Park. Wear water shoes when visiting this area (and when arriving at different islands in general) – because the water is so shallow by the shore, boats may stop a little farther away for travelers to jump out and walk to the shore. Any coral, shells, or rocks nearby can hurt exposed feet.
I must admit that I was a little disappointed with my initial impressions of the Seychelles. Since I was in high school, I’ve dreamt of coming here. Why? It was my vision of paradise: beautiful beaches, tropical landscapes, exotic animals, and isolated from civilization. The Seychelles is wonderful at marketing itself because the reality is not the dream. This is a “working” island and while it has many resorts, the capital of Mahé does not revolve around tourism. Is Mahé charming, like St. John or St. Barth’s? Nope. While there a nice ocean-view vista, the beaches on Mahé are decent but, hardly breathtaking.
I took trips to the adjacent islands of Praslin and La Digue. Praslin (pronounced prah-lin) is the second largest populated island, after Mahé. The ferry ride to Praslin was rough and took roughly 1 hour. Ended up at Anse, which was voted the world’s third most beautiful beach. It was nice!
La Digue was pretty cool to visit because the preferred mode of transportation was bicycle. Took some pics of an old cemetery, some nice beaches and had a fruit smoothie on the beach at Anse Source d’Argent beach.
I stayed at the Kempinski in Mahé, which was okay and not great, although the beaches were lovely.
I took a tour of the Four Seasons which is by far the best hotel on the island along with The Raffle– a five-star oceanfront resort.
I took a tour of one of the national parks to see the Coco de Mer, a huge female and male coconut-ish seeds. The male resembles a human male and the female seed resembles a woman’s hips!
If I ever return to the Seychelles, I’d like to go diving there. Of the 115 islands, 73 are coral islands and the fish life are supposed to be superb!