Tips for the Seychelles
As I indicated from my last post, our first day in the Seychelles was everything we hoped for and it only got better from there. I wish we had more than three days to spend there although given our itinerary, it was all we could do. That said, we got a good feel for the country and already want to start planning our next trip back. So even if you only have a few days for a stop over in the Seychelles, it is worth the journey - here are some ideas for how to plan your trip if that is what you plan on doing.
|Beach in the Seychelles|
What Island: Had we had five days or more in the Seychelles, I would have opted to stay at two islands. However, given we only had three, I wanted to stay on the main island of Mahe to limit the amount of travel (to get elsewhere would have been by boat or another flight). Unlike Male, the main island of the Maldives, Mahe is one of the top islands to visit in the Seychelles which makes this a logical decision for only a few days. There's a number of hotels and has a ton of beauty so opt for Mahe if you only have a few days.
|View of Praslin from our Helicopter|
What Hotel: There are a bunch of different options on Mahe so part of it will depend on your budget. If you are willing to splurge, the Banyan Tree is a great option. It’s a beautiful, quaint resort with a secluded beach with colonial style villas overlooking the ocean. If you are looking for something at a lower price point, there were a number of options I was also considering in Beau Vallon including H Valley and Hilton Northolme.
|Samantha in the main pool at the Banyan Tree|
What to Do: Even if you are staying on Mahe, it’s worth visiting one of the other islands for a day trip. The island I would recommend is La Digue which is known to have one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the islands - Source D’ Argent. You can reach the island by high speed ferry or if you are looking for some views on the way, take a helicopter ride. When you get there, the optimal mode of transportation is bikes - just find a place that rents them and take them all over the island. But be sure to stop by Source D’Argent at some point and keep taking the walking paths further back as the beaches get more and more secluded. And if you need a stop for lunch, there is a place right on the beach that serves fresh fish.
|Samantha in La Digue|
Be sure to Find: Seychelles are known for their giant tortoises so be sure to see one when visiting. There is an island close to Praslin that is known to have hundreds of them but we saw them on our island and in La Digue. Just be sure they are treated correctly as some places may not keep them in small areas. Also, keep an eye out for the Coco De Mer, their two sided coconut.
|Samantha feeding a giant tortoise|
When To Go: I’ve met a number of people on this trip who told me they didn’t go to the Seychelles as part of their trip because they heard it was the rainy season. While that is true, we only had about 20 minutes of rain the entire time (late one afternoon). It did rain on Mahe when we were visiting La Digue but it’s the type of rain you get in Florida, quick thunderstorms that only last for a short period of time. So with that said, don’t let the Rainy season scare you off.
|Drink perfect for the setting|
In regards to a few other things, take note that you’re on island time in the Seychelles, it’s very slow paced. It can be tough for us New Yorkers to adjust but once you get a Pina colada in your hand, there’s no rush for anything else. While you are there, try some Creole food and if you end up in Mahe and can make it to the Banyan Tree, try their Thai restaurant Saffron (but more importantly, head to the Rum Shack for sundown). Lastly, everyone is extremely friendly and speaks perfect English so you’ll have nothing to worry about.
|Beach in La Digue|
I wish we had more time here. It’s the type of place you can rent a moped and go find an empty white beach to lay around on and then get some fresh fish for lunch. I wish I could have met more locals and seen more islands. I wanted to go to Praslin to the Valley de Mai (Unesco World heritage nature reserve) and go scuba diving as it’s world renowned. So if you can do all of this, you should and if not, at least go for a few days and then start planning a trip back.