Seychelles is an ideal destination for relaxation, swimming, exploring nature, and enjoying the tropical ambiance.
Seychelles is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean. This beautiful tourist destination consists of 115 islands, with the main island being Mahé. It is famous for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, coral reefs, and rich underwater world.
The islands were first discovered by the Arabs and later by the Portuguese in 1505. However, in 1756, the islands were colonized by the French and named Seychelles after the French Minister of Finance at the time, Jean Moreau de Sechelles. Legend has it that six families and their slaves arrived on the islands at that time. During the French colonial period, Seychelles mainly served as a transit point for the slave trade and for supplying ships on their way to India.
In the 19th century, the Seychelles became a British colony. Under British rule, the Seychelles developed as a plantation economy based on the cultivation of coconuts, vanilla, sugarcane, and cloves. The islands gained independence from Britain in 1976.
Since then, the Seychelles has developed into a popular tourist destination, contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.
Facts about the island nation in the middle of the ocean.
The Seychelles is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, covering an area of approximately 455 square kilometers. It consists of 115 islands, of which 33 are inhabited.
The largest inhabited islands in the Seychelles are:
Mahé: The main island of the Seychelles and home to the majority of the population. It is also where the capital city, Victoria, is located.
Praslin: The second-largest island in the Seychelles, known for its beautiful beach, Anse Lazio, and the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve.
La Digue: An island famous for its spectacular beach, Anse Source d’Argent, and traditional way of life. It is less populated and has a relaxed atmosphere.
Silhouette: An island with a small population and a large portion of protected nature. It offers stunning beaches and untouched natural beauty.
Denis: A smaller private island that offers luxury accommodation and an isolated paradise-like ambiance.
Bird: An island with a small resident community mostly involved in nature conservation and protection.
The furthest island group from the capital city, Victoria, is Aldabra, located over 1,000 km away.
Tourism, employing 30% of the population, constitutes around 70% of the Seychelles’ income. Fishing and agriculture are also significant contributors to the economy.
The Seychellois are descendants of various ethnic groups and cultures. The mix of African, Asian, and European influences has shaped a rich cultural heritage expressed through language, food, dance, and tradition. The majority of the population consists of people of French, African, Indian, and Chinese descent. The official languages of the Seychelles are Creole, French, and English. Creole is predominantly used in everyday communication, while English is often used in business and administrative contexts. The majority of the population practices Christianity, with the largest denomination being Catholicism. The Seychelles has a population of nearly 100,000.
Climate and Seasons:
The Seychelles has a tropical climate with warm and humid weather for most of the year. The average temperature ranges between 24°C and 30°C. The Seychelles experiences two main rainy seasons. The first rainy season occurs from late November to February, while the second, less pronounced rainy season, falls in April and May.
The high season typically occurs in December and January when the islands are most visited. During this period, there may be larger crowds, and accommodation and flight prices may be higher. If you want to avoid crowds and enjoy more favorable prices, consider traveling outside the high season.
Regardless of the final destination, all visitors to the Seychelles will start their journey on Mahé, the largest and most diverse island in the archipelago. The island’s name comes from former French governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais. The original name for the island was “Ile d’Abondance,” or “Island of Abundance.” Indeed, the island has an abundance of natural beauty, with many captivating images of sandy beaches lined with palm trees under clear blue skies. The island is also home to the highest peak in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois, reaching a height of 905 meters.
Drive along winding coastal roads or through mountains, uncovering views and vistas – colorful wooden Creole houses, small shops, secluded coves, and lush vegetation at the heart of it all. The island’s interior features impressive peaks covered in lush foliage, creating a stunning backdrop for numerous hiking trails. Numerous sources of freshwater characterize the island’s rich nature. Tropical palms and other plants, including mango, papaya, bananas, tea, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
The capital city is located in the northeast of the island, bordered on one side by steep mountain slopes and on the other by the ocean. At first glance, the capital city of the Republic of Seychelles may not appear to be the most significant cultural and administrative center of the country, as it only has about twenty streets, which gives it a pleasant atmosphere and reveals the way of life in Seychelles. They have a popular phrase for the preservation of nature and culture – ‘Beauty Acts Silently’ flows through the veins of the city. The main attraction is the local market where various types of fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, and local spices can be bought.
In the vicinity, there are numerous shops, banks, churches, and everything else necessary for city life. The Seychelles Museum and the botanical garden are particularly interesting. The entire city center can be explored on foot in about fifteen minutes. On the coast, there are cargo and passenger ports, as well as tuna processing companies.
In the center, there is the Clock Tower, a replica of the one located on Vauxhall Bridge in London. On the corner, there is the building of the National History Museum. In the courtyard, there is a café that offers French pastries and various juices. Coconut is always my first choice. Next to the Cable & Wireless building, there is the Kenwyn House, renovated to remain in its original style, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings with French colonial architecture.
Since the opening of the international airport on Mahé in 1972, along with independence from Great Britain, Mahé has become a center for tourists from around the world and is the economic and cultural heart of the country.
is a famous tourist center located on the northwest coast of Mahe, the main island of Seychelles. It is known for its bustling atmosphere and offers a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, shops, and diving centers. If you’re seeking peace and tranquility, the southern part of the island is a better choice as it has a more relaxed atmosphere. Along the beach, you’ll find several beach bars, possibly the only ones on the Island of Mahe.
One notable hotel in Beau Vallon is the Savoy, a 5-star hotel situated in the middle of the bay. It faces the beach, separated by lush gardens and a large meandering pool. The rooms facing the sea offer a partial view of the beach due to the dense vegetation. The hotel features spacious rooms with comfortable furnishings, large bathrooms, and balconies with seating arrangements. It offers half-board service with a rich buffet-style dining option, as well as other à la carte restaurants.
When it comes to food and restaurants, the Seychelles offer a diverse gastronomic scene influenced by African, French, Indian, and Chinese cuisines. Exotic fruits like papaya, coconut, lychee, and mango are commonly part of their culinary offerings. One popular dish is curry, prepared with various types of meat (such as chicken and lamb) or seafood, vegetables, and spices, usually served with rice.
Karioka is a traditional dish consisting of a mixture of fish, onions, ginger, garlic, and spices, shaped into balls and fried. It is often served with lemon or chili sauce. Various types of chutneys accompany most dishes. Chutney is a spicy condiment made from fruits, vegetables, spices, and vinegar. It is frequently used as a side dish, adding richness of flavor to the meals. The Seychelles are renowned for their abundance of fresh seafood, including crabs, prawns, lobsters, and fish. However, other meats, apart from chicken, are less common and generally more expensive compared to fish.
As for beverages, fresh juices and water are commonly consumed. Seybrew, a local beer, is a good choice for those who enjoy alcoholic beverages. Wines are mostly imported from France and South Africa, and their prices in restaurants start from around thirty euros and up.
Two recommended restaurants are Marie Antoinette, a traditional restaurant located in a beautiful villa above the capital city of Victoria, and La Perle Noir, situated in the Beau Vallon bay next to the Savoy hotel. Marie Antoinette offers a set menu consisting of about ten dishes and side dishes, all served at once, allowing you to explore a wealth of flavors and spices.
The main dishes often include chicken and fish, and fresh juices, water, and local beer Seybrew are served alongside. This restaurant is an excellent choice for those looking to taste authentic Creole cuisine.
La Perle Noir, on the other hand, is a warm and inviting restaurant, perfect for a romantic dinner. It is run by Dino, an Italian chef who has been on the island for thirty years. The food is excellent, a fusion of Creole and French cuisine with an Italian touch, and they have a good selection of wines. It could be considered one of the best restaurants on the island, excluding those in exclusive hotels.
Mahe is home to numerous stunning beaches. While it’s impossible to visit all of them in a week-long stay, I can mention some that are worth exploring. Many of the beaches are easily accessible as a road runs along the coastline. Some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches include Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Intendance, Grand Anse, and others. If you prefer beaches with a bit more activity, but still far from crowded, you can visit Anse Royale, Baie Lazare, Anse Soleil, Takamaka, and Port Launey.
Sainte Anne Marine National Park is located just 5 km off the coast of Mahe, near Victoria, and is the oldest marine reserve in Seychelles. It encompasses several islands, including Sainte Anne, Moyenne, Round Island, Long Island, Cerf, and Ile Cachée. The park covers a total area of 14.43 km² and is predominantly composed of a coral reef teeming with marine life. It’s an ideal spot for snorkeling or taking a submarine tour to observe the underwater world through windows.
Takamaka Rum destilery
Takamaka Rum is the most famous drink in the Seychelles. The distillery offers visitors the opportunity to witness the production process of this delicious beverage, from the delivery of sugarcane to the filling of aged wooden barrels. During your visit, you can sample various types of rum, purchase a bottle, or buy branded souvenirs.
Jardin du Roi Gardens is a botanical garden renowned for its spice plantation. You can take a stroll through the expansive gardens and admire a variety of tropical plants, including vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, and more. The garden also features medicinal plants that have been used for centuries to treat various ailments.
There is a restaurant within the garden offering delicious meals prepared with fresh local ingredients. Visitors can enjoy the terrace with a view of Anse Royale Bay and the beautiful surroundings of the garden.
Laila a Tribute Portfolio Resort
is a recently opened hotel located in Anse Royal Bay. The bay is a sandy beach stretching along its entire length. The hotel is just a short walk from the beach, and guests have access to beach club facilities, including sun loungers, towels, various water sports equipment, and a good restaurant called Kafe Kreol right on the beach.
The hotel features modern furnishings, offers half-board service, and serves a mix of Creole and international cuisine. The hotel has a central pool, spacious and well-appointed rooms. Laila is a great choice for younger travelers, as they plan parties and pool events. Anse Royale is approximately 40 minutes away from Victoria.
Artificial island spanning 50 hectares located off the coast of Mahe. It is considered one of the most successful projects of its kind globally and was initiated by the Seychelles government. The project includes a marina, a business center, offices, hotels, and 450 residential units. Visitors can purchase or rent apartments and villas on the island, providing a paradise-like experience for a blissful vacation. Many of them are for rent.
The second-largest island in Seychelles and can be reached by a 15-minute flight from the main international airport on Mahe or a 1-hour catamaran ride from Victoria, the capital city of Mahe. The island has its own airport and is connected to the main international one on Mahe. Praslin is home to approximately 8,000 residents and offers a range of amenities, including a small harbor, a church, a hospital, banks, a post office, a gas station, schools, mini-markets, and car rental services. The majority of accommodations on Praslin consist of small hotels and top-rated resorts.
Praslin has a size of 12 x 5 km and is surrounded by islands such as Cousin, Curieuse, and St. Pierre, which can be visited on day trips. Renting a car upon arrival is recommended, as it provides convenience for exploring the island, and there is a single main road that spans the entire island, making navigation straightforward.
Lazare Picault discovered Praslin in 1744 and named it “Ile des Palmes” without realizing that he had stumbled upon the Coco de Mer, one of the rarest and most peculiar plants in the world. The Coco de Mer palm produces the largest nut in the plant kingdom, weighing over five kilograms.
Vallée de Mai
is the main attraction on Praslin and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a palm forest where the Coco de Mer palm grows. This palm species is endemic to Praslin and was named after the fruit that drifted to distant islands and even India, initially leading people to believe it was a fruit from a palm tree growing in the sea.
Taking a walk through the park among the towering palms gives visitors a glimpse of what the early explorers might have felt. Apart from the unique flora, the park is also home to rare bird species such as the black parrot. With a keen eye, you might spot them feasting on the palm fruits. Despite the presence of large spiders, which may look intimidating, they are not venomous, and there are no venomous snakes or predators on the island.
Fortunately, Praslin has managed to maintain its charm and is not overcrowded with tourists. It appeals to those seeking tranquility and a connection with nature. There are various ways to enjoy the island, including hiking through lush vegetation and hills, exploring breathtaking beaches, or simply lounging on the powdery white sands. Praslin offers pristine beaches with fine, white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, dense jungles, palm trees, Takamaka trees, waterfalls, and much more—all on one small island. Who could ask for more?
One of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Anse Lazio, is located on the northeastern coast of Praslin, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. The beach is known for its perfect tropical setting, with impressive granite rocks emerging from the crystal-clear sea. The sandy beach is soft and white, providing a pleasant place for sunbathing and relaxation. The abundant foliage provides ample shade. Due to its slightly remote location, Anse Lazio is never crowded. It can be reached by taxi or car, and there are two restaurants located near the beach.
Renovated beachfront restaurant offering a combination of Creole and French cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood dishes. Tables are set on a large terrace and on the sand in front of it. It is recommended for lunch, as there are limited dining options nearby. We had a good meal and enjoyed a beer.
Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve, which opened in 2013, is larger than Vallée de Mai, covering an area of 122 hectares.
Anse Volbert Bay and Cote D’Or Beach
Anse Volbert is a pleasant beach known for its “lying palms” and is popular for swimming. Most travelers who visit Praslin on a day trip by catamaran end up at this beach. There are several shops, restaurants, and hotels where you can have a meal nearby.
Acajou Beach Hotel
This 4-star hotel is located right on the beach and features a swimming pool. Guests of the hotel have access to beach loungers, umbrellas, and towels. Other than hotel guests, the beach is usually quiet. The white sand and turquoise sea create a relaxing atmosphere, but it’s wise to avoid excessive sun exposure as the sun can be very strong. The hotel may have a slightly dated appearance, but the rooms are comfortable, and the food is excellent. In the evenings, there is live music entertainment. The staff is friendly and attentive.
Constance Lemuria Hotel
Praslin is also home to one of the best hotels in the Seychelles and beyond. Situated on over 100 hectares, Constance Lemuria offers the ultimate luxury experience. The beautiful golf course, the only one with 18 holes in the Seychelles archipelago, resembles a paradise park.
The accommodation options include Junior Suites, large apartments, and villas. The hotel often welcomes celebrities and royal families seeking a retreat away from media attention. In the peacefulness of Lemuria, it’s easy to relax and forget about worldly problems. Guests can borrow bicycles to explore the vast estate or request electric vehicles for transportation. I had a conversation with the French director, Bruno Le Gac, who takes pride in his team and the impeccable service they provide. A stay at this hotel is truly memorable and something extraordinary.
Swimming in the sea is possible at three beaches, with Anse Georgette being the most beautiful. Electric buggies transport hotel guests to this beach. Seychelles beaches are public, so external visitors also come to this beach, but they have to walk over the hills.
La Digue is a breathtaking island that truly captivates you from the moment you step off the catamaran. Time seems to stand still on this island. It has a special laid-back atmosphere, resembling paradise, where no one is in a hurry, and there is nowhere to rush to except the catamaran. Everything is colorful, green, surrounded by palm trees, and the occasional sighting of a turtle “racing” along the beach.
It is the smallest of the three islands, and it is easy to explore interesting spots and beaches by bicycle. The terrain is mostly flat, except when heading towards Grand Anse on the other side of the island. Taxis with electric golf vehicles and a few cars are available on the island. Many visitors opt to come to La Digue for a day trip from Mahe or Praslin, but it’s a shame because it is truly a stunning destination worth spending more time on.
In the eastern half of La Digue, there is a peak called Nid d’Aigle (Eagle’s Nest), which stands 333 meters high, while the northwest part consists of flat plains. The island is almost entirely surrounded by a coral reef, allowing for swimming or diving in many of the island’s bays. Most accommodations on the island are simple, including small hotels, guesthouses, and rental houses. They are mostly located on the western coast, in and around La Passe. There one can find banks, shops, restaurants, and bicycle rentals.
Anse Source D’Argent
is one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and the most famous one in Seychelles. The photos of the beach are stunning, but it’s even more beautiful in person. To access the beach, you pass through a protected area where an entrance fee is required at the entrance of L Estate Union. The estate used to be a plantation of vanilla and coconuts.
You can see giant tortoises, vanilla plants, coconut trees, various palm trees, and plantation buildings. The beach can be reached by bicycle or organized transportation. The beach is bordered by large granite rocks, and you can walk on the sand to find the best spots for taking pictures. There are two wooden bars by the beach where you can buy fresh juices and simple food.
The island also has many other beaches where there are hardly any people. There are no catering facilities, so it’s necessary to bring enough water and food with you. Grand Anse is one of the most beautiful beaches in Seychelles. There can be strong currents, so caution is advised, and it’s recommended not to swim far from the shore. Petite Anse, just a few minutes walk from its older sister, offers a similar landscape and features. Some even suggest that Petite Anse is more beautiful than Grand Anse, partly due to the lack of visitors and its incredible scenery. It can be reached by biking over the hills.
Anse La Réunion is a beach near the main village. Thanks to its location, it offers various activities and is close to many hotels and guesthouses. Anse Severe is a beautiful beach known for snorkeling and is pleasant for swimming. Besides these, there are many other beaches on the island where there are usually no people. Some require walking and climbing, so it’s understandable.
Casa de Leela
is not actually a hotel but rather a property with several smaller rental houses. There are also two-story buildings with apartments in one part.
The houses are simply furnished with a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. They are ideal for families with small children. The apartments are more modern and expensive. There are two small pools for refreshments. Breakfast is served upon request and is simple.
Leela is located about a kilometer away from the sea and is a good choice for those looking for more affordable accommodation. Bicycles can be used to get around, and it seems like all tourists ride them as it is difficult to get around the island.
The Fish Trap
The restaurant is set in a rustic and charming setting, providing a unique dining experience for visitors. The menu features a range of seafood dishes prepared with local ingredients and flavors, giving guests a taste of authentic Seychellois cuisine.
In addition to seafood, the restaurant also offers vegetarian and non-seafood options to cater to different dietary preferences. The staff at the Fish Trap Restaurant are known for their friendly service and knowledge of the menu, ensuring a memorable dining experience for guests. Overall, the Fish Trap Restaurant on La Digue is a popular choice for those seeking a delicious seafood meal in a relaxed and picturesque setting.
Silhouette Labriz Hilton Resort & Spa
The Silhouette National Park covers a significant portion of the island and is home to diverse flora and fauna. Here, you can find rare plant species like the giant Coco de Mer palm, as well as various bird and mammal species. The national park offers hiking and trekking trails that allow you to explore the natural beauty of the island.
I had a conversation with Coumba Sene, the marketing director of Hilton, who is originally from Senegal. Luxury hotels on the archipelago, including this one, have excellent occupancy rates for most of the year.
A good number of the staff are locals, but there are also many foreigners. Hilton offers exceptional service that attracts guests to this island, and once they arrive, they rarely want to leave. It’s not surprising because it’s a place you don’t want to depart from.
Hilton Labriz offers various types of accommodation units, including beachfront villas, villas with private pools, and those overlooking the gardens. All the villas are spacious, modernly designed, and equipped with the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. The hotel has several restaurants and bars that offer guests a diverse range of culinary options. You can enjoy local Seychellois specialties, international cuisine, Japanese dishes, as well as fresh seafood.
The beautiful spa center is built among the rocks. It offers various massages in intimate huts, as well as aromatherapy, facial treatments, and other wellness services.
This hotel is one of the most beautiful I have seen in the Seychelles. Since the island is uninhabited, there are no people on the beach. It stretches so long that each villa has privacy. The areas where you can see more people are around the pool and in the restaurants. Each villa has bicycles, making it easy to get around the property. The arrival on the island is impressive. Hilton has its own pier and a boat that transports guests. While waiting, you can relax in comfortable armchairs in the shade.
It is possible to visit the island and the hotel as a day trip with prior arrangements. The price, which is around a hundred euros per person, includes the boat ride, a tour of the hotel, lunch, and the use of the pool, sun loungers, and other amenities in public areas. Considering the level of luxury, it’s a reasonable cost.
Seychelles: It’s good to know which beaches are the most beautiful
Anse Source d’Argent · La Digue
Anse Lazio · Praslin
Anse Georgette · Praslin
Grand Anse · La Digue
Anse Intendance · Mahé
Overall, Seychelles offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, diverse culinary experiences, pristine beaches, and luxurious accommodations, making it an ideal destination for a tropical getaway.
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