If someone asks us a definition of Paradise, we will tell them to book a ticket to Seychelles, and experience the paradise up close and personally. Seychelles is Paradise. Period. And here are top 10 things you can do on your next trip to this tropical paradise.
Stroll on the Beaches
It is a no brainer. You just cannot visit an island nation and not pay a visit to the numerous beaches on the island. These beaches have shades ranging from pitch blue to turquoise green. Trust us, nothing gives a soothing sight than the pristine shades of the sea. Soft sands and quite shores are the USPs of all the beaches of Seychelles. The beaches are locally known as Anse, and what we found out was these Anse share a specific characteristics in different clusters in different parts of Seychelles. For e.g. the beaches along the Northern tip of Mahe have inclined terrains and are surrounded by dense vegetation on the far side of the beach, whereas the beaches on the La Digue have beautiful rock formations that make them stand out amidst all the beaches. The beaches in Praslin are just off the road where you can take a stroll right after getting out of your car. You don’t get to see these vivid topography in an island that is hardly 450 sq. km. We classified the beaches into 2 clusters, 1. Famous & Touristy beaches & 2. Lesser known & hidden gems
Cluster 1 – Famous & Touristy – These are the beaches where you get all kinds of activities from scuba to snorkelling and the shallow waters of the ocean make it perfect for swimming. Some of these beaches have quaint cafes that serve yummy food. Café des Arts on Anse Volbert is one must try place. You can hire charter boats from these beaches and go on island excursions. Below are our favourite beaches in this cluster.
Anse Lazio, Praslin
Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue
Anse Volbert, Praslin
Anse Beau Valon, Mahe
Cluster 2 – Lesser Known & Hidden gems – If you prefer quiet time on the beach, want to feel the soft sands and love the lying beneath Coconut & Palm trees, these are the beaches for you. These are non-commercialised beaches of Seychelles and you can have an entire anse for yourselves. You can swim at in the ocean, but take care as there are no life guards on these beaches. Best for reading a book, getting a sun-tan, sipping the mocha and clicking some great shots. Our favorites in this cluster are as below.
Anse Glacis, Mahe
Anse Boudin, Praslin
Anse Boileau, Mahe
Anse Takamaka, Mahe
Trek through the nature reserves
One fascinating part about Seychelles, if you get a Vitamin Sea overdose, the lush green forests and nature reserves will serve as a perfect antidote for it. The islands are home to thriving tropical vegetation and beautiful endemic species, something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Coco de Mer palm trees plays the lead role in this multi starrer magnum opus. They are aptly supported by the coconut trees and Takamaka trees. The insect eating Pitcher Plants & the mangroves form the support cast and they complement the varied fauna of the island that includes the Black Parrot, Blue Pigeon, Paradise Fly Catcher and Aldabra giant tortoises. Here are our pick for the must do trails in Seychelles.
- Copolia Trail, Mahe
- Vallee de Mai Nature Trail, Praslin
- Fond Ferdinand Nature Trail, Praslin
- Mangroves Trail, Curieuse Island
- Anse Major Trail, Mahe
The best part about these trails comes at the end of the trail, when you get to see the marvellous views from the top.
Go Island Hopping
When a country constitutes of 115 islands and atolls, it becomes redundant to explore the surrounding islands. And how do you do it? Hire a charter boat. There are numerous charter boat services present on the main islands of Mahe and Praslin that conduct Island Hopping excursions. We recommend Sagittarius Taxi Boat Services on Cote D’Or Beach in Praslin. The services are run by a lady named Francois and they offer excellent services at great prices. You can choose from the different excursions on offer and choose the one that suits you the best.
Out of 115 island, only 3 major islands are inhabited. They are Mahe, Praslin & La Digue. Apart from these, there are 8-10 other islands that you can visit and spend the day. Rest all islands are uninhabited. If you are confused which islands to choose and what to expect while on these Islands, here are our words of wisdom for you.
- Coco Islands – Not far from La Digue, the rich depths of Coco Island are a real natural aquarium. Around this idyllic isle bathed by crystal-clear waters, you can swim amid turtles and hundreds of fish above a wealth of coral.
- Round Island – 15 min boat ride from Mahe, this island is surrounded by lovely underwater seascapes & lovely little beaches tucked in between granite boulders, characteristic Seychelles.
- Grande Soeur – A private island, an exceptional place with an amazing pristine beach, tall palm trees, impressive granite boulders, and giant turtles roaming around. The interior of the small island looks like it could be a set from a Jurassic Park movie. It’s like being back in prehistoric times.
- Cerf Island – An island that forms the edge of St Anne Marine Park with a long reef perfect for scuba diving. Great to spend some relaxing days with restaurants serving good Creole food. Small boats do frequent trips from Mahe and takes 15 minutes to reach.
One can indulge in a fishing game drive if interested and get a chance to witness fascinating marine life on doing so. If you are lucky you can spot rays, sea turtles, dolphins and even sharks. There are some lovely spots for snorkelling in the proximity of these islands with rich coral reef, which makes a pleasing experience under water. If you have an additional day in hand, our suggestion is to opt for island hopping.
Explore La Digue Island on bicycle
When was the last time you pedalled your way around the town? Perhaps in school, maybe in graduation. Here is your chance to relive those moments in La Digue, a cute little island with a population of just 3000 and vehicular population of only 28 cars. Yes, only 28. So, you hop on a bicycle and ride your way on this lovely island.
With an area of just 10 sq. km, you can literally cover the entire island in 1 day, stopping at various places, eating, merry making and lazing around on beaches. Small roads and trees on either sides make it a very joyful experience. Bike through coconut mills, vanilla plantations and rock boulders, sip on coconut water on your way and enjoy the moments to fullest.
Indulge in Rum Tasting and Rum Making process at Takamaka Rum Distillery
One part was for sure that islanders have a taste when it comes to liquor. Made and brewed in Seychelles, the local rum is one beverage you should not miss out on. And the best place to have the experience is at the Takamaka Rum Distillery in La Plaine St. Andre, Mahe. In a lush green estate, whose foundations were laid around 250 years ago, now stands a beautiful rum factory, which precariously brews one of the best rums we have tasted till date.
The distillery was started in 2002 and is run by d’Offay family, they offer guided tours to the distillery and the gardens followed by rum tasting sessions. The tours are organized from Monday to Friday, at 11.30 am and 1.30 pm. The estate also houses a quaint restaurant and bar which is open from Tuesday to Saturday, throughout the day.
We highly recommend a visit to this gorgeous place, experience the Creole culture, and spend a wonderful time in lush green settings.
Spend a day with Tortoises of Curieuse Island
Located 15 mins away by a boat ride from Praslin, Curieuse Island is home to the Giant Aldabra Tortoises. It is home to 300+ giant tortoises since the Tortoise Conservation Project shifted its base from Aldabra to Curieuse.
Once on the island, you will be surrounded by these cute reptiles. You would be intimidated by their size, but they are really gentle and always hungry. Feed them green leaves with a pat on their neck, and they will follow you all the way wherever you go.
You also get a chance to witness the young tortoises in an enclosed pen, since they are vulnerable to poaching. There’s a huge BBQ area that opens at lunch time and offers lovely variety of fish and chicken, grilled over the barbeque. You need to contact the boat operator if you want to enjoy BBQ at Curieuse Island.
If you think interaction with the tortoises is the best thing to do on Curieuse, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Your boat man will drop you at the tortoise sanctuary, but will pick you up from the diametrically opposite end. For that you need to hike through mangroves trail, and that is the hidden part of the iceberg. A properly demarcated trail has an elevated wooden platform that leads from tortoise pen through the mangroves and opens up at Doctor’s House, a residential mansion of Dr. William MacGregor, a British Doctor who dedicated his life for the treatment of leprosy patients. The mansion is now a national memorial and museum. On your way to the Doctor’s House, you will encounter vivid species and some great views of the ocean, and watching the sun go down, is one of the most beautiful sights to behold.
Enjoy Coffee by the Marina & Dinner by the Bay at Eden Island
Eden Islands are one of the most happening places in Seychelles. An artificial island developed in early 2000s is a chic and upbeat place with lavish hotels and luxurious villas lined up around the island.
A walk through the ramps in marina during the evening hours is pretty energizing and refreshing as you get to see fishing boats making their way back with fresh catch of the day for the restaurants. Sip onto coffee with this gorgeous views, it is worth every single penny spent.
The place comes to life in the evening, as the restaurants and bars organize live music and liven up the entire area.
You have a variety of options to choose from in terms of food and drink, as the restaurants serve cuisines from across the world viz. Indian, Continental and Oriental. If you are visiting Seychelles, we recommend at least 1 night stay at Eden Islands for its atmosphere and vibes.
Dent your teeth in delicious Creole Cuisine at Heritage Marie Antoinette Restaurant
If you ask any person walking on the streets in Mahe for a place which serves authentic Creole cuisine, you will get a unanimous answer, “Marie Antoinette”. (We asked our cab driver, hotel staff, car rental owner and local shop owner). Located in the middle of Victoria Market, Marie Antoinette gives very lovely vibes from the moment you enter the property.
And the food, Mamma Mia! A fixed menu that offers vivid range of portions and dishes, seasoned and flavoured, Creole Style. You dish will include 3 varieties of fish (grilled, fried and smoked), chicken curry, vegetables in fish stew, steamed rice, egg-plant fritters and 2 flavourful salads. Each portion will give you a unique taste and burst of flavour in your mouth. The staff is extremely humble and courteous and their service is super quick.
All we can say, this place is not to be missed.
Rent a Car & Drive through the islands
Before you get any questions regarding the road rules and safety concerns of driving on foreign roads, let us assure you, it is like a cake walk to drive on these roads. Good roads and traffic awareness of the citizens is very high and so there should not be an iota of skepticism before stepping in the car and taking out for a ride.
Now that the doubt is cleared, why should you rent a self-driven car and not a taxi?
- Because it is cheaper option
- You can stop wherever you wish
- You enjoy your privacy
We just loved driving in Seychelles, parallel to the ocean at an instance and the next moment you in a dense forest with lush green trees around you. The roads are narrow but there is not excessive traffic, so you can easily manoeuvre and then of course, Google Maps are there to guide you.
Go Gaga over Shopping
How can any trip ever be completed if there is not a bit of shopping involved. At Seychelles, you have some great things to shop, something you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
What can you shop and where?
Coco de Mer Nuts – Vallee de Mai Reserve
Beer mugs made from Takamaka Trees – Victoria Market
Takamaka Rum – Takamaka Rum Distillery/Airport duty free shops
Black Pearl Jewellery – Black Pearl Farm/Kreoler
Corals – Street shops in Victoria Market
These are the things you won’t get anywhere else, so our take is you can buy some or all from the ones mentioned above, as it serves a memory of the place you visited.
So there you go, if Seychelles tickets are booked, the above 10 things are what you must do in the east African Island nation. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get going.