Seychelles:an archipelago of 115 odd islands in Indian Ocean .Dotted with cluster of sunny Seychelles islands,beaches and luxurious resorts.Towards end of September, me and my wife Deepti decided to travel Seychelles.Visa on arrival for most of the countries indicates heavy banking of Seychelles on tourism industry .
We collected as much information of visiting Seychelles islands and hotels islands as we could from the internet and planned our 8D7N trip from 17th to 24th of Oct. We decided to do a bit of island hopping and divided our time in 3 islands – Mahe, Praslin and La-digue. Criteria of selecting hotels islands was based on all inclusive deal,Spa and should be close to beach.
We booked our flight tickets on air Seychelles from Mumbai, India (much cheaper, 33k INR return flight/person). Also, flight times are such that it maximizes your time in Seychelles (you land in Mahe 6:55 in the morning and catch your flight back at 8:45 in the night, so it gives you full 8 days to enjoy).
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island.
Seychelles Resorts-Where we stayed
Seychelles all inclusive cost (per couple)
Approx 7K USD (Inclusive of Airfare and stay in Seychelles Resorts)
Seychelles Travel Tips:
- Seychelles is a very very expensive place. Given almost everything is imported, things are very costly.
- Bottle of water might cost anything between 55 to 100 SCR in restaurants and resorts. Buy water from supermarket whenever you can (SCR 12).
- Exchange Euro for SCR at the airport. Though you can use Euro everywhere, exchange rate that you get is very random (varied from 12 to 14 SCR)
- Do some research on seaweeds and book Seychelles Resorts, which is sea-weed free (different for different seasons).
Beach wears were ordered, sunscreens were bought in bulk, international roaming was activated and off we went (calls are way too costly even after top-ups, hail WhatsApp!)
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We landed in Mahe in morning and after a slow Immigration process (took almost hour and half), we were left to wait for our ferry to Praslin. We clicked some pictures and then had our breakfast in the only restaurant at Mahe’s Jetty. And that was our first encounter with the ‘expensiveness’ of Seychelles. Pretty ordinary breakfast cost us around 40 Euros.
It takes about an hour of bumpy ferry ride to reach Praslin and depending on weather it might get bumpier still. Another option is to take a 20 mins domestic flight (4.5k) for people who are prone to sea-sickness. We reached Praslin around 1 and checked-in at Coco de Mer resort and spent rest of the day at the resort itself.
The best way to travel in Praslin is to either rent a car or to use the local bus service as taxi is very expensive. Most of the hotels also provide shuttle services to the popular beaches every day. Local bus is a very cheap and comfortable way to travel around Praslin (Good frequency, 5 SCR fixed ticket).
In Praslin, beach to be in is Anse Lazio. Constantly voted in top 10 beaches around the world, it sure is a delight. It is a 20 mins hike from bus-stop to Anse Lazio though hotel shuttle takes you directly to the beach. And boy what a beach it is. Pure white sand and sky blue water. Waves are not so strong here and is perfect for a swim. You will see variety of fishes close to the beach and we even caught a glimpse of sting-ray there (a bit scary to be frank). There are also couple of on-beach restaurants, a perfect place to sip a beer or two. Strongly recommended to spend a day entirely on this beach.
Vallee de Mai
Only bad thing about visiting Anse Lazio first is that everyday you will keep asking yourself whether to go back or try exploring something else. What if the next place is not that good? Next day struggling with this thought we decided to go to Vallee de Mei, UNESCO world heritage site. It is a natural palm forest and home to the famous coco de mer , the largest seed in the plant kingdom. It is a 90 minutes guided tour on foot, and is quite a nice trail in dense palm forest. Coco de mer is one of its own kind and is very similar to us in more ways than one. Female and male trees are separate (you can’t tell which is which till they are 15 yrs old), female trees start bearing fruits from the age of 25 and you have to see male and female fruits to believe it. If you are lucky (and we were), you can also catch a glimpse of famous black parrot.
From Valley de mei we took a bus and went to (Bus stop is just at the beach). It is a long beach with white sands and very calm water. It is free of waves and perfect for swimming pretty much like a huge salty swimming pool. Even people who are scared of sea can stop pretending and actually enjoy water here. Also you will find various restaurants and supermarkets just before you enter the beach. Even on the beach, there is a resort restaurant which serves decent seafood.
Next morning we were transferred to jetty for our journey towards La-Digue, a small bumpy fun ride (15 mins). It is a very small island (10 sq km) and sense of calmness and peace that you get here is unparalleled. People come from Praslin here on a day tour but staying here for few days is the best way to spend your time in Seychelles. Only way to explore this island is on bicycle which you will get at your resort or near the jetty. We stayed at beach house in La-digue Island lodge which is very close to the jetty.
We hired 2 bicycles (100 SCR/day) from our resort and started to explore. We asked one of the locals about where should we go. He revolved his hand in every direction, smiled and said ‘Any’.
There is no direct ferry from La-digue to Mahe. You have to first travel to Praslin and from there catch another ferry for Mahe. Sea was very rough on our way back and few people fell sick. We checked in Le Meredian Fishermens Cove which is on to Beau Vallon/Bel Ombre beach (most popular beach of Mahe). It is a very very long stretch of sand with waters good for swimming (we again spotted sting ray here). There are also series of resorts there so you have many options of food and drinks as well. This is as close as you can get to a commercialized beach in Seychelles.
Nice long beach on southern side of Mahe. We hired a cab to reach there costing us obnoxious 800 SCR! On our way back we took the bus back to Victoria (capital town) and then back to Fishermen’s cove (costing us 20 SCR 🙂 ). Very good beach for swimming and relaxing. On your way back you can take a pit stop in Victoria (one of the smallest capital city of the world with population of around 30,000), roam around a bit to get a feel and also see small,small ben!
And with that our trip came to an end. Only change that I would make if asked to do it again will be spending more time in La-digue. Mahe though quite beautiful feels like a letdown after Praslin and La-digue. Moreover a friendly reminder is to make advance booking for all your planned seychelles resorts to save some bucks.
There are various places to have food near jetty but one particular joint called Fish Trap is quite good in terms of ambience. Do not expect a fast service at any place in La-digue or in Seychelles for that matter. Everything works at its sweet speed.
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The story was shared by “Prakhar Raj” on his experience from the trip describing Seychelles resorts, islands, thing to do . For any information required on Seychelles, feel free to buzz us- [email protected]