More than 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa, the Seychelles is renowned for its spectacular beaches – think white sand, dazzling turquoise water and gigantic granite boulders that flank each beautiful cove. Topped with a rich marine life, lush nature reserves, breathtaking sunsets and the warmest ocean water you will ever dip your toes in, it’s easy to see why many call it paradise on earth.
An archipelago of 115 islands, we chose to visit Praslin, La Digue and Mahè during our two-week stay.
First stop – Praslin!
After flying for more than 20 hours (with a brief stopover in Abu Dhabi), landing at Victoria Airport on Mahè seemed a world away from the hustle and bustle of inner-city Sydney. Hopping onto a tiny Twin Otter propeller plane operated by Air Seychelles, we were on our way to Praslin!
When our plane landed 15 minutes later, the pilot turned around and said “You have arrived in Paradise, you have chosen well. I wish I could stay here with you,”.
Hot tip: You can get to Praslin either by flight or inter-island ferry. Both work out fairly similar prices and both are totally unique experiences. Why not fly one way and ferry back?
With a population of 6,500 people, Praslin is the second biggest of all the islands and home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as the exotic Coco De Mer. This naughty looking nut is a protected species that only grow in the National Park and nearby Curse Island. Poaching is a big problem as one nut will go for around $150 Euros on the black market.
Accommodation options in Praslin include a few large scale resorts or independent, self-catering villas. We chose the self-catering option and absolutely loved it! Our modest little villa was located halfway up the mountainside, overlooking the beautiful Anse Possession. Our balcony had an amazing view of the entire cove and our favourite thing to do at the end of a hard day of swimming and sunbaking was to relax on the deck chairs and watch the amazing sunsets rollover.
We also discovered that our closest neighbours also happened to be two giant Aldabra tortoises that live on the property we stayed at.
Arriving in the late afternoon, we decided to head out in our little hire car and find a bite to eat. Seychellois have a unique Creole culture so expect to see lots of seafood and curries on the menu of any restaurant you visit (you’ll also find your standard burgers, pizza and pasta so fussy eaters are catered for too).
Hot tip: Restaurants in the Seychelles are expensive! A standard meal for two is usually upwards of $80 so if you’re travelling on a budget, keep an eye out for takeaway shops where you can grab a tasty fish or chicken curry with rice for a fraction of the price.
After a sunrise swim at Anse Possession, we were ready to get out and start exploring the rest of the island. With the sun and temperature rising, we set off in search of the infamous Anse Lazio.
Side note: Driving around Praslin is quite an experience! You will encounter some of the steepest hills you have ever seen in one of the tiniest cars ever made, so turn off your air-conditioner and gun it.
Anse Lazio. Imagine sparkling turquoise water, white sand and not another tourist in sight – we were in absolute heaven.
Back at the villa, our lovely hosts told us about another famous beach – Anse Georgette. A private beach within the 5 Star Lemuria Resort, we were instructed to call ahead to put our names on visitor list as they only allow a certain amount of people in a day. Deciding it would be more fun to sneak in, we set off across the mountain that divides Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette. A fantastic view from the top but I would only recommend it to the adventurous! It is a long, hot and humid trip with no clear pathway. Just put your name on the visitor list and save yourself from inevitable heatstroke.
Anse Georgette turned out to be the most ridiculously beautiful beach we have ever seen in our lives! This is a must-see beach during on your stay on the island.
Hot tip: Hire a car so you can beach hop – there are so many to visit! If you don’t drive, there is also an excellent bus service that will take you around the island.
Next stop: Diggin’ La Digue…..Part two coming soon!