What better place for a tropical island getaway that is just a mere 5 hour flight away from South Africa than the beautiful islands of the Seychelles.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean just off east Africa. The granitic islands cluster around the main island of Mahé and its neighbouring islands of Praslin and La Digue, while the rest of the islands are tiny coral outcrops poking out of the sea. These islands are famous for their white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters with a rich underwater life, green jungles and fiery sunsets.
In January this year, I was lucky enough to pay the beautiful islands of the Seychelles a visit. I have been to the Seychelles before when I was younger but I couldn’t remember much. Now, with a passion to travel and explore, here is more about the Seychelles …
WHERE TO STAY ON MAHÉ?
Beau Vallon Beach is Mahé’s most popular beach with 2 km’s of white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise blue waters. Beau Vallon is also home to plenty of hotels, restaurants and bars and water sport activities on the beach. With Beau Vallon being the hub and vibe of Mahé, there are other parts of the island that are more quiet, but still offer unspoilt beaches, such as Anse Soleil, Takamaka, Anse Forbans and Anse Royal.
We stayed at the DoubleTree Resort Allamanda, located in Anse Forbans. The reason we chose this hotel is because it has its own coral reef right in front of the hotel and not many hotels have this. As you walk out your room, onto the beach, you slip on your snorkelling gear, walk backwards (*note to self: don’t walk forwards again with flippers!) into the water, and you’re in a world of bright coloured tropical fish and earthy corals. A world we forget exists.
WHAT TO DO ON MAHÉ?
Because the Seychelles is a tropical island, you go there to enjoy the beaches and do very little. You relax, swim, tan and snorkel. There are also beautiful waterfalls inland and a market to go shopping in the capital of Victoria.
We made the most of our trip by exploring as many different beaches as we could. Our daily routine was this: wake up, have breakfast, snorkel in front of the hotel, have a dip in the pool, pack all our snorkelling gear in our backpacks, walk to the bus stop just outside our hotel, hop onto the bus, get off the bus at any beach, swim at the beach, lap up the beauty of said beach, walk back to the bus stop, hop onto the bus again, and get off at yet another beach, etc etc.
The Seychelles is known for their world famous beaches, and we certainly saw why.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
Hiring a car and driving around the island yourself is very easy. There is also taxi services and buses.
We found hiring a car or using a taxi was way too expensive, and getting from A to B on a small island would have cost about R1 000 a person. So the way in which we got around was on the local buses 🙂 And wow, what a fun experience it was. In comparison to the price of hiring a car or using a taxi, the buses were super cheap. It cost 5 Seychellois Rupee (about R5) to get onto the bus and get off the bus wherever you want to, even if you want to go around and around and around the island. So with the local buses and walking a lot, we saw and explored the very best the island has to offer.
WHAT TO EAT?
The cuisine that is unique to the Seychelles is a fusion of African, French, Chinese, Indian and English cooking. You can feast on fish curries, fresh seafood and shredded green papaya salad, to name a few Seychellois dishes. Or if you’re not the adventurous type, you can take advantage of all the delicious fresh tropical fruit.
If fresh fruit isn’t your thing, you can find Ben and Jerry’s at a supermarket for about R500 a tub. Nothing like Phish Food 🙂