If you’re an experienced beach-going, yacht-destination traveler, you can become a bit immune to beautiful beachside destinations. Not the worst problem to have in the world, admittedly. But it’s possible to become difficult to impress. Another waterfall? Meh. A park? Wow.
However, this is not a problem in the Seychelles. Even the most blasé of travellers will struggle to maintain an air of disinterest when visiting the magical archipelago, nestled in the Indian Ocean.
It really is very special.
And it seems a lot of tourists have been overlooking these islands; the Seychelles have a population of about 90,000, and feel relatively small, and not too crowded and interfered with, considering all they have to offer. No doubt that will change in the years to come, but until then, a word of advice would be to take advantage as soon as possible.
But before we get into the treasures waiting to be discovered, let’s start with the accommodation; our lucky group stayed at the Eden Bleu hotel, which is a grand complex with luxurious hotel rooms and epic villas, complete with infinity pools that are just begging to be uploaded onto Instagram before your luggage has even been put away.
The complex is so large that guests get around its man-made beaches, tennis courts, gym and other features by golf car. And who doesn’t love a golf car? Well, guests are in luck, because it’s buggy wonderland here, and the vehicles are easy and fun to get around on. And if you can’t drive, the staff will be glad to escort you, making you feel super VIP.
One time when you shouldn’t drive even a golf car is after visiting the Takamaka rum distillery. There you can see how the islands’ favorite drink is made. And taste it too. Lots of it. Hic. See the sugar canes be crushed up, and smell the varieties of the dark devil’s juice while going on an interesting and engaging tour led by a lovely lady called Maria.
You’ll want to see the inner islands of the Seychelles too, or as many as you can – there are 115 islands in total, after all. Take a ferry out to Praslin, which used to be a hideout for pirates back in the 18th century (figures, with all the rum). On Praslin, you must go to the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve. This destination is so beautiful, people have previously been convinced it is actually the Garden of Eden. You know, from the actual Bible? Although there’s no Adam and Eve on your tour, the island is famous for the unique coco de mer – also known as the sea coconut, it holds the title of being the largest seed in the world – as well as its aromatic vanilla orchids.
A walk through the forest offers bountiful beauty with waterfalls, rivers and trees. Many individual trees are fascinatingly named, with an origin story fit for an Avengers movie to accompany them. This is true jungle flora, with plants and trees of every shape and size; colorful, mighty, small, bizarre and displaying interwoven external roots. And, for the immature in you, there’s plenty of innuendo on this excursion, too. Google an image of the coco de mer and you’ll get an idea. But that’s just the tip of the, um, iceberg.
After Praslin, it’s a far shorter ferry ride to La Digue, which is best seen by bike. On this rustic little island, you can have one of many opportunities to meet the magnificent tortoises that have inhabited the place since long before we humans did. These huge, ancient beasts – the Seychelles are home to the oldest and largest in the world – can be watched for hours (so, about the time it takes them to walk roughly six feet). You can even feed them, and you’ll be shell-shocked by their cuteness.
On Praslin, you’ll also find Anse Lazio, which is consistently voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There you can bathe in waters so warm it’s difficult to believe you’re actually in the sea and not a hot tub. And those ocean blues… It’s like the island has created its own filter and has it permanently fixed over the shores. But it’s real, and has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
And that’s true of so much on this enchanting collection of islands. From dense, fascinating forests to azure seas to luxury resorts, they’ve got a bit of everything.