The Weekly Getaway: Escape to the Seychelles
At first glance, the Seychelles’ pristine sands and azure waters may seem like a typical beach getaway. But lying on a lounger, with a cool strawberry mango drink in hand, I noticed that these sparsely populated seashores have that deserted island feeling that other beach destinations merely promise. With each rolling wave, and the distant sound of French reggae, I found it easy to fall into the Creole pace of life.
Located about a thousand miles from the east coast of Africa, the Republic of Seychelles is a cluster of 115 islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Known for having some of the best beaches in the world, it wasn’t hard for me to be enchanted by this island nation. There are many beachside boulders, which only add to its charm. They also break up the tides giving way to blue lagoons perfect for wading and snorkeling.
When flying into the Seychelles, you land in the main island of Mahé. Nearby are the smaller islands Praslin and La Digue that are accessible by sea or air. Further out is Curieuse Island where there is a trail from one side of the island to the other. While traversing up the rocky steps, and along elevated wooden walkways, there were many vantage points, and friendly crabs, to guide the way!
Besides relaxing, the islands offer an array of water sports, as well as other activities such as has golfing, horseback riding, hiking, and zip lining. There were a few days of rain, which was a perfect opportunity for me to venture into the capital city of Victoria to explore its pastel colored bungalows and daily downtown market selling fish, fruits, vegetables and spices.
Many of these ingredients are used in the local cuisine, which is a blend of European, African and Asian influences. A notable restaurant was Eden, located on Beau Vallon Beach. True to its name, it is a hidden away paradise where food is prepared in an open-air kitchen. Having my last dinner on the island to the sounds of the ocean perfectly capped my Seychelles experience!
- Praslin Island – this island is home to the world-renowned beaches Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio. Anse Lazio is freely open to the public, but Anse Georgette requires a call ahead to the hotel Constance Lemuria to gain access.
- La Digue Island – this island can be toured by bike, ox cart or on foot, has resident giant tortoises. Located on the southwest shore is Anse Source d’agent, one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
- Anse Intendance – this Mahé beach has larger waves better for surfing.
- Beau Vallon beach – its calm and clear lagoons are perfect for snorkeling and paddle boarding.
- Curieuse Island –visible from Praslin, this small island has a beautiful trail from the tortoise farm to the Doctor’s house and museum.
- Vallée de Mai: a UNESCO world heritage site, this palm forest is home to the largest seed in the world, the coco-de-mer, and the elusive black parrot.
- Aldabra – also a UNESCO world heritage site, it is the largest coral atoll in the world.
- Sir Selwyn-Selwyn Clarke market – also known as the Victoria Market, it offers the daily best in local fruit, vegetables, fish, and spices.
- Raffles Praslin– these villas give the feeling being close to both the water and mountains. To get a truly relaxing experience, visit their Spa for a massage in one of their open-air cabanas.
- Constance Lemuria – located on the shores of Anse Georgette, this luxury hotel will give you a first class experience. It also has an 18-hole golf course.
- Four Seasons Resort Seychelles - away from the busier parts of the island, but perfect if you want a few days away from reality. Each villa has it’s own infinity pool.
- Kempinski Seychelles Resort– like the Four Seasons, it has easy access to a quiet beach with good snorkeling.
- Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa – with hillside or beachside villas, this isolated resort on Silhouette Island offers quiet solitude and caters to families.
- Eden – tucked away on The H resort Beau Vallon Beach, this fine dining restaurant offers fresh seafood cooked by the water.
- PK’s @ Pasquiere Restaurant and Gastropub – this casual lunch spot offers a beautiful view and is a good place to stop on your way to Anse Lazio.
- Curieuse Restaurant – offering pan-Asian and Indian cuisines, this restaurant at Raffles Praslin has its own sushi room.
- Sey si bon – this smoothie and juice shop offers healthy juices, smoothies and crepes.
- Marie Antoinette – serving traditional Creole food, this restaurant is housed in a historic Seychellois style house.