10 reasons to go to Seychelles
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, it is the most sparsely populated country in Africa, only 97,000 people live here. The direct scheduled flights from Moscow to Mahe, the capital of Seychelles, were started on April 2 – by the way, they were not even before the pandemic. It is also possible to get here with a connection, for example, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul or Tel Aviv.
When you get to the Seychelles archipelago, we advise you not to get distracted by on-board entertainment or conversations, and to look out the portholes: the beauty begins from the plane. If you haven’t had time to enjoy the view from above, we recommend to move between islands by sky, not by water: from Mahe island where you will arrive to Praslin, where there are luxurious hotels, it’s just possible to get by a tiny propeller plane for 8-9 people of ZilAir airline in 20 minutes.
By the way, the islands are located on a massive underwater plateau and are quite isolated in the ocean, so their topography, structure, shape, flora and fauna are unique in many ways, but more about that later.
Learn how Seychelles differs from the Maldives
Very often Seychelles is compared to the Maldives, but to do so is extremely wrong. The Maldives are flat islands with its own rich infrastructure, the Seychelles are textured islands with unique landscapes and endemics that inhabit them. Literally every island has its own special geography, character and history.
Mahe is the largest island with dramatic mountain scenery, dense Jurassic forests, and plenty of beaches.
Praslin is the second largest island, the only habitat of the Coco de Mer palm trees.
La Digue gathers the most iconic beaches of the archipelago.
Córlyes is an island with a sad history. Leprosy patients used to be brought here, and now there are the ruins of the houses where they lived. The good news is that this island is home to enormous tortoises.
You just can’t get bored in Seychelles. At the resort Raffles Seychelles offer so much fun that not enough time to lie on the beach (you have to get up early). Breakfast at the pool, dinner at sunset on Anse Lazio beach, bird watching on the neighbouring island of Arid, photo session on the most beautiful beach in the world on the island of La Digue, secrets of pearl and coconut oil production – all this can be done in one trip, if you are not the one who dreams of a week of nothingness.
The Raffles Seychelles resort can be reached by small plane or ferry, but there’s an even more comfortable option: upon request, the hotel team provides a private helicopter transfer that will take travelers directly to the resort.
See the most beautiful beach in the world
No, we didn’t say that, not your friends and acquaintances or even your best friend’s mother, it’s really a fact: every year Seychelles beaches are included in numerous rankings and are ranked in the top five. And Sours d’Argent beach on the island of La Digue several times topped these charts (and many times was recognized as the most photographed beach). White sand, turquoise water, palm trees growing practically out of the water, and huge, perfectly shaped granite boulders overhanging the beaches – that’s what awaits you here.
To arrive at the “Silver Spring” (the name of the beach in the local language) is best early in the morning, when most tourists are still asleep, because the flip side of fame – the desire to see and photograph, so everyone who arrives in the Seychelles, strive to get here.
By the way, on the island of La Digue almost do not drive cars, and it is most convenient to move around on a bicycle. But be prepared, it’s not the latest model Electra, but a nice retroveler, on which both locals and tourists who come to swim.
Relax at the most luxurious hotel in the archipelago
Hotel Raffles Seychelles on Praslin Island was opened in 2011 and since then has been literally every year collecting all sorts of awards in the world rankings. Just recently the resort won the Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2021 in the category “Best Luxury Hotel in the Seychelles. So it is already a landmark of sorts. Raffles Seychelles is located in the heart of the island of Praslin, called the Garden of Eden, on Anse Takamaka Beach. Even if you come to Seychelles just for a few days, you can admire the ocean 24/7 from the terrace of the villa so you won’t miss a second.
The hotel staff are respectful of nature, so they have completely abandoned the use of plastic – glass and biodegradable tubes to help – and in the kitchens of the restaurants they use their own grown spices! For transportation they use the most environmentally friendly modes of transport – convenient hybrid cars. But even this was not enough Raffles Seychelles – now in all rooms they put toothbrushes The Earth Brush, made of 100% biodegradable materials. For its many eco-initiatives, the resort has received a sustainability award from the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Council.
Take a Photo Not Like the Rest of Us
Does that sound weird? It’s not. If you run through the photos on Instagram and Pinterest before your trip to Seychelles, you’ll see how many gorgeous and off-the-wall shots bloggers take.
Now we’ll let you in on the secret. They don’t all come up with these shots themselves, they choose the locations, because you have to know all the secret trails on the island, have the courage to climb a huge boulder and know exactly what you can safely descend from it. Hotel Raffles Seychelles (located on Praslin) will help you with this. Stephan, the resort’s marketing manager, will be happy to tell guests going on a trip to one of the neighbouring islands which rock you can climb to get the most spectacular photo, tell them about the most beautiful places he has discovered recently and advise you the best guide. By the way, most of the blogger photos taken here are directly related to him.
Get to know the Creoles
95% of the population of Seychelles are Creoles. They are the descendants of the conquerors of the islands – the French, Africans, British Conquerors, Indians and even a little bit of Chinese. Incredible ethnic mix – a stunning beauty of local Seychellois. The islands have 3 official languages: French, English and their mixture – Seychelles Creole. In fact, it is simplified French, which has no complex combinations, some prepositions and even sounds, it has only 21 Latin letters, and C H J Q X is never used at all. By the way, local newspapers are published in three languages simultaneously, but the news is not duplicated, just some are written in English, some in French and some in Creole.
Naturally, the cuisine here is as special as the people and the language. Creole cuisine has the subtleties of French cuisine and the spiciness of Indian cuisine. Coconut milk curry, papaya chutney, breadfruit, all kinds of grilled fish, lots of rice. And the best Creole seafood soup, octopus curry and mango dessert can be tasted at Losean.
Buy a unique coconut
People are divided into 2 types: those who imagine incredible beaches when they hear about Seychelles, and those who immediately think of an unusually shaped coconut. Coco de Mer is a coconut that resembles a woman’s thighs (some people, though, call it a heart). In general, the palm trees that give birth to these unique fruits are divided into 2 types – male and female – the fruits differ dramatically, and the behavior of the trees is similar to that of humans: there is maturation, aging, courtship, and even polygamy.
The legendary Vallée de Mae Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) can safely be called the Eden of modernity. It is an incredible pristine forest, “populated” by unique palm trees, on which grows this wonder of the world.
You won’t be able to try Coco de Mer, but you can buy it as a souvenir and take it home. Keep in mind that it costs a hell of a lot, and to take it off the island, you need a special certificate that you will be given upon purchase. By the way, this very coconut is depicted on the stamp that is put in your passport upon arrival to the Seychelles.
Look at the black parrot
Because of the island isolation, the flora and fauna of the Seychelles can be found very many endemics – birds, reptiles and plants found only in this archipelago. For example, the dark tern, Egyptian heron and white tern on the islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo, Arid and Cousin. But the Seychelles Shama Thrush lives on Frigate Island. Bird watching is a very popular type of excursion here.
But the rarest feathered bird, which not everyone is lucky enough to see, is a black parrot, he lives only on the island of Praslin and is totally dependent on the reserve of Vallée de Mae and its palm trees. The population is quite tiny, only 520-900 birds.
Stroke the turtle
And watch from the side the life of these incredible ancient animals. Giant tortoise (that’s the name of the species) is endemic to the Seychelles. They live mostly on Aldabra Atoll, but a few huge land turtles are nestled at Raffles Seychelles right on Praslin. They are cared for, fed, and allowed to play with the hotel guests there. Feed them with delicious foliage and they won’t refuse to be photographed with you, maybe even stretch their neck for you to pet them. On average, these turtles live 100-150 years, but some of them must have been born in the 19th century! By the way, the oldest turtle of this species lived to be about 250 years old.
See a Sperm Whale
If you want to visit Seychelles, don’t waste time and come to Alphonse Atoll, 500 km away from Mahe. The variety of sea life here is breathtaking: king crabs, colorful fish, enormous sea turtles and… sperm whales, orcas and humpback whales! By the way, distant Seychelles is a breeding place for sperm whales. In June and July, males from cold seas come here to meet females from warmer waters.
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5 reasons to go to the Seychelles right now
To see a coco de mer, eat a flying fox, and find out if a whale shark is dangerous – the Seychelles should be visited at least once.
See pristine nature
The Seychelles are 150 islands of pure beauty, of which only 33 are inhabited by humans. Because of the long isolation here has formed its own unique fauna and flora.
For an introduction to most of the Seychelles flora and fauna experts recommend Fregate Island Private, it is 55 km from the main island of Mahe. Here, for example, you can see the shama-thrush, blue pigeon or a giant tortoise from the island of Aldabra, which is up to 250 years old.
The emblem of the country depicts the famous Seychelles palm, the fruit of which is the largest and heaviest nut in the world. It is called coco-de-mer and because of its gigantic size and piquant shape it was mistaken by the first British on Praslin as the forbidden fruit from Adam and Eve’s Garden of Eden.
In addition to paradisiacal scenery, incredible sunsets and rare animals, tourists come to see the protected places – granite and coral islands.
Before a trip to the Seychelles do not need to make special vaccinations: there are no tropical diseases and their carriers, as well as poisonous insects, spiders and snakes.
Get to know the cuisine
Contemporary Seychelles food is a fusion of Creole, Indian and French cuisines with an emphasis on local produce. It lacks an excessive amount of spices, but it has French sophistication and Asian ingenuity.
Especially local cooks like to experiment with fish and seafood, which is the basis of the diet of local residents since ancient times. You must try octopus curry, red snapper, baked bourgeois fish, or crab in sauce. If you get bored with seafood, you can always switch to flying fox stew. All dishes here are cooked in vegetable oil, local vegetables, including eggplants, are used in large quantities – the islands have whole farm plantations producing crops all year round.
The Seychelles respect coffee, add vanilla to their tea, and drink beer, mint-lemon tincture and fermented sugarcane juice.
Take a walk in the world’s smallest capital
The capital of Seychelles, Victoria (population about 27,000), located on the island of Mahe, is the smallest capital on the planet. There are offices, government buildings, a grocery market and a botanical garden.
The British left a legacy of left-hand traffic. Traffic lights are only at one intersection and are a local landmark.
Start the capital at the clock tower, then you need to see the seaport of Victoria (one of the largest in the Indian Ocean), then go to a couple of museums: the national historical and natural history and in the evening go to a nightclub.
Dive headfirst into the Indian Ocean
Seychelles is a diving paradise. More than 900 species of fish, 100 species of shells, 50 species of coral, shipwrecks, caves and tunnels – the underwater world of Seychelles is full of treasures. Visibility can reach up to 30 meters, and water temperature – 25-30 degrees.
The best months for diving are April, May, October and November. It is worth making an appointment to see the whale sharks (they eat only plankton) – their location is explored from the air, then in the habitat are sent tour boats with tourists and divers.
One of the most coveted dive sites for professional divers is Aldabra, the world’s largest coral atoll, with a unique nature, home to the famous giant turtles. To visit the atoll you must obtain a special permit, the flow of tourists on the island is limited.
Rest in paradise
Most often Seychelles is chosen for a romantic trip or honeymoon. And in vain – these islands will suit those who just dream of a quiet holiday in nature, the opportunity to be alone with yourself, admiring the beauty and colors of tropical islands. In Seychelles you can also have fun in the nightclubs, try exotic cuisine and swim with sharks.
But whatever your goals are, to get the most out of the Seychelles, it is better to organize an itinerary across several islands.
Flights from Moscow to the island of Mahe, where there is an international airport, are made by Etihad airlines through Abu Dhabi (with the flight on board Air Seychelles on the section Abu Dhabi – Mahe) or through Dubai – by Fly Dubai and Emirates. Transfers between islands (arranged by the host hotel for an extra fee) can be done by boat or helicopter.
Some of the best hotels on the island of Mahe: MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa Seychelles, Constance Ephelia Resort; on Praslin – Constance Lémuria; on the island of Silhouette – Hilton Seychelles Labriz.