How my friend and I vacationed in Seychelles for 570 thousand rubles
The Seychelles has fantastic nature: the blue Indian Ocean, snow-white sand, tropical forests and green mountain tops.
In May 2021 my young man and I decided to spend our vacation on the beach. We chose between Maldives and Seychelles: we had not been to either of these countries before. In the end we flew to the Seychelles because of the weather: May in the Maldives is rainy, and we didn’t want to stay in the room and wait for the rain.
We made our own travel arrangements and started to prepare ourselves a month before departure. Itineraries and other information we searched in travelers’ forums. We also asked friends who had already been there – there were literally a couple of them.
We understood that the Seychelles – is not a budget vacation, and you have to be prepared for it. High prices on the islands are kept on purpose to limit the number of tourists.
In this article I will tell you how we got to Seychelles, what was our itinerary for 12 days of travel, how we moved around the islands and what we saw in the country.
What I will talk about
What a country
The Republic of Seychelles is a state in the Indian Ocean. It is located in East Africa, about 1,600 kilometers from the mainland, just below the equator. Seychelles is located on 115 islands. Only 33 of them are inhabited by people, the remaining islands – uninhabited coral reefs.
The archipelago was mapped in 1502 during Vasco da Gama’s expedition from India to East Africa. A century later, the British arrived to explore the islands in detail. The first settlement appeared there only in the middle of the 18th century: the French arrived and began to cultivate plantations of cloves, vanilla and cinnamon. The country was named after the French statesman Jean Moreau de Séchel.
The area of Seychelles is only 455 km2 . To compare: the area of Moscow is 2511 km2 . In terms of size, the country is 180th out of 194. The largest island of the state – Mahe – occupies one third of the total area of the country. It is home to the capital, Victoria. Other large islands are Praslin and La Digue. On them as well as on Mahe, live local and tourists have a rest.
Tourism in the country began to develop in 1972 when an international airport was opened on Mahe. Now Seychelles is a popular destination for Europeans, especially the French. But in April 2021 the most people came for the first time from Russia – a quarter of all travelers.
The country has resorts – islands with one hotel each. For example, on Silhouette is the Hilton, and on Felicite – Six Senses. To stay in such a hotel, you have to pay not only for accommodation, but also for transfers – tourists are transported by private boats or helicopters. Surprisingly, such islands are open to any traveler: you can just come to the beach of a luxury hotel and relax there for free.
Some islands, such as Curiez, Muaen, and Cerf, are protected areas that are only accessible by guided tours. Another atoll is Aldabra – a unique natural monument, one of the few coral atolls, not affected by civilization. He is 1,150 kilometers from Mahe, and get there only with a special expedition, the cost of participation – several tens of thousands of euros.
The population of Seychelles is less than 100,000 people, mostly Catholics. Since Seychelles is a former British and French colony, there are three official languages: Seychelles Creole, English, and French. This is convenient: we did not encounter a single misunderstanding during the entire trip.
I can call the Seychellois people friendly and helpful. No one cheated us on the trip and didn’t try to make money off us by imposing unnecessary extras.
Tourists go to Seychelles for a quiet, secluded vacation away from civilization. There are no significant architectural monuments and diverse cultural program. Museums are small historical buildings with small exhibitions, and galleries are more like shops with paintings. There are no shopping and entertainment centers. But the nature is fantastic.
It is often said that Seychelles is similar to the Maldives, but I think it is not. Despite the relative proximity, these countries are completely different nature. Yes, both islands have white sand and blue ocean, but the Seychelles still has mountains and tropics. There you can relax in a luxury resort, or feel like a savage in the jungle.
In Seychelles, you can not just lie on the beach: tourists hike nature trails for hours, go kayaking, snorkeling, and gazing at the strange fish. You can also rent a bike and ride around an island.
When to go
Seychelles is hot all year round. The rainy season there lasts from November-December to March-April. In May, the temperature on the islands is about +32 ° C, and the water in the Indian Ocean warms up to +30 ° C.
Because of the proximity to the equator and the humidity of 80-90% at +32 ° C in Seychelles, it was much hotter than in Moscow at the same temperature. I woke up wet at night on the islands and was swollen in the morning. In such a climate things don’t dry out, and wounds on the body don’t heal without special products. In the middle of the trip I slightly cut my finger with paper, which never healed until I returned – in Moscow such a scratch would have healed in a couple of hours.
During our trip it rained heavily for several days. It did not spoil our mood at all, on the contrary, we took a break from the unbearable heat.
How to plan a route
Since our trip lasted 12 days, we wanted to stay on three of the most popular islands.
We spent the most nights – six – on the largest island, Mahe: half after entering the country and the rest before flying home. We allocated four nights on medium Praslin and two nights on small La Digue. We built this itinerary based on the availability of the hotels we liked and the schedule of the ferry we took between the islands.