I still have Seychelles on my lips, behold and amazed by its beauty. Okay mainly because of the beaches but also its people, the food and all that makes Seychelles unique.
It’s been 2 months since I came back from my Seychelles trip and it’s only now, during cyclonic weather that I am finding some proper time to blog about this beautiful destination and share with you my travel experiences.
Seychelles basic information
It is about 2.5 hours, a direct flight from Mauritius to Mahé, the main island of Seychelles and its capital is Victoria. The Seychellois speak Creole but they are also fluent in both English and French and shockingly there is roughly not more than 100,000 people who live in Seychelles. I loved this small island vibe already.
A lot of you wrote to me asking if it was really that expensive in Seychelles. Well, yes! It is because we have to give 3.3 MUR for 1 SEZ rupee, so basically if the price of a Diet Coke is Rs 80 SEZ, you would be paying a little more than Rs260 MUR for a regular Diet Coke in a store.
Don’t you worry, I will be sharing small tips to make you have a wonderful trip within a budget.
My partner and I needed a couple escape and also because of Covid uncertainties, we did not want to go somewhere far but still enjoy the tropics in the summertime. And just like that, Seychelles sounded like the best option and it’s just a 2.5 hours flight away.
We did about 10 nights all spread over the 3 islands; Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
Prior to flying to any destinations, when leaving Mauritius there are certain documents you should have handy and they are mandatory. These documents are;
- A negative PCR test. Not more than 72 hours until the final destination
- A Covid19 travel insurance
- And your International vaccination card.
Any of the documents missing you, unfortunately, do not board.
Including all of the above, when travelling to Seychelles you will also need to apply for your mandatory travel authorisation to Seychelles only on this official website https://seychelles.govtas.com/
As soon as you have received your negative COVID-19 PCR test result, you can submit your application. You will need your passport, your flight details, copies of your hotel/residence/boat bookings for your entire stay (you must provide confirmed bookings for every night), your COVID-19 test results and your vaccination certificate if you have one, and your credit/debit card to pay the €10 fee for eligible travellers. Consider making a donation to the Seychelles Environment Trust Fund as well as pre-booking COVID-19 test services for your return flight. Applications are reviewed in 9 hours or less.
This application will generate a QR code that you will have to scan upon arrival.
Going to Seychelles does not require travellers to be fully vaccinated as long as they can provide a negative PCR test upon arrival, that’s the sweet news. On the other hand, the sour and bitter news is that when leaving the country the PCR test would cost you Rs8,000 MUR per person. Ouch! So remember to take into consideration of the PCR cost in your travel budget.
Accommodation costs will be the most important fraction of your budget. What I have noticed is that there are two extremes. The guest houses, private villas/ Airbnb options and the 5* hotels.
Not really much in between, which make the guesthouses and Airbnb quite expensive. (not less than Rs8,000 a night) I will put down here a few links where you could choose your accommodation.
Another one of my travel tips is to always book your accommodation on the west coast, if like me you are a sunset lover, you will never miss out on one! You are welcome 🙂
Get a local SIM card with internet packages to stay connected. Wifi in some places might not work quite well if you are a digital nomad and have to work remotely.
Car rentals are all available. BUT, make sure you book them prior to coming. We had no cars to rent out when we arrived on Praslin because they were all fully booked. Else you can do like us, we took taxis at night and the bus during the daytime. Taxis at night because there are not enough lights on the roads to walk and the last bus is at 6pm. Else we walked a lot, actually, the best way to discover was on foot, we stumbled upon beautiful places which we did not know the name.
Long story short, make sure you book a car before arriving on the island. A rental car can cost around 30-50 euros a day.
You can rent a car right at the airport or at car rental agencies found online.
Another way of transport which you will also use is the taxi boat/ ferry to go to the other islands. Make sure to check out their proposed ferry schedule for the week on this website http://www.catcocos.com/
Book your 1 way or 2 way ticket or even an entire itinerary online. La Digue – Praslin – Mahe.
1. MAHE ISLAND
Get your snorkelling gear ready because you are about to dive into the clearest waters in the Indian ocean. The list of beaches to go to is the reason why you are reading this blog, so let’s just dive right into the beaches to absolutely go.
Let’s start with the beaches on Mahe island.
Petite Anse beach
Petite Anse is the beach right in front of the Four Seasons hotel. You can park your car outside and walk right on the hotel grounds. It’s a bit of a walk but it is just worth it.
Anse Soleil is another beautiful beach close to the Four Season hotel. Take the road down and you will be right there.
Anse Louis beach I found very nice for sunset watching. Anse Louis is the beach where the Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas is found. From what I’ve heard, the Villas are quite impressive. They are all on a cliff, and they have spectacular views. Well, we were on Anse Louis for our sunset-watching rituals and these are the colours that your get. (see pictures below)
Anse Boileau beach
We accidentally stumbled on this beach as we drove by. Actually, from what we’ve experienced, all “anses” are unique in their own way, yet beautiful. Powder sand and crystal clear water everywhere that you lay your eyes on.
Anse Intendance, most probably the most reputed beach on Mahe. That day we saw a couple of lemon sharks, stingrays and a couple of fish just close to the shore. The lemon sharks are not dangerous at all just a little curious. Sometimes, there might be strong waves on Anse Intendance beach just be careful if you are with kids, else it’s an amazing beach.
Boat hopping to the other islands
Snorkleling with the turtles
Trails and hikes
Constance Ephelia on Mahe Island is a 5-star hotel. We really had amazing true experiences during our stay. The resort is over 296 acres of park and unspoiled beaches. It is the first time that I go to a resort that has its own zip-lining track, canoeing and climbing excursion with the hotel ground.
The best way to cover the maximum of this verdant place is on two wheels. Grab yourself a bike at the fitness centre and ride among the mangroves, feed the giant Aldabra tortoises, go to the north beach and later during the day, do a sunset hike over to “Ros Lepas” and have a clear view of the nearby islands.
Another must do is to take a boat and go to “Port Launay National Marine Park” another amazing beach perfect for snorkelling.
Constance Ephelia has 5 restaurants and bars, each of which has its own individual concept, design and décor.
- Corossol is the buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner
- Adam &Eve offers Asian cuisine
- Cyann offers Signature haute cuisine.
- Seselwa is the local Seychelles cuisine
- And Helios is the Mediterranean menu, beach style restaurant
I would definitely recommend spending at least one night in this truly unique resort, these experiences have to be lived to be able to tell and share.
The last stop on Mahe we did was at Beau Vallon where we spent 2 nights. Beau Vallon is the northern part of Seychelles and undeniable the most touristic part. It is the young and dynamic part of the island with great beaches, restaurants and bars.
We stayed at Sorento Sur Mer . This Airbnb residence is huge with spacious bedrooms, bed and breakfast formula and with breathtaking views from the bedroom and the shower. See what I am talking about.
- Beau Vallon beach
- Sable D´Or is found right on Beau Vallon beach and its a prime location for tourists and locals.
- Top Soleil beach was one of my favourite in the North part of Mahe, cute and almost private beach.
- Baobab Restaurant (pizza place on the beach)
- Labriz Gastro Lounge, by Hilton
- Also, try a few local restaurants for the Seychelles cuisine
Sunset venue for cocktail drinks:
- Bliss Hotel
- Beach Shack
- Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa
- Sunset Beach hotel (Snorkel in front of the hotel and later have a sunset cocktail)
Other activities to do around Beach Vallon:
- Hike on “Trois Frères” for a top view of the northern bay
- Go on a trail on “Dans Gallas”
- Visit the National Museum of History
- And of course scuba dive in the Northern clear waters.
2. PRASLIN ISLAND
We had a wonderful time on Mahe, our next inner island to discover is Praslin.
We took the ferry/ taxi boat from Victoria quay in Mahe with Cat Cocos and it’s about 75 min to Baie Sainte Anne Jetty in Praslin.
We Spent 3 nights on Praslin and the first night we stayed at an Airbnb apartment near Cote Dor beach which is the longest beach on Praslin, about 3.5km long.
Activities to do on Praslin
There are quite a few smaller islands around Praslin to which you can go on excursions and island hopping onto Coco island, Aride Island, Curieuse Island, Cousin island and Cousins island.
Curieuse island is home to a significant collection of Seychelles’ endemic species, from giant tortoises introduced from Aldabra and endemic birds to the worlds biggest nut, the legendary coco de mer.
Another main activity is to go to La Vallée de Mai. La Vallée de Mai is a Nature Park and UNESCO World Heritage site located on Praslin. The reserve has a natural palm forest preserved in almost its original state. Famous for its “coco de mer” as well as 5 other endemic palms. Did you know that the coco de mer is a palm tree that was once believed to grow in the depths of the sea and is also the largest deed in the plant kingdom.?
Top beaches in Praslin
Definitely Anse Georgette! Three ways to access Anse Georgette is by:
- From the sea, if you are on a boat
- Taking a trail path to Anse Georgette beach
- Or simply by entering the Constance Lemuria Resort and Spa and walking through the golf course. (Just be mindful that there are gold balls flying around) It is quite of a walk but definitely works the effort.
See some photos below of Anse Georgette beach.
Since we are talking about Anse Georgette, let me also share my experiences at Constance Lemuria, a 5* hotel in the northern part of Praslin.
A lot of things actually makes Constance Lemuria unique; this goes from the only 18-hole championship golf course in Seychelles to some of the fine dining restaurants within the resort but also, of course, Anse Georgette, rated one of the 3 most beautiful beaches in the world.
The pictures below show the breathtaking view from hole no.15 golfers get to enjoy while doing their swing. A clear view of Anse Georgette beach.
Another beach within the hotel is Petite Anse Kerlan, it is more quiet and only accessible to the hotel guests. Later during the day, grab lunch at The Nest restaurant, perfectly located on the rock peninsula between the two Anse Kerlan beaches. Sit back and enjoy the stunning beauty of Petite Anse Kerlan from the restaurant’s exquisite location.
See photos below of our stay in Constance Lemuria.
Anse Lazio Beach, Praslin
That day we did not have a car so we took the local island transportation, the bus. We hopped onto the bus from Cote DÓr, where we were staying, to Anse Lazio beach which is the last station, Zimbabwe stop. It is about 35 min ride. Then you need to count an additional 20 min walk to Anse Lazio beach. If you have a car you can do right down there to park. If you went by bus, remember to be already at the bus station at 5pm to catch the last ride.
3. LA DIGUE
Finally heading to La Digue, another inner island of Seychelles. Same again, we embarked on Cat Cocos ferry/taxi boat from Baie Sainte Anna to La Passe quay in La Digue.
Our big mistake is that we only spent one night on La Digue island. Even though we took the first ferry to La Digue and the last one back to Mahe, we felt like we could have stayed not just one more night, but a couple of nights more.
It felt like time stopped on La Digue, that feeling of not being in a rush was what we were looking for when making this trip to Seychelles, and here we found this peace and tranquillity.
Despite you might hear people saying “beside Anse Source D`Argent beach there not much thing to do” this is totally not true.
Hop on your bicycle, put a bottle of water in your backpack, your island map in your hands, and go on an adventure to discover the island at your rhythm. We actually biked all the way to Grand Anse, the east side of the island, kept our bikes there and took a trail to Petite Anse and then from Petite Anse to Anse Cocos where we chilled in one of the natural pools there.
See photos below
We stayed at a lovely boutique hotel on the island called Le Repaire. The hotel does not have the most beautiful beach but to compensate a very nice Italian gastronomy restaurant.
The next morning we went to Anse Source D´Argent beach. You don’t really see its beauty while walking into the huge granite formation but all of this changes once you get into to water and look at the beach from the sea. We were in total awe by such natural beauty. And here we were, on the top number one beach in the WORLD. This is a feeling I cannot put down in words. I am an island kid and seeing this with my own eyes created a feeling of contentment and achievement.
Of course, do not forget to do the transparent kayak in these clear waters, pay attention to low tides. The kayaks stay on the beach when it’s low tide.
To end these holidays without last-minute stress, do not forget to inquire about the PCR test station on the island that you are before flying back to Mauritius or any other destinations.
I hope that this blog about Seychelles beaches will be helpful while planning your next escape.
xx Katia xx