Seychelles travel guide
Seychelles is a tiny island located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa and is one of the most beautiful places you can visit. You will be blown away by the countless white sand turquoise beaches and scenic hiking routes you will be persuaded you have died and gone to heaven. The time in Seychelles has stopped; everyone is so relaxed and easy-going it is the perfect intimate getaway for couples or if you just want to spend some alone unbothered by anyone.
In this article I will give some travel tips that I think you might like to have on board before travelling to the Seychelles and write about few places that you don’t want to miss while you are there. Have in mind this is not a budget destination but there are ways you can save money while you are there that I will mention below.
Things to know:
Airport in Mahe is very small, if you are coming from crowded flight you might be a little slow passing through the customs, you can get your visa on arrival ( free of charge). You will a return tickets and proof of booked accommodation.
Everyone you came across will speak English but most people speak also French.
Seychelles uses Ireland/Uk plugs.
It is a catholic country so you can wear whatever you want and drink alcohol in public.
Euros and Dollars are widely preferred and accepted so don’t be in rush to exchange your money for rupees. Bank machines are easily available so you can just withdraw as much as you need and you will probably get the best rate there.
Taxis are really, really expensive ( 3-5 euro per kilometer )if you can rent a car in advance ( they drive on the left side of the road by the way ) or try to find a local person who would drive you around for a much cheaper price.
The buses on the other side are very cheap. Tickets cost only 7 rupee and are quite frequent. Have in mind that you CAN NOT take your suitcase on the buses so taking a bus from the airport is not an option.
Having an unlocked phone and buying a sim card from the airport if you are person who needs a mobile connection or to use Google maps to get around would be a good idea. Depending on the provider for about 25 euro you can get a sim with around 3 GB of data.
Bring comfortable shoes for hiking if you are into that type of thing. There are many hill places to explore that offer you a 360 view of the island.
Bring insects spray or cream if you are allergic, they are many ants and mosques and all sorts of tiny creatures however no poisonous snakes or spiders to worry about :)
You can visit the private beaches of some of the really fancy hotels without actually staying in them.
Most of the goods including food are imported into the country so don’t expect a lot of local food varieties.
Where to stay
There are many amazing top of the class hotels out there but if you want to save some money you can always rent a villa through airbnb. Places like villa Royal Bay in Mahe which is located in Anse Royale very close to the airport and Victoria are easy to find and much more affordable.
Royal Bay villa has a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, barbeque area, a big tropical garden and a bonus if you love animals you get to enjoy the company of a sweet very friendly and two turtles (kept away if you don’t). There is onsite manager and a lady who helps around the house who are both very helpful. If you value privacy and have your own space where you can feel at home it will be a perfect choice for you. The beach (enormous by the way) and few shops and restaurants, bank and bus stops are 5 mins away walk. It has all modern amenities and it was really clean and well maintained. The villa is quite secure even though crime in the Seychelles in considered being relatively low comparing to the rest of the world.
Things to do and see
Morne Blanc Nature Trial- this can be a bit of a difficult uphill route but when you can make it to the top you totally forget all of the sweat and the effort. Just make sure you have comfortable shoes, take plenty of breaks if needed and bring lots of water as the weather is really hot so you will be more likely to get dehydrated. The trail leads to spectacular panoramic views of Mahe western seaboards.
Copolia trial- It is handy for parking and there is a bus stop nearby. It is much easier hiking than the Morne one possibly the best one in Mahe. It takes around 30 mins to reach the top. You will be going through a dense jungle you see some bats, spiders, snakes and tropical birds. In the end you will be treated to breathtaking views of Eden Island, Victoria and the airport and some of the other inhibited islands in the Seychelles.
Sauzier waterfall- easy to access and a short walk with a small entrance fee of 25 rupee. Nice for swimming with small natural pool and worth paying it a visit. If you see people offering to show you the way have in the mind that they will be looking for you to pay them in the end.
Victoria market- not that big but good place to buy souvenirs, clothes and fresh fish, fruits, vegs and spices. Everything is quite expensive and goods in terms of clothing and footwear are limited. There is a small “Big Ben” copy which is the local attraction there. In the area there are also a mosque, church and a hindi temple and it is nice to see they promote diversity.
Any beach in Mahe is absolutely amazing and they are way too many to mention so I will just point out the ones I think you should definitely visit:
Beau Vallon- really crowded beach but this is where a lot of tourist attractions are happening. It is great for snorkeling and scuba as the beach has an amazing clear water and coral reef. It is where most of excursions and rental facilities to the other islands are organized. Just be careful to compare prices as they can be quite a difference in it. You can just get a plane or a ferry as well so if you like to leisure on your own time you have those options too.
Anse Intendance - brilliant place to take photos for your Instagram. It is quiet, picturesque amazingly beautiful paradise looking beach. Be careful when swimming at currents are really strong at times. If you decide to go do take the hotel entrance it is less muddy. You can also enjoy a drink or two at the bar there J
To visit the last two places you can either take a plane (15 mins), a ferry (50 mins) or opt for an organized day excursion (around 130-160 euro) from Mahe once you are there you can rent bikes to explore the places.
Praslin Island - I’m sure that will be one of your favourite places to visit .This is the home of the famous Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve and the coco de mer palm tree- the largest nut in the world. The place is UNESCO HERITAGE site and it is perfect for exploring the best of the Seychelles nature. Anse Lazio beach is an absolute must see. It is really wide clean white sand beach with crystal clear water, great for snorkeling; the colour of the water is even more beautiful than anywhere else.
La Digue island – favourite place saved for last! It is hard to describe the beauty and vibe to it. Absolutely divine out of this world! It will leave you speechless. I would say the most instagramble too. Really relaxed and quiet and brilliant for snorkeling, you can see a lot of different type of fishes here. You will have to pay an entrance to get to the beach (6 euro) but on top of that you will see the giant turtles and a coconut museum and old mills.