We really looked forward to our second visit to the Indian Ocean and this time we went on Qatar Airways via Doha. This was an interesting little stop and we had a day room in Four Seasons in town to freshen up. Four Seasons is a stunning property right on a man made beach. We were treated to a wonderful dinner in the Italian restaurant surrounded by lovely pieces of Murano glassware
Mahe is the largest island and even Mahe is not very big so the drive to our hotel was quite a short one. We stayed in the Hilton Northolme close to the main resort of Beau Vallon Bay, which was walkable during daylight hours. There are a couple of restaurants and bars there serving mainly local creole specialities.
It doesn’t take long to believe that you are actually in paradise and even after the first day, it feels as if you have been there weeks – chilled and totally relaxed. There are no motorised watersports so it stays peaceful too
The Seychelles consist of granite islands and coraline islands. The largest ones, Mahe and Praslin are both granite islands, small but perfectly formed with stunning beaches, interesting granite rock formations and abundant rainforests. We saw many birds and also Seychelles fruit bats, which are huge and can be seen during the day, unusual as bats are usually nocturnal.
The culture in Seychelles is African Creole, which is reflected in the food and the lively music, which is a cross between reggae and country music sung in Seychelles Creole, a language that is broadly based on French.
While we were in Mahe we hired a car, which was very reasonably priced. They drive on the left and there are only a few roads, one round most of the coast and four roads across, so driving is a nice way to get round the island. Petrol is cheaper than in the UK too. It is worth hiring a car to see the beautiful bays from the hilltops and stopping at one or two cafes along the way. There’s also the tea factory and lots of viewpoints along the top road.
We stopped in Victoria, the smallest capital in the world, which has historic buildings and home to the Botanical Gardens. There are plenty of shops and banks, there is a market on a Friday and some tourist stalls selling mainly sarongs and gifts crafted from coconuts. Elsewhere around the island, almost everything is hotel based. Even the larger resorts like Beau Vallon Bay are very small with just a few local restaurants.
We spent a night on the third largest island, Silhouette, which was a short speedboat ride away. The beach at Silhouette is gorgeous with soft white sand and a calm turquoise sea. We spent one night in Labriz which is now managed by Hilton
We had lunch in Maia hotel in Maia, a stunning hotel with butler service that overlooks two of the most beautiful bays in Mahe, Anse Louis and Anse Boileau
The journey to Praslin can be done by catamaran or a short fifteen minute flight. We were advised that in the monsoon season the sea can be very rough and that we should fly. This proved to be good advice; flying over all the islands, which looked like little gems in the sea was a wonderful experience in itself and well worth the extra forty euros. Strangely enough there seem to be more resort shops in Praslin. Praslin is famous for Vallee de Mer where the famous and very unique Coco de Mer grows.
Every bit as strange as Coco de Mer is the Cannon Ball tree which has the most beautiful flowers that open in the sun and close in the evening. More familiar are frangipani, hibiscus and bouganvillea that can be seen everywhere.
We spent our last couple of nights in Four Seasons Mahe which really is the closest to heaven that you could possibly get on earth. We had a beautiful villa overlooking Petit Anse, a gorgeous white sandy bay and we had a large infinity pool all to ourselves. The food, service and attention to detail are absolutely outstanding
There are many opportunities to visit other islands by plane or ferry but the best time for island hopping is in our winter months when the sea is calm and best for diving and snorkelling.
Some practical information; UK plugs and the second currency is the Euro.
I would recommend a twin centre either with Mauritius or more than one Seychelles island. I would also recommend upgrading to half board if possible as there are not many local restaurants even in the larger resorts.
Seychelles is perfect for honeymooners and couples.
Please call me for more information and to book on 0845 058 7458