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Discovering Seychelles

Beach of Seychelles

The picture perfect Seychelles is a haven for holiday seekers. Imagine laying on a warm white powder sand and feeling the cool breeze caressing you. Huge granite rocks of different sizes and shapes on your right and a coconut tree bending over the seashore on your left while the gentle lapping of the waves gradually carries you to a more and more relaxed state. This fantastic sensation is what you can expect, all while discovering THE SEYCHELLES.

This fabulous archipelago is not just about beaches but also about unspoiled nature, marine treasures, endemic animals and plants, postcard scenery, unique culture and a distinctive cuisine.

Cocktail in the Indian Ocean

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands scattered over the Indian Ocean. Among these 115 islands, 41 forms parts of the Inner Islands and 74 of the Outer Islands. The Seychelles is about 1,600 km east of Kenya and covers an area of 459 km². Teeming with pristine white beaches, giant granite boulders, and a blue azure lagoon makes the archipelago a legendary beauty.

The Seychelles comprises of 3 main islands, notably: Mahé, La Digue and Praslin Island.

History

Before the 17th century, the Seychelles remains inhabited and was mostly used by pirates to hide their treasures. In the 18th century the governor of Mauritius, Mahe de la Bourbonnais sent Lazare Picault to explore and chart the islands northeast of Madagascar.

The French were the first to colonize the Seychelles but in the early 19th century the Britain took control of the Seychelles.

On June 29, 1976 the Seychelles became an independent republic within the Commonwealth with Sir James Mancham as its President and Albert René as Prime Minister.

Culture & Religion

Seychelles has developed a unique culture by the blending of different races and nationalities of people residing in the archipelago.

The official languages are the Seychellois Creole, French and English.

Roman Catholic is the dominant religion, however other religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Chinese are also practice in the island.

Seychellois are known for their hospitality and friendliness.

All while discovering Seychelles you will notice that Mahé, Praslin and La Digue Island are real bijou of the Indian Ocean.

Mahé Island

Mahé is the most developed and largest island of Seychelles. Home to the capital city Victoria, Mahé has a population of around 80,000 citizens, consisting of more than 90% of Seychelles population. With 60 stunning beaches, waterfalls, jungle, mountain walks and striking viewpoints, Mahé has evolved into a main tourist destination. Mahé is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, Creole architecture and market.

Praslin Island

Praslin is a delight for beach lovers, a piece of paradise on earth. Commonly listed among the best beaches in the world, Praslin beaches and lush tropical forest will leave you speechless. Being the second largest island of the Seychelles, Praslin has a population of merely 6,500 citizens. The island has also an 18 hole championship golf course. Get ready to discover the endemic Coco De Mer and other rare species. Praslin is considered to be a ‘MUST visit destination’.

La Digue Island

La Digue famous beaches never fail to impress, the perfect laid-back location. It is the smallest of the 3 main islands and has a population of only 2,000 persons. La Digue iconic beaches and landscape will take your breath away. There are a handful of taxis and local bus services, however, the best way to discover la Digue is by bicycle.

Beaches & National Park

Seychelles and its beaches are of unmatched beauty, here is a list of those amazing beaches:

Anse Source d’Argent

Iconic Anse Source d'Argent

Perhaps the most beautiful beach you will set eyes upon. Anse Source d’Argent is the star of the Seychelles, with its naturally sculptured granite boulders and crystal clear turquoise waters, Anse Source d’argent is spectacular. Situated on La Digue Island, the famous beach is probably the most photographed and has appeared in many films.

 Anze Lazio

Anse Lazio, Seychelles

 Situated in the northwest of Praslin Island, Anse Lazio is adorned by white powder-fine sand, lapis lazuli waters backed by scenic granite boulders. Anse Lazio deserves its reputation, a real gem of the Indian Ocean. Recently voted the 6th best beach in the world by TripAdvisors.

 Anse Georgette

Anse Georgette, Seychelles

Again, one of the riches of Seychelles, Anse Georgette situated on Praslin is an outstanding beach. Powder soft sand, incredible palm trees and blue turquoise water make the beach an unforgettable souvenir of Seychelles. Considered the second best beach in Praslin Island after Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette is a truly jaw-dropping beach.

 Anse Intendance

Anse Intendance, Seychelles

 Anse Intendance in Southern Mahé is the perfect location to lay your surfing materials. With high waves, Anse Intendance presents the ideal conditions for surfing. An amazing beach with imposing granite formation and beautiful scenery. Rank among the best beaches in the Indian Ocean, Anse Intendance is a true postcard image.

 National Park

Vallée de Mai National Park

Vallee de Mai Seychelles

An untouched vestige of natural palm forest preserved since years. Designated as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, Vallée de Mai is highly recommended. Almost conserved to its original state, the national park has no match. Resting on the granitic island of Praslin, Vallée de Mai covers an area of 19.5 ha and is a sanctuary largely unchanged since prehistoric times.

Vallée de Mai is home to the famous Coco de mer only found in Praslin and Curieuse Island and to five endemic palm trees. Unique for its wildlife, the National Park has rare species of bird such as the black parrot.

 Interesting facts about the Seychelles

  1. The gorgeous Seychelles was at a time a pirate hideout. Rumors are that the infamous pirate Olivier Levasseur hid a treasure of great value in the Seychelles Island.
  2. The heaviest land tortoise, Esmeralda, resides on the Bird Island.
  3. The endemic Coco de mer produces the heaviest and largest seed in the world.
  4. Victoria, the capital of Seychelles is the smallest capital in the world and can be explored in a day on foot.
  5. Rarest bird species can be spotted in Seychelles.
  6. Prince William and his wife spent their honeymoon in the Seychelles.
  7. The republic was uninhabited until the 18th century

Seychelles: La Digue Island

The sensation of being on holiday eternally, the feeling of being on La Digue Island of the Seychelles! The atmosphere is relaxed. Locals moving on their bike while humming! The life on the island seems to have stopped some fifty years ago.  La Digue is a small island. Only 5 km long and 3 km wide.

It may seems bizarre but you will find no real roads on La Digue! So no need to rent a car. On the west of the island are found the only three villages of the island: La Passe, La Réunion and L’Union. The small villages are clustered and form a group of houses.

The island of La Digue is the most photographed of the islands of the Seychelles with its magnificent granite rocks bathing in turquoise water and its beautiful white sandy beaches! Moreover, La Digue is the most chosen honeymoon destination.  Every year, a large number of couples coming from outside the Seychelles celebrate their weddings on this picturesque island. The island has only one luxury hotel, the rest of the accommodation being mostly guesthouses, villas or apartments for rent (self-catering). The island has no airport or aerodrome, but a heliport connects by Mahé Island found about 45 km away.

The island of La Digue rises to 333 m above sea level. Here, the population is mainly black and many men wear dreadlocks similar to those of “Bob Marley”! With its beaches, La Digue is certainly the most beautiful island of the Seychelles.

La Digue Beaches

The different beaches are accessible by bike or by foot. Neither will you find crowded beaches, nor beaches with sunbeds or umbrellas that often spoil the landscape! Everything is almost wild and just perfect! Some beaches are protected by a coral reef, making swimming very enjoyable, while other beaches are beset by high waves and strong currents, it is then necessary to be very careful when swimming (when allowed). In general, a panel indicates danger.

Anse source d’Argent

Anse-Source-d'Argent

Anse Source d’Argent

To get to Anse Source D’argent the best way is to take a sandy trail which will quickly take you  to the famous beach. You will fall in love with this sublime Anse, the Island’s most beautiful site and certainly the Seychelles! It is here that almost all the clichés representing the Seychelles are made. Anse Source d’Argent is characterized by large granite rocks eroded by waves. The site is protected by a coral reef and thus offers a calm sea for bathers. Depending on the tide, swimming is more or less easy. At low tide, the depth is very low and the bottom covered with algae.

Anse Coco

Petite Anse and Anse Coco are separated by a small peninsula called Pointe Turcy. A twenty minutes walk is necessary to reach Anse Coco from Petite Anse. Again, a beautiful deserted beach without building uplifting the landscape! There is very little shade and the sea is also dangerous. Be cautious if you want to swim.

Anse-Coco

Anse Coco

La Digue Fauna and Flora

Apart from the beaches, the island is covered with thick jungle with some walkable paths allowing you to discover the beauty of the unique flora of the Seychelles. The island of La Digue is the refuge of the “Black Widow” which are magnificent black birds endemic to the Seychelles. During the day you cannot miss the flight of the big Roussette bats.

La Digue: How to get there?

The Seychelles consist of One hundred and fifteen islands spread over a total area of One thousand two hundred square kilometers. The island of La Digue is only two hundred kilometers from the main island of Mahé and its international airport. To reach the island of La Digue, there are only two main options.

By boat

The island of La Digue is generally reached by boat from the islands of Mahé (45 km) or Praslin (7 km).  You only have to report to the port to have a precise schedules of the departures. The journey from La Digue Island to the main island Mahé is about one hour and ten minutes (70 minutes) provided that the boat does not stop in Praslin.

The travel will cost you about Sixty Euros (60 Euros) for a one way ticket. The voyage between Praslin and La Digue is about fifteen minutes (15 minutes) and costs about 15 Euros for a one way ticket. The sea is very often rough outside the lagoons. Do not be surprised if ever you have some seasickness. Take some precautions before the departure (anti-seasickness pills).

Helicopter

The second way to get to La Digue is somehow less conventional but more fun. The flight from Praslin to La Digue takes about ten minutes. There are definitely many advantages in taking the helicopter to go to La Digue. Maybe you have never taken it before and you want to try this lifetime awesome experience. Nevertheless, you will admire the turquoise lagoons of the Seychelles and take some amazing photos of the picturesque islands.

Even though being expensive, it is definitely worth the try.

La Digue: La Veuve Noir Reserve

 La-Veuve-Noir-des-Seychelles

La Veuve Noir des Seychelles

It is in La Digue that you will the last Flycatchers of the paradise island of Seychelles (or Black Widow), a bird that found uniquely in “La Veuve Noir” Reserve created exclusively to this bird. In 2012, it is estimated that about three hundred of these birds could be found on the island of La Digue. The reserve is located near the village of La Réunion. Admission is free but donations are most welcomed! An information center provides explanations on the functioning of the reserve and the life of the birds. Trails through the reserve is easy and fun.

La Digue: The small neighboring islands

From La Digue, it is very easy to reach the small islands and islets scattered around. These islets include Félicité, Cocos, Grande Soeur, Petite Sœur and Marianne. To visit these islands, it is necessary to organize a tour, either by negotiating a private boat or by joining a group. It costs about fifty Euros per half day or a hundred Euros per day. The price will depend mostly on the islands visited and type of meals included. The islands are mainly visited for snorkelling or diving. Best place to try your diving equipment!