When one spells Seychelles, we immediately think of tropical islands, pristine beaches, and warm turquoise lagoons. This heavenly image of the islands has been preserved for years and years, a pure luxury destination.
More than 40% of Seychelles territory is classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The 115 islands of the archipelago of the Seychelles are echt examples of natural beauty. The landscapes of Seychelles are among the world’s best. One of them is Anse Source d’Argent, so many times recognized as the world’s best beach.
At the same time paradisiac and intimist, the Seychelles archipelago’s charm is still undefined. If it is your first time visiting the Seychelles, you might well feel a bit disoriented, here no urbanization, no main roads, and no traffic jams.
Here life is more like enjoying white sand pristine beaches and watching the granitic elevations take the colors of the sun, the sky, and the sea. If you think about it, it is absurdly simple to find a deserted beach and get immersed in the colorful lagoons of Seychelles.
Without any doubt, Seychelles is a luxurious destination, reserved for the most curious. The islands of the Seychelles promise cherished holidays, no crowd, no tourists’ influx. Though the demand for Seychelles holidays is always on the rise, the local government is clear: no to mass tourism.
The Seychellois care for their natural treasures. To this date, nearly 50% of the country has properties of cultural and natural heritage, more than any other country in the world. The Seychellois archipelago is also comprised of a unique flora; Seychelles managed to protect their lush forestations where about 150 species of endemic plants grow safely.
Praslin and La Digue are probably the two most charming islands of Seychelles. Both islands are free of urbanization. On Praslin, one single road crosses the island while, on La Digue, there are no cars at all, people travel by bicycle most of the time. The two islands have authentic natural assets, and a lot of efforts are being made to preserve the islands.
On La Digue, you won’t find many big hotels. Priority to small guesthouses which can give a touch of freedom to your holidays. The idea of leasing a small guesthouse or a beach villa is more beneficial to the tourist in the context of a small island as La Digue. With the small villas, you will take advantage of discovering directly the flavors of the island by freely choosing your restaurants and in addition to this, you will also discover the real personality of the island by mixing up with the population.
And to keep up with the tropical atmosphere, hotels are designed in accordance with nature. This also contributes to preserved the Creole traditions. Some hotels & villas even build rooms on hills without affecting the natural environment of trees and forestation. Spas are generally installed in the middle of nowhere.
Praslin, the neighboring island of La Digue is another well-preserved natural treasure of Seychelles. Praslin is the second largest island in the archipelago and according to many, it has the finest collection of pristine beaches an island can offer. Amongst the many beaches of Praslin, Anse Lazio, Grand Anse, Côte d’Or and Anse Petite Cour are the most enjoyable.
Seychelles is a not 100% beach destination, the Vallée de Mai or May Valley is the perfect example of tropical biodiversity. The May Valley is a natural garden of more than 20ha located at the heart of Praslin. This nature reserve owes its reputation to the world-famous sea coconut (also known as coco-fesses), a plant endemic to the Seychelles. This fruit can only be seen in May Valley and on Curieuse Island.
Seen by locals as a symbol of the country, the coco-fesses are very well conserved and are even protected from the influx of tourists. The May Valleys which shelters these unique species entered the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO in the year of 1983. Since, some measures were taken to preserve the trees and especially the fruits.
Before that, everyone wanted to taste the coco-fesses which nearly lead to its extinction. Nowadays, it is forbidden to eat the fruit. This is completely understandable considered that it takes at least two decades for the tree to produce the fruit. This probably explains why tourists also feel more concerned about natural values of Seychelles.
The May Valley is also home to more than a hundred of species of plants and animals like the famous Black Parrot of Seychelles. If you want to have a sense of what a tropical island looked like centuries back, this nature park is a living museum. Since the arrival of the first ships on the island of Praslin and the early 1970’s, the May Valley was almost devoid of human activity.
National Marine Parks
The secrets of Praslin do not only reside on land, the island is bounded by a flourishing coral bareer. While this ensures calm lagoons and secured beaches, it also makes Praslin’s littoral a true paradise for diving and snorkeling. The private beach of Anse Petite Cour and its beautifully implanted Domaine de La Reserve Hotel provide excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. The beach hotel is located in front of the national marine park huddled with colorful aquatic life. Like in other national marine parks of the Seychelles, no motorizes water-sports activities is allowed.
Located in the southwest of the Seychelles archipelago, Aldabra atoll is the world’s second largest coral atoll. Also a World Heritage Site of UNESCO, Aldabra is one of the last natural sanctuaries of the planet. The Aldabra atoll hosts the most important population of giant turtles in the world. Inhabited and particularly isolated, the Aldabra atoll is the perfect environment for giant turtles. Besides some scientific researchers, we can virtually say that the Aldabra atoll is untouched by mankind. The atoll is formed by four main islands of coral reefs, separated by narrow passes in a shallow lagoon and lined with mangroves trees. The Aldabra atoll also has some of the finest white sand beaches ever seen on a coral island.
The Seychelles archipelago is one of the world’s best holiday destination and is constantly improving to welcome more visitors, but development of islands are made moderately. When visiting Seychelles, especially Praslin and La Digue, you will have the feeling to be among the first to discover these islands, so much they are well protected!