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Seychelles as a whole is “interesting” to the average person living an average life- it’s not an island as many seem to think. Oh no- it’s 115 islands. Indeed quite a lot of islands one may say, still not intrigued enough to visit it, are you? Well, the Seychelles Islands also happen to be the celebrity of islands worldwide. You must have heard of Bali, of the Maldives but those beaches of Seychelles? They have an impressive list of awards that have been allocated to them throughout the years and mark my words- these beaches have deserved each and every one of them!

On top of all that, Seychelles has an underwhelming population size of just under 90000 people. Imagine that- 115 islands and just 90000 people! But the most impressive fact is actually that 90% of them all live in Mahé! The island is home to the locals, expats and most considerably- the tourism industry. It is the island where you first land on your journey to Seychelles. This is where it starts- Victoria, Mahé.

mahe

Let’s start with that itself- the airport. It is a fairly recent one, only a couple of decades old with the honour of having been inaugurated by Her Majesty herself. It is the home base to Air Seychelles and provides a warm welcome to hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly. People have raved about its cleanliness and good service among other facilities such as wifi and lounge for layovers. However, you might want to bring a snack bar or two if you are going to be at the airport for longer than a few hours since it is not big on food shops. For others simply having a layover in Seychelles while en route to other countries, bear in mind that one cannot leave the airport without proof of residence arrangements! So, book a hotel in case you want to tour the island(s) for the few hours spent there instead of simply lazing in the airport lounge!

Concerning hotels in Seychelles, that will be a fairly easy task. Victoria has an abundance of hotel which cater not only to longer term tourists but also people who are just stopping over. So worry not, you will easily find a perfect fit to stay in Seychelles for however long you plan to. Especially with most hotels having their own websites and online booking facilities, this is doubly easy now. Victoria is a curious place to visit. It is the largest city of the largest island in Seychelles but simultaneously, the smallest capital of any African country! Filled with magnificent hotels, quaint houses, pretty little shops and an awesome bazaar- Victoria makes itself a highly interesting possibility for exploration. The island itself is home to a diverse group of flora and fauna as well as a very rich history. Having been previously colonised by the British gave Victoria its name in honour of Queen Victoria. To learn more about this vibrant past of the islands, a visit to the national museum is in order! Located in the city itself, it ha an affordable entry fee for the average holidayer. The descriptions and labels are mostly in French, a result of the more frequent use of creole over its official language which is English. However, the guides and locals are usually very helpful to the polite and inquisitive visitor. So, do not hesitate to ask questions and let your curiosity spread- you will thank yourself when you are back home with a quasi encyclopedia of knowledge to accompany your beautiful island memories.

Mahe-Island_Seychelles_S79QT_DX-News

About these island memories- what’s a Seychelles holiday without a healthy dose of the beach, sea and sun? Mahé is ever warmed by the tropical sun, being a pleasant place to lazy and tan all year round. April is famed for being the hottest month while July is supposedly the coldest. In Seychelles, “cold” doesn’t even warrant a quilt at night! The temperature remains mild and comfortable- so do not be afraid of extreme temperatures- it will take a natural calamity for that to happen in Seychelles!

About natural calamities, Indian Ocean is well-known for its cyclones. It is something to be expected, a big bad cyclone attack on a near yearly basis. However, these cyclones somehow always manage to evade Seychelles apart from some few exceptions including in 2016 very recently. Though small, the islands got back on their feet in a remarkably short time and got back to business as usual. And hotels in Praslin are as amazing as any other! Hence, your holidays are unlikely to be marred by any sort of extreme reaction of Mother Nature. She seems to like this cluster of paradisiacal islands…

Beau Vallon is reputed for its white, refine sand and calm blue sea. It just begs for a swim actually. Your holidays in Seychelles will be practically incomplete if you do not set foot on Beau Vallon. One of Mahe’s pride, it is where you take your family or significant other for a fun day at the beach. If you have a camera handy, bring it along- you will want to capture that perfect sunset! To be rather honest, every sunset in Seychelles with its red and orange sky is beyond perfection but it is still worthwhile to take a more tangible memory of all of them with you when it’s finally time to go home. Go to the beach, rock that beach body, make new friends, buy ice cream from the local vendor and take some wonderful pictures. They happen to also make great post cards!

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Let’s not forget the academic side of life! Being in Seychelles is another big opportunity to learn about so many things. The botanical garden in Mahe is a good place to start. You will visit palms endemic to the Seychelles which are older than even your grandparents among other trees with equally impressive characteristics. The surprises don’t end here- ever seen a tortoise extend its neck for nearly 1 metre out of its shell? Well, it is indeed time to go to Seychelles! That very sight is of the Giant tortoise of Seychelles- they are a mighty impressive breed!

All in all- Mahé might be an invisible dot on the world map but it is more than worth a visit on its own. Book your ticket now!

In the northern tip of the island of Reunion, supported by the mountains, lies Saint-Denis, the largest city of the French overseas territories, with more than 145,000 inhabitants.

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Being once a small village of settlers, it experienced an economic leap in the eighteenth century when it became the capital of the island of Reunion. Three centuries later, the city keeps track of its rich past. At Barachois you will have a clear idea of ​​its past: the guns evoke the war against the English. A little, further up the hill, the monuments of La Redoute recall that the blood flowed during battle.

Saint-Denis offers in its old center, beautiful Creole houses and colonial buildings in a single-old mansion style. The Art Library presents contemporary artists, the Natural History Museum has an amazing collection and the city contains within itself something magical.

Culture

Saint-Denis is a mostly harmonious crossroads of peoples and cultures. Old Chinese stores and businesses managed by Indo-Muslims in their kurtah.

All this, like Creole curry, create a perfect blend, combining customs and traditions from three continents- Africa, Asia and Europe. They are no ethnic Reunion but one people with subtle nuances that will welcome you during your stay in Saint-Denis.

This beautiful city is a real sea of greenery. Few French towns can boast of having as many trees and many gardens. That is why we find these large or small spaces where orchids, ferns, tropical plants and European roses compete in beauty. Saint-Denis is surrounded by hills forming forest sanctuaries, where you can relax in peace and enjoy the fresh air and the sound of ever falling waterfalls.

Climate

The climate being tropical, there are two main seasons. Winter lasts from April to September, it is cooler and drier, turning temperatures around 20 ° C and summer lasts from October to March and is rainy and prone to cyclones, with average temperatures of 28 ° C.

Fog often prevails in the mountainous parts of Saint-Denis. The temperature over there are always less than 18 ° C. To make the most of your trip, the months of May and June are the most appropriate, thus avoiding the influx of tourists and the wettest period.

The annual rainfall in Saint-Denis is approximately 1700 mm. The three wettest month with an average of 11 days of rain in January, February and March, the austral summer period.

Places to Visit in Saint-Denis

Saint-Denis lives to the rhythm of a mixed Creole tradition. You will discover with pleasure the pedestrian area, La Rue de Paris, the Art Library, the Creole houses scattered throughout the city, the covered market with its wrought iron architecture, Barachois and its coastal cannons, the Cathedral, the state Garden and its Natural History Museum, and the Léon Dierx Museum.

Furthermore, beautiful excursions await you: Quinquinas island, the Chaudron waterfall, la roche écrite, the village of Grande Chaloupe in particular. You will find varied accommodation, hotels, condos or homes where you can stay during your vacation.

Downtown

Saint Denis is principally a place to do shopping with its innumerable shops. Its pedestrian area allows to make purchases safely while blending into the daily life of local people. Likewise, always enjoying the city, you will see lots of Creole original houses, sometimes in ruins, mixed with more traditional and modern architecture.

The Covered market

A large covered hall to purchase small gifts and typical souvenir of Reunion for family and friends. Its wrought iron architecture gives it a very different aspect of traditional covered markets that can be found anywhere else.

Covered Market of Saint-Denis
Covered Market of Saint-Denis

The Barachois

The Barachois is the northernmost district of Saint-Denis and remains. The term “Barachois” is used in some parts of the French-speaking world to describe a coastal lagoon or lagoon separated from the ocean by a sandbar.

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Saint-Denis’ Barachois is one of the most enjoyable walks of the island. Barachois is best known for what is found a little further on the coast itself: its battery of cannons pointing out to sea from Pointe des jardins, from which distances separating the island from the rest of the world are measured in kilometres. The place is also popular with tourists and honeymooners who come to have their picture taken at sunset.

Further east, the Barachois hosts a bowling alley and a concrete pool built in 1959. Designed by Guy Lejeune, while modern architecture symbolized the dynamism of the new department. The basin was filled, renovated, and transformed into a dancing bar.

The Cathedral

 This imposing cathedral situated Rue de la Victoire dates back at 1829. It has a lovely shaded courtyard, filled with a kind of figurative art fountain, made of cast iron, it comprises of a column, a basin and cherubs.

Garden of the State and the Natural History Museum

The shady garden has many treasures. The garden is more than a garden, it is a real plants conservatory. A variety of plants are to be discovered here and there in the aisles. Then its basin located in the center beautifully enhances the quality of its magnificence. Since the nineteenth it hosts the Museum of Natural History, a wide colonial building where the popularization of knowledge is the key word.

Musée Léon Dierx

First Museum of Fine Arts from overseas, it is the initiative of Marius and Ary Leblond that this neo-classical architectural building welcomes since 1911 an incredible number of works by world-renowned artworks as paintings by Cezanne, Chagall, Degas, Delacrois, Manet and Matisse as well as sculptures by Renoir and Gauguin.

The Noor Islam mosque

Located right on the shopping street of Marshal Leclercq, this splendid Mosque was renovated in 1970 as the previous was destroyed by fire a decade earlier. In 1905, the first mosque, which was erected on the same site, was the first of Reunion, and was built at the initiative of Muslim traders of Saint Denis.

Chaudron waterfall

Visiting the Chaudron waterfall and Bassin Bleu is one thing to do. The narrow path winding through the houses of the site remind you that the city of Saint-Denis is very close. Gradually, as you venture deeper, you enter a denser vegetation. The ravine and the river in the background will amaze you.

Have fun during your vacation in Saint-Denis!

Beautifully contrasted and blessed with never-ending sunshine, the western coast of Mauritius is the perfect place to spend your holidays. This side of the island is lined with some dazzling white sand beaches like Flic en Flac. The small coastal village of Flic en Flac is ideal for those looking to discover Port Louis and its surroundings. Other than its beaches, the west coast of Mauritius has a lot of natural attractions and sights.

Flic en Flac

flic en flac
Flic-En-Flac

Flic en Flac is known to be the best beach resort of Mauritius. Along its beaches, you will find a series of hotels following one another. Unlike other regions of the island, Flic en Flac records very little rainfall throughout the year. The sun always shines on its dazzling turquoise lagoon.

Flic en Flac climate

Sunset Flic En Flac
Sunset-Flic En Flac

Like Port Louis, Flic en Flac is sheltered from the South East Trade Wind of the Indian ocean and is one of the hottest places in Mauritius. Here the temperature never drops below 26°C and it easily reaches up to 35°C. The temperature of the lagoon varies from 26 to 28°C depending on the season. The beach itself is very spacious and is lined with Casuarina trees which help provide some shade. The climate of Flic en Flac is reflected in its lagoon, crystal-clear warm water contributing to a fabulous aquatic life.

Snorkeling & Diving in Flic en Flac

Diving-Flic en Flac
The beach of Flic en Flac is nearly two kilometers long and you can swim, snorkel or dive all year round. In fact, the beach is a paradise for diving with its numerous caves and wrecks like Cathedral and Rempart Serpent. Divers and snorkelers will really appreciate the lagoon of Flic en Flac as the current is nearly inexistent while visibility is at its best. So get your snorkel and diving equipment ready for the wonderful coral reefs and colorful underwater life of Flic en Flac. Its is advisable to wear protection shoes or snorkel fins to protect yourself from sea urchins and corals.

Around Flic en Flac

Casela
Other than its beaches, hotels, and villas, Flic en Flac has everything for the well-being of visitors. The village is equipped with numerous facilities like spas, clinic, beach restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, supermarkets and shopping malls. Nightlife there is much appreciated by locals and tourists alike. Few kilometers away from the village you will find the Casela Nature Bird Park, one of the oldest attractions of Mauritius.

Hotels in Flic en Flac

Beach villas Flic en Flac
Over the last years, Flic en Flac has seen a lot of development. Many hotels and villas settled to level the increasing number of tourists. There are more than 10 large hotels along its coastline. But beware that some hotels are better placed than others in view of front beaches. Pearle Beach, Hilton and Villa Caroline are the better placed for bathing and snorkeling. Nevertheless, you can still stroll along the beach and find your own bathing spot.

Port Louis

Port Louis
Port Louis at night

Mauritius isn’t just a beach destination, its capital city Port Louis is a living proof of that. With nearly 150, 000 inhabitants, Port Louis and its old streets is the liveliest city of Mauritius. The city is home to the major administrative and financial institution of the island.

Enclosed by a mountain range and the sea, Port Louis is the hottest city of Mauritius. When visiting Port Louis, it is very easy to spot the ancient buildings, Creole houses, and religious monuments. It is common to see a mosque, a temple, and a church just streets apart in Port Louis. This is the result of the great ethnic mix of the Mauritian society.

Port Louis is representative of the island’s colonial past. Alley after alley, the city of Port Louis reveals more and more about its culture and authenticity. You just have to stroll art and history will be everywhere around you.

The Port Louis Market

Mauritius Market
Also referred to as “grand bazaar” by locals, the Port Louis Market is the oldest market of Mauritius. It is the best place to find anything that the island has to offer. From exotic fruits and vegetables to tastiest Mauritian street foods, the market is a delicious food trip. Amongst the many street foods you will find there, the Dholl Puri is certainly the most famous of them all. In the case of thirst, we recommend you visit one of the many stalls of the market to taste the Alouda, a typical local milk-based beverage.

The market is quite crowded and loudly on weekdays, but this curiously adds to its charm. You will discover attaching and welcoming characters at the stalls. It is so nice to amble and ferret out the beauties of Mauritius in this market. In addition to the food, you will find the best handicrafts and souvenirs of Mauritius in the extended section of the market. Souvenirs like miniature musical instruments, clothing, spices, scents, original sculptures and many more.

Port Louis attractions

Port Louis Attraction
Fort Adelaide in Port Louis

The city of Port Louis is a must-see attraction in Mauritius especially for travelers who want to get soaked in the beautiful mix of culture and traditions. Place d’Armes, Champ de Mars, Fort Adelaide Chinatown, Jummah Mosque or Saint Louis Cathedral are charming religious architectures worth visiting. Port Louis is also the ultimate place for shopping in Mauritius, the Port Louis Caudan Waterfront is one of the biggest shopping malls of Mauritius. The waterfront has it all, hotels, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, live music and events, you can really a good day there.

Driving in Mauritius

Port Louis and Flic en Flac are just minutes away by car and a little bit longer in by bus. While the bus is inexpensive in Mauritius, it tends to be time costly. The easiest way to get around the island is to rent a car. This requires bringing a valid license, but you will be able to visit the different attractions at your own pace. Car rental tariffs are fairly competitive across the island and the price of fuel is fairly low. Driving is on the left and road signs are mostly displayed in English. The only downside of Port Louis is its regular traffic jams, especially from 8hrs to 9hrs in the morning and 16hrs to 17hrs. So plan your trip to Port Louis accordingly.

Have nice holidays in Mauritius!

Before discovering the top seven things to do in one of the most beautiful island of the indian ocean, Mahé, let’s have a quick overview of the island which is also host to the best hotels and villas in the indian ocean.

Mahé is named from the French Governor, Bertrand Mahé de Labourdonnais. Found in the north east of the paradisiacal archipelago, Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles. Mahé is home for the capital of the Seychelles- Victoria and also accommodates 86% of the total population of the Seychelles.

The island hosts the most beautiful islands of the archipelago and has a diversified fauna and flora. Mahé is a travelers favorite desination. Mahé’s forest also have few endemic plants found only in the Seychelles. Some of these such as the Medusagyne oppositifolia are critically endangeres species.

#1 Swim in the Indian Ocean

Beau Vallon

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The Beau Vallon Beach in Seychelles

Located on the northern estern coast of Mahé, this picturesque bay is one of the most frequented beaches of the Seychelles. Beau Vallon has an amazing clear water and coral reef. Due to this, the waters of Beau Vallon are prized for swimming and Snorkeling. Beau Vallon also host a small food and souvenir bazaar every Wednesday all year round.

Anse Royale

This beach is the longest on Mahé and it provides beaches protected from choppy seas, providing a safe and comfortable swimming haven. This makes for very favorable conditions for swimming and beach fun from May to October.

Port Launay

Situated on the west side of the island, Port Launay beach is one of the most beautiful of the island. The beach is usually crowded on weekends. Port Launay beach has clear water and soft sand which makes it great for sun tanning and swimming. The beach is also very well kept. One advice, do not litter.

#2 Visit the Natural History Museum

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The seychelles national history museum

The national history museum is the perfect place to be if you do not know what to do out of your free time in Victoria. But beware, do not assume that you will be visiting something like the metropolitan of New York or the Natural History Museum of London. You will love the exotism and authenticity of the tales they will tell you. The National History Museum of the Seychelles is found in the capital Victoria and is housed in a colonial architecture building. The entrance fee is relatively very low. There are few cabinets displaying some bugs, beetles and insects. Most of the descriptions are in French and some of the money collected is used for environment protection. Overall the visit is worth it.

#3 Visit the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market

sir-selwyn-selwyn-clarke-market-seychelles
Sir Selwyn-Clarke Market

The Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market is emblematic of the Seychelles. This national landmark built in 1840 in a magnificent early-Victorian Style architecture renovated early 1999. The Market is also the main market on Victoria. It is the best place to buy the freshest fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. They also have a variety of spices. The maket is a very colorful place and do not forget to take your camera along. You will find many local craft and souvenir stands that sell for cheap.
The market is usually opened from Monday to Friday early morning till 4-5 in the evening and especially very lively on Saturday. It is generally closed on Sundays.

#4 Explore Mahé’s Capital Victoria

Situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé, Victoria is the capital city of the largest island of the Seychelles and at the same time the smallest African capital. The city was first established under the British colony. This is why it has been named after Queen Victoria.  Walking down Victoria, you can well distinguish the colonial influences on the city. Some perfect examples are the little ben monument ant the queen Victoria statue in the center of the island.

Victoria-Mahé

Even though Victoria is a capital city, it has yet some way to go. Life is slow paced in the Seychelles and you do not feel the rush of big crowded cities. This is probably why the city has got only one traffic light. Choose to explore the city by foot. Victoria has many attractions to offer such as the botanical garden and some markets.

#5 Go see the Aldabra Giant Tortoises

The Aldabra Giant Tortoises hold their name from the island of Aldabra. They can also be found on many island of the Seychelles. This species of giant tortoises is endemic to the Seychelles. The botanical garden on the island of Mahé is home to these mythical creatures which can live up to more than a hundred and fifty years.

These turtles are emblematic of the Seychelles and are very distinct from other turtle species since their long neck can help them reach leaves from up to one meter from the ground.

#6 Tour the tea plantation and Factory

During your stay in Mahé, one of the things to do is to tour the tea plantation. The tour is very affordable and costs about 25 SCR per person. It is of a short 15 min duration which begins with the guide showing you how the tea is dried before being sorted, blended then finally packaged. Seychellois tends to be very friendly. So will be your guide. They are very informative people and they will not leave any of your questions unanswered. After your visit, you can wander around the plantation and grasp some view of Port Glaud. The site is picturesque, so do not forget to take your camera along.

You can also visit the tea shop and café and enjoy some nice iced citronella or seybrew.

#7 Visit the Botanical Garden

The botanical garden is the highlight of your visit to Mahé. If you’re holidaying in couple and want to have some nice quiet time, it is the best place to be on Mahé. The best advice is to visit during the week days.

The gardens have a variety of palm trees which the majority are endemic one. There are also many colorful tropical plants. You will find shaded areas throughout the gardens which are non-other that inviting for some relaxation.

A good avice is that you contact a car rentral company in seychelles and rent a car tour the whole island. Car rental offer cheap rates.

Go ahead and make the most of your holidays.