With 115 islands, the Seychelles archipelago boasts of postcard-perfect beaches that are sure to drift visitors off to paradise. But there is more to Seychelles than its many beaches; the nation, scattered over the waters off the coast of East Africa, conceals many surprises to its explorers. Here’s a quick rundown of what we can do:
Unleash your wild side
Seychelles is inhabited by a unique ecosystem above and below its waters. Home to a range of lush tropical forests and 250 species of birds and 2000 species of plants. The Seychelles’ wildlife is as enchanting as its beaches. The country’s national bird, the black parrot, is also the rarest bird on the planet. This rare species can be spotted by those with a keen eye while exploring the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Praslin Island. In addition, the Valley is home to the world’s largest population of endemic coco-de-mer, a flagship species of global importance as carrier of the largest seed in the plant kingdom.
Next, spot the giant tortoises that roam free in the sandy coves of Curieuse Island, where unspoiled nature and granite beaches create the perfect ambiance for these gentle creatures.
Get a glimpse of the rich marine life with a semi-submarine ride from Eden Island in Mahé. Cruise along the Seychelles’ most spectacular underwater reefs and watch a variety of marine life swim alongside. Corals, colorful algae, sea meadows with schools of fish. We challenge you to count the unique species you spot!
With its beaches, the Seychelles holds many adventures and the best way to experience them is by hiking the region. Nestled in Mahé, Morne Seychellois National Park, the largest national park, stretches across the Morne Seychellois mountain range, the highest peak. Indeed, the reward of completing a hike is the view from the top. The summit offers a breathtaking view of the capital city of Victoria.
The fourth largest island in the archipelago, La Digue is a haven of peace for those looking for a moment of relaxation in the heart of nature. In addition to exploring the island by bicycle or oxcart, diving and rock climbing are also popular. However, it is the La Pass trail in Grand Anse that clearly emerges as a winner. The trail crosses French colonial houses, woods, marshy areas, and finally ends at Grand Anse beach.
Enjoy a rendezvous with culture
Dynamic culture is the result of many cultural influences. Stroll through the markets of Mahé or simply visit during the Creole festival to soak up the flavors of the region. History buffs will love the picturesque town of Baie Lazare on Mahé. The 18th century neo-Gothic church of Baie Lazare is a delight to see. It also presents a serene panorama of the region. A visit to the National History Museum is perfect for a trip back in time to understand history while browsing the paraphernalia on display.
Food for thought
Much like its culture, Seychelles cuisine presents a healthy amalgamation of flavors from its three adjacent continents to form its own distinct palate. For a foodie, a visit to historic sites such as the King’s Garden offers the opportunity to sample home-cooked meals in a quaint café enveloped in the hustle and bustle of typical Seychellois life.
The stunning Seychelles sunsets are undoubtedly its most beautiful feature. And they are best enjoyed with a delicious Creole meal, which consists of preparations made from fish and shellfish, enhanced with coconut, mango and breadfruit, served with a bed of fresh vegetables from the garden. (IANSlife)