Seychelles is a “short” 20 hrs flight from LAX with a lengthy layover in Dubai. It’s located off the coast of Madagascar. This was our first African destination but because of their past as a British colony everyone speaks English. It’s known for its big population of huge turtles and the endemic Coco de Mer – the biggest seed in the world.
We stayed two days on each, Silhouette and Praslin islands and spent the last day before flying out on the main island Mahe. It was a “do-nothing” kind of vacation – a very rare occurrence for us. The long and tiring flight to Seychelles was an encouragement to do just that.
Praslin is the second largest island with a population of only 7000 and a 15 min plane ride from Mahe.
We rented a car from Steppe and they brought it to the airport for us. It was very convenient but the car was a true lemon. We never knew if it would make it up the smallest hills. In the afternoon we went to Vallee de Mai, a remnant of ancient palm forests and home to the endemic Coco de Mer palm. It’s an impressive forest with huge palm trees. It almost makes you feel like you shrank in size. If you want to take a Coco de Mer back home, it will cost you only $300.
One of the best beaches on the island is considered Anse Lazio. It’s at the bottom of a pretty steep hill. Given that we were driving a lemon, we decided not to risk it and left the car on top of the hill and walked down to the beach.
The beach was nice, but the car had to go. We called the company and they exchanged the car the next day while we were on a day tour to Curieuse island with the Ziblo tour company.
We started the tour feeding the turtles on Curieuse island which is a national preserve for a few hundred turtles.
After a short hike to the other side of the island we relaxed a couple more hours on the beach until lunch was served.
We went snorkeling afterwards. Somebody brought fish food and there was a fish feeding frenzy in the water. If it wasn’t for that, snorkeling would’ve been only ok.
When we came back from the tour, our new car was waiting for us at the hotel. We took it for a spin to the same beach and it was a totally different experience. We parked near the beach and watched the sunset at Anse Lazio.
Silhouette is the third largest island with a population of about 200 people, mostly workers at the Hilton resort and local restaurants. Hilton is the only resort on the island (according to Hilton). Although, we saw a much smaller hotel near the marina, but it looked empty. The villa was right on the beach and we started every morning with a dip in the ocean while sipping coffee and watching the sunrise. Pretty perfect
We got the package with breakfast included and we regretted not getting the package with all meals included. Food was pretty expensive. Other than chilling, there is not much to do there, which was perfectly ok with me this time. We rented some bikes for an hour (complementary) and biked along the shoreline through the resort. Other than that, snack, sip, swim, sleep and repeat
On the last day, we checked out from Hilton in the morning and we had a full day before our flight back at 11 pm. We rented a car on Mahe and drove around the island. This proved to be a very stressful experience. The roads are extremely narrow with deep ditches on both sides and no barriers to stop you from falling in, driving is on the left side of the road, there are a LOT of cars, and everyone tends to drive in the middle of the road until the very last moment. However, we took it slow and we made it to Petite Anse – the beach next to Four Seasons Resort. You have to park on top of the hill and walk down 15-20 min to the beach. Resort workers drive carts to get around the place and on our way down and up they stopped and gave us a ride, which was very nice! The beach was pretty great and the amenities even greater – complementary showers with shampoo, body wash and towels. That worked out perfectly for us! We were impressed with the resort and service so we checked the rates online – starting at 1300 euros per night. Now it makes sense
In the evening we had dinner at Marie Antoinette, a prix fix menu offering local creole tastings. It was very good, a perfect way to end our stay on Seychelles!