115 islands to explore, exotic marine life, underwater excursions, and delectable seafood; all this and much more await you in Seychelles. It is coastal heaven and my trip to this archipelago during the summer vacation told me that there’s no place better to beat the heat than here. The pristine sandy beaches, a temperature that makes you long ever so more for these beaches and glassy waters that almost sprinkle will make you wonder why you didn’t book your tickets sooner!
Seychelles has some fabulous beaches like the Anse Lazio in the northeast of Praslin, which is the second island of the archipelago in terms of both its population and size and the Anse Source d’Argent on the island of La Digue. Seychelles Island hopping will reveal a lot of gems that’ll make you keep coming back for more.
Although there is so much to do in Seychelles, one thing that you must not miss and what I strongly recommend is Mahé island excursions. The Seychelles International Airport is located on Mahe, and all it takes is a 25-minute drive via Victoria to reach Beau Vallon Beach. This place is the snorkeling and diving hot spot and is a refreshing treat for the eyes. The powdery white crescent beach with its turquoise waters and coral reefs is simply breathtaking. Mahé is a place that you must explore from coastline to hillside and back again and boat tours Seychelles is how you must do it. You can take a full-day boat tour to Praslin and La Digue Island as we did.
Mahé is the largest island of Seychelles and is dotted with exotic trees that line its beautiful beaches for miles. If your love for beaches has taken you to Seychelles then Mahé is going to be your heaven on earth. Everywhere you look; there is a blanket of natural beauty painted with picture-perfect coconut plantations, granite peaks, and empty beaches. Almost ninety percent of the population of Seychelles lives in Mahé and with a country population of fewer than 90,000 citizens, the place offers serenity and peace.
If you’re looking for some adrenaline rush, there are adventure companies here in Mahé that offer rock climbing, kayaking, or scuba diving. They will also set you up with all the equipment you need to go scale the granite rocks. I wanted to capture the best view over the islands and the hiking trails at the Morne Seychellois National Park was where I got some jaw-dropping views and great pictures for my Instagram page!
Semi-submarine Tour in Mahé
What you see at the beaches in Mahé is equally beautiful as what underwater Seychelles has to offer. I was there with a group of my buddies and we took the one-hour Semi-Submarine tour to witness the magic of Sainte Anne National Marine Park, both from above and underwater. The tour started from Eden Island and headed to viewing areas inside the Marine Park. You can go to the underwater cabin to view the corals and experience the magic of the amazing marine life of Seychelles. For the entire duration of the tour, your clothes are going to stay dry and you don’t need any special clothing for the underwater Seychelles semi-submarine trip.
Going on this semi-submarine was a surreal experience as it felt like we were seeing the underwater world from the belly of a real submarine. You have a better chance of enjoying this trip on a sunny day when there are no waves in the water. We got lucky to go on such a day and could see the vibrant colors of the fish and the water. If you’re planning to go with kids, these semi-submarine excursions in Seychelles and marine life views are sure to bring out a whole host of giggles, squeals, and gaped jaws from them!
The marine life
Seychelles marine life can be found on the rich variety of beautiful coral reefs here. There are a plethora of exotic tropical fishes frolicking in the clear waters. You can see the gorgeous Butterfly Fishes, the playful Bat Fish, and Parrot Fish in the waters. This place is also home to the rare Coco de Mer palm and endemic species like the giant Aldabra tortoises. Seeing the Hawksbill Sea Turtles and the magnificent Green Sea Turtle enjoying a meal and resting on the reef is just the sight that’ll make you fall in love with this place. Most of the coral and granite islands in Seychelles have protected marine sanctuaries and UNESCO-listed nature reserves.
I’m sure that Victoria, which is Seychelles’ capital city, and one of the smallest capital cities in the world, will be a part of your travel itinerary when you’re in Seychelles. As for things to do in Victoria Seychelles there is the not-to-be-missed Victoria Clock tower to see. This clock tower was gifted by the UK in 1903, six years after its Big Ben (its big brother!) was built in London. I felt Victoria was more like a mid-sized town with government buildings and a central business district that can be covered in a brisk 15-minute stroll. But I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I don’t mention a few highlights that are worth a visit.
The Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple reflects the presence of Indian influences in the Creole culture on the island. This colorful and vibrant temple is adjacent to Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Mosque and overlooks the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market. Not just a trading center, this market is the favorite of the locals on the weekend.
Besides Victoria, other areas of the island that you can visit include Northolme. We stayed there for a night, and at Eden Island which is part of Mahé Island. There are many restaurants and shops here that are worth exploring.
There are a couple of boutique stays here along with a few major hotels around the bay. Coral Strand, Berjaya Beau Vallon, Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, and Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove which dates dating to 1943 are some accommodation options you can consider. When it comes to food, there are a host of restaurants in Beau Vallon including the La Plage which is directly on the beach, and the popular pizzeria Baobab.