It has always been for us a dream destination! Also when Thomas was looking at plane tickets to South Africa from India, we came across a promotion for a Mumbai-Johannesburg flight with a layover in Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles archipelago. The price being the same for a layover of one hour or one week, it did not take us long to turn this one-hour stopover into a 10 days stay! Flexibility is good! Thus we land on a Sunday morning on this little paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean attached to the African continent.
There are more than 115 islands including many uninhabited islets but we will visit only the main islands which are Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Leaving the airport we go directly to the ferry terminal to catch a ferry boat to St Anne's Bay on Praslin.
First stop of our trip to paradise: the island of Praslin
We will spend 4 days on this island and we even rented a car! No more public transportation for now!
The beaches are incredibly beautiful but what surprised us most was how green and hilly the island is and the rocky coastline. As we are not here only for the beach we decided to explore the inland part of the Island. We decided to visit the Valley of May. It is a National Park part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can find in this park the symbol of the country: the coco-de-mer palm tree! It produces a nut of a mind-blowing size that is called Coco-Fesse! We spend several hours wandering under a pouring rain but so hot in this rainforest.
Praslin Island is also known for its Anse Lazio which ranks among the most beautiful beaches in the world. We won't argue! The beach is lined with big granite boulders like many beaches in Seychelles. We also had a great beach just a few steps from our accommodation in Cote d'Or! But again all the coves-beaches visited are sublime! In terms of tourist frequentation we are far from mass tourism! It was a bit crowded but it did not really bother us!
After a few days of idleness it is time to leave Praslin and move torward the beautiful island of La Digue, only a 15 minutes boat ride.
It is the smallest of the 3 islands we visited and here the bike is the preferred means of transportation! The atmosphere is calm, warm, and we had a lot of fun riding bikes! After spending some time on our sublime small private beach (for real, we were alone for hours) next to the Anse Banane, Thomas's bike tire is flat! So we find a small café resto and try to reinflate the tire but not successful. The people from the bar were so kind and call our hotel so that comes to change the bike, thank you for the road assistance! Well it took some time but there is really worse place to be stucked! We met the famous Seychelles turtles who wander casually between the road and the beach!
The most famous beach in Seychelles and the most beautiful beach in the world (yes yes yes) is located in La Digue! This is the beach of Anse Source d'Argent.
I think the following images should be enough to illustrate this.
Many names of places in Seychelles are in French, part of the colonial heritage and French is also part of one of the country's 3 official languages with English and Creole Seychellois. We did not know in which language to start a discussion with local people, either in English or in French, so we always started our chats with "Hello, Bonjour", and waited to see in which language people were going to answer. Most locals speak French rather well, especially those working in tourism. But English still seems to be their preference. In all cases between locals, it is mainly Creole Seychellois.
Last stop for us in Seychelles: the main island of Mahé.
It is the largest and most developed island! We rented a car again so we could explore as we pleased! However we saw a lot of tourists traveling by bus without any worries.
We take advantage to do some hiking in the mountains. We choose a very small hike called :Morne Blanc. And ... we have never sweated so much on such a short distance! (1.6km, 800m go and 800 back) it was really hot and humid! The view from the Morne Blanc was unfortunately not great when we arrived at the top because of the heavy clouds!
In terms of beaches again a treat! The pristine Anse Independence with turquoise blue water, white sand! We've rarely seen a beach like that! Swimming is however a bit dangerous with big waves and strong currents.
After exploring the island, we found a perfect spot at Anse Forbans and spent 3 afternoons on this beautiful beach! It is less crowded than Anse Royale, and easy to access.
It is now time to go and I admit that we thought for a minute about losing our passports just to stay a little longer! But let's be reasonable and Africa is already waiting for us!