Seychelles guide, for a journey into luxury and the wonders of nature
SEYCHELLES GUIDE: HISTORY
The favourite destination for honeymooners and sailing enthusiasts, who isn’t able to recognize the dark granite rocks, the shiny white beach, the pristine waters “stained” by corals here and there that make the Seychelles islands one of the last paradises left on earth?
Heaven on earth, indeed, but these islands own a whole bunch of records: 115 granitic and coralline islands, 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites (Vallée de Mai, where the biggest seed in the world grows, the “Coco de Mer”, and the Aldabra Atoll, the biggest coralline atoll in the world) and the biggest existing population of giant Aldabra tortoises.
The most photographed beach of the planet is also here and it’s called Anse Source d’Argent: together with Anse Lazio, they’re always in the top 10 of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
It’s not random at all, then, that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Liz Hurley and Arun Nayer, and more recently the royal couple William and Kate, are just a few of the names of the people who wisely decided to spend their honeymoon here.
Pirates used these islands as a connection until 1756, when they were occupied first by the French and then by the English. It was only in 1976 that they became independent from the United Kingdom and were nominated Republic within the Commonwealth.
SEYCHELLES GUIDE: THE ISLANDS
The three most populated islands, according to size, are Mahé (capital city Victoria and international airport), Praslin and La Digue.
SEYCHELLES GUIDE: WHEN TO GO
The best season to visit Seychelles is from March to May and from September to November. During these months you will find low rainfall, an average temperature of 27°C (81F) and clear waters, perfect for snorkelling and diving with a visibility that reaches 30 mt.
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP
There are three ways to fully enjoy Seychelles.
The first is to book a luxury resort on a private island with the only company of your loved one, away from everything and everyone, private beach, pool, personal butler and chef, spa with breathtaking views: do you need more?
The second one, easily combinable with the first one, is to do island hopping by sea or air, spending a couple of days on each one of the main islands or on the smaller ones owned by private resorts.
The third one is to rent a boat or a catamaran with which you can tour the islands for one or two weeks. You can find offers with Nemovoile (www.sailing-seychelles.com, where you can choose from a fleet of 20 boats with different prices and sizes) or with Inter Yacht Charter (www.interyachtcharter.com/seychelles), also with a wide fleet of boats and catamarans.
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
It’s the most populated island of the Seychelles, therefore the least wild one. Perfect if you want to dive for a couple of days into the creole atmosphere; it’s better to stay near one of the various beaches of the island (Anse Intendance, Anse Takamaka, Anse Gaulettes, Petit Anse). Victoria, the capital city, doesn’t look like the typical colonial style village, however it could be nice to roam around the Botanical Gardens, maybe while you’re waiting to visit the Sainte Anne Marine National Park: six protected islands where you can dive, snorkel and enjoy glass-bottomed boat rides.
Air Seychelles connects Mahé to Praslin with short daily flights (the view from your window seat will be to die for!). The island is famous for its magnificent beaches and for the Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage forest where you can see the sensual (it’s shaped as a female bottom) seed called Coco de Mer spontaneously growing: it only grows here and on the nearby island of Curieuse. Beach-wise you can’t absolutely miss: Anse Lazio, always in the top 10 of the most beautiful beaches in the world, reachable from a strenuous sloping road, and Anse Georgette, inside the luxurious Constance Lémuria Resort. From Praslin you can organize daily trips with lunch on the beach, on the nearby island of Curieuse, where you can visit a bredding centre for the Aldabra giant tortoises. Alternatively, you can snorkel around the deserted little island of Saint Pierre.
A pearl in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the epitome of the idyllic island. Small and appealing, it hides the most beautiful beach in the world, Anse Source d’Argent, and it throws in a parallel universe: bike rides, small villages and a wild and captivating beauty. You can organize trips to the nearby islands of Cocos, Félicité and Grand Soeur.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The easiest and fastest way to get around is by helicopter; there are several companies that offer helicopter sharing services with other passengers or you can directly book your private helicopter with resort you will be staying at (Zil-Air organizes panoramic tours or visits to deserted islands). The second best way is by plane from Mahé to Praslin with Air Seychelles; from there you can easily reach La Digue by fast ferry or with a private boat organized by your hotel.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Maia Luxury Resort and Spa
Private infinity pool for each villa of the hotel, private butler and spectacular views on the ocean. What else do you need? You can plan a candle-lit dinner on the beach or a private barbecue on your villa’s terrace. The restaurant Tec Tec offers local specialties and is also available for room service. From 1700€ per night the villa all inclusive.
A wonderful resort hidden in a luxuriant tropical garden. The sea view at sunset will live you breathless. From 300€ the deluxe villa with sea view, from 600€ the villa with private pool.
Residence on the Rocks
Villa with 4 bedrooms, living rooms, dining room, terraces, infinity pool with sea view, private chef and butler on call 24/7, surrounded by a glorious tropical garden and within a few minutes walk from the beach. From 4400€ per night the entire villa.
Banyan Tree Seychelles
In this hotel you will be able to relax by the pool sipping a fruit cocktail or waiting for your yoga session or a tennis match. Furthermore, you can enjoy several spa treatments under luxurious pavillions on the hills. Every room has a private pool with sea view. From 860€ per night the double room. This extraordinary hotel won our BEST CHOICE.
This hotel has a wonderful pool, 3 restaurants, 4 bars and an 18 holes Golf Course. Several beaches, among which the beautiful Anse Georgette, one of the best beaches of Praslin. From 450€ for a double bedroom.
Raffles Praslin Seychelles
Located near one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Anse Lazio), the Raffles Praslin Seychelles offers luxury villas with sea view and garden view terraces. From 680€ per night the double room.
Private villa with modern design with wonderful ocean view and infinity pool. Fro 10 adults and 2 kids. From 4000€ per night including meals 4 staff members on call 24/7.
Indian Ocean Lodge
Great price/quality ratio for this hotel located on the beach of Grand Anse. Big rooms and great furniture, a pool and an excellent restaurant. From 170€ per night the double room.
Le domaine de l’Orangerie
Probably the only high category hotel on La Digue, Le Domaine de L’Orangerie will guarantee a relaxing holiday. Among the resort’s facilities: 2 bars, an outdoor pool, a tropical garden and an open reception 24/7. From 400€ per night the garden suite.
Le Repaire – Boutique Hotel & Restaurant
Facing the Indian Ocean and located just 5 minutes from the main village, this small boutique hotel has an outdoor pool, elegant rooms, a beautiful view on the island of Praslin and a great restaurant. From 200€ per night.