Seychelles, an archipelago country located on the Indian Ocean, around 2414 km offshore to the northeast of Madagascar, is a remarkable destination with a wide array of natural and urban attractions for tourists. It is an amalgamation of coral and rocky beaches, rainforests, white sands, granite islands, and unique geographical features. The islands are home to some of the rare and endangered species of plants and animals offering rich biodiversity. With its mixed culture and luxurious amenities; Seychelles can certainly be the all-inclusive getaway for a worthy vacation. Here are the top 12 things to add to your bucket list for Seychelles:
Anse Intendance, Mahé Seychelles
Anse Intendance is situated in the southwest of Mahé Island. One can avail bus services from Victoria Bus terminus and reach the beach destination with an additional few minutes walk downhills. Swimming is prohibited here due to the rocky coastline and rough waves, but one can surely choose to sweep the feet in shallow waters. The beach here is serene, quiet and a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon (or a romantic afternoon!). The Banyan resort of Anse Intendance will greet its visitors with beach hospitalities and refreshments.
Anse Lazio, Praslin
Located on Praslin Island, Anse Lazio is another notable beach destination. The beach is famous for its white sand bordered by turquoise blue sea line and is a major tourist hotspot. Although it’s fun bathing here, there are warnings from the authority to be careful with the rough waves. The visitors of Anse Lazio also have an option to go for an adventurous yacht ride or enjoy supper at the beach restaurants with the amazing seafront. To add to the attraction, there are nature parks located adjacent to the beach for a nature hunt.
La Digue Island
La Digue Island of Seychelles is known for its calm and shallow bay waters and rich wildlife. Its unique geographical feature includes granite rock artifacts, which are scattered all along the coastline. The famous Veuve Nature Reserve is located here. The majestic wildlife of the reserve includes the iconic terrapins and the rare Seychelles paradise flycatcher. There are snorkeling offshore as well as dive spots with amazing coral and marine life. One may encounter species such as angelfish and whale sharks. The villages of La Digue with coconut farms and unique thatched plantation houses are also a part of tourist attraction.
Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles archipelago, is situated on Mahé Island. It is a unique fusion city comprising esteemed urban stature and fantastic natural attributes. The city houses the cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, which is a popular destination of Missionaries. Located at the heart of the city, the Iconic Victoria tower was built as a replica of London’s Victoria Clock Tower. The National Botanical Gardens of Victoria is home to endemic species of palms and orchids as well as giant tortoises and fruit bats. The city’s famous Clarke Market will certainly attract tourists with colorful fruits and vegetables besides arts and souvenirs. The Sainte Anne Marine National Park of Victoria is another destination of tourist interest, famous for it’s green and hawksbill turtles. To further add to the attraction, the city is bordered by exotic beaches for water sport and coral artifacts.
Morne Seychellois National Park
Morne Seychellois is the highest peak of Seychelles and is located on Mahe Island. The National Park spans a total land area of 30 square kilometers around Morne Seychellois. There are dense and shallow forests with amazing walking trails. One should take along a guide to have a memorable forest walk experience and explicitly explore some of the exotic species of flora and fauna of Seychelles. The Morne Seychellois National Park is guarded by the pristine coastline and rough waves.
Vallée de Mai National Park
Vallée de Mai National Park is located on Praslin Island and is one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Seychelles. The park is famous for the iconic tree, Coco de Mer, a rare species of the palm tree, native to Seychelles. Coco de Mer is endemic to Seychelles islands of Praslin and Curieuse and some of the existing species are 300 years old. One can even buy a Coco de Mer as a souvenir. Besides this, the national park will present its visitors with splendid gigantic trees covering the sky. There are various birds and small animals unique to the Vallée de Mai National Park as well.
Aldabra Atoll Seychelles
The Aldabra Atoll is one of the unique geographical entities of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It located offshore, southwest to the Mahe Island. Aldabra is encircled by a majestic coral reef. The atoll comprises of four large coral islands which enclose a shallow lagoon. It is protected from Human influence and activities. One can have a look at the atoll from the outer margins. The Aldabra Atoll is home to 152,000 giant tortoises and it is the largest inhabitation of this unique reptile.
Aride Island Nature Reserve
A remarkable day trip experience from Praslin, the Aride Island Nature Reserve is home to some of the amazing wildlife unique to Seychelles. One can go for a guided walking trail along the Reserve and the waterfront to delve deeper into the diversity of flora and fauna. There are chances to come across baby white-tailed tropicbird, Magpie Robins, fairy terns on eggs, finches, tropical Sheerwater, Manx sheerwater nests all along the path. One may also find skinks, Bronze eyed geckos, etc. along the trail. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, Aride Nature Reserve is your definite pick!
Anse Volbert is a serene beach destination in the Praslin Island. The long stretch of sand is surrounded by a calm and shallow sea. It presents with amazing scope for bathing, beach sports, etc. There are facilities of snorkeling to have a closer look at marine life. One might relax on the sands and witness majestic sunsets from the beach. Anse Volbert is bordered by unique Palm vegetation. There are restaurants and stores alongside the beach to suffice the needs of a tourist.
A must visit destination in Victoria for tourists from the Indian subcontinent, Tempio Hindu is an attraction for its exquisite South Indian Temple architecture. It is the only Hindu temple in Seychelles with typical surroundings (shops with ritual accessories and offerings on sale) of a Hindu temple. The lord worshipped here is Lord Siddhi Vinayaka. The priests are friendly and people of all cultures are welcomed here. The temple is amazingly colorful and adds to the cultural diversity of Seychelles.
Beau Vallon is a Bay along the north-western coast of Mahe Island of Seychelles. Ascribed to the amazing coral reef of the bay, it is a popular destination of tourists from different parts of the globe for diving and snorkeling. Various resorts which offer luxurious stays alongside water sports are gaining ground along the coastline. A sound admixture of African and Indian cultures is evident here. The bay coast also has some of the best restaurants with authentic Asian cuisines.
The first cathedral of Seychelles, the Conception Cathedral, is a center for missionaries located in Victoria (a few minutes’ walks from Victoria City center). It has been renovated numerous times although its structure is based on Greco-Roman Catholic architecture. The colorful glass window panes in typical Medieval European fashion, the tabernacle and carved doors by local artist add to the beauty of the historic Cathedral. The interior is peaceful and a perfect place to pray or have a divine getaway.
Just So You Know:
- Initially, a French colony, the administration of the country island was later taken up by the British colonialists. The admixture of African, European and Asian languages as well as cultures is the major catch-line! Another key aspect is the Matriarchal Society of Seychelles.
- It is the highest nominal per capita GDP of Africa (except the French Islands) as recognized by the World Bank. It is a member of the African Union, the Commonwealth Nations, and the United Nations.
- The country is based on the agricultural economy, although it earns a voluptuous revenue from tourism as well
- Seychelles has a tropical rainforest type of climate. The average temperature is 25-30˚C (75-85˚F) all through the year with average annual precipitation of 2500 mm. The islands experience pleasant trade winds through the major part of the year! (Hence, it’s a perfectly pleasant tourism attraction)
Get Some Culture:
- The annual International Creole Festival is the carnival of aesthetic folk music and traditional musical instrument concerts, where participants from Schools to musicians of international stature integrate, resulting in a gala event!
- CARNAVAL INTERNATIONAL DE VICTORIA is a carnival at the capital city Victoria, observed for 3 days which features a procession of colorful floats representing various nations to foster a sense of global unity
- The Feast of the Assumption is celebrated annually on 15th of August for four days at the La Digue Island in the Seychelles archipelago. It’s an extravaganza comprising street food fest, live music rallies, street parties, and traditional fairs. One must include this in their tour plan for an amazing all in one carnival experience!
Grab A Bite:
- Le Nautique Waterfront Restaurant (La Passe) is one of the highest-rated beach restaurants famous for its ambiance and fine family dining experiences with delicacies from authentic local cuisines besides European (French recommended) and fusion platters and especially mouth-watering vegetarian dishes.
- Eden (Bel Ombre) is one of the highest-rated restaurants for its ambiance as well as Mediterranean, Cajun & Creole and international fusion food (Vegan options are also available!)