The Seychelles is an archipelago comprised of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Africa. It’s an incredibly remote location. However, if your idea of heaven on earth is a tropical island paradise, surrounded by pristine waters of varied shades of blue, brilliantly colored flora and fauna, and nary another human in sight, the Seychelles are for you.
Any time of year is a good time of year for visiting the Seychelles, but the best months are May through November, when the cool southeast trade winds blow. July and August are also good, with the average low temperature about 75 F (25 C). December through April is more humid, with high temperatures reaching 88 F.
Though there are 115 islands, only 40 are inhabited, and most visitors stay on one of the three larger islands: Mahe’, Praslin and La Digue.
Mahe’ is the largest island and home of the Seychellois capital, Victoria. The international airport is located here, so of course this is where all travelers land. Praslin is the second largest island, and is known for the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. La Digue is a quiet island where the main mode of transportation is on two wheels. Here,the unspoiled beaches of Anse Source d’Argent are not to be missed.
Here are a few suggestions to help you plan an unforgettable Seychelles holiday.
As you can imagine, traveling to an island paradise means you’ll need to use a lot of sunscreen. If you haven’t seen the light of day for weeks (or months) before you travel to the Seychelles, you’ll want to be careful not get sunburned. A nice, broadbrimmed hat and a good pair of UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses are a must, as well.
There are a variety of trails to hike in the Seychelles, ranging from easy to difficult. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was largely untouched until the 1930‘s and retains a remarkable population of endemic plant and animal life and can not be compared to any other place in the world. Located on Praslin Island, this is the only place in the world to find all six species of the rare Coco de Mer palm in one place. It is also home to rare birds, such as the Seychelles bulbul, fruit pigeon, and the black parrot.
On Mahe’, you can get a good workout by hiking Mare Auz Cochons nature trails, which will take you past freshwater marshes and waterfalls. An easier trail is the Glacis Trois Freres, with wonderful views of the capital city of Victoria and the islands beyond.
Diving and Snorkeling
As you can imagine, diving and snorkeling in the Seychelles are a technicolor adventure with a wide range options. Be sure you bring an underwater camera with you if you plan to dive!
If you want to feel like Philippe Cousteau, go to the Aldabra Coral Reef. The world’s largest raised coral atoll, it is located in the outer islands. Home to the giant Aldabra tortoise and encircled by a fringing coral reef, it is a Unesco World Heritage site.
One of the top dive spots in the Seychelles is Shark Bank, where scuba divers can weave through underwater boulders and spot stingrays, puffer fish, and huge grouper. This is a good place for more novice divers.
It’s pretty easy to find a secluded spot on a beach to call your own in the Seychelles. Take some time to relax and appreciate the beauty and magic of the unspoiled beaches and wilderness. You’ve found Heaven on Earth.
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