If the world were without borders, then Seychelles would be its capital. Seychelles is borderless indeed – you don’t need a visa to fly into Seychelles – you are granted the visa upon arrival – at the airport!
Part of the Indian Ocean Island trio of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles, it is right in the center of the Indian Ocean between the Indian subcontinent and Africa.
Seychelles comprises of 3 main islands – Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. The Capital, Victoria is located on Mahe Island and so is the Seychelles International Airport.
Once you land in Seychelles, you are advised to take a rental car – there is one main road that runs along the coast in Mahe Island – The Coast Road. So, getting lost is out of question – as long as you can drive on the left side of the road.
The vibrant colors of the ocean and the warm tropical weather inform you that you are close to paradise – fresh tropical fruit and hospitality galore. No breakfast in Seychelles is complete without an assortment of fresh tropical fruit – bananas, papayas, mangoes, star fruit, pineapple, coeur de Boeuf
The Botanical Gardens are one of the first places you want to visit in Victoria. The Botanical Garden is one of Seychelles’ oldest National Monuments, dating back more than a century – they boast of the Coco-de-mer – a gigantic member of the coconut family and only found in Seychelles. They’re about three times the size of a regular coconut, and the tree is immense. The gardens also house a wide collection of mature, exotic and endemic plants within an area of five acres. Besides these, the garden is home to a wide variety of spice and fruit trees like the nutmeg. An added attraction is the population of giant tortoises from Aldabra, some of which are over 150 years old – you are allowed to enter the tortoise pen and feed them, for a small fee. The latest feature is an orchid house which holds a collection of brightly colored orchids including Seychelles’ own native orchids.
The Victoria market is another must-see – it’s bustling with activity and fresh fruit and fresh catch of seafood abound. It is on the more expensive side, but a stopover at one of the local eating joints is an experience. The Clock Tower in the heart of the Capital is a 100-year old landmark. It was shipped from London and was erected to honor the reign of Queen Victoria over Seychelles
If you continue along the Coast Road in Seychelles, going westward, you will be induced to stop by Beau Vallon – the bay on the north western coast of Mahe. Its clear waters and coral reefs make it sought after by divers and snorkelers. You can look forward to a treat of fresh coconut water from the fresh fruit stalls, on your way back.
The Eden Bridge links the Mahe Island to the Eden Island. Eden Island is an upscale island and this is evident by the luxury garden villas, the shopping arcade and a private deep water marina. It is worth visiting to experience the quiet ocean and some elegant upscale dining in Mahe Island.
St. Pierre Island is a raised reef island, which belongs to the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. It has a distance of 457 mi southwest of the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island. It’ really a mini-island – a rock formation in the middle of the ocean With clear waters and pristine surroundings, it is a clear favorite for snorkeling and swimming next to schools of tropical fish.
Steering forward in a north-easterly direction, you come across Curieuse Island – a small granitic island (1.78 sq mi) close to the north coast of the island of Praslin. Curieuse is notable for its bare red earth intermingled with the unique Coco de Mer palms. Visitors to the Curieuse Islands disembark at Baie Laraie to the sight of clear waters, pretty rock formations and giant tortoises lazing near the rangers’ headquarters.
The trail from Baie Laraie to Anse José is a 45 minute walk and takes you to the other side of the island.
It passes through a thick mangrove forest and is one of the most breathtaking sites on the island. You will also come across some giant crabs and the ruins of a leper colony, now well blended into the landscape.
Southwest of Curiese Island is the Anse Georgette Bay/Beach – outstandingly beautiful, and an unsung hero of Praslin‘s beaches.
While Anse Lazio wins awards worldwide, Anse Georgette is the quiet and pristine beach – untouched and a wonderful shade of blue. What makes it so unique, is that there isn’t a single rock or piece of coral in the bay, allowing the white sands on the sea bed to create a wonderful turquoise colored water that is unblemished.