The Bliss­ful Cast­away Is­land

The Sey­chelles is the best es­cape is­land re­sort if you seek seren­ity and hap­pi­ness.

Maxx-M - - FRONT PAGE - Pho­tos cour­tesy of uni­cus­, Mike My­ers

he Sey­chelles is one of the world’s most stun­ning des­ti­na­tions for beach lovers. These trop­i­cal is­lands are so beau­ti­ful, with ex­otic beaches, clear azure waters, turquoise la­goons and amaz­ing ecol­ogy. If you want to re­lax, the Sey­chelles is your per­fect get­away. The Sey­chelles is­lands are one of world small­est coun­tries, lo­cated 1,000 miles east of the African coast in the west­ern In­dian Ocean at the cross­roads of Asia and Africa. The na­tion com­prises 115 is­lands spread over 1.3 mil­lion square kilo­me­tres of the In­dian Ocean, north­east of Mada­gas­car. Of these 115 is­lands, 41 con­sti­tute the old­est mid-oceanic gran­ite is­lands on earth, but only 33 are in­hab­ited. The rest are un­in­hab­it­able co­ral atolls. The three ma­jor is­lands of the Sey­chelles are Mahe, Praslin and LaDigue, with Mahe the largest is­land and the site of Vic­to­ria, the cap­i­tal. The is­lands have the small­est pop­u­la­tion of any African na­tion. The ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple who live in the Sey­chelles are de­scen­dants of the British and French.

Get­ting There

Sey­chelles In­ter­na­tional Air­port is lo­cated on Mahe is­land and re­ceives many di­rect flights from large cities in­clud­ing Lon­don, Frank­furt, Mi­lan, Paris, Rome, Jo­han­nes­burg, Sin­ga­pore and Bangkok.


The Sey­chelles is­lands fall into two dis­tinct groups, the in­ner and outer is­lands, and al­most all are out­side the cy­clone belt. The 41 gran­ite in­ner is­lands are clus­tered around the three prin­ci­pal is­lands of Praslin, La Digue and Mahe. There are also two co­ral is­lands in the in­ner group, De­nis and Bird is­lands.

Is­land of Beaches

Sey­chelles is a beach haven. There are many fan­tas­tic beaches from which to choose on the 115 is­lands.The soft, pure white-sand beaches and crys­tal-clear azure ocean make all the beaches an at­trac­tive place to un­wind and re­lax by the waters of the In­dian Ocean. There are 44 pub­lic beaches lo­cated mostly on the three main is­lands – La Digue, Mahe and Praslin. Mahe, the main is­land, has 65 beaches to ex­plore. Most of the beaches here are un­crowded, and un­touched, the wa­ter is clear and bath­tub-warm so it’s al­ways a great place to go swim­ming or snorkelling. La Digue of­fers beau­ti­ful beaches all around it in­clud­ing Anse Source d’Ar­gent beach with its pink sand and large gran­ite boul­ders worn over time, mak­ing this one of the most pho­tographed beaches in the world. The beach is shel­tered by a reef, mak­ing the wa­ter calm and ideal for snorkelling. Other great beaches on the is­land in­clude Anse Patates and Anse Coco, which is ac­ces­si­ble only by foot. Anse Lazio on the is­land of Praslin is con­sid­ered the best beach in the world with fine, soft sand fringed by Taka­maka trees and palms. The beach is north­west fac­ing, of­fer­ing beau­ti­ful views of the sun­set. The best beaches on Mahé in­clude Beau Val­lon, a favourite bay for lo­cals and tourists alike, and the only

place in The Sey­chelles where mo­torised wa­ter sports are al­lowed. Here you can en­joy wa­ter-ski­ing, para­chute rides, jet­ski­ing, banana boat rides, sail­ing and so much more. Other beaches in­clude Anse Ma­jor, and Anse Soleil, which is lo­cated in a small bay where a river runs into the sea. This beach can be reached only by boat or on foot. Grande Anse Beach in La Digue is­land is se­cluded and easy to skip be­cause it takes some effort to get there. It is the ar­che­typal beach, the bench­mark against which oth­ers must be judged. It’s a must, es­pe­cially if you’re a surfer. Be­sides re­lax­ing in some beau­ti­ful and se­cluded beaches there are also some in­ter­est­ing and fun ac­tiv­i­ties that you can en­joy.

Wa­ter Sports and Ma­rine Life

The Sey­chelles is also the best place in the world for sail­ing and div­ing, the warm waters boast­ing co­ral reefs and an abun­dance of ma­rine life, in­clud­ing tur­tles, whale sharks and manta rays. The Sey­chelles is home to four ma­rine parks and more than 150 species of trop­i­cal fish, colour­ful co­rals and fas­ci­nat­ing wrecks. The ma­jor­ity of re­sorts of­fers wind­surf­ing, kayak­ing and sun­set cruises. Sail­ing is also hugely pop­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly around the calmer waters of the in­ner is­lands. One of the top dive spots is Shark Bank, where scuba divers can weave through boul­ders and spot st­ingrays, puffer fish and a sunken tanker.


Be­sides vis­it­ing Mahé’s beau­ti­ful beaches, it is im­por­tant to take time to ex­plore the Is­land’s moun­tain­ous in­te­rior. The Morne Sey­chel­lois Na­tional Park of­fers many dif­fer­ent day hik­ing trails and is home to the high­est peak in the Sey­chelles. Squadrons of trop­i­cal birds and fruit bats pa­trol over thick Juras­sic for­est that reaches to the 2,700ft sum­mit of Morne, Mahe’s tallest peak. The best way to ex­plore is to take a half­day hike along one of the many trails within the Morne Sey­chel­lois Na­tional Park. Look for tiny frogs hid­ing in pitcher plants, and the harm­less en­demic wolf snake bask­ing in patches of sun. If you choose only one walk, spend 45 min­utes reach­ing the sum­mit of Morne Blanc. It has per­haps the finest view in the In­dian Ocean. Al­ter­na­tively, hike the Glacis La Re­serve trail which goes through a palm for­est with a back­drop of gran­ite cliffs, and views of the east and west of Mahé. Other hikes on Mahé in­clude Anse Ma­jor, a one-and-a-half-hour hike to a small se­cluded beach, and The Cassedent hike with a water­fall and screw pine for­est.


Bik­ing is a pop­u­lar means of trans­porta­tion, es­pe­cially on the smaller is­lands where you can ex­plore the out­door beauty of the Sey­chelles. La Digue for ex­am­ple has no mo­tor cars, so bik­ing is the only way to ex­plore the is­land. Sey­chelles of­fers beau­ti­ful trails to se­cluded beaches so you can en­joy bik­ing in the Sey­chelles eas­ily.

Culi­nary At­trac­tions

Food in The Sey­chelles is de­li­cious and you will find an abun­dance of it here. Seafood, coconut, and curry are among some of the main in­gre­di­ents on which you will feast. Grilled fish or oc­to­pus served with a sauce of crushed chill­ies,

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