Posted by: Aniket Agarwal
Seychelles is popular for combining its charming islands in the waters of the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. The waters display a spectacular spectrum of blues, greens and everything in between. You’ll often find yourself resistant to get out of the water and leave the beach. The sandy beaches, cerulean waters, and rich, varied marine life exist in Seychelles' stunning coral reefs. Being the capital city of Seychelles, Mahe is the place to visit to explore and enjoy a truly unforgettable experience in Creole culture. It is packed with breath-taking white beaches, lush greenery, and gorgeous towering mountains.
The magical city of Seychelles is well and truly one of the world’s most beautiful destinations. It is an island paradise in every sense of the word, ideal for honeymoon couples looking for an unforgettable vacation filled with relaxation and romance. Seychelles is an archipelago country consisting of 115 tiny islands spreading across the vast Indian Ocean. It is versatile in terms of its beauty, starting from the magnificent Morne Blanc mountain to the white-sand beach of Anse Volbert, from the Victoria Market’s colourful atmosphere to Seychelles. It has plenty to offer. So consider yourself lucky enough if you manage to visit these islands of pure tropical bliss.
If you are confused and wondering what fun things to do in Seychelles that you cannot miss, this is the right place. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Seychelles. Although it is not easy and cheap to plan a vacation to Seychelles, the trip will certainly be worth it without regrets.
1. Explore the local markets:
Seychelles is very popular for its local markets. The most famous market is the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market in its capital, Victoria. It is more common as the Victoria Market. The liveliness of the market signifies it as the true heart of the capital and displays a harmonious blend of the old and new Seychellois way of life. The people of Seychelles always love to share their enthusiasm and passion for local Creole food and culture.
The local vendors offer everything at unbelievable prices. The market provides several souvenir stalls scattered throughout the market with sarongs, flavoured oils and art. Here you will get printed t-shirts, necklaces as well. In case you feel hungry after shopping and bargaining throughout the day, you will find some local street shops offering authentic dishes for you to enjoy the Creole culture. The market is open Monday to Saturday from 4 am to 5 pm. The other markets in Seychelles worth mentioning are Victoria Bazaar, open every Friday on Market Street, and the Bazar Labrin on Beau Vallon beach, open every Wednesday and on the last Saturday of each month.
2. Visit Praslin Island:
Praslin is observed as the most beautiful island in Seychelles. It is abundant in dense vegetation, lush coconut groves and six endemic palm species, the famous being the strange-looking coco de mer. Undoubtedly, Praslin is a tropical delight for tourists and visitors. The Praslin Island also offers snorkelling among living corals with a variety of 900 species of fish. You can also go swimming at Anse Lazio, which is ranked among the world’s best beaches. The combination of the natural blue waters, the amazing, great waves, the luscious vegetation and the granite boulders contribute to its appeal. However, it is the long stretch of white sandy shoreline which makes the beach so famous.
On the other side of Praslin Island, one can find a long stretch of soft blond sand that merges with crystal-clear waters in dreamy shades of blue. Takamaka trees and coconut palms surround the beach perimeter, providing patches of shade for relaxing. The hungry bathers can refuel at restaurants on both ends of the beach as well. The best time to visit Praslin Island is during the early morning or late afternoon when most tour buses have left. Then, you can visit the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve or the Praslin National Park for a little adventure, which will take you through the native flora and fauna of Seychelles. Besides, it would help if you also enjoyed the local cuisine at some of the best restaurants like Coco Rogue, Breeze Garden, Les Rochers, La Pirogue, Les Lauriers Buffet, and Bonbon Plume.
3. Explore the Vallée de Mai:
Vallée de Mai is a splendid nature reserve and one of the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is located on the island of Praslin. It is the home to the remains of Seychelles’ original palm jungles. This historic reserve has also been described as the ‘Garden of Eden’ as it is the home to over 4,000 trees of the legendary Coco de Mer. An afternoon in this magical forest allows you to lazily lounge in the green glow of the palm trees, which can also be seen in Seychelles.
The female tree produces a heart-shaped fruit similar to the shape of a woman’s pelvic region, having the largest and the heaviest seeds in the world. You can also explore some unique birds, such as the Seychellois bulbul and the rare black parrot in the Vallée de Mai. The nature reserve is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The plantations here also offer three hiking trails and many sub-trails and guided walks for an amazing hiking experience. All three trails are equally exciting things to do in Seychelles, most suitable for February.
4. Boat trip around the islands:
You cannot regret going on an island-hopping boat trip. So, this is a must-do activity if you have enough time and money. With tourists and visitors lacking enough time, multiple boat companies offer full-day packages, including lunch. These packages also include a boat trip to islands such as Cousin Island, Curieuse Island and St Pierre. The price usually starts at around £130 per person. However, for those who have enough time, we highly recommend choosing certain islands and spreading the trip over a few days amongst them to explore and get a feel of each of them. The main three islands are known for their unique features. Cousin Island is packed with diverse wildlife. Curieuse Island is popular for its magnificent mango forests, while St Pierre is popular for its amazing snorkelling spots.
5. Hike along trails on Mahé Island:
Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles. Mahé Island is home to some truly beautiful nature trails, displaying blissful scenes of a wide variety of vibrant wildlife and stunning scenic beauty. The easiest of the islands’ trails for hiking is the Copolia Trail, found in the Morne Seychellois National Park and is 500m above sea level. It usually includes a 2-hour hike with some steep sections. The Morne Blanc Trail is another one-of-a-kind hiking trail with views well worth its challenging nature, and the trail takes roughly 45 minutes each way. Finally, you can visit the Anse Major trail if you are interested in seeing some amazing rock formations. This trail is relatively easy and takes around an hour and a half.
It also offers the only way to get to Anse Major beach on foot. The major attraction of Mahé island is the Creole culture, especially the cuisine. We highly recommend you enjoy the sunset on the beach of enchanting Anse Soleil Bay. You can visit the Craft Village to admire the Victoria clock tower and explore Mahe’s lively Creole culture. You can try the Glacis Trois Freres Trail for off-beat trail routes, where the endpoint stops at three large granite rocks. It will take you to the highest point on the island through rough roads bordered by trees on both sides. If you are looking for some heavenly experience, no other trail can be as memorable as the Vallée de Mai trail. The park is an earthly replica of the Garden of Eden and has three different hiking trails that will help you cover the entire island.
6. Visit La Digue's coconut plantation:
You can explore the L’Union Estate farm on La Digue island, which acts as a 'theme park' for Seychellois's history. In this section of Seychelles, coconut production is sustainable and well-managed. This enables the visitors to see an ox-powered oil extraction machine, the historic Old Plantation House, vanilla plantations, a colonial-era graveyard, a boatyard and a tortoise pen. You can rent a bicycle and explore the farm and then head to the famous Anse Source d’Argent beach, which is just as stunning.
At the beach, you can order a piña colada and enjoy the ash-grey boulders line and distinguish the teal-coloured waters making for breath-taking scenery. Exploring the vintage plantation house of La Digue is one of the most popular and considered as one of the best things to do in Seychelles. It is spread over sprawling 300 hectares of land. It is now considered a national monument that is showcasing cultural and historical significance. The plantation house is open from 7 am to 5 pm, and the price is about 7.5$ per person.
7. Meet some of the world’s giant tortoises:
A trip to Seychelles is incomplete without seeing some of the world’s giant tortoises. These gentle giants are a delight and pleasure to meet and can be found on either the Curieuse Island or the Cousin Island. Curieuse Island was once known as Île Rouge due to its russet-toned earth. It is now home to a breeding program for giant tortoises that roam freely around the sandy coves.
The only other place these giant tortoises exist and can be found is in the Galapagos Islands. You can take a quick boat ride to Curieuse Island from Praslin Island. You will then have to hike your way to a conservation and rehabilitation centre to find these tortoises with shells the size of bathtubs. You can also see more tortoises on Cousin Island and the coral atoll called Aldabra. However, the atoll is more remote and requires booking in advance.
8. Enjoy the local cuisine takeaway of Creole Culture:
There are an abundance of Creole takeaway stands on any of the Seychellois islands. It just never fails to disappoint and is one of the best ways to try the local cuisine. The most well-known and popular and common dishes are a box stuffed with rice, guaranteed fresh seafood and green papaya. Owing to the island's colonial history, many of the country's population is of Indian descent. It indicates that the local cuisine is a delightful and delicious mixture of diverse cultures. The Indian seafood throughout the island is very popular, the primary attraction being the octopus chapati which is worth searching for. The rule of thumb out here in Seychelles is to stick to seafood rather than meat, which is always guaranteed to be fresh.
It, too, comes under the top things to do in Seychelles. First, you can go for a city tour and taste the street food from the local stalls all across the different islands. The globally famous takeaway stalls include the Jules Take Away in Mahe, the Copper Pot in Mahe, the Coco Rouge in Baie Sainte Anne, and the Gala Takeaway in La Digue. Fish here is served in charred coconut shells as it emanates a smokiness that enhances the taste of the grilled fish. Banana is also a famous ingredient in the Creole local cuisine, which is why you need to try it out at the earliest. Here, one will get 23 species of fruit and hence having a banana dish is a must. You must also try the traditional salad dish called Satini, which is a bit spicy but heavenly for your taste buds.
9. Go island hopping in Seychelles:
The beaches in Seychelles are arguably some of the best in the world. Each island is dashed with spectacular coasts and alcoves. However, most of the islands’ most attractive beaches are near the resorts. These include the Anse Georgette beach on Praslin island near the Constance Lemuria resort and Anse Lazio beach near the Raffles resort. The Anse Georgette beach has the most beautiful characteristic granite boulders with luxurious stretches of white sand. Whereas the Anse Lazio is known for the more powerful waves and terrific sunsets. You can visit La Digue where you will come across the Anse Source d’Argent and Anse Cocos.
On the other hand, if you visit Mahé, you will come across Anse Intendance, Beau Vallon, Anse Louis, Petite Anse. A visit to any of these beaches will make you fall in love with Seychelles immediately. The only and the best way to explore all the beauty of these heavenly tropics is to go island hopping around Seychelles. You also have the option to visit the three main islands of Mahe, La Digue and Praslin, as well as take wonderful day trips to the surrounding, smaller islands of Seychelles. Lying on sandy beaches, swimming in the warm waters and enjoying a range of water sports is easily one of the best things to do in Seychelles.
10. Helicopter Ride across the heavenly Archipelago:
Island hopping across islands can be fun. However, the thought of a helicopter ride over the islands is a whole new experience. The best way to enjoy and explore the unbelievable scenes of the heavenly Archipelago is by taking a helicopter tour over the pristine islands in the Indian Ocean. You can experience these exotic islands from the sky in the most surreal way.
It offers another level of fun. This way, you can Spot the entire archipelago spread in the vast Indian Ocean. Seychelles is usually crowded and jam-packed because it is a spectacular place attracting travellers with its unique charm and natural assets. Therefore, a helicopter ride could be the best possible way to enjoy Seychelles. The helicopter ride can be quite expensive. The cost can be expected to be INR 30,000 for a 15-minute ride.
Seychelles is primarily famous for its beaches. The islands are packed with soft, white shorelines designed with beautiful granite boulders and flanked by the warm, clear Indian Ocean. The best part about Seychellois beaches is that even the most popular stretches of sand are never crowded. A trip to Curieuse Island could be ideal if you do not mind the company of critters. You can always soak up the sun alongside giant tortoises or swim through the warm giant waves off the Beau Vallon coast for a fishy encounter.
Once you are tired of the sand, the sea, and the sun, you also have the option to cool down in the shade at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé or stretch your legs in Praslin's Vallée de Mai as well. Seychelles is not just all about its beaches. It has a lot more to explore, discover and enjoy. The best things to do in Seychelles include diving deep into the ocean with aquatic friends to having a romantic dinner on the beach. This beautiful island hosts various indoor and outdoor activities to keep travelers from around the world busy and entertained.