It’s the peak holiday season in Denmark! It seems these days that the entire city is on the move. Either jetting off to another country, or heading to a summer house in the Danish countryside. Since we’ve decided to go on holiday in September this year, we are left yearning for the perfect beach holiday.
And for us, so far, one of the few places we would like to go back someday has been the Seychelles islands. So, since we’ve found ourselves reminiscing on our holiday to Seychelles, I thought why not share our experience with you.
The Seychelles is situated on the east coast of Africa, and a few degrees below the Equator. The country consists of an archipelago of 115 islands, surrounded by the Indian Ocean. The most known ( and the most visited islands) are Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. More on what the Islands have to offer a little bit later.
But first, a few details about when to visit, how to get there, and do you need a visa?
When to visit Seychelles?
Well, the Seychelles Islands are characterized by a tropical climate, which makes them a destination suitable year-round. However, certain months are more suitable than others. This is based on: the activities you’re planning to do while here, how much rain can you endure, how high temperatures can you tolerate, and of course depending on your budget. The most popular months to visit Seychelles are April, May, October, and November. You can find more information on the best times to visit Seychelles categorized by activities here. We chose to visit Seychelles end of February – beginning of March of last year.
How’s the weather in February – March, you ask? March is part of the hot and humid season, with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and the average humidity levels at about 80%. Some rainfall is to be expected, but most often comes in the form of short-lived rain showers. On the plus side, the water temperature is on average 29 degrees Celsius. But we are not ones to complain, especially that if you were anywhere near Europe last year in the last week of February, you know that it was one of the coldest winters in a while. Copenhagen was no exception.
How to get to Seychelles?
To get to Seychelles you will need to connect flights in one of the following locations: Nairobi, Doha, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi. For us, flying from Denmark, it’s usually through Doha or Dubai, depending on the price. Travel between the islands can be done by helicopter, plane or ferry, depending on the size of the Islands.
Visa? No visa!
Seychelles is a visa-free country, but you are required to: have a valid passport, have a return ticket or a ticket for onward travel, and have confirmed accommodation in Seychelles ( you can find more information here).
What to do in Seychelles
The Seychelles are considered the most beautiful islands on Earth, and are often referred to as paradise islands. I was very impressed with the natural beauty of these islands. Although more hotels have cropped up in recent years, it still has some of its natural beauty. For example, views of lush green hills, pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and it’s oh so famous giant granite boulders. So, there is an abundance of activities in Seychelles: snorkeling, hiking, sun-bathing, bird-watching, surfing, diving, experiencing local culture and cuisine, and so many more.
Because we had been planning to have a longer holiday towards the end of the year ( our honeymoon) we’ve decided to go to Seychelles for 7 nights. As much as we would have liked to have at least 3 more days ( if not more), we did not regret going there only for a week. Since our stay was rather short, we decided to avoid losing time moving between hotels, so we’ve taken a hotel in Mahe ( the main island) for the entire duration of our stay. We then took two day-trips to Praslin and La Digue. In hindsight, we would recommend still splitting the time, mainly between Mahe and Praslin, as the cost of a return trip by ferry is about 100 euros/person, while a return flight to Praslin is about 150 euros/person.
Mahe is the largest island of the Seychelles archipelago, and home of the capital city, Victoria. The island houses 86% of the country’s population. There are plenty of things to do on Mahe. For example, hiking the trails of the Le Morne Seychellois National Park and taking in the amazing views from the top. If water activities are more your thing, there are not one, but three marine parks surrounding Mahe: Baie Ternay Marine National Park, Port Launay Marine National Park, and Sainte Anne Marine National Park. Saint Anne Marine National Park is accessible by ferry from Victoria, while the other two are accessible from land.
A relaxing day at Port Launay
Although the majority of beaches in Seychelles are open to the public, some of the hotels have incorporated the beaches accessible from the grounds of the hotel. Some hotels require a prior appointment for using the beach. We’ve decided to try out Port Launay Marine Park. Port Launay is technically part of the Constance Ephelia resort, but it’s still accessible from one of the sides of the beach. No need to call and announce the hotel ( applicable for 2018). To get there you can drive, take a bus or take a taxi. We did not dare to drive in Seychelles, as the roads are steep, winding and very narrow. That, and they drive on the right side ( same as in the UK).
We’ve spent approximately half a day at Port Launay, snorkeling, sun-bathing, swimming, and following ghost crabs on the beach. The water was clear, there wasn’t too much wind and there must have not been more than 15-20 people on the beach that day. All in all, it made for a perfect day! And don’t worry about missing out on the views from the top of the mountain if you’re not driving yourself! If you’re taking a taxi, your taxi driver will most likely suggest stopping there and hiking up to the viewing point.
If you prefer relaxing on the beach and going in for a swim whenever you fancy, there are plenty of beaches to choose from on Mahe. We have spent most of our time on Beau Vallon, as our hotel was located just by the beach. Beau Vallon is considered one of the most touristy beaches. But the beach is also quite long, and we have found the end of the beach towards Bel Ombre to be less occupied.
Although we’ve only taken a day trip to Praslin, and technically spent about 6-7 hours, all in all, I could go on and on about this island. We’ve liked it so much, that it instantly put Seychelles, on the list of places we would like to go back someday. Since we did not have that much time we decided to go for a hike and spend some time at the beach.
Remember to pack water, sunscreen, and hats with you! It’s a hot and humid hike, but the view is well worth the effort!
For beaches on Praslin we opted for Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio. Access to Anse Georgette is through the Constance Lemuria resort, and it requires calling and scheduling your visit in advance. We have been told they allow a certain number of tourists from outside to come in each day. Well, we had the beach all to ourselves, cause it was pouring rain the morning we were there. To get to the beach, you will have to walk for 1 km of passing the golf courts at Constance Lemuria. If you’re lucky, one of the groundskeepers will offer you a ride in a golf buggy! It’s a nice secluded beach, and I can only imagine how much prettier is when it’s sunny outside.
Snorkel heaven at Anse Lazio
We’ve spent the rest of our day at Anse Lazio, which is our top favorite beach in Seychelles ( so far). Although the beach itself was a bit busy, there was plenty of space for everyone in the Ocean. The beach is guarded on each side by large granite boulders. The water is “see-through” kind of clear!
Snorkeling here was great, there are quite a few types of fish, and you can find them close to shore as well ( if you’re not the most experienced swimmer). I must admit, after we got there, I took in the view for a few minutes, went into the water, and came out only when it was time to leave. We’re definitely going back to Anse Lazio, if we make our way to Seychelles again. And what better way to conclude a perfect day, than with a great sunset from the ferry back to Mahe.
I would recommend taking sea sickness pills with you, if you’re planning to take the ferry between the islands, as the water is choppy at times.
La Digue Island is widely known for its beaches, in particular, Anse Source d’Argent. Anse Source d’Argent is considered one of the most photographed beaches on the planet. La Digue is the smallest of the three islands, it has no airport and barely any cars. The main mean of transport on the island is the bicycle.
Exploring La Digue in a day
We chose to experience the island in a day-trip, so same as with Praslin, we only had 6 hours to spend on the island. After renting our bikes, we’ve first headed north, stopping and enjoying every beach. Once we ran out of road, we decided to turn back and head south of the town, towards L’Union Estate and Anse Source d’Argent. After admiring the Aldabra giant tortoises for a bit, we biked through the park to Anse Source d’Argent beach. Here we’ve spent our time snorkeling, swimming and taking in the views. We were quite surprised how close one type of fish would get to shore and humans. I of course, got quite startled by them, I guess the same as everybody else.
Overall, yes, the Seychelles islands are just as amazing as everybody is saying. It is well worth adding these islands to your bucket list. As a destination, it is slightly more expensive than some of the Caribbean destinations: Mexico, the Dominican Republic. But we have found this holiday to be worth it. I’ve probably said this 10 times by now, in 10 different ways: but I really hope we’ll go back at some point and I already have in mind a few more places that I would like to visit.
I hope you’ve found some of this information useful, and that it would inspire you to plan your next trip!