An archipelago of 115 islands northeast of Madagascar, the Seychelles is the perfect antidote to the grayness of city life. If there is one thing that the Seychelles is known for it’s an overwhelming variety of sea life and with 42 per cent of the country protected it seems the islands will continue to remain as pristine as they are today.
The ideal trip should include plenty of snorkeling, diving and walks along pristine beaches. Be sure to indulge in the tropical bounty of the islands – from the starchy breadfruit to the tart soursop – along local dishes like octopus curry. Don’t even think about leaving without having a cold Seybreu beer (the archipelago consumes 114.6 litres of the beverage per capita second only to the Czech Republic).
Full of natural wonders as it is, it comes as no surprise that the Seychelles has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s second largest raised coral atoll and Vallée de Mai on Praslin, where you can find some of the best specimens of the Coco-de-Mer palm and its famed nut.
EXPLORE LA CURIEUSE
Depart from Mahé and make your way to the island of Curieuse. Previously a leper colony and called Red Island due to the color of its soil, the French renamed it La Curieuse in 1768. It’s once enormous tortoise population was quickly wiped out by European explorers hundreds of years ago but thanks to its protected status there are today around 500 of these wonderful creatures inhabiting the area.
Praslin may be the second largest island in the Seychelles, but it has a tiny population of just over 6,500 people. Best known for its UNESCO World Heritage site, the Vallée de Mai, visitors come to explore the ancient palm forests along with the Coco de Mer palm whose nut, which is shaped like a buttocks with thighs, has generated suggestive jokes for centuries. A visit to Anse Lazio beach, which you may recognize as the ubiquitous background of plenty of PCs in the 90s and early 2000s, wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of crab curry at the Bonbon Plume beach restaurant.
EXPLORE FELICITE & LA DIGUE
Set sail for the Ile Cocos Marine Park where you’ll find world class snorkeling and diving, the sea truly brimming with life. After lunch make your way to Felicité, a heavily forested gem of an island with a Six Senses resort that has just 30 villas. Fit in a sunset hike before heading back onboard for dinner. One hour away is the beautiful beach of Petite Anse on the southeast side of La Digue. The palm trees here provide the ideal coverage for a light picnic under the trees. Later on sail to La Passe on the west coast of the island where the pace of living is delightfully slow. Hire bikes and cycle south to the coconut oil farm, the vanilla bean plantation and through the estate with its giant Tortu to Anse Source d’Argent, one of the most photographed beaches.