by Helena and Marko
A Tropical Paradise
Praslin (august 8-12)
We decided to visit the three main islands of the Seychelles (Praslin, La Digue and Mahe), and after landing at the Seychelles International Airport we took a domestic flight to the island of Praslin where we stayed for 4 days. In our opinion the air transfer is a better option than the ferry as it is only marginally more expensive but much faster and comfortable. The view of the archipelago from the low flying aircraft is also a bonus. After arriving to Praslin we had a car rental representative waiting for us and the pick up went fast and smooth. We decided to hire a car to be more flexible and able to explore as much as possible and that turned out to be a good decision. We then drove straight to our self catering guest house The Old School Self Catering on the southern side of the island where we were welcomed by our hosts, fresh cold fruit juices and wet towels to refresh for a bit. Our apartment was excellent, very clean and comfortable with all the needed facilities. The settlement of Baie St. Anne (where we stayed) is not positioned near the most beautiful beaches but with a car this wasn’t an issue at all. There are beaches on all other sides of the island though, western side is full of smaller and more intimate beaches whereas east and north feature the popular Anse Volbert (Cote d'Or) and Anse Lazio beaches. We loved all of them and they are even more gorgeous in person than on photos and in brochures. Vallée de Mai national park that we truly recommend visiting. What it might lack in animal diversity it makes up with amazing plant life. There is a true jungle feel to the park with dense palm trees, small streams and picturesque pathways. It’s also home to the largest seed in the plant kingdom – the Coco de mer. While staying on Praslin we decided to do a full day boat trip to Curieuse island where we saw giant tortoises, walked through mangroves and had amazing barbecue made by locals. On our way back we stopped by a picturesque island of St.Pierre to take some photos and have a swim.
La Digue (august 12-17)
To be completely honest we had big expectations of La Digue as the travellers and tour guides we talked to before our trip all said it is the most beautiful island of the Seychelles. And they were right. This small island offers the best tropical island atmosphere, paradise beaches, good food and has a small but very friendly local population. There are no cars available for tourists since only a few hotels and local residents own vehicles and that only makes the island even more adorable as most of the people, tourists and locals are using bicycles. Bike rental is affordable and getting around with a bicycle is easy and fun. It’s also possible to explore the island on foot, but we’d say that way you lose valuable beach time and it’s not very comfortable as the weather can get hot and humid. We booked two different self catering guest houses on La Digue and both were exactly as advertised so we were completely satisfied with our accommodations. Moving bags from one to the other side of the island on foot however is not recommended so we suggest using taxi services (small vans or electric carts). And now to the best part – the beaches. Each one looks heavenly and as on Praslin some are completely empty and others more busy but even on those you never get a feeling of them being too crowded and crammed. The eastern part of the island features three magnificent bays connected with a walkable footpath and each bay has its own spectacular beach – theGrand Anse, Petite Anse & Anse Cocos. There are no settlements and infrastructure on this side of the island apart from one restaurant at the beginning of the first bay but there are small wooden beach bars where you can buy fresh coconuts, fruits and juices. Be very careful though as the ocean on this side of the island is dangerous because of high waves and strong currents.Anse Source d'Argent and its waters, vegetation and rock structures are out of this world. If you’re after spectacular photos and all the other beaches weren’t enough then this beach will leave you speechless. It is located inside the L'Union Estate where you need to pay an entrance fee but trust us – it’s more than worth it. This beach is also the best place on the island if you wish to do some windsurfing, snorkeling or rent a crystal kayak. Also, worth mentioning are gorgeous sunsets that you can observe from the western side beaches. If you’re lucky with the weather those can be breathtaking. During our stay on La Digue there was a local summer festival taking place, so we had a chance to experience local DJ sets, band concerts and beauty pageants. It was lots of fun being part of this local cultural and entertainment event.
Mahe (august 17-18)
After four amazing days we felt really sad leaving La Digue as it has truly enchanted us. We knew it would be impossible for our last stop on Mahe to top the beauty that La Digue bewitched us with. Still, our honeymoon was almost over, so we headed to Mahe where we spent a night before boarding the plane that was to take us home. While at the beginning of out trip we booked a domestic flight from Mahe, we decided to opt for a ferry to take us back and this is how we know flying is way better. High speed ferry is all fun and games until you hit some waves in which case it’s a nightmare. Let’s not get into details but the ride was extremely unpleasant to say the least. Mahe is the largest and most populous of all the islands of the Seychelles. We rented a car to get around as it was cheaper than the combined taxi transfers from the port to our guest house and to the airport the next day. After disembarking the ferry we took a couple of hours to explore the capital city of Victoria . The city itself is small, but we were lucky it was Saturday as it was very busy, especially the market. We then headed south to check in at our guest house and then drove to the western side which surprised us with another gorgeous beach, the Anse Soleil. There are many beaches on the western side of the island but none of them can match the dazzling coasts of Praslin and La Digue. On the last day we still had time before our flight departure, so we decided to explore the Beau Vallon - the most “touristy” beach of the island. It’s lively and quite big, has cute souvenir shops and food stands but we’d never trade it for the best beaches of Praslin and La Digue.
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