Taking the plunge in Seychelles
Itinerary Type: Diving
Description: Why not take the plunge with any one of our dive centres and explore the wonders of Seychelles’ underwater world, where limpid waters combine with spectacular seascapes and a plethora of marine life forms to thrill both experienced diver and novice alike.
There’s a wide choice of dive operators available throughout the islands, both land-based and live-aboard, so, wherever you roam, the chances are you’ll be able to dive.
Each dive centre will have its favourite spots based featuring extraordinary scenery, amazing marine life or both combined. Most dive centres are located right on the beachfront from where a short ride in your wonderfully uncrowded dive boat will bring you within reach of a host of diving sites offering unforgettable diving experiences.
A shallow-water expedition into the Ste. Anne marine park, surrounded by the splendour of its encircling islands will introduce you to a whole variety of fish. Turtle rocks, just off the east coast of Mahé, is famous for its stingrays, sharks and soldier fish while the ‘Vista’ and ‘Sunset’ rocks to the north-west are host to crayfish, octopus, snapper and scorpion fish.
Advanced divers can look forward to the delights of the famous ‘Ennerdale’, ‘Twin Barges’ and ‘Dredger’ wrecks with their sharks, groupers, rays and pelagics. If drift diving is what you’re after then look no further than the ‘Lighthouse’ known for its coral formations, but also hosting many reef fish with hawksbill turtles and moray eels also often present at this site.
If you’re heading to the south of Mahé, then you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to great diving venues such as the magnificent granite topography of the ‘Jail House’ rock or the beautiful corals of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Some diving operators offer such value added activities as beach bar-b-q’s or picnics on some secret beach where to relax and swap stories of some of the best diving around. Others offer the thrill of night dives in welcoming moonlit waters. It’s a good idea to combine a dive with such complementary activities which are guaranteed to fill your days and give you the memories of a lifetime.
Live-aboard dive operators give you the opportunity of traveling further afield to Praslin and La Digue. Also to islands with magical names such as Desroches where fabulous canyon and cave dives
await or Alphonse, with its drop and profusion of magnificent corals. Further on still lies the ultimate prize – Aldabra – UNESCO World Heritage Site and largest raised coral atoll on earth. Here, among the giant lagoon’s rivers and channels, are diving opportunities galore among some of the most spectacular seascapes and dense populations of marine life on the planet.
Tight lines in Seychelles waters
Itinerary Type: Fishing
Description: For starters, why not charter any one of the great fishing boats available and head, with its experienced crew, in a south easterly direction until you reach the Turcos Bank which is teeming with the ultimate mixed bag: tuna, jack, dorado, barracuda, streaker, kingfish, sailfish and marlin. You can even stop along the way and try your hand at the local method of fishing – ‘palangrotte’ or bottom-fishing.
This art of literally, ‘fishing off the bottom,’ involves baiting a long, weighted line which you then let drift to the ocean floor to a depth of around 50 metres. You’ll be surprised at the fish that will take your bait; groupers, bream, rock cod, barracuda, emperors, snappers and shark. This method will bring some of the tastiest fish around to your table. Be sure to ask the crew to filet a freshly caught tuna or bonito for the ultimate sushi platter and wash that down with an ice cold beer as you wait for the next strike.
You might even consider picking a spot closer to shore and trying your luck at night fishing for ‘bekin’ or pick-handled barracuda which is an exciting fish to catch and a delicious one to ‘Bar-B-Q’.
The waters around Silhouette Island are especially fish-rich and a great place to fish sailfish when the season is right. There are also some superb bottom-fishing spots in the location. Fishing around Praslin and La Digue promises a good variety of catch with some stunning scenery to boot, or you might wish to head north to the twin coral isles of Denis and Bird which is serious marlin country.
An expedition down to the Amirantes, or beyond to Alphonse, will take you into the remoter, little-fished waters of the Outer Islands where you might even get your name into the record books. The flats of the St. Francois and St. Joseph atolls are also becoming a Mecca for serious fly-fishermen the world over on account of the record bone fish and trevally that have been caught there.
Whatever your compass heading, you’ll find excellent fishing in pristine, uncrowded waters where there’s still plenty of room for adventure.
Sailing the Archipelago
Itinerary Type: Sailing
Description: God seems to have designed Seychelles with the sailor in mind! There can be few better ways to explore their hidden coves, secret beaches and to savour their enviable tranquility than by sailing or motor yacht.
Seychelles naturally lends itself to travel over water and you can marvel at its stunning natural beauty in exactly the same way as the very first visitors to her shores, the intrepid Arab mariners of the 9th century A.D, riding the wind on calm ocean waters as the timeless beauty of her isles drifts ever so slowly by.
We propose you begin a voyage of discovery around Mahé, principal island of Seychelles and home to the capital, Victoria, the port and international airport.
This imposing, verdant granite island whose topmost peak towers to over 900m boasts over 65 beaches and a cluster of picturesque islands bordering the Ste. Anne Marine Park. Sailing around Mahé (18mi by 5mi) will take you on a memorable voyage past the island’s scenic northern coastline and L’Ilot islet to famous Beau Vallon with its magnificent strand and wide range of tourism facilities where you may wish to spend the night at anchor or, perhaps, on shore savoring mouthwatering Creole dishes at one of Beau Vallon’s many restaurants. There’s also a casino nearby and a number of bars to try out before making your way back on board beneath a shimmering panoply of stars.
It’s Monday morning in Paradise and time to venture northwards to Silhouette, Seychelles’ third largest island. As you leave Beau Vallon Bay behind you and slip out into the azure ocean it might be a good idea to leave a fishing line in the water. The waters surrounding these islands are renowned for their great fishing and there’s the chance of having some of the tastiest fish around on your plate for lunch before continuing onwards towards beautiful North Island with its beaches of heart-stopping beauty – a great place to spend the night.
It’s time to tear yourself away from North Island’s rugged beauty and sail back in the direction of Beau Vallon and then on down Mahé’s savagely beautiful west coast where the splendid beaches of Grand Anse, Petit Anse, Takamaka and Intendance await. As you’ll experience some difficulty choosing which one is the prettier, it’s a good idea to make a stop at each one, enjoy a swim or a snorkel in warm crystal waters or even have a late lunch at a nearby beachside restaurant where seafood delicacies abound.
Leaving Mahé behind you, you head for Praslin, Seychelles’ 2nd largest island, 26 miles distant, sailing past the twin island gems of Cousin and Cousine on the way. Once known as Ile des Palmes (Palm Island) on account of its dense coconut groves and lush vegetation, Praslin is home to one of Seychelles’ two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the fabulous Vallée de Mai where the wondrous Coco-de-Mer grows high on ancient palms in a primeval valley.
Praslin also possesses some of Seychelles’ most stunning beaches, regularly ranked among the best in the world such as Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette and Côte d’Or from where the satellite islands of Aride, Curieuse, The Sisters, Maryanne, Félicité and Cocos are easily accessible.
It will not be long before you are lured towards the neighboring island of La Digue where, it is said, time stands still and where the traditional ox cart and bicycle are still the main modes of transport. Here, you will find one of the world’s most famous – and certainly most-photographed beaches, Anse Source d’Argent, along with relics of another age - a cemetery of the first settlers, a working Calorifer or oven for refining coconut, giant tortoise pen and magnificent Creole mansion.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday:
Wending your way ever northwards, you leave the realm of the granite islands for the glimmering world of the coral isles of Bird and Denis located some 52mi north of Mahé. Here you will be greeted by the sight of seabird colonies, nesting turtles, silver surf and golden sands. These islands are situated on the edge of the shallow Seychelles bank where the ocean plummets to 2000m and where world-beating opportunities for fishing go hand in hand with memorable swimming and snorkeling in super-clear waters and diving where few have ventured.
Romancing the isles
Itinerary Type: Romance
Description: Wherever you’re staying, you’ll probably be lying in even though a beach near you is sure to be hosting a fabulous sunrise, just for you. Either way, you’ll be needing breakfast and there’s no better way to start the day than ordering a Seychelles fruit breakfast from your hotel reception. Perhaps with a bottle of champagne and some fresh orange juice?
If you haven’t already, why not hire a car and take your love on a journey of discovery through Mahé? Make your way to Victoria, allowing your senses to come alive to the sights and sounds of the Seychellois way of life as you stroll the narrow streets. Stop for a delicious cappuccino at the Rendez-vous restaurant, just next to the clock tower, from where you can watch the world go ever so slowly by. Perhaps even buy a souvenir or two or an item of local jewelry from a nearby boutique.
From Victoria, take to the hills on the Sans Souci road, feeling the temperature cool as you wend your way into the mountains on a road that offers so many amazing views. Right at the summit, turn right into the Mission Lodge, a spectacular viewing point over the coast of west Mahé, built on the ruins of an ancient school for slave children. When you’ve finished feasting your eyes on the beauty that surrounds you, continue over the hill and down the other side, past the tea plantation and, lower still, one of the finest views of Mahé there is.
When you arrive at the coast road, turn left past the Mahé Beach Hotel until you arrive at the beautiful beach of Grand Anse where you will probably find yourselves alone as you stroll along its golden sands. From there, continue down the coast until you arrive at Anse a La Mouche bay, a great place for a refreshing dip followed by a cool drink at Anchor Café.
An absolute must is Julien’s at Anse Soleil, enjoying a long swim in the ocean as it laps against one of the island’s most stunning beaches. Take your time, and soak up the ambiance before making your way to table in the early evening to savour the best in seafood cuisine with your feet in the sand.
If you still have energy left, there’s a Casino (long trousers for the men, please) on the other side of the island at Beau Vallon for you to try your luck.
Oh, and don’t forget to try a shot of Coco D’amour, the delicious local liquor, before bed.
Your first visit
Itinerary Type: General
Description: Seychelles is so much more than just a beautiful destination with divine, world-beating beaches, clear azure waters and an amazing ecology. You will discover that there’s truly surprising diversity to be enjoyed with, literally, a new experience around every corner.
If you’re into relaxation and just kicking back and enjoying the down-time, Seychelles has all you’ll ever need, from a selection of over 65 beaches on the island of Mahé alone, where to enjoy uncrowded, silver sands framed by some of the oldest granite boulders on earth. Just the place to acquire the special glow of a Seychelles’ tan, refreshed by dips into crystal waters or even a snorkel to introduce you to the amazing world just beneath the waves. There is also a host of great excursions and activities to choose from which highlight the many enchanting sights, sounds and experiences of the islands.
Mahé, the principal island, is home to the international airport and Victoria, the world’s tiniest capital and is the cultural and economic hub of the nation. Here can be found most of the islands’ tourism facilities in the form of the greatest selection of accommodation, cultural and eco-tourism hotspots, great restaurants, bars, café’s and casinos as well as dive centres, car, fishing & sailing boat rentals and walks & trails.
But Mahé is just one island among many for you to enjoy because Seychelles is a destination made up of 115 island jewels, each with its own character, secrets and story to tell. Island-hopping between the 16 islands currently offering accommodation is easy too, with scheduled plane and ferry services to suit just about any itinerary. And, wherever you decide to stay, either in a 5-star cocoon of luxury or in any one of a selection of charming small hotels, self-caterings or picturesque Creole guesthouses, you will be met with courteous service and the friendly smile of a people who live in harmony and reassuringly close to their roots.
Your first stop might be Praslin, Seychelles’ second largest island where the vegetation is so special it was once seriously believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden. A few steps into the extraordinary forest known as the Vallée de Mai will show you why. Here, in this ancient forest of towering palms grows the incredible Coco-de-Mer palm which produces fruits that are Nature’s exact replica of the female pelvis while one of the world’s rarest birds, the Seychelles Black Parrot, flits back and forth in the twilight. After a stroll through this legendary glade you will be ready for a swim at one of the most famous beaches on earth, the achingly beautiful Anse Lazio, just one of many places where you can also enjoy memorable Creole cuisine within sight of the ocean and with your feet in the sand.
La Digue Island is merely a 30 minute ferry ride from Praslin and, as you set foot on this magical island where the main forms of transport are still bicycle and ox-cart, you will feel yourself transported back to yesteryear. Steeped in tradition, La Digue is one of the most popular spots for enjoying a unique, island-style way of life at a wonderfully unhurried pace.
Or, you might wish to follow your imagination to more distant horizons where low-lying coral isles and magnificent atolls have been cast like inviting stepping-stones across the waters of the Indian Ocean. Several romantic island hideaways now boast excellent facilities either in sumptuous resorts offering elegant accommodation amid surrounds of breathtaking natural beauty or in rustic island lodges with homely beachside cottages. All will offer you adventure, great cuisine and the opportunity to experience the very best that unspoiled Nature has to offer.
Seeking adventure on the ocean? Seychelles offers some of the finest sailing on earth with easy sailing distances, safe moorings and myriad islands, near and far, for you to discover. A number of charter companies offer modern fleets of mono-hulls and catamarans, either bareboat or skippered.
If you’re a diver, expert or beginner, then you’ve come to the right place for unforgettable diving in waters teeming with marine life and spectacular underwater landscapes. A selection of professional land-based and live-aboard dive operators will propose you expeditions to a number of exceptional sites where wondrously few have ventured.
You don’t have to stray far for your first bite in Seychelles’ fish-rich waters where deep-sea fishing offers a mixed bag like few others of tuna, barracuda, trevally, jack, rainbow-runner, sailfish and the mighty marlin. Bone-fishing on the flats of some of the Outer Islands is considered to be among the best in the world while the local sport of bottom-fishing will bring some of the tastiest fish around to your table.