10 things I wish I knew before going to Seychelles

Devraj Lahiri17 September 20206419 views8 min. read
10 things I wish I knew before going to Seychelles
Seychelles. Spread across 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is the illustration of a perfect getaway. The silence and the tranquillity that fill the landscape is beyond worldly comprehension. But there a few things to know before going to Seychelles. Seychelles has been one of the top destinations for international travellers for a long time. However, the visits surged once the British royalty decides to have their wedding here, even though celebrity weddings in the many islands are not uncommon. The soft sand, the turquoise water and the azure of the sky are a truly mesmerising combination. For a traveller seeking nirvana, this is the place to be. However, for worldly travellers, the first question would be, “Where is Seychelles?”

Where is Seychelles?

seychelles island The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago and consists of 115 islands, and with Victoria (capital of Seychelles) lies approximately 1500 kilometres off the eastern coast of the continent of Africa. A host of other islands, namely, surrounds Seychelles. Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte and Reunion, even Maldives, is not very far away from it.

Travel to Seychelles

transaero airlines Now that we know where is Seychelles let us know how to travel to Seychelles? If you are about to travel to Seychelles, then the ideal way to get there is by flight. Victoria has an international airport, and it caters to most international flights. Seychelles is an attractive tourist nation, and hence most countries have direct flights to the archipelago. Planes are flying from Dubai, Doha and Nairobi, which are fairly regular. Other than Victoria, Seychelles has another International Airport at Praslin. Both these airports cater to the deluge of flights that keep flying to the island nation, bringing in hordes of foreign tourists. Victoria International Airport is also the home base for the national carrier, Air Seychelles. One can hop between the islands using chartered flights. Travelling by boat or chartered cruise is also an option. Using catamaran ferries between the islands is the other way though they are highly unreliable when travelling to the smaller islands.

The main seaport in Seychelles is at Victoria

seychelles seaport Seychelles has a wide road network though it caters to mostly the urban centres. Outside it, the road network is quite poor. One of the best ways to sightsee Seychelles is by renting a car. It is important to know that the public transport system in the country is lacking and private car rentals are usually the only way. One can also rent a bike and go on a ride. Now that we know where the island is and how to get there, here are 10 things I wish I knew before going to Seychelles.

1. Nature

seychelles islands This is nature’s finest creation. The serene Seychelles landscape and the Indian Ocean are as enthralling as they come. Seychelles is an elixir in an otherwise chaotic world. Warm water and white beaches apart, the weather of the islands is an added attraction.

2. Celebrity watching

seychelles island Seychelles is a celebrity watering hole. It would need a miracle not to find one while on a trip. It is voted as one of the topmost vacation tourist destinations, and A-listers from across the world swarm the place. So expect a celebration of Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Armani. However, that does not mean it is a no go for commoners. Seychelles has a place for everyone.

3. Costly

panoramic view on terrace This is something that you need to know. Seychelles is not a budget destination. One of the most important things to know before going to Seychelles is that it is an expensive place. For a budget traveller, it is going to be a juggle between a really expensive place and a little less expensive place. Accommodations range from luxurious villas and apartments to standard suites and hotel rooms. However, the prices are higher than the usual hotel rooms. Even the food is not cheap, and restaurants bills can be pretty high. A little bit of research is needed before you embark on a visit. One can curtail prices by taking guided bus tours which are great bargains. Even flight tickets are costly so if you are looking out for tickets, keep an eye on the discounts that most international flights provide.

4. Malaria

mosquito Seychelles doesn’t have the Anopheles mosquito, and hence Malaria is an unknown disease on the island. It may be because of the weather, the landscape or simply because the archipelago prides itself on cleanliness.

5. Safety

This is a safe place to be. Being an international destination, Seychelles takes security very seriously. They have a strict watch on everything, and tourists have nothing to worry about. However, the basic tenet of travelling remains: keep your eyes and ears open wherever you go.

6. Cuisine

seychelles food Being an international tourism destination, Seychelles has a wide variety of dishes. However, if you are the typical gastronome who wishes to dig deeper, then try the Creole dish, which is a combination of the famed curry, dal and rice. For vegetarians, numerous mouth-watering dishes will take the blues away. For the non-vegetarians, the Octopus Curry is a must eat. It is spicy and a “to-die-for” meal.

7. What to do in Seychelles?

diving This is similar to an existentialist pang. Seychelles is a heaven on Earth, and there are plenty of things to do. Beaches, resorts, the natural landscape, cuisine are some of the things that quickly come to mind. The islands are solely made of granite are the only ones of their type in the world. Take a walk through the wilderness and look out for tell-tale signs of prehistory. Dinosaurs roamed these places once, and now you do. Now feel proud of it and carry on. The rhetoric of "What to do in Seychelles?” suddenly fizzles out.

8. Victoria

victoria coastline The capital city of Seychelles is an eclectic mix of the colonial and the modern. It is also one of the world’s smallest capitals. The striking feature of Victoria is the clock tower in the city centre. It was constructed in 1903 and is a replica of Big Ben. The clock has been ticking since then, reminding everyone of the history of the city, which is now developing at a breathtaking pace. The steel and glass structures all around are the signs of the times ahead, and even though the past is slowly getting relegated, it is still an essential anchor to the city. The city is replete with art galleries and craft markets, museums and cafes, and the worldly tourist has plenty to do before they can call it a day. The best way to travel around the city is by renting a car. Good negotiation is the order of the day, and after a great deal, hop in and start seeing a beautiful city in motion. A tour of Victoria should definitely be a part of “What to do in Seychelles?”

9. Seychelles weather

seychelles beach The weather is one of the things to know before going to Seychelles. The best time to visit Seychelles is in April, May, October and November. Seychelles is a tropical country and is usually hot and humid all year round. These four months see a transition from the hot and humid northwest trade winds to the cooler southeast trade wind. Monsoons are from November to March and are generally humid and uncomfortable. So if you are looking at a particularly cooler season, you will be disappointed. Despite the Seychelles weather, the country provides enough for it to be one of the most visited destinations in the world.

10. Best places to visit in Seychelles

seychelles beach There are plenty of places that you will be visiting while on your trip to the archipelago. The beach of Beau Vallon at Mahe Island is a must-see for the beach crazy individual. Morne Blanc is the place from where you can get a stunning view of the coastline. The hike up the hill takes at least 2 and a half hours to and fro, and it is called the Morne Blanc View Point. The other viewpoint is the La Misere Viewpoint which is also situated at Mahe Island. Watch the entire city of Victoria from the hilltop and ponder what a beautiful world it is. The island of Praslin offers some great visiting spots. Anse Georgette is one of those. It is the most gorgeous and the cleanest beach in the whole of Seychelles. The turquoise water and the white sand interspersed with vegetation is an artist’s delight. Anse Georgette is a popular destination and is prepared to jostle for space. The UNESCO Heritage Site, Vallee De Mai, is also a popular place which is thronged by plenty. Flora and fauna are unique to the island and has been in existence for millions of years. Seychelles is nature’s paradise. An archipelago straddling across the Indian Ocean with a smattering of 115 islands is a destination that should be on every traveller’s bucket list. It needs some deft planning since it is a costly place to visit, but that should not deter you, even though the Seychelles weather may be a dampener. There are plenty of options for the budget traveller provided the preparation has been cerebrally done. The swaying palms and the white sand are enduring images that will remain in the souls of those who have visited her. This October, pack your bags and make your way to the island of your dreams. Travel to Seychelles will open up your soul for the entire universe to fill in.

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