Why visiting Seychelles is so much more than its white sandy beaches

The beaches in Seychelles here will mesmerise you to bits. Picture: File image

The beaches in Seychelles here will mesmerise you to bits. Picture: File image

Published Jul 5, 2024


The world’s most beautiful islands top the bucket list of many discerning travellers. Islands are generally pretty gorgeous. They are islands after all. But not all islands are created the same. Take Seychelles for example – it is just incredibly beautiful.

Featuring breathtaking topography, spectacular beaches and a fascinating history, this island offers something for everyone, whether you are dreaming of a relaxing beach holiday or plotting an active adventure.

It is also one of the most frequented honeymoon destinations. It is not hard to see why; it is the ultimate luxury destination.

The beaches here will mesmerise you to bits and the picturesque setting makes it perfect for social media.

If you have ever wanted to experience snorkelling, diving and more, Seychelles is just the right place for you. Since I have not explored other island getaways besides Seychelles, I am convinced that it is heaven on earth.

Below is a breakdown of my recent five-day stay:

Laila Hotel. Picture: Laila Hotel

Day 1

I arrived at the Seychelles International Airport in the evening. Located on the island of Mahé, arriving at the island was a dreamy experience.

From the minute I stepped off the plane, I was completely and utterly seduced by the atmosphere. I could feel the change of weather – the air was humid.

There and then I felt like taking a walk by the beach and soaking my feet. It is said that the country enjoys a pleasant tropical climate all year long. The temperature seldom drops below 24ºC or rises above 33ºC.

On this day, I was booked overnight at Laila Hotel. Their deluxe rooms open out to your private veranda or balcony, offering views of the property and rich village life or the natural sprawl of the mountains and coastline.

Their main restaurant draws on an international array of cuisines and cultures, filtered through a distinctly Seychellois sensibility.

Day 2

On this day I visited HH Farm in Val den D’Or, which is Seychelles’ largest cassava plantation to learn about the harvesting of the cassava plant and to taste their cassava biscuit.

The cassava is loved for its wholesome, gluten-free goodness. Beyond biscuits, they produce cassava powder, a versatile powder that is utilised for its medicinal properties, aiding in the treatment of nappy rash and bed sores.

Upon arrival, I was welcomed with a cup of citronella tea which I mostly enjoyed without the sugar. After learning how the cassava is harvested, I was served the cassava biscuit, which I enjoyed with butter and jam and a refreshing juice.

I also had the chance to pack and label my own biscuits to take home.

After visiting the farm I went to the craft village in Domaine de Val des Près. This is a cute little village with lovely souvenirs. The people are very friendly and sell handmade products.

The locals allow you to take your the time to look over everything and don’t harass you to buy anything. Thereafter I took a domestic flight to Praslin Island for a guided tour of the legendary Vallée de Mai nature reserve.

This nature reserve is so remarkable that it was once believed to be the original site of the “Garden of Eden”.

This is also where the legendary Coco de Mer, the world's heaviest nut, grows high on ancient palms in a primaeval forest.

The Vallée boasts six endemic palm species as well as many other indigenous trees and is also the last habitat of the endangered black parrot.

After all the day’s activities I went to check in at Le Duc De Praslin. This five-star hotel’s superior room is set in the gardens exuding a more authentic local charm. The rooms are strewn around the main building which houses the reception and main restaurant, where water meanders through fish ponds and lush tropical gardens.

The hotel has also invested heavily in green technology, earning an enviable credential and reputation for its sustainability.

Le Dauphin is the hotel’s main restaurant located in the heart of the hotel complex and serves a sumptuous buffet in the evenings and a buffet breakfast in an elegant tropical decor.

The buffets propose a fusion of dishes from the local Creole delicacies to the international classic fare with an exotic twist.

Curieuse is home to a significant collection of Seychelles’ endemic species, from giant tortoises introduced from Aldabra and endemic birds to the world’s biggest nut, the legendary Coco de Mer. Picture: Lutho Pasiya

Day 3

This was a full-day marine park excursion with lunch at Curieuse Island. On this relatively small island, there is an intriguing and unique biodiversity.

Curieuse is home to a significant collection of Seychelles’ endemic species, from giant tortoises introduced from Aldabra and endemic birds to the world’s biggest nut, the legendary Coco de Mer.

The island is the only other place, apart from Praslin, where the Coco de Mer Palm grows naturally.

After watching and feeding of tortoises and swimming, local tour operators offer a delicious lunch of grilled fish and chicken served with rice and salads.

The tour does not end there as, after lunch, there is the last activity, which is snorkelling.

I’m not a good swimmer so I opted out and just took in all the beautiful views surrounding me while other people snorkelled.

Day 4

On this day, I took the 20-minute domestic flight back to Mahé and was transported to La Batie (Beau Vallon) for a workshop with Roots Seychelles.

Upon arrival, I met the lovely Sista Stephannie and Ras Tony, who are the founders of the brand. At the workshop, we were taught how to make pareos which you take home after you are done.

I never realised how easy it is to make this clothing item until I attended the workshop. Although working under the heat was a mission, the results were beautiful.

I can’t get enough of my pareo and knowing that I made it myself is just something exciting.

At Savoy Resort & Spa, sumptuous breakfasts are served at their Grand Savoy restaurant which overlooks the hotel’s tropical gardens. Picture: Savoy Resort & Spa

After the workshop, which took three hours, I went to check in at the Savoy Resort & Spa.

The resort offers many carefully considered facilities to ensure that guests have a comfortable and convenient stay. All the elegantly appointed rooms are equipped with a private balcony or terrace, with breathtaking views of the lush gardens and the Indian Ocean.

The great advantage of staying in five-star hotels in Seychelles is a great variety of local and international restaurants offering Creole national dishes, fresh seafood, and cuisines of the world.

The establishment boasts all of these. Sumptuous breakfasts are served at their Grand Savoy restaurant, which overlooks the hotel’s tropical gardens. For lunch, they recommend stopping by the Pescado gourmet restaurant.

The freshest fish and seafood are delivered fresh from the ocean to the restaurant kitchen every morning to be on your plate the same day. In the evening, you can choose between buffet dinners at the Grand Savoy or a romantic poolside dinner at Pescado.

Day 5

All good things come to an end and my trip concluded with a thrilling off-road 4x4 adventure with White Sand Tours.

On the adventure, I got to discover the breathtaking beauty of Mahé, unique trails, and multiple amazing high points of view.

I loved the Seychelles. The white sandy beaches, the clear blue waters, the little shops – it’s simply charming. It is definitely one of the best islands for you to visit and explore the ocean.

∎Lutho Pasiya was in Seychelles for five days during a trip hosted by Tourism Seychelles.