Island time on the Seychelles
In July 2016 I had decided it was time for another beach holiday!
After arriving back to Vienna from Hvar I promptly booked flights to the Seychelles. Having done no research and only knowing that this was the place Prince William and Kate Middleton had spent their honeymoon I was looking forward to sixteen days of luxury. Little did I know that the Seychelles was going to leave a very different impression on me.
Our travels to the Seychelles was interesting, we managed to arrive a day later after missing our connection in Abu Dhabi and having to fly through Sri Lanka. Luckily in Abu Dhabi we got a hotel and free food. This was actually great after our first terrible flight on an airline we do not want to mention.
Arriving in Mahé was amazing. First point of call, a taxi to our beach accommodation. Heading round the coast we could see that everything you read in a tourist guide is true. The sun was reflecting off the white sand, the water was turquoise and the jungles were green.
As we arrived at Anse Royal we automatically stripped out of our winter gear, put on our togs and ran to the beach. Out came the GoPro equivalent and straight into the water we headed. B was automatically diving under the water and swimming after the variety of fish. I spent a lot of time lazing on the idyllic beach trying to work on my tan, unsuccessfully. We also decided to spend Christmas Day here enjoying the quietness of the beach.
Hiring a car on Mahé is a must to get around, although the driving is scary and no real rules apply. With a car you are able to visit all areas of the island and find some delicious food places that are scattered around.
You can also see the crazy giant fruit bats and the tortoises. After 5 days on Mahé it was time to head off to another island. Onto the boat we got with a 50km journey on rough seas we got very seasick, but this was bearable knowing we were heading to La Digue our island of choice in the Seychelles.
La Digue was just as it was described – well almost, there were a few cars on the island. As we arrived it was poring down with rain and our accommodation was a ten-minute walk from town. We managed to get very wet and B got very sick. He spent the next day in bed while I read my book. Every morning on La Digue we would wake up to a delicious breakfast prepared by our accommodation and then hop on our bikes and head off to explore the island. Bike riding makes you feel free and relaxed.
The island is home to large Aldabra tortoises and you can see these riding around the island. Many tortoises have figured out that if they stayed by the fruit stand locals and tourists will feed them.
L'Union Estate coconut plantation also hosts Aldabra tortoises and you need to pay to go through the estate to get to the amazing beach Anse Source d'Argent. B and I headed to this beach twice especially because of the local restaurant here that served delicious fish. The beach itself has amazing granite rocks for bouldering and also some bars along the way to get your fresh fruit drinks while lazing on the beach and steering out into the emerald waters.
Belle Vue is a must on La Digue – you walk up a steep hill for about 30 minutes till you reach a bar to watch the sunset from. The bar offers delicious drinks and you can see bats and birds of all sorts from there. We had a gecko join us to watch the sunset. If you book in advance you can also enjoy dinner there. This island was our favourite out of the three we visited but after five days of cycling, tanning, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, eating and drinking it was time to head to our last island Praslin. And I must mention we swapped islands on New Years Eve…
Praslin was a complete shock, arriving here we thought we would be able to hire bicycles and continue to ride around the island. Boy were we wrong…
Luckily though we were saved by our accommodation, she was able to sort us a car on New Years Eve and get us into her daughter and husbands famous club in a booth with some other guests. They also ended up paying for all our drinks and getting us free entry, such nice people. After our initial bad planning and shock the rest of our time on the island was easier. We found a food store at one end of the island where we were able to buy supplies and cook our own meals. This was great as all restaurants were always full and no spaces available.
We spent a lot of our time on this island going to the beach and snorkeling. Most nights we would head around the coast and watch the amazing sunsets with our favourite African cider in our hands. I missed this cider from Africa and it brought back good memories.
After bad sunburn one day here we decided to visit Vallée de Mai World Heritage where the rare coco de mer palm grows. You do not need to take a guided tour here and is better if you explore by yourself as you can see more birds here with out the noise of a tour group. The whole walk took us one hour with stops.
The best beach on Praslin is Anse Georgette, which you need to get booked in advance so you can go through the resort to get to it. We did not know this at the start so we headed there expecting to be able to drive to it.
As we walked up to the gates we asked the guy if we could visit. No we could not, so we walked away… as we were leaving we meet a local who managed to get us through and to the beach. This was amazing. The beach was great and almost deserted, this is for obvious reasons that you need to go through the resort to get to it and they stop people. At the beach there is so many fish that swim and attack your feet. It was a very funny feeling. Five days went by fast and it was time to head home so back on the boat we got and headed off to Mahé.
Our time in Island paradise was over and back to Vienna it was. Although we were in for a shock on arrival of the tarmac, snow storm, freezing conditions and summer outfits… we were not ready to go back to earth.