This island in the Seychelles comes straight from a fairy tale book
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The Republic of Seychelles consists of 42 granite and 73 coral islands located in the Indian Ocean. Nowadays it is is a popular holiday destination for those who want to celebrate a luxurious beach holiday. This is partly because of the tropical climate, the dream beaches and the beautiful hotels. Not that you necessarily have to have a large travel budget to visit the Seychelles, but it for sure helps. Fortunately, there are also accommodations for those who have a lower budget. The country is best known as a bucket list destination for couples and especially newlyweds. After reading this article about the biggest island Mahé you will understand why.
The 115 islands of the Seychelles are located approximately 1500km (932 miles) east of the African mainland, which means it topographically belongs to Africa. The Seychelles have an unique flora and fauna just like the Galapagos Islands. Many plant and animal species are endemic which means they are unique to the Seychelles.
Around 90 per cent of the Seychellois live on the biggest island Mahé. They are so lucky, because this island comes straight from a fairy tale book.
In addition to its unique flora and fauna, the Seychelles has great beaches. This is partly because of the typical granite formations. Nowadays these beaches are on every list of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
You do not have 1 beautiful beach here. No this island is blessed with a lot of unique and amazing beaches. A local legend even names that the Seychelles was once the Garden of Eden.
How to get around
It is best to travel around by rental car or by public transport. However, renting cars can be quite expensive if you arrange it back home. It is better to look on the spot at local dealers, because they are often slightly cheaper (from 30 to 35 USD per day).
If you think a rental car is too expensive and you want to support the environment, we recommend that you take public transport. We took the bus often, it was super cheap and a great way to get to know the local population. Many buses stop at the well-known highlights, you just have to wait a little longer than if you were traveling with a rental car.
No mass tourism yet
Although the Seychelles live to a large extent from tourism, we have not felt anywhere that it is mega touristy. Maybe that's because you have 2 types of tourists in the Seychelles: one who goes to the Seychelles to stay in a super deluxe resort (you will find the most expensive and luxurious resorts in the world) and tourists who sleep in the smaller hotels, airbnb's or chalets. The first type of tourist often stays at their hotel which means you hardly see them in the 'real' world. The second type travels around more, visits at least the 3 'main islands' (Mahé, Praslin and La Digue) and stays in the smaller hotels. These smaller hotels, b&b's and chalets are run by local people and in addition to being much more affordable than the luxury resorts, you also support the local people and the local economy in this way.
Nature and sustainability
Today, the island paradise is one of the leaders in respect to sustainable tourism. In accordance to the strict Environmental regulations, every tourism project is examined taking into account the public and conservationists. Nearly 50 per cent of the land mass is under environmental protection. Hence, one can find breathtaking intact nature on this special piece of earth. We really hope it will stay like this
The Morne Seychellois National Park
In the middle of Mahé are mountains that rise more than 900 meters (2952 ft) above sea level. The mountain slopes are beautifully covered with green and tropical forests, which gives a beautiful sight. Here you will also find the Morne Seychellois National Park where many cool hiking trails are laid out. It is the largest national park in the Seychelles covering about 20% of the entire island.
Once you start walking you will be surrounded by mighty green trees, and colorful birds. Also you will occasionally spot a carnivorous plant or colorful flower. One of the coolest trails is the Copolia Trail, which takes about 2 hours.
The Seychelles are best known for the beautiful underwater world. There are places with coral everywhere where you can see the most beautiful colorful fish. From Mahé there are many boats that sail to the most beautiful dive sites. Usually it's less than half an hour's sailing. The dive sites off the coast of Mahé usually have calm water and a spectacular view. These are the best places for the beginning diver. You can also get your certificate from one of the many diving schools on the island.
The market in Victoria
Victoria is the capital of the Seychelles and is situated in Mahé. It is one of the smallest capital cities in the world and it is home to 25.000 people. The locals generally speak Creole and are super multicultural. You will find African, European, Indian, and there are plenty of other influences noticeable the capital.
It's amazing to visit the market in the center of Victoria, the colorful stalls sell all sorts of things. From fresh vegetables to bags of eggs or fish just caught and a handful of stalls sells souvenir stuff. Locals do their daily shopping here and it is interesting to take part in the ordinary daily life.
Where to stay
Like we said earlier in the article there are a lot of Airbnbs on the different islands. These are not only rooms in people's homes, but sometimes you will also find Hotels / B&Bs on Airbnb.
If you are not traveling on a budget, than there is one resort we really recommend. Set in 120sq hectares of low-lying land on the southwest side of Mahe in breathtaking mangroves, you will find Constance Ephelia.
The insanely beautiful private island resort has eleven hand-crafted villas, all of them with private plunge pool, overlooking pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters. Also the hotel offers different spectacular suites.
The whole resort is full of fun and educational things to do for kids like a daily kayaking trip into the heart of the mangrove forest, zip-lining through the Jungle canopy, and a Kids club which focuses on nature trails and activities handicrafts like basket weaving with local palm leaves.
These all form part of a carefully managed program to protect the seven different types of mangrove indigenous to the Seychelles, the nurseries of most sea life here. The mangrove are now making a recovery following their near destruction.
Saving energy and water, recycling, composting and protection of fauna and flora are some of the initiatives that have enabled this establishment to receive the Green Globe certification. The hotel has also made significant contributions to sustainable management in Seychelles.
Best time to visit
The best travel time for a holiday in the Seychelles is from June to August. It is the driest and most sunny period of the year. During the day, temperatures are around or slightly below 30 degrees Celsius, (86 degrees Fahrenheit) which is great weather for spending your day at the beach or by the pool.
In December, January and February it is peak season. However this is also the rainy season. Click here to see more climate details in Victoria.