Seychelles Travel Guide
A series of coral and granite islands sitting more than a thousand kilometers off the coast of Africa, the Seychelles are one of the world’s most celebrated tropical getaways.
Nothing makes this moniker more apt than the fact that this archipelago was the one chosen by Will and Kate as the destination for their honeymoon. While there are numerous beaches here that do their postcards justice, there are plenty of things to do away from the water that will make your trip here a memorable one.
Currency: Seychelles rupees
Languages: English, French, Creole
What To Do
While most visitors will want to head directly to one of the Seychelles’ world famous beaches, set aside an hour to see the National Museum of History. Contained within a single room, it has a charming atmosphere to it, but some of its exhibits will shock and astound you.
Chronicling this nation’s history from the dark days of slavery up to the end of the Second World War, it uses various artifacts to tell intensely personal stories that will move you more than many of the flashier museums out there today.
A trip to Victoria Market is another way to get in touch with local residents of the Seychelles during your visit. Although it lacks the busyness and scale found in many other African markets, it still has plenty of local fruits, vegetables, fish, and clothing that give it its own unique identity.
While a great experience can be had here any day of the week, residents report that Saturday is most popular time for locals.
Want to take a step back to a time when all the world’s continents were smushed together into the giant landmass of Gondwana? Pay a visit to the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, as it contains a species of palm tree that has remained more or less the same since that time.
The continued existence of the Coco de Mer palm (which bears the largest seed of any plant on the planet) has won this reserve a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. In addition to that, this park is also home to other rare endemic species that include the Seychelles black parrot and the golden panchax, which is the only freshwater fish native to the Seychelles.
If you are looking to get in a bit of hiking on your Seychelles holiday, plan a trek up Morne Blanc. The trail begins by passing through an old tea plantation, taking you through cloud forests to a viewpoint that has an amazing view of the island below.
Be sure to keep an eye out for various avian species such as the bulbul, swiftlet, and the sunbird, but also listen for the Gardiner’s Seychelles frog, which has a very loud call that you will not be able to miss on your hike.
However, spotting one will be a much tougher task, as this species is one of the world’s smallest, growing up to only one centimeter long on average.
While our country and city guides typically zero in on culture and history, it is undeniable that most people come to the Seychelles to lounge on one of their world famous beaches.
Start by visiting Anse Lazio, as it is rightly famous for its looks, which regularly land it on many top 10 lists created by respected outlets in the mainstream travel media. With crystal clear waters and massive granite boulders randomly strewn about the beach, this place lives up to the hype.
Another unique quality of Anse Lazio is its wild character: due to the lack of a coral reef offshore, swells from the open Indian Ocean roll in on a regular basis. As a result, it may not be the safest beach in the Seychelles for families, but it has a beauty to it that will make it a favorite of many other travelers.
Visitors looking for a beach that is quiet but is unspeakably gorgeous will want to spend at least one day on the sands of Anse Georgette. Officially, it is a private beach that is set aside for the guests of the Constance Lemuria, but calling ahead to make reservations will allow you to access it as a member of the public.
Like Anse Lazio, heavy swells here can sometimes produce strong currents, making this beach a potential hazard for families and weak swimmers when the surf is up.
If you find yourself on La Digue during your Seychelles holiday, do not miss the chance to spend time at Anse Source d’Argent. While you are required to pay an admission to access this beach, its immense popularity requires a fee to help clean up after the masses that come here every day.
Although big crowds are not what some people have in mind when they seek out paradise, the size and shape of its granite boulders and its shallow calm waters still make this an enjoyable experience.
What to Eat
Those looking to consume the unofficial national dish of the Seychelles will need to get adventurous, as many consider Fruit Bat Soup to be the favorite meal of people living in this archipelago.
This exotic dish is made by boiling the fruit bats in a pot with ginger, onions, scallions, sea salt, and coconut cream. After about 40 minutes of being cooked in this manner, the skin is removed from the bats.
The meat is then cleaved from the bones and returned to the pot with the other ingredients for further simmering, creating a bowl of stew that is surprisingly tasty.
Shark Chutney is another edgy food that adventurous eaters can find while in the Seychelles. It is made by skinning and boiling shark meat, which is then mashed with the juice of a bilimbi tree, lime, fried onions, tumeric, pepper, and salt.
Served as a side at many markets in the islands, consuming this dish is a perfect way to bond with local residents over food.
When it is time for dessert in the Seychelles, be sure to ask for some Cassava Pudding. A bread pudding that contains brown sugar, coconut milk, and cinnamon in addition to its cassava base, it is a sweet treat that will be the perfect ending to your day on one of the world’s best paradise islands.