Seychelles - Sightseeing
With qualities that could be used to describe nirvana, the Seychelles have a reputation as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Even though rest and relaxation may be your number one priority take off the sunglasses and take a look around.
With white sand beaches, clear waters, hills and mountains covered in tropical plants, where majestic wildlife that roam free, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a utopian world.
So get up and experience the marvels these stunning islands have to offer.
The Seychelles is encased by some of the most beautiful scenery known to man, everywhere you look there’s something to take you breath away. Whether that’s pristine white sands, bright and colourful flowers or the greenest trees you’ve ever seen. To truly capture the beauty of the islands, tourists should visit the National Parks scattered throughout.
Ste Anne National Marine Park comprises of six islands just of the Mahé coast. The first national park in the in the Indian Ocean, it comes with more than just a history, but also snorkelling, scuba diving and glass bottom boat excursions, where you can observe the colourful coral below. keep an eye out for hawksbill turtles whilst you’re here, and take a number of delightful nature walks.
Pay a visit to other parks of interest such as Vallée de Mai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to the prehistoric forest that resides there. The forest itself contains around 4,000 prehistoric examples, including the giant coco de mer fruit palm, vanilla orchids, palmiste, latanier, and Chinese fans. This area is perfect for nature lovers and takes between 45 minutes to two hours to hike around; depending on the route. The Morne Seychellois National Park is the largest national park in the Seychelles, covering over 20% of Mahé. In amongst its lush greenery, the main attraction of this park is its mountain chain, named Morne Seychellois, reaching a peak of 905 metres. The trails here are perfect for hikers, providing unparalleled views over the capital.
Other areas of outstanding beauty include the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens. One of the oldest national monuments here, it sits in Mont Fleuri, just outside of Victoria, and encompasses 5 acres of beautifully maintained tropical gardens. Walk around and bask in the variety of palms, spices and fruit trees, which can only be seen here, and observe the majestic giant tortoises that wonder around.
The biggest feature of the Seychelles landscape is the long stretches of soft white beaches, framed by the turquoise seas. With so many spread throughout the various islands it’s hard to choose a beach, but some of them stand out a little more than the others.
If you head to the North Shore of the Praslin Island you’ll find one of the most picturesque beaches around; Anse Lazio. Surrounded in granite boulders that give a sense of privacy, you can dip your toes in blue waters, which provide excellent swimming opportunities to the east side amongst the coral reefs.
However Mahé provides some of the most spectacular beaches you’ll find, not only in the Seychelles, but the world. This is true of the small and secluded crescent known as Anse Intendance. Situated on the South Coast, the palm framed beach is excellent for relaxing, and perfect for surfing due to frequent big waves. On the North Coast you’ll find the charming Beau Vallon beach, a popular spot for both tourists and locals. With a view of the mountainous Silhouette Island, this beach is perfect for everyone. Enjoy yourself as you lie on the soft sands, or make the most of the calm waters and indulge in some water sports like jet skiing.
In amongst the beautiful scenery, visitors will find a wealth of tropical wildlife spread throughout the Seychelles.
Areas such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll in the world plays home to thousands of tropical birds, such as the flightless white-throated Aldabran rail. But more interestingly it houses around 200,000 giant tortoises, which is more than the Galapagos Islands. But if its birds that peak your interest, the tiny paradise of Bird Island, perched on the edge of the Seychelles continental shelf, is only a short 30 minute flight from Mahé. With over 170 acres of land to observe, feel at one with nature as you observe not only the abundance of birds, but the tropical marine life too.
If you pay a visit to Curieuse Island you’ll find that there are plenty more giant tortoises to go round. This island is now used for a giant tortoise breeding program, allowing these gentle animals to roam freely around the sandy coves. You can access this unique paradise of sandy beaches and towering trees by boat from Praslin Island.
There are a number of nature reserves situated throughout the Seychelles, providing excellent opportunities to see some rare and exciting animals. One of these, Cousin Island, lies just two hours from Mahé via boat. Here you’ll find a reserve filled with approximately 1.25 million rare and wonderful birds. The Aride Island Nature Reserve is another breeding ground for a plethora of birds including frigate birds, red-tailed tropicbirds, and houses the world's largest colony of lesser noddy and roseate terns. Here you’ll also find the largest density of lizards anywhere on earth and several endemic species of flower.
Other things to see
Of course, whilst visiting the Seychelles it’s important to get a taste of their history alongside the beauty.
You can experience this at places like the Seychelles Natural History Museum. Here you’ll find exhibitions that give you a taste of the flora, fauna and geological history of this stunning holiday destination. Alongside this, the museum aims to enlighten its visitors on environmental concerns surrounding the Seychelles natural heritage. There are also exhibitions within the museum containing a wealth of material for you to observe.
The Praslin Museum is also a great place to visit, as it showcases the traditions and culture of the Seychelles. Here you can partake in coconut husking, grilling fruit bread, visit a garden of endemic and medicinal plants, feed fruit bats and enjoy the delights of the local fruit tea. This is an excellent way to help immerse yourself in the culture.