With short island hops ranging from 15 minutes to an hour by Air Seychelles scheduled flights, you can wake up in the morning and leave the hustle and bustle of Mahé behind you only to find yourself and quite possibly literally only yourself on a remote island a mere 45 minutes away.
If travelling in style is more your thing, we can arrange helicopter transfers or private charter flights or if you are feeling adventurous and wish to view the islands from the water (just make sure the time of the year is right for doing this), you can take the Cat Coco catamaran between Mahé and Praslin for an exhilarating sea journey.
However you decide to get there, there is one thing that will always be waiting for you – beaches of the utmost beauty framed either by the impressive boulders that are so synonymous with the Seychelles, so expertly photographed that they adorn glossy magazines around the world or the laid-back toes in sand simplicity of the outer lying coralline islands.
Mahé, Praslin and La Digue Islands are your three main granite islands, each offering something unique in their way of life. Mahé is the largest island and measures 28km long by 8km wide and is the economic and cultural hub of the Inner Islands. The capital Victoria is found here and it is home to the international airport and shipping ports and is the gate way to the Seychelles. Mahé is an eclectic mix of vibrancy, history, beauty and class. With a backdrop of towering 1000m granite peaks, Mahé is an extraordinary treasure trove of flora that has evolved over centuries of splendid isolation. Rare endemic plants found nowhere else in the world adorn Mahé’s mist forests such as the Jellyfish Tree, the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid.
A leisurely tour around the island will take you about 2-2½ hours and it is highly recommended that you take the time to explore the secluded coves and interesting monuments and paths that you may come across – the history and the beauty of this island will astound you.
Three of the best beaches on Mahé that spring to mind are Beau Vallon Beach located on the northwest coast and is the islands most popular beach and is a glorious 3km crescent of gleaming white sand.
On the south-western side of the Mahé, with the northern swath of the beach occupied by the uber-luxurious Banyan Tree Hotel, is Anse Intendance. Ranked as one of the most unspoilt beaches on the island – this is surely perfection in the utmost sense of the word. Grab your picnic blanket and basket, top up your glass and lay back as you watch the sky deepen to orange as the sun sinks slowly on the horizon.
Last but not least is Anse Takamaka – stretching uninterrupted for almost 2km of white, soft sand and with multihued water, this is a superb place for swimming. With a thick takamaka and palm forest as the backdrop, you would be forgiven for feeling as though you are a participant in the next episode of Survivor!
Praslin, the second biggest island, is somewhat more laidback than Mahé but is home to some of the best beaches in the Seychelles and the famous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island features truly exquisite beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both appearing on the top-10 list of world’s best beaches in recent years.
It will take you approximately 2 hours to drive around Praslin, but it’s definitely worth taking a little longer to explore and perhaps pack a picnic basket just in case you find somewhere that’s the perfect spot to soak up a few rays and revel in the beauty of your surroundings.
With her close proximity to the smallest of the three main islands La Digue, day trips to this tiny island are easily arranged and with no cars on the island and your mode of transport being either by foot or bicycle, you really are a world away from civilisation in the modern era – total bliss!
When visiting the outer lying coralline islands such as Denis Island, North Island, Desroches to name but a few, the island is yours and the beach is yours.
As the islands are flat (and there are NO vehicles on these islands – well maybe a golf buggy or two), some of the hotels provide guests with bicycles, but should you wish to explore by leisurely stroll or pedal power no strenuous climbing or unnecessary exercise is required – after all you are here to relax!
Surrounded by white sand, explore to your heart’s content and enjoy being Robinson Crusoe but of course with all lives little luxurious at your fingertips!
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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