Adventuring in a tropical paradise, floating in turquoise waters and sipping a cocktail on a white sandy beach not overrun with tourists is something we’ve all fantasised about at some point, and no place in the world delivers on that dream better than Seychelles.
Consisting of 115 islands, this archipelago is situated within the Indian Ocean off East Africa and is considered one of the most beautiful places in the world. While the beaches may be unmatched, this beautiful country has so much more to offer. Below is a roundup of the 10 best things about Seychelles.
- Commonly referred to as a Paradise on Earth – ‘nuff said. From the rarely changing tropical climate to the unspoiled natural beauty of the land and sea, friendly locals, and the rich culture, Seychelles lives up to its well-deserved title.
- Exotic wildlife – We’re talking land, sea and air, folks. Boasting some of the most diverse wildlife in the world, Seychelles has a strict policy of land and animal preservation. Bird watching enthusiasts will love catching sight of the rare black parrot or Seychelles bulbul, while those with an oceanic spirit can spend hours snorkelling between stunning corals and exotic fish species that include the colourful butterflyfishes and parrotfishes. Let’s not forget the giant tortoises who make Curieuse island and Cousin island their home. These majestic creatures weigh up to 250 kg (550 lb) and can live up to 120 years.
- Rich history – Founded in the 18th century, Seychelles has been under French and British rule, became home to exiled prisoners and was once used as a hideout by pirates before achieving their first independent election in 1967. Slavery, pirates and convicts – oh my! Be sure to visit the National Museum of History in the capital city of Victoria for an insight into this archipelago’s rich history.
- Remote location – Seychelles’ remote – somewhat isolated – location provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for anyone wanting to decompress and reset body and mind. This paradise is also an extremely popular honeymoon destination. Why spend your honeymoon sardined with 400 other tourists in front of the Eiffel Tower when you can enjoy the tranquillity of paradise.
- Multicultural cuisine – Seychelles is a foodie heaven. As a result of its rich history, Seychelles has an incredibly multicultural population reflected in its cuisine. Seafood is – of course – a major staple, but this isn’t your standard fish and chips. From spicy tuna coconut curry, refreshing fish tacos, and rum-infused desserts, you may come back just for the food.
- An abundance of national parks – Nearly half of the country’s landmass is set aside as national parks and reserves that allow the wildlife to flourish and provide spectacular settings for a relaxing afternoon. Travellers can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai located on the island of Praslin or the Sainte Anne Marine National Park off the coast of Mahe.
- Incredible walking trails and hiking opportunities – The Morne Seychellois National Park in Mahe boasts some of the most popular trails in the country. From the ease of the Copolia Trail to the harder Trois Frères (Three Brothers) to the challenging 4-hour Mare aux Cochons trail – there are trails to suit every fitness level. The Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve in Praslin has its share of trails, while the brave can attempt the Nid d’Aigle in La Digue – Seychelles’ fifth-largest island.
- Local markets – Markets are a big part of the island culture, providing the perfect opportunity to sell freshly caught fish, exotic fruits, crafts and handmade clothes. Take a stroll through the Victoria Market, Victoria Bazaar or Bazar Labrin and explore local delights while having a friendly haggle with locals.
- Almost no crime – Thanks to its small size and laid back culture, crime is virtually non-existent. While you should always be aware of pickpockets, unexpected falling coconuts may be your biggest threat.
- Deep blue waters and white sandy beaches – Did you think the iconic beaches wouldn’t come up? From the slightly isolated Petite Anse and Anse Intendance on Mahe to the pristine shores of Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue, and the Anse Lazio on Praslin, this island has stunning beaches to spare that are perfect for snorkelling, surfing or simply Instagramming.