Seychelles is a destination we were aware of for a very long time but always put it off because we were of the idea that it had no activities/ nothing much to see but sitting by the beach. When we travel, we normally focus on an itinerary full of activities so that we are able to see as much as we can, of the region/ country we have visited.
We travelled by Qatar Airways as we always do. They have only one flight per day with an early departure from Doha to Mahe at 2:30 am local time (GMT +3) and landed at 9:10 am (GMT +4). Seychelles is a visa on arrival country for all foreign nationals. You are required to have a valid passport, a return ticket, accommodation and Yellow Fever certificate for those from a Yellow Fever endemic country. The airport is small and can get busy but if you have a small baby as we did, the lady at the immigration was kind enough and gave us priority once we were done filling out the forms. Make a point of buying your alcohol at the duty-free, the alcohol rates at the duty-free were 3times less than the rates outside the airport.
How to get around Mahe
Once we got through immigration, there were many car hire options and taxis available at the airport. I would recommend taking a car hire if you will be staying on the island. Aside from a car hire being convenient, it is also cost effective as compared to using a taxi when you want to tour around Mahe. In addition, there are no well-established taxi network companies such as Uber. There was one company we found online- Seycab which was not available on IOS devices- however, cost wise, it was still on the higher side if you were to use it for all your tour trips.
Where to Stay in Mahe
We were staying at Eden Island Luxury Accommodation. We made our booking last minute- and so missed out on the Eden Island Accommodations on Airbnb- which was unfortunate for us since the rates were cheaper on Airbnb as compared to booking directly with the management of the estate which we had to do. Eden Island Luxury Accommodation was the best choice we made as, it is like a town on its own. The estate is huge with a mall that consists of a supermarket, variety of restaurants, clubs, shops, four beaches, fitness center just to mention a few, all within the Eden Island luxury Accommodation. Good thing, every apartment comes with a Golf cart to enable you to move around within the Eden Island luxury accommodation.
Things to do in Mahe
Since we had a car, we decided to tour Mahe starting with lunch at Carana Beach. We stopped once in a while to enjoy the views from the roadside. Carana Beach Hotel had very good service and beach views which we enjoyed as we had our meal. Later, we headed to the Beau Vallon Beach for a good sunset feel. On our way back to our accommodation, we took a drive around Victoria (capital city of Seychelles) where we came across the Arulmigu Navasakti Vinayagar Temple.
We decided we wanted to go Island Hopping and consulted with the management at Eden Island and they organized a day trip cruise. We went to visit both Praslin and La Digue Islands. The day trip worked perfectly for us however, if you have days to spare, it is ideal and it would be much more fun if one could actually spend a night in each of the islands. That way, you get to experience what each island has to offer without rushing it. You can also take a flight which takes about 15 minutes as compared to the cruise that takes about 1 hour.
Our cruise was smooth and, the weather was perfect. We enjoyed amazing views which we would have missed had we taken a flight. Meanwhile, our baby girl was at her best behavior as she slept all the way. Our first destination was Praslin Island. We started by visiting Vallee de Mai a UNESCO world heritage site, that is one of the only two places that naturally grows Coco de Mer palm.
We later headed to one of Praslin’s famous beach called Anse Lazio beach. We were lucky as we got there before it got crowded and enjoyed swimming for about 2 hours before we proceeded onto the next Island. Just like the beaches at Mahe, Anse Lazio was very clean. It also had very strong waves which we enjoyed playing around in.
La Digue Island
It was a short transit between Praslin and La Digue of about 15minutes. La Digue is so unique in that the main means of transport is a bicycle. We had our daughter with us who was only 9months and therefore we did not feel that having her at the back of the bicycle was safe and so we took the option of a Golf cart. We first had our pre-arranged lunch that was part of the cruise package deal. Thereafter we began touring the Island and headed straight to L’Union Estate Park. The park has a farm that has vanila and coconut plantations, giant tortoises which you can feed with the food provided by the park. We then headed to the famous Anse Source d’Argent. Anse Source d’Argent was voted the most beautiful island in the world. It really does have very beautiful and huge rocks in addition to the fact that you can enjoy snorkelling in its waters.