One of the Seychelles’ most popular destinations, Praslin is home to fantastic beaches and intimate hotels and resorts. Soak up the sun in style while you keep a sunglassed eye out for the very rare bird species that dwell on Praslin, including the Seychelles bulbul and the black parrot. Praslin National Park in the island’s south contains the spectacular palm forest of Vallée de Mai. Divers love the ancient coral reefs off Praslin’s shores.
The usual way to reach Praslin is by means of a propeller aircraft from Mahé, which only takes a fifteen minutes. The islanders, besides tourism, make a living from agriculture and fishing. Praslin is thankfully not particularly crowded, and has managed to retain its charm, ensuring that anyone who loves peace and nature will certainly want to come here during their stay. There are many views to enjoy, especially during a hike or tour, which will take your breath away. These include fine, sandy beaches with crystal-clear water, dense jungles, palm trees, takamaka trees, waterfalls, and much more. Compared to Mahé, the island consists more of rolling hills than towering mountains, with Praslin’s maximum elevation, the Fond Azore, reaching just 367 metres. This however has the added bonus that it does not rain as much on Praslin as it does on Mahé.
The shallow Ste. Anne Bay is home to a small port that serves the ferry services from Mahe and La Digue. In the same town, two kilometres north of the landing point, there are churches, hospitals, banks, a post office, a gas station, and a school, mini markets, and car rentals. The majority of accommodation on Praslin consists of large hotels. The island is slightly lacking in terms of guest houses near the beach, but you’ll find quite a few luxurious hotels to enjoy instead. Anse Volbert has also emerged as a tourist centre, but thankfully in an unobtrusive manner.
With their spectacular white sandy beaches, sunny skies, crystal blue waters and lush greenery, the Seychelles islands represent the very ideal of a paradise island getaway. Their expansive nature reserves, fantastic diving spots and lively bars and cafés ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy – whether you’re looking for an active break, a return to nature or just to kick back and relax on the sands. There’s plenty to see and do while staying in the Seychelles, and with islands such as Praslin and La Digue nearby, the possibilities for exploring are endless.
As the largest and most developed island in the Seychelles archipelago, Mahe is not only the gateway to this tropical paradise but is also home to the Seychelles’ capital city Victoria, along with around 90% of the country’s population. But Mahe, named in honour of the 18th-century governor of Mauritius, is much more than just a financial and political hub. Dominated by the towering granite peaks of the Morne Seychellois National Park, the lush mountainous landscape of the interior soon drops down to a coastline punctuated with breath-taking bays and sandy coves.
From the dense forests and their rare endemic flora to the cerulean waters that surround the island, Mahe Seychelles offers visitors boundless opportunities for adventure or relaxation. The powdery-white sands of Beau Vallon and Anse Royale, along with over 20 other beaches, beckon visitors to lounge under swaying palms, whilst the waters of the Ste. Anne Marine National Park, amongst others, are a scuba diving delight. All this, coupled with a wealth of hiking, surfing, fishing and snorkelling possibilities, means there’s never a shortage of activities to keep you busy.
For those seeking something a little less adventurous, Mahe is steeped in history and culture. Stroll through the streets of Victoria with its famous Clock Tower, colonial architecture and colourful market or perhaps pay a visit to the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens, with its wide collection of mature, exotic and endemic plants. For those wishing to delve deeper into the island’s past, the National Museum of History, along with the Natural History Museum, offer great insight into Seychelles culture, traditions and its natural heritage.
Mahe is also the main hub for Seychelles Island Hopping and day excursions to the islands of Praslin and La Digue, as well as many of the other smaller islands. Scheduled flights and helicopter transfers depart from Mahe’s international airport while the jetty in Victoria’s harbour plays host to the Cat Cocos ferry and other private yacht charters.
The majority of Mahe’s accommodation is strung along its stunning coastline, with Beau Vallon in the north-west offering not only a wide variety of hotels and self-catering apartments but also the largest selection of restaurants and nightlife. Dotted along the rest of Mahe’s shores you’ll also find numerous luxury resorts ready to pamper to your every beck and call. With its relaxed pace of life and overwhelming natural beauty, every Seychelles itinerary should allow for a few days to explore Mahe. With a good system of well-maintained roads and an extensive bus network, accessing Mahe’s fabulous natural attractions is fairly easy; however hiring a car is probably the best way to see what Mahe has to offer, with distances being relatively short and attractions well signposted.
Wherever you go on Mahe, be it on the coast or high up in the mountains, you almost always run the risk of being caught in a tropical downpour. As a result of its rugged topography, Mahe receives more rain than most other islands. However, showers don’t last long, and without them, Mahe would not be the verdant jewel that it is in an otherwise sparse ocean!
|Praslin island||Usd 1490 pp sharing in double|
|Mahe Island||Usd 1490 pp sharing in double|