Waking up to a sunrise on the beach, strolling along misty hills in the morning, spending the afternoon sighting birds in a tropical forest and finishing the day with the sun setting into the ocean. What if you can have a holiday where all of this happens on the same day? That holiday is Seychelles!
Seychelles is the only group of granitic islands in the world – in fact, it is considered to be among the oldest islands in the world – breaking off when the ancient continent of Gondwana split and shifted 80 million years ago. This also explains how this variety of flora and fauna and the tropical forests got here.
Our 5-day vacation in Seychelles started off in Praslin, the second largest island in the archipelago.
We landed at the Praslin Airport and walked to our homestay which was on the Grand Anse beach.
If you have 2 days in Praslin, you can consider renting a car so that you don’t have to depend on the bus timings. There are 3 bus routes on the island – 61, 62 and 63. The bus fares are standard (SCR 7 per person for one trip when we visited in early 2020) – so it would help if you have change. Buses run every 30-45 mins and the frequency reduces in the weekend.
ROUTE 61: Mont Plaisir – Anse Boudin via Vallée de Mai
ROUTE 62: Mont Plaisir – Zimbabwe via Consolation
ROUTE 63: Mont Plaisir – Anse La Blague – Côte d’Or
Praslin has some really beautiful beaches – our first stop was Anse Lazio. To get to Anse Lazio, you can take Bus 61 or 62 till Anse Boudin and walk about 15-20 mins to the beach. The beach was beautiful – however, there was a lot of seaweed washed ashore which made it a bit messy.
Our next stop was the Cote d’Or beach or Anse Volbert. There are quite a few hotels and guesthouses here making it a good base location.
We picked up some food along the esplanade and got back to enjoy the sunset at our “private” beach stretch in Grand Anse.
We woke up and headed straight to the beach for the sunrise.
After a half day excursion to La Digue, we visited the Vallee de Mai reserve – home to the famous Coco de Mer – a rare species of palm tree which is only found here. The reserve is situated right in the middle of Praslin island on top of the mountain.
The male and female trees are very distinct in appearance. The nut is gigantic – the largest seed in the world. Local folklore says that the male tree uproots itself on stormy nights to mate with the female.
We also spotted the elusive Seychelles Black Parrot chomping on some fruit deep inside the reserve. If you are in Praslin, don’t miss visiting here – it may not be the biggest or most dense nature reserve in the world, but the fact that it is one of the best preserved remains of the ancient supercontinent, makes it a fascinating sight.
We took the next bus to Mt Plaisir in an attempt to go to Anse Georgette. There is a trail near the bus stop – look for a wooden signboard (look closely or else you will miss it).
The trail takes you through the thick jungle with some steep climbs. We walked for about 30 mins till we reach the point where the trail started descending towards the beach.
The trail easily takes about an hour one way, so we were roughly halfway there. There was, at best, an hour left before sunset and we didn’t want to risk being stuck there – so we headed back. Something for next time!
We ended the day with dinner at the Paradisier restaurant. Seychelles is not really a foodie’s paradise – there are few restaurants and they are quite expensive. This means you will mostly be looking for takeaways and supermarkets. There was a supermarket called Whole Foods (no relation to the US version) near our place where we got our breakfast. Another option is to buy supplies and cook it yourself – all homestays will have a kitchen that you can use.
Check out part 2 of this blog here.