Not even in the 4 weeks before the departure, I and my girlfriend decided to go again for a trip, but this time it was clear from beginning. Beach, sea and, if possible, some relaxation. Relaxation is what we always get the least when traveling around the world, as we often travel with our girlfriend Maria and never stay in one place for more than 2 nights. Especially I am very hyperactive and still have to discover something new. I did not even know how we got to Seychelles but with a new connection through Dusseldorf and Air Seychelles at a very good price, we decided to visit this island nation of 90,000 people. Although our trip to the Seychelles was only 6 days, we were able to get around the most visited islands and the most beautiful beaches in the world.
But the first thing that flashed in our head was the affordability of this destination. The Seychelles certainly are not among the countries you normally visit with a backpack and expect prices as in Asia. But when you know where to go, where to live and where to eat, even a destination like Seychelles can be for every traveler. By combining the hotelscombined.com and airbnb.com we have found a very nice beachfront accommodation with a swimming pool and a great location on the north of the island of Mahé. In August, the southeast wind blows to the Seychelles and can bring seaweed and strong waves to beaches. But if you find accommodation on the northern side of the islands like us, you have no problem. However, the accommodation is definitely one of the most expensive things, but it does not have to completely ruin you. Nowadays there are more and more backpackers or even families with children who are looking for so-called “self-catering guest houses” where you can stay from approx. 75 Euro per night for 2 people. Everything, of course, depends on the season and the place. Via Airbnb.com you can find accommodation from 40 Euro per night for 2 persons.
After reading a number of travel portals, it was clear from the outset that Seychelles are best visited with backpacks. First we only traveled for 6 days and basically you have not much to pack on the beach. More space was taken by cameras and diving goggles. The main reason, however, was that they would not let you on the local bus with suitcase or big baggage and a taxi from the airport to Beau Vallon beach, where we spent 3 nights, would have cost you approx. 50 Euros which is more than renting a car for the whole day. Local bus travel is very easy and every trip costs 30 cents. Together, we used the local bus 11 times and paid 6 Euros and 60 cents. As taxis are overpriced, local buses start to use as many tourists as possible, although mostly only for transfers between the beaches, as there is hardly anyone traveling with the backpacks.
In August, Seychelles has a very strong tourist season, mainly due to summer holidays in Europe. If I had to summarize the most represented Nations by tourists so clearly there were mostly Italians. Even more than the Chinese or the Japanese, and that’s quite difficult to beat. However, neither the Indians nor the Russians were left behind. To my taste, however, all beaches were relatively crowded.
The largest of the three islands we’ve visited, the island of Mahé offers a lot to tourists. As we spent only 3 nights on the island, we did not have time for Copolia trek, which should be the most beautiful sight on the island. Instead, however, we went to relax on the beauties of Beau Vallon. We also went on a snorkeling trip to the northwest part of the island where we had the opportunity to watch beautiful colorful fish but also the rays or turtles. August, however, is not the ideal month for diving or snorkeling and so the visibility was not the best, but it does not change my belief that snorkeling in the Seychelles was probably the best I’ve ever experienced.
The capital city of Seychelles, Victoria is easily cowered by one morning. It has 30% of the total population of Seychelles and therefore approx. 30,000 inhabitants. The city has nothing special to offer except for a small “Big Ben” that looks like the “Little Ben” on Victoria Street in London. The city offers a botanical garden or local market where fresh fish or local fruits can be bought.
After 3 nights spent at the hotel complex on Beau Vallon Beach, it was time to move on the more beautiful and smaller island of Praslin. It can be reached by either a boat that takes about an hour or a small plane in 20 minutes. To my surprise, the ticket prices were the same and we definitely chose to fly a small, just 17-seats airplane. However, to people who suffer from claustrophobia I do not recommend this option. The flight itself was a very powerful experience, not to mention the beautiful beaches and the most beautiful color of the sea I have seen so far, which we were able to observe from the aircraft. On Praslin Island, local buses were even less frequent than Mahe and of course without a schedule, so we never knew the whole trip when the bus actually comes and if at all. Praslin is the second largest island of Seychelles with an area of 38 km² and about 7,500 inhabitants. There is a small airport on the island on which we landed, but for example an 18-hole golf course as well.
Praslin Island is proud of coconut “Coco de mer”, which looks like a butt and should be the largest coconut in the world that grows only in the Seychelles. The most beautiful beach we visited on the island must be Anse Lazio. All the beaches always looked best during the tide and of course, there were fewer tourists. By evening, the sea level increased and changed the view of the entire beach. After flights and accommodation, the relatively expensive item on the islands is certainly food and drinks. That’s why more and more tourists are looking for the above-mentioned “self-catering guest houses” where it is possible to cook their own food and a 4-member family that can save even 100 Euro per dinner. Everywhere you will find many of supermarkets where you can easily buy what you need.
Because we spent 2 nights via Airbnb.com in one local Creole family on Praslin Island, we learned, among other things, that domestic residents do not live as island people at all because they do not grow or produce anything at home. Everything must be imported and locals rely heavily on tourism. Domestic population is divided into Creole and Indian, who mostly own grocery stores or do construction work. The biggest problem in this paradise on earth is however drugs and alcohol. Many people do not have money, and as everywhere in the world, they try to get them through drugs, which then result in violence. But I can tell myself that I felt very safe even in different darker neighborhoods.
People in Seychelles were very kind and willing to advise or just to chat. It is also amazing that they speak 3 languages and therefore Creaole, French and English. We once met the older lady with whom we spoke. During the conversation, she told us she was hurrying to lunch and because in Seychelles no one knows when the nearest bus will go, which may be even an hour, so she pushed her thumb out and the first car stopped and she was no longer there. Following her pattern we finally got to the beach of Anse Lazio.
On the fifth day of our stay, we reached the port on Praslin Island where we were waiting for a 15-minute cruise to the island of La Digue where according to my knowledge were supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Short boat cruise there and back in the same day will cost 27 Euro per person. The island itself has an area of only 10 km² and has only 2,800 inhabitants. There are very few cars on the island and almost all people are on bicycles there. Rent a bicycle for 1 day was 9 Euros. The amazing thing about this was that the bike did not have to be locked just to remember where you left it, since on certain beaches the same bikes were more than 100.
Now I have to write from the heart that we have visited really beautiful places like Malaysia, Cambodia, Colombia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, or Spain, but we can’t even compare those beaches to those on the island La Digue. The beaches that are the most photographed in the world will literally blow you away. In the morning in combination with fewer tourists, beautiful granite rocks, palm trees and blue sky, nothing else comes to you except that you are in paradise. These beaches are almost gutted and granite rocks give them a unique look that is hard to find elsewhere in the world. Beaches such as Anse Source d’Argent, Anse Lazio or Anse Marron deserve to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
The island of La Digue certainly impressed us and although we spent only one day there, we visited all the most beautiful places. The combination of a bicycle, palms, cycling roads and the scorching sea was one of the most beautiful moments of our trips around the world. Overall, from this beautiful landscape we only take the most beautiful experiences and desire to visit a similar place again.