Good Vibrations in the Seychelles

Share
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

“There are good vibrations here in the Seychelles. People come from all over the world to be healed under our sun and to find the answers they are looking for.”

I was lying on Beau Vallon, Mahé’s most popular beach, when a Rastafarian man approached me. “The power is in nature,” he said after a brisk greeting. I agreed with him, at which point he shook my hand as if I was a long-lost Rasta sister. “There are good vibrations here in the Seychelles,” he continued. “People come from all over the world to be healed under our sun and to find the answers they are looking for.”  I quickly discovered – after a few days of swimming in turquoise water, hiking through tropical jungles and lying on beaches – that the Rasta man was onto something.

seychelles

Thousands of tourists visit the Seychelles every year for many different reasons. Fishermen, divers and snorkelers come to experience some of the world’s top fishing and diving spots. Honeymooners and sun-worshippers come for its picture-perfect beaches, luxurious resorts and lively Creole culture.  Conservationists and adventurers come to see and explore remote islands, forests, hiking trails and gigantic bird colonies.  Some come to embark on island-hopping holidays aboard yachts and catamarans, while the odd visitor comes in the hope of finding a hidden treasure.


Discover our Seychelles packages:
Seychelles – 3* Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay (7 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* Coral Strand Hotel (7 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* Eden Bleu, Seychelles (3 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* Doubletree by Hilton Seychelles – Allamanda, Seychelles (7 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* AVANI Seychelles Barbarons (4 Nights)


Mad about Mahé

Hindu Temple in Victoria.

Hindu Temple in Victoria.

Our two-week holiday started on the biggest and most populated of the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles: Mahé. Derrick Tirant from Mason’s Travel met up with us for a tour of its top attractions.  First on the itinerary was a stop at the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market situated in the capital city of Victoria. This lively market attracts hundreds of locals and tourists who come to buy everything from parrot fish to spices to tropical fruits. From there we followed Derrick to see the nearby Hindu Temple and the city’s very own ‘Small’ Big Ben Tower.

We then ventured on to the mountainous parts of Mahé where Derrick stopped to show us the Venn’s Town Mission Station, a ruin and lookout deck which once served as a school for the children of liberated slaves. This British-run school was sadly closed down in 1895 due to a lack of funding and today many of its original structures are overgrown. It is, nonetheless, well worth a visit even if just to see the beautiful views of Victoria Bay.

From there we were driven down the road to the Mission Tea Factory for a favourite local pastime: tea drinking. On the way there, Derrick jumped out of the car and returned with a sprig of lemon grass and a piece of cinnamon bark for us to sniff. He explained that before the onset of tourism in the 1970’s, the biggest industry in the Seychelles was cinnamon production. It’s no longer big business, but visitors can still reminisce and enjoy a good cup of cinnamon-infused tea. We did just that and watched as a tropical rainstorm slowly subsided over a tea plantation.

Cinnamon at the Market in Victoria.

The biggest drawcard in the Seychelles is of course its hundreds of postcard-perfect white beaches. On Mahé alone there are over 65 beaches – all dotted with granite boulders and palm trees – and quite a few of these are virtually secluded. The rest of our time with Derrick and the days that followed were spent exploring Mahé’s secret coves and snorkelling in butterfly-blue water.

Mahe

Mahe

Pampered on Praslin

Vallee de Mai National Park 1.

Vallee de Mai National Park.

Praslin, the second largest island in the Seychelles, was our next destination. We arrived after a 45-minute ferry ride and headed straight to the island’s most famous site – the Vallee De Mai – for a hike beneath its enormous trees. This extensive forest has spawned many stories and legends dating back to the 1800’swhen a British General sent out a statement claiming that the forest is the original Garden of Eden. Home to the indigenous black parrot and the world’s heaviest seed, the Vallee De Mai is today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From the forest, we navigated our way to the glamourous Constance Lemuria Resort where we were booked in for a two-night stay. Boasting a number of exclusive suites and villas, three exquisite beaches, an 18-hole golf course, restaurants, pools, a fitness centre and a spa; the Lemuria Resort was beyond five-star. Our slick suite opened up onto a grove of palm trees, which led onto a beach nestled in a tiny bay. Beautiful people with foreign accents strolled along the resort’s beaches in bikinis and panama hats, while butlers presented platters of fruit kebabs.  An average day at Lemuria consisted of sunbathing, snorkelling among turtles, sipping cocktails and feasting on Creole buffets. It was pure bliss.

Soul Searching on Cerf

Cerf Island, situated just off the coast of Mahé, lies within the St. Anne Marine National Park and forms part of a cluster of tiny islands. We were carted to Cerf Island by boat for a 4-night stay at the Cerf Island Resort. Besides the resort, Cerf Island is mostly untouched and offers the ideal setting for a rejuvenating retreat in nature. Our villa was nestled in a jungle and situated five minutes away from the resort’s pool area and restaurant where we’d regularly gather for three-course meals. During the days, we’d kayak to the nearby islands and snorkel our way along the colourful reefs of the marine park. On one of our expeditions, we were greeted by giant tortoises on Moyenne Island, which is said to be home to an undiscovered treasure worth millions of dollars.  At sunset every day, we’d walk up to the resort’s hilltop heli-pad from where we could see panoramic views of the marine park and Mahé drenched in shades of pink.

The View from Cerf Island.

The View from Cerf Island.


Adventure on La Digue

La Dique, a small island situated 30 minutes by ferry from Mahé, is reminiscent of the Seychelles of yesteryear. This probably has something to do with the fact that there are no cars on the island. The primary mode of transport is cycling or catching a ride on an ox-wagon. We made our way to La Digue for a day-trip and on arrival at the port, a fisherman cried, “This is the best island in the Seychelles!”

seychelles

We immediately did as the locals do and rented two bicycles. Anse de source d’Argent, a beach reputed to be the most photographed in the world, was our first stop.  We dipped into the turquoise sea and marvelled at huge granite boulders that line the shore. From there, the road led us past nature reserves, art galleries, a graveyard brimming with fresh flowers, islanders selling tropical smoothies and historic homesteads. After an hour of cycling, we found ourselves alone on a road flanked by the ocean. I breathed in the balmy sea air and felt the sunshine against my skin. I was elated by the natural beauty around me and I felt completely at peace with the world. It dawned on me that the Rasta man was right after all: the Seychelles has all the answers.

Author: Franki Black

Discover our Seychelles packages:
Seychelles – 3* Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay (7 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* Coral Strand Hotel (7 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* Eden Bleu, Seychelles (3 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* Doubletree by Hilton Seychelles – Allamanda, Seychelles (7 Nights)
Seychelles – 4* AVANI Seychelles Barbarons (4 Nights)

Make It Happen!

Getting There:  Air Seychelles is the national airline of the Seychelles and offers three weekly flights from Johannesburg to the Seychelles on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Return flights from the Seychelles to Johannesburg are scheduled on the same days. Details: www.airseychelles.com, info@airseychelles.com

Getting Around: Masons Travel is the leading destination management company in the Seychelles. Services include: transfers (via land, sky or sea), private tours and excursions, itinerary planning, accommodation, wedding planning and group events. Details: www.masonstravel.com

Accommodation on Mahé: The Eden Bleu Hotel is situated on the chic and trendy Eden Island, which is an exclusive marina development connected by bridge to the mainland. Eden Bleu boasts 74 deluxe rooms, 12 luxury suites, a presidential suite and a rim pool, and guests have easy access to a selection of restaurants and a mall.   It is also the ideal departure point to other islands, and yacht charters and deep-sea fishing excursions regularly leave from its marina. Details: www.edenbleu.com

Accommodation on Praslin: The 5-star Constance Lemuria Hotel and Spa is situated between exquisite beaches, clear topaz water, lush vegetation, big boulders and a spectacular golf course. Accommodation options include 88 Junior Suites, 8 Senior Suites, 8 Villas and the exclusive Presidential Villa. Guests have access to on-site restaurants, lounges, a gym, swimming pools, SUP’s and diving equipment. Details: www.constancehotels.com

Accommodation on Cerf Island: Nestled on a lush hillside overlooking the sea, the Cerf Island Resort is a cluster of 24 lovely spacious villas, each designed to blend into the naturally elegant surroundings. Guests have access to the resort restaurant and its infinity pool, as well as kayaks and snorkelling equipment. Details: www.cerf-resort.com

Accommodation on Water: Variety Cruises offers island-hopping cruises in the Seychelles, as well as a number of other destinations around the world. Other itineraries on offer include: Classic Greece, The Treasures of Costa Rica & the Panama Canal and Sights & Sounds of Cuba. Details: www.varietycruises.com, anneli@dtwm.co.za, + 27 11 463 5251


Share
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive latest travel stories, destinations, travel packages, competitions and more!