- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit the Seychelles
Seychelles has its own flair and a mystical draw. Located just off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles were largely uninhabited until the late 18th century, when French traders and sailors arrived along its shores. Today, the Seychelles offer a diverse blend of cultures—French, British, African, Indian, Chinese and Arab. As well as here you can find some of the best beaches in the world.
Seychelles is a tropical paradise with plenty of wilderness and a profusion of wildlife. Snorkeling is a must for every visitor and diving is considered world class, around Mahé are Ste Anne, Anse Soleil, Petite Anse and Île Souris. The Seychelles is the most famous of all the Indian Ocean islands for Créole cuisine and the sombre moutia, the typical dance of the Seychelles.
Tourist Attractions in the Seychelles
One of Mahé's most beautiful beaches, this small and secluded crescent of sand on the island's south coast is a favorite surfing spot thanks to its frequent big swells and wild waves. The lack of a protective reef makes swimming a little rough when tradewinds blow from the southeast, but sunbathers, beachcombers, and photographers will enjoy this picturesque, palm-framed strand at any time of year. Turtles nest along the powdery shores here.
The alluring curve of glittering sand at Beau Vallon, on Mahé's northwest coast, is a magnet for both tourists and locals. Looking out to sea, mountainous Silhouette Island shimmers on the horizon, and hotels fringe the shore. Visitors will find a variety of watersports on offer, including jet skis and water skiing. The sea is usually calm here, especially during the southeast tradewinds, making this a good choice for families with small children.
Morne Seychellois National Park
The largest national park in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois National Park covers more than 20 percent of the area of Mahé. Within its lush borders lies the mountain chain named after its highest point, Morne Seychellois, which reaches a height of 905 m and overlooks Victoria. Hiking trails ascend into the park from the village of Danzil, passing tea plantations, and offering spectacular views of the southwest coast of Mahé from the mountain slopes.
Named Port Victoria in honor of the British queen after her coronation, the small capital of the Seychelles is the only seaport in the country. One of the main tourist attractions is the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens. Established almost a century ago, the gardens encompass 15 acres of native and exotic plants as well as flying foxes, giant tortoises, and an orchid garden. Modern buildings of concrete and glass have sprouted up in recent years and the few remaining colonial buildings lie around Freedom Square.
Vallée de Mai National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vallée de Mai National Park preserves a prehistoric forest that contains at least 4,000 examples of the giant coco de mer fruit palm (unique to the Seychelles), vanilla orchids, palmiste, latanier, splayed traveler's palm, and Chinese fans. Nature lovers, birders, and photographers will enjoy exploring this reserve where the trees form an overhead canopy, and large prehistoric boulders are strewn across the forest floor. The valley is home to many species of lizards and rare birds such as the Seychelles bulbul, fruit pigeon, and the national bird of the Seychelles, the black parrot. Visitors can hike the marked nature trail. Rated an "easy" hike, it takes from 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the route.