Scattered in the Indian Ocean is a handful of island jewels known as the Republic of Seychelles. Here words like “seclusion”, “romance”, and “lovers” come to mind. Imagine everything couples want all wrapped up in one place: beaches, mountains, privacy, sunsets- it’s all here, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.
UK travel trade and “Perfect Places Magazine” voted the Seychelles islands as one of the Top 10 wedding and honeymoon destinations worldwide with best experience for 2014.
There are over 155 islands that make up the Seychelles, but only about half of them are inhabited. The “inner circle” of islands are the ones most popular to visitors. Here, sailing from island to island is very popular. Spend the day seeking out hidden coves. Stroll hand-in-hand along the secluded beaches. There are 65 beaches on Mahé – just one of the islands! La Digue has beaches scented with wild vanilla and beautiful orchids- a paradise for a moonlit walk.
People looking for some underwater fun can slide into the warm, clear waters and do some great snorkeling and diving. Most of the islands are granitic or coral- perfect for underwater exploration. There are shallow reefs, lagoons and deeper dive sites for every experience level. Port Launay Marine National Park is an exciting place to see whale sharks in the depths or to find colorful schools of fish in the reefs. The summer season is when the water will be at its clearest – from November to April.
Experienced (and daring!) divers can check out the Shark Bank. See reef sharks, barracudas and enormous rays. Lucky divers may catch a glimpse of whale sharks, too. Those preferring something more relaxing than thrilling can see large underwater fields of sea grass while they snorkel around Ste. Anne Marine National Park. Check out the rainbow of corals, iridescent fish, and even Hawksbill sea turtle nests here.
For some land-based fun, try the open markets. Here visitors can sample and purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and fish. Try some of the shark chutney for lunch. It is a dish of boiled and skinned shark, cooked with Bilimbi and lime juice, onions and spices, and served with rice and shredded green papaya. It is available at the market on Mahé. For a sweet dessert, nibble on some Ladob (bananas in coconut milk). Sweet potatoes and plantains are boiled in coconut milk, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg, until they are soft and creamy. Yum!
Beau Vallon Beach hosts an open market every Wednesday and the last Saturday of every month. Over 50 vendors sell everything from local drinks and foods to t-shirts and jewelry. This is a wonderful place to haggle with sellers, try great food and mingle with the locals. It can get crowded but that is part of the fun.
When planning a visit to the Seychelles, people must remember that the islands are remote and therefore expensive. However – the natural beauty, the seclusion and the activities of the islands are well worth the price. Visiting is easy as no visas are required. English, French and Creole are spoken. Come and see why Seychelles is the most sought wedding and honeymoon destination of the world.