Island Hopping in the Seychelles – Part 1: Mahé

 

Beach at North East Point

My husband and I just got back from beautiful Mauritius, where we visited our friends for the second time since they moved there.  You can check the Sneak Peek ‘Curious in Mauritius’ that I wrote after our first visit.  Soon I will be also posting ‘Curious in Mauritius – Taking Another Peek’ with the recent discoveries.

This time we traveled with our friends to the Seychelles.  It was like taking vacation from vacation!

The Seychelles are officially 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, and they became an independent republic within the Commonwealth in 1976.

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Our island hopping by ferry:  Mahé – Praslin – La Digue – Mahé

As first-timers we opted for the three most popular and accessible islands:  Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue.  On this post (Part 1) I am covering only Mahé, the largest of the three islands.  In a post to follow (Part 2) you will find Praslin and La Digue.  Each of them is different, beautiful, and unique.

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Mahé, the largest island:  157.3 km2, 80,000 inhabitants

I can only say that the whole week was a breathtaking journey.  Being able to share the adventure with BFFs took it as well to another level.  It seemed to be a continuous dream from which I did not want to wake up.

Day 1 – The flight from Mauritius to Mahé takes 2h35.  We had a rental car and were really glad to have JP to drive as driving is on the left side.  Thanks, JP!  Also for letting me use some of your pics.

Clef des Iles, a perfectly-kept guesthouse, was conveniently located in Beau Vallon (30-min ride from the airport and 15 min from Victoria, the capital).

Our lodging:  Clef des Iles (right) at Beau Vallon Beach | Image by JP Le Cocq

It was late at night when we arrived to check in—we had stopped on the way for a snack–but Lindi was waiting for us with a smile.  She showed us around our duplex and gave us instructions, keys, and a cell phone to contact her in any event.

Day 2 – Just imagine waking up to this view from bed …

 

 

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This 120-m2  on-the-beach duplex, sitting directly on the sand is all what you need to make the most of your stay.  For those craving for action, Blue Sea Divers is just next door.

 

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Watching the fishermen going out at dawn and coming back a few hours later loaded with the catch of the day.  Teamwork is the clue.

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Although it is a self-catering house, just order breakfast the day before, and the staff will prepared it in your duplex at the time you prefer.  Besides delicious fresh fruit, you have the choice of English breakfast and pancakes.  Perfect!

We loved everything at Clef des Iles and cannot wait to be back again!

We started our road trip on a beautiful, sunny day, heading to the North East Point.  Wow! …

Don’t be surprised that I will be showing you a lot of beaches.  Stunning stretches of fine white sand, crystalline, turquoise water, impressive rocks and boulders, unique palm trees … That’s what the Seychelles is all about, isn’t it?  But, don’t worry, although I was well entertained with all those marvelous beaches, this foodie soul still thought about the foodie spots!  As you will see in the pictures, we had fantastic, fresh fish and seafood, prepared in different ways (grilled, steamed, curries, creole styled, fish&chips, etc.).

Resuming the road trip, we drove direction Victoria and decided to have lunch at Bravo Restaurant, located on Eden Island (5 km from Victoria and 6.5 km from the airport).  We were joking about going there as my girlfriend’s maiden name is Bravo.

We were happy to find that the view was gorgeous, the food was good, and the service really friendly.  We enjoyed the casual setting right next to the marina.

After lunch we headed west.  A wonderful ride through a hilly,  winding road; this time almost submersed not in water but in exuberant vegetation.

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We reached Port Glaud where we found a scenic, calm beach with very shallow waters.  It was beer o’clock, time for an EKU Bavaria, one of the local beers.

It was a delight to be back in Beau Vallon for delicious, homemade sundowners right on the beach.

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Day 3 – Another wonderful, early-morning ocean view from our bedroom.  I wished time could have stop right there.  Nothing like having the ocean at your doorstep:  The sound of rolling waves is magical, the sea breeze is fresh, and the tranquility at dawn is incomparable.

Some early birds …

After breakfast, we hit the road again direction south.  Our first stop was at La Misère viewpoint–it started to drizzle.  It offered a panoramic view of Victoria (left), Eden Island (red rooftops), and St. Anne Island.

We explored two beaches on the southwest coast:

Baie Lazare, a beautiful spot.  We did not stay long, because some black clouds got very close.

Anse Takamaka, another stunning beach, where you will find palm trees combined with Takamaka trees.  By the way, Takamakas were native trees of the Seychelles before palm trees were introduced.

After a delightful dip in the blue waters, we drove to the southeast side of the island to reach the Surfers Beach Restaurant at Anse Parnel.  If you are lucky, expect sea turtles coming ashore this beach to lay their eggs (Oct/Nov/Dec).

As they said of themselves, it is a casual seaside spot to enjoy drinks and a good meal admiring the ocean.  I found that the service was a bit too relaxed but still liked the place and the food.

After the long day, we were glad to be back in the guesthouse to enjoy the sunset from our place.

The following morning we continued the island hopping by ferry.  Next stop:  Praslin

Tips:

  • Book in advance at Clef des Iles. They have only four duplexes.  The guesthouse is located in the heart of Beau Vallon on the northwest coast of the island, between Blue Sea Divers and the Beobab Pizzeria.
  • If you want to go to the Seychelles and just stay in a resort, don’t go! The Seychelles are to be explored, to be lived, to be discovered!
  • In the arrival hall of the international airport in Mahé you will find complimentary maps and different guides of the Seychelles. They are of very good quality, and we found them very useful.
  • Anse is Seychellois Creole and means beach.

 

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