Verity Visits The Seychelles!
Our honeymoon specialist Verity headed out the Seychelles to sample some of the most beautiful resorts on the various Seychelles Islands to give you an insight in what to expect on a honeymoon to Seychelles. From island hopping to delicious local cuisine and captivating culture, read Verity’s day-by-day diary of her 6 days in the Seychelles!
Day 1 – Monday
“We arrived into Seychelles flying with Emirates and then stayed on Mahe Island for the night at the Coral Strand Hotel.”
Day 2 – Tuesday
“Today we had an early start and headed to the Bel Ombre Jetty to get the 09:30 boat transfer to Silhouette Island for our stay at the Hilton Labriz. When arriving at the jetty there was a private lounge area where you could wait for the boat in an air-conditioned and relaxed atmosphere. This is the Hilton’s own lounge where guests can unwind before boarding the boat. The journey only takes 45 minutes and it’s a great way to get a feeling for the hotel, as they play a video with features of the hotel on the journey when heading over. The boat only operates 3 times a day, so it’s important to make sure international flights connect with the boat times.”
Departure times below:
Departure from Bel Ombre (Mahe)
1st Boat 09:30am
2nd Boat 15:45pm
3rd Boat 18:00pm
Departure from Silhouette
1st Boat 05:00am
2nd Boat 11:15 am
3rd Boat 16:45pm
“For the rest of the day we had at leisure. We were upgraded to the Presidential Suite and spent the afternoon in our very own private villa with pool and direct access to the beach. The Hilton is the only hotel on this island and apart from the hotel you will only find a couple of villages sharing the beautiful island. The hotel is surrounded by lush mountains and is a nature lovers dream! It has daily hikes, which can take a good 5 hours to get to the other side and a diving centre onsite. Even though it was a big resort it still had that secluded feeling as the whole resort is spread out along the coast. It is an all villa property and the villas are dotted around the resort giving you your own privacy and plenty of space. We stayed in the leading category room the ‘Garden Villa’, which were very spacious and situated behind the Beach Front Villas. They even came with an outdoor shower!”
“For the evening meal, we dined at the Café Dauban, which is a buffet restaurant that offers a generous selection from world cuisine as well as their Creole specialties. We sat outside under the stars whilst enjoying selection of their recommended wines.”
Tip: If a couple is looking to have that Maldives feel with a Beachfront Villa situated directly on the beach, but have more things to do then the Seychelles would be perfect staying at the Hilton in one of the Beachfront Villas as they have that direct beach access.
EXTRA TIP: Head to the main bar between 9pm-11pm for half price cocktails! My favorite cocktail was Mango and local rum!
Day 3 – Wednesday
“We took the 11:15 departure boat back to Mahe Island and then headed to Mahe airport to get our domestic flight with Air Seychelles over to Praslin Island.”
“Due to the travelling we didn’t arrive at Coco De Mer until later that evening, so the resort was dark by the time we got there, however the greeting from the staff when we arrived was very personalized and we already felt at home from the first 5 minutes we arrived! This property was by far my favourite out of all the hotels I saw. The staff knew you by name and couldn’t do enough to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. They were very passionate about the hotel, which really showed in their work. I would recommend honeymoon couples book a Junior Suite, as all of these room types are elevated on the hillside over the ocean and the views are just amazing. This section of the hotel is purely for Junior Suite guests use only and benefit from a shared private pool and bar. I stayed in a Superior Room and was very impressed with the size and facilities included in the room. The only thing to mention is the hotel is going into refurbishment from the end of October and won’t reopen until May 2018.”
Tip: Definitely get a plane transfer over to Praslin Island instead of the ferry, as the views from above are breathtaking and will give you the opportunity to get some incredible photos for the photo album! The ferry can be very choppy and not for people who suffer with motion sickness. Plus getting the plane halves the travelling time and is only a short 20 minutes flight meaning you will have more time to relax at the hotel!
Tip: Request room 405 when booking a Junior Suite, as this is the only room where you get to see a clear sunrise directly from your room and you don’t even have to get out of bed to see it!
Tip: Want to experience some local cuisine in a popular restaurant run by a local family? Then ‘Les Rochers’ is a short walk from the hotel and is currently the No.1 restaurant in Praslin on TripAdvisor.
Day 4 – Thursday
“When staying in Praslin you cannot miss visiting the famous UNESCO’s world heritage site – Vallée de Mai. We went on a morning tour here. The legendary Vallée de Mai is Seychelles’ second UNESCO World Heritage Site. So remarkable that it was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, this hauntingly beautiful primeval forest is home to some 6000 Coco-de-mer trees, considered to be among the botanical wonders of the world. The Vallée boasts six endemic palm species as well as many other indigenous trees and is also the last habitat of the endangered Black Parrot.”
“Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to see a Black parrot that morning, however the scenery when walking into the rainforest and the sounds you can hear from above is a tropical experience. The guides are very knowledgeable and go through all of the history of the site and explain about all the different palm trees, which can be found there.”
“After visiting Vallée de Mai we then headed to the harbor to board the ferry to head to La Digue Island. This was a 15-mintue crossing. Anse Source d’Argent is reputed to be the most photographed beach in the world. With its soft white sand, clear turquoise water and huge granite boulders sculptured by the elements and time itself, it is not difficult to see why photographers and holiday makers still love to come here. The sea is sheltered by the reef, and is very calm and shallow, with only sand under foot which makes it safe.”
“On La Digu island you get the feeling you have gone back in time. With no airport, and just a handful of road vehicles, this is an extremely laid-back place! It has a tiny population of just over 3000 people who live on the island. Getting around on La Digue is generally a case of hopping on a bicycle and setting off wherever you want to go. You will see lots of the famous giant tortoises around the island.”
Tip: It’s possible to visit La Digue as a daytrip from either Mahe or Praslin and I would recommend going for the day rather than staying on the island, as this gives you plenty of time to explore the beautiful island, just make sure you pack your swimming gear for when you arrive at the Anse Source d’Argent!
“After exploring the island, we got the ferry back to Mahe Island, but due to the busyness of the ferry and the water conditions not being great, I wouldn’t recommend this. We stayed at the Constance Ephelia overnight.”
“The Constance Ephelia is perfect for couples who are looking for that typical Indian Ocean beach stay, but want plenty to do within the hotel. The resort is very activity based and you will find plenty of complimentary activities available from tennis, squash, paddle boats, paddleboards, windsurfing and kayaking. There are payable activities also available such as rock climbing, zip lining and even a mangrove kayak tour! I stayed in a Junior Suite, which are situated in blocks of 6 in a horseshoes shape having a shared pool in the middle. You will find that all of the Junior Suites are on one side of the resort with its own beach and then across on the other side of the resort is where you will find the Senior Suites and Villas. Whichever room type you are staying in you can use all of the facilities on either part, however if you are looking for a more secluded and quieter part I would recommend staying in a Senior Suite or higher room category as its quieter within those areas.”
“We dined at their Helios restaurant that evening which is Mediterranean themed. You cannot go the Seychelles without trying their local fish, so I had a fresh local fish starter and then of course carrying on the seafood theme I had a huge bowl of mussels for my main. Both dishes were some of the freshest fish I’ve ever had!”
Day 5 – Friday
“After our stay at the Constance we checked in to the Savoy Resort & Spa. It’s located on a great stretch of beach and has lots of local restaurants and bars around that area, so if you’re looking to get out and taste local cuisine then it’s a great area to be situated in. You will find a local restaurant called the ‘Boat House Restaurant’ a 5 minute away from the Savoy by a pleasant 5 minute’s walk along the beach – its serves fresh fish which has be caught that morning so perfect for seafood lovers.”
“The feeling I got of the hotel was a luxury 5-star resort and would suite clients who enjoy the classic, contemporary feeling throughout. I stayed in the one of the Savory Suites, which offer a lot of space, I loved how open the bathroom was. The baths are massive, so had to make sure I had a soak before bedtime!”
“We were lucky enough to be staying at the hotel when they had their local festival going on along the beach known as ‘Regatta’. This started in the evening and the promenade was full of tourists and locals enjoying themselves, there was live music, lots of rum and ongoing sport competitions. If you are staying in Mahe in the month of October then I would recommend checking out this festival as it is certainly a night to remember!”
Day 6 – Saturday
“Before heading back to the airport for our flight home we went into Victoria to explore the capital’s markets and also a visit to the Bel Air Cemetery.”
“The Victoria Clocktower is the most prominent feature of Seychelles’ small capital, and has acted as a focal point for nearly 100 years. The Clocktower is an elegant replica of the clock (Big Ben) that was erected in London in 1897. A visit to Mahé’s busy and colorful market is the way to get a feel for the Seychellois and their way of life. Built in 1840 and renovated in 1999, it remains the bustling heart of the capital and is one of the best places to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and spices.”
“The Bel Air Cemetery, undoubtedly the oldest historic site in Seychelles, was the first official burial ground to be opened on Mahé. The cemetery’s tombs, vaults and shrines contain the remains of some of the islands’ most famous personalities such as corsair Jean-Francois Hodoul and the 9ft giant Charles Dorothée Savy. Also the remains of the mysterious Pierre-Louis Poiret, claimed by some to be the son of Louis XVI who led the French Revolution and took refuge in Seychelles.”
Verity’s recommendations for the Seychelles
#1 Definitely island hop when staying in the Seychelles rather than just staying on one island, as the islands are very different from each other and have so much to offer. I would recommend staying on Mahe Island and then Praslin, as this would give you the perfect combination to get the real feel for the Seychelles and then if your wanting to see another island La Digue is only a short 15 minutes boat ride over from Praslin, so perfect for a day trip!
#2 Stay on half board basis as a minimum, as its can be expensive once out there as everything is imported to the islands.
#3 Wanting to visit the Indian Ocean for your honeymoon, but can’t decide where to visit? Why not combine the Seychelles with Mauritius? I have visited both places and they are very different from each other and would make a great multi-center honeymoon for that once in lifetime trip!