For our 12th wedding anniversary last November, we spent three weeks in the Seychelles. When we talk about our trip to the Seychelles, most people’s first question is, “Where are the Seychelles?” The Seychelles, officially known as the Republic of Seychelles or more commonly Seychelles, is its own country. It consists of 115 islands that lie in the Indian Ocean, 932 miles east of Kenya, in Africa. If you know where Madagascar is, head north and a little bit east, and you’ll find the Seychelles.
Since few people we know had any idea of where the Seychelles are, it wasn’t totally surprising that we didn’t run into many Americans while we were there. Did I say “many”? I meant “any.” In fact, at the Visitor Bureau on one of the islands, the woman working there just could not believe we were Americans visiting “for fun”; she was convinced we must be in working for the US government in some shape or form and stationed in Dubai, which is a common stopover on the way to the Seychelles from the US.
So your next question might be, what made us think to go there? It took several ingredients. For starters, any remote island beach destination sounds pretty great to us. More specifically though, it was due to the fact that as a boy, Elliott had a stamp collection, and in it he had a few stamps from the Seychelles. They really stood out to him, and ever since then, he’d wanted to go. There was also the fact that we knew Kate Middleton and Prince William had honeymooned there; and if it was good enough for royalty, we were thinking it was pretty special! (For those of you who are interested in this type of thing, it turns out other celebrities have been drawn as well, such as George and Amal Clooney, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.) All of this wasn’t quite enough though, for as you can imagine, remote islands that draw celebrities can be very expensive to reach. Finally, after years of telling Elliott his dream might very well never happen, the missing ingredient came along – a super-discounted airfare.
The Seychelles are mostly known for their stunning beaches. I normally like to be surprised, but I did peek at a few photos of beaches on the Seychelles before we went, and I was immediately super excited. We’ve been fortunate enough to lie on many a-gorgeous beach, but these appeared top-notch in my opinion! So what makes them more beautiful than a beach, on, say, St. Thomas? The islands in the Seychelles are either granitic (made of granite) or coralline (made of coral). We visited three of the granitic islands: Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. And since these islands are all made of granite, it’s not unusual for the beaches to be edged by enormous, pinkish granite boulders. To me, they *are* the beauty.
As we traversed the islands we went from big to small. We started on Mahe, where it sometimes took hours on the bus to get to a destination. We then went to Praslin, where an hour bus ride gets you anywhere you want to go. We ended on La Digue, where there are no private vehicles, the most-used form of transport is bicycle, and if you’re hardy, you can walk just about anywhere you want to go. We spent most of our time in the Seychelles relaxing on her beaches, so now I’d like to simply share their splendor with you, our readers. Since we have so many gorgeous photos, in today’s post we’ll just cover the beaches of Mahe and Praslin. Take a look, and be sure to check out our next post, which will showcase beach photos for La Digue. If you’re a beach and nature lover, perhaps you’ll want to add Seychelles to your own bucket list.
Bel Ombre – We walked to this beach on our first day on the Seychelles. We didn’t have much time as it was already late afternoon, and it wasn’t a fabulous beach at all by Seychelles standards. But we loved it, and I had a blast swimming, and Elliott loved all the bats that came at dusk.
Pink Plumeria has fallen, so that even the gutters are beautiful here.
Local beach at Bel Ombre.
Commissioner Gordon sent me.
Beau Vallon – Famous Beau Vallon Bay, on the northwest coast of the island, has the major hotels and restaurants on the island. We whiled away the better part of a day here.
Tropical Paradise on Beau Vallon
The granite boulders are everywhere
At the far end of Beau Vallon
I may never leave this place
Beach yoga – Warrior 2
Return of the hatted man
Beau Vallon reminds us a little of Tobago
Sunset Beach – A gorgeous beach beyond Beau Vallon that we could walk to; ironically, we couldn’t see the sun set through the clouds!
We can’t see the sun, but we can see the colors.
Dusk comes to Mahe.
Elliott’s sick of all these beautiful beaches…
We could watch this all day.
Port Launay Marine National Park – Lovely, horseshoe shaped arc with white sand and calm waters, known for its protected status and excellent snorkeling.
Our beach is almost deserted.
The cross marks the mouth of the bay.
Anse Major – We had to hike to this beach, but that’s what made it extra special. As if the hike itself wasn’t rewarding enough… there was a secluded beach at the end! And there was plenty of great snorkeling too.
This island hasn’t moved all day!
Takamaka Beach – Stunning, picturesque beach with beautiful golden sand and impressive palm trees, as well as the Takamaka trees that give the beach its name.
Us at Takamaka Beach
What a great beach for the day!
Down at the end.
Elliott climbs his rock…
and has a spiritual moment.