Dubbed as the “Galàpagos of the Indian Ocean’, Seychelles is a truly indulgent destination. Likewise, Seychelles is full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, whether it’s the magnificent sea turtles nesting on Bird Island or the giant Aldabra tortoises frequenting the sandy beaches on Curieuse island. Therefore, if you are game for spotting some of the rarest species of birds and amphibians, or just want to spend some time in a tranquil paradise, Seychelles is the place to go. To help you explore some of the most popular tourist destinations in Seychelles, here are five more top spots to explore. Take a look.
Morne Seychellois National Park
Morne Seychellois National Park covers more than 20 per cent of the land area of Mahe, and is, therefore the biggest national park in the archipelago. That said, within the lush borders of this park lies the Morne Seychellois mountain chain, whose highest peak reaches a height of 905 meters above sea level. At this national park, hiking trails are in abundance and offer spectacular views of the expansive tea plantations and the picturesque southwest coast of Mahé. To the northwest of the national park, lies the charismatic Bel Ombre hamlet and the isolated Anse Major beach. Therefore, once here, be sure to explore the moderate Morne Blanc hiking trail, and the lush Port Launay and Baie Ternay Marine Parks in the west.
Ste Anne National Marine Park
Near Victoria, there is a smaller group of islands off the coast of Mahe that features the illustrated national marine park of Ste Anne. Built in 1973, this park was the very first national park in the Indian Ocean, and therefore, is regarded highly in the entire region. Here, you can indulge in numerous adventurous activities such as snorkelling, glass-bottom boat excursions, and scuba diving, to explore the rich marine life and exquisite coral reefs. That said, you can also plan to stay overnight at the Sainte Anne Island, which is a prominent nesting spot for hawksbill turtles. You might be surprised to know that in spite of its mangroves and crocodiles, the island was one of the first French settlements in Seychelles.
Curieuse Island Day Trip
Curieuse Island or the Ile Rouge (because of the russet-tone of the sand here), is now the designated home of the breeding program for giant tortoises. Likewise, the Curieuse is the only other place, besides Praslin, to grow the coco de mer palm more naturally. Earlier, the island was a leper colony, whose ruins are still much evident on the south shore of the island. On the other hand, the island features a number of casuarina and takamaka trees, overlooking the pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters.
Beau Vallon Beach
Featuring mounds of alluring glittering sand, the enigmatic Beau Vallon beach on the northwest coast of Mahe is a magnet for locals and tourists. Once here, you can experience some of the most amazing landscape views such as those of the mountainous Silhouette Island shimmering on the horizon. You will also find a number of exciting water-sport opportunities here including water skiing and jet skis. If you want to experience the truest tranquillity of this serene beach, come here and indulge in a beach barbecue when the southeast trade winds adorn the atmosphere.
Vallee de Mai National Park, Praslin
A fun fact about the Vallee de Mai National Park – here will find a prehistoric forest that is home to more than 4,000 varieties of the rare giant coco de mer fruit palm (it is only found in Seychelles). This, UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Praslin island, also features numerous variants of vanilla orchids, latanier, palmist, Chinese fans, and splayed traveller’s palm. Therefore, it is no wonder that nature enthusiasts and ornithologists frequent this elusive wildlife reserve throughout the year. If we talk about the fauna here, the forest is home to several species of lizards and rare birds such as the fruit pigeon, the Seychelles Bulbul, and the beautiful black parrot. If you like to explore more Seychelles attractions, please refer to “Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Seychelles – Part 1″
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)