9
Nov
2017
0

Seychelles: Tips for your Trip

We have browsed plenty of websites and have read lots of magazines. Yet, it took us quite some effort in chalking out the itinerary. While we were at it, we figured out a few things that would surely help you if you are planning a trip to Seychelles.  Here are points to ponder as you plan your trip…

Anse Source d’Argent on the island of La Digue (pic courtesy: Seychelles Tourism Board)

1. Seychelles has accommodation of every kind…private islands, uber-luxury resorts and bed & breakfasts that are run by locals.

2. One expects B&Bs to be cheap, at least as compared to the resorts, which they surely are! However, it still costs at least USD 120 per night (for a couple) to get a clean and decent place to sleep.

3. Local surface public transport is in the form of buses. We were able to find the local bus timetable online and were given to understand that the driver will not get us on board if we have anything more than a backpack. Buses are slow and there is hardly any service post 7 pm.

4. Taxis are expensive. A ride that lasts 30 minutes on the island of Mahe will cost you about USD 50.

5. Considering that public transport isn’t the most convenient option, it is best to rent a car in Praslin and Mahe. Typically quotes are of USD 60 per day for a small car from local agencies.

Got our own wheels!

6. Independent restaurants are set up only at the popular tourist beaches and are open only for lunch and dinner. For a mid-day snack, it would be best to carry a sandwich. Most upmarket restaurants are part of resorts. Coffee shops here are the go-to place to get a bit at any time during the day. Bars are typically open from 11 am to 10 pm at most tourist beaches.

7. There are local grocery stores in towns in Mahe and Praslin. They sell drinks, groceries, frozen food, dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables. There are no ready to eat sandwiches available though some local food like chilly cakes and banana cake is available.

Joys of self-catering … aglio olio pasta… just the way we like it!

8. Wine and alcohol is easily available at the local grocery stores. Most guesthouses are okay if you get your drinks.

9. Cat Cocos is the ferry service that runs between the Mahe and the popular islands of Praslin and La Digue. The schedule is available on their website. Seats can be blocked in advance and payment can be made in cash by getting there.

10. The sea can get pretty choppy from Mahe to Praslin. It would be good to pop a pill if you have a tendency to get sea sick.

11. Beach hopping is a must when one is in Seychelles. However, quite a few beaches need a car or a boat to get to, which also means, they need planning in advance.

12. All beaches in Seychelles are open to the public, even those that are fringing the five-star resorts. You can access them by simply landing up at the resort and letting the staff know that you wish to visit the beach.

13. Day trips are organised by diving schools and sailing companies to various nearby islands. There are quite a few such operators in Mahe and Praslin, espeically in touristy areas that are close to resorts.

14. There are many walking trails on the larger islands. Carrying your walking shoes would be a good idea if you intend to spend an active holiday.

Taking a break while walking through Vallee De Mai

15. Creole cuisine is influenced by neighbouring African cuisine. Seafood lovers will love the fresh catch. There is a vegetarian curry option available at most places. Vegetarian pizza and pasta are options that most restaurants offer as well.

16. While the local currency is SCR, most big establishments accept USD and EUR as well.

17. Seychelles lies at the equatorial belt and is warm all through the year. A good mosquito repellent spray is a must have at all times during the day.

18. Snorkel masks and fins can be rented from a dive school or sailing company if one is doing a trip with them. However, for snorkelers like us, who want to see what’s that the sea floor at every beach, it’s best to carry ones own snorkelling gear.

19. Most shops are closed on Sunday. While some shops might still be open on the island of Mahe, locals at Praslin and La Digue truly take the day off.

20. Seychelles is home to plenty of endemic birds. Carry your binoculars along if you wish to watch the feathered beauties.

Bon voyage…have fun in the sun at Seychelles!

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