This Unesco world heritage site is often described as a “primeval” forest, thanks to the clusters of 4,000 coco de mer palms that are endemic to the Seychelles. The shimmering sound of raindrops in the leaves may be broken by the call of the Seychellois bulbul and, if you are in luck, the rare black parrot.
Visit a tiny town
Victoria on Mahé is one of the world’s smallest capitals, with a cluster of roads around Creole-style houses. See the clock tower, a silver-painted replica of that on London’s Vauxhall Bridge Road, which arrived on Mahé in 1903. Don’t miss the wonky green vegetables, spices and fish piled high in the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, or the tiny Hindu temple.
Visit La Digue’s coconut plantation
Visitors to L’Union estate, one part of the Seychelles where coconut production is sustainable and managed, will see an ox-powered oil extraction machine, the cemetery of the original settlers, and one of the world’s most beautiful beaches at Anse Source D’Argent.
Boat trip to Curieuse, Cousin Island and St Pierre
Cousin Island is a conservation success story: NGOs Nature Seychelles and BirdLife International have collaborated to see it is kept as a place for terns, reptiles and endangered magpie robins to thrive. Visitors are only allowed to explore with a guide so as not to disturb the wildlife. Do not forget insect repellent. On Curieuse Island, visit the baby giant tortoise pens, take a boardwalk through preserved mango forest and read about projects to protect lemon sharks. Excellent snorkelling is to be had off St Pierre islet, although you are unlikely to have it to yourself.
Hikes on Mahé – Copolia Trail and Morne Blanc
The Copolia Trail deceives with its initial descent through cinnamon and rubber tree forest, but it soon climbs higher; eventually walkers emerge on to exposed “glacis” rock, which forms the base of the inner granitic Seychelles islands. On the exposed outcrop grow plants including the vacoa (Pandanus multispicatus) and pitcher plant (Nepenthes pervillei). Allow 90 minutes each way; walking shoes or good trainers are essential.
The Morne Blanc walking trail starts above the tea plantation that covers part of north-central Mahé (itself worth a 10-minute diversion for a look at the traditional tea-drying, processing and packaging methods, if it is open). As the path climbs, tea bushes cede to ferns and mosses in which hides Sooglossus gardineri, one of the world’s smallest frogs. Climb higher for views over the Port Launay Marine Park. Allow 90 minutes each way; sturdy shoes are required.
Hit the beach
Two of the Seychelles’ most attractive beaches are handily near resorts. Anse Georgette on Praslin is 15 minutes’ walk from Constance Lemuria resort. A sumptuous stretch of white sand is met by crisp, white rollers, and surrounded by the Seychelles’ characteristic granite boulders. More adventurous types can take the coastal path across the island to Anse Lazio, a longer stretch of glorious sand with more powerful waves, but equally terrific sunsets. If you do not wish to walk to Anse Lazio you must take the coastal road that approaches from the opposite direction, via Raffles resort and Le Chevalier restaurant.
By Lizzie Porter, Travel Writer, The Telegraph
Source : Seychelles NATION