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Artist Donald Adelaide, who hails from Mahé itself, uses the wonderful views of the ocean from Baie Lazare as inspiration for his work. You can purchase originals and prints of his work at his studio.
British artist Andrew Gee moved to the Seychelles in 1933 to teach at the art school on Mahé. His talents lie in watercolour painting, especially landscapes, the beautiful beaches on the Seychelles, or the exotic underwater scenery of the archipelago. You can buy his nature-realism works at his studio in Baie Lazare, along with a selection of other works of art and textiles.
Aride Island was bough in 1973 by Christopher Cadbury, whereupon it was designated a nature reserve, which these days ranks among the most important in the world. On this beautiful small island to the north of Praslin are numerous sea-faring birds who call the island home. Besides that, the Wright's Gardenia can also be found on the island, the only place in the world where this is the case. During the north-west monsoon season, many turtles come to the island to lay their eggs. Visitors can reach the island by boat, for example as part of a tour, or by helicopter.
Artist Barabara Jenson works right on the beach on La Digue in her small studio, which offers wonderful views of the Indian Ocean. Her work focuses on the incredible nature of the Seychelles and the Seychellois people. Her paintings are a wonderful mixture of watercolour, acryllic, and gouache. Jenson's works are displayed next-door, and can be bought there, too.
The Bel Air Cemetery was built near the end of the 18th century as the French colonial period in the Seychelles' history drew to a close, making this one of the oldest sites in the Seychelles. The mystical graves, shrines, and vaults betray the islands' long history. Some of the graves are also famous, adding to the wonder of the location.
The Bicentennial Monument, with its three pairs of extended white winds, was erected in 1978 to celebrate the 200th birthday of the city of Victoria. The monument can be found between 5th June Avenue and Liberation Avenue. The three pairs of wings symbolise the mixture of ethnic groups living in the Seychelles: a vibrant mix of Africans, Europeans, and Asians. The wings also represent the creatures who first discovered the Seychelles: birds.
In what is the Indian Ocean's only pearl farm, visitors can see rows of clams which produce the beautiful pearls themselves, observe how the pearls are then processed, and finally buy the finished product in the accompanying shop.
The Carrefour des Arts is situated at the centre of Victoria, and is home to paintings and other works of art, inspired by different styles and eras, and which display the traditions surrounding the Seychelles. Next door lies a café, as well as a shop selling music recorded by native Seychellois musicians.
The Catholic cathedral was one of the first churches to be built in the Seychelles, before being completely refurbished between 1992 and 1995. Alongside the church's heavenly atmosphere, visitors can also find a memorial plate for the Seychelles' only bishop, Felix Paul, who was laid to rest here.
Colbert Nourrice is an aspiring young artist who uses the human life-cycle as inspiration for his work. His symbolic paintings have been well-received among the Seychellois, as well as international artists. Nourrice has developed a narrative style for his paintings that is similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Cousin Island is another example of environmental protection playing a leading role in the Seychelles story. Besides Aride, Cousin is the most-protected island in the country, with the largest variety of endemic plant and animal species. Around 300,000 birds, 100-year-old giant tortoises, and bird-watchers are the island's main inhabitants. Tourists bring around €500,000 to the island each year, which helps to fund the environmental protection efforts that take place here.
The Creole Institute was built in 1920 by a German architect and a French plantation owner who had the aim of bringing Creole culture and tradition to the people. Nowadays, the colonial-style house hosts balls, dances, concerts, and cultural events such as exhibitions or workshops.
Curieuse is a popular excursion destination for boat trips, as the island lies close to Praslin, with just a few hundred metres separating the two islands. Curieuse, the fifth-largest of the Seychelles' inner islands, is an untouched paradise, and much-loved for its photogenic scenery, including beautiful granite boulders, free-roaming giant tortoises, some Coco de Mer palm trees, and lush mangrove forests.
The Dauban Mausoleum is located at the heart of Silhouette Island, and is surrounded by lush, green vegetation. The elaborate construction of six massive pillars and bright colours demonstrate the important role that the Dauban family played in the Seychelles. Up until the 1860s, the family even owned the entire island of Silhouette.
In this small Creole settlement, visitors can discover the history of the Seychelles and live alongside locals as they go about their daily lives. The architecture also reflects Seychelles tradition here, with plantation houses from the 1870s or a typical worker's house from the 20th century. Besides that, at the edge of the village lies the Maison de Coco, a house constructred entirely of coconut products, where you can buy small gifts and souvenirs.
Artist Egber Marday uses a variety of different materials and techniques, such as oil, wood, and acrylic, and he displays some of his most beautiful works in his studio on Mahé.
This traditional wooden house is one of the last of its kind in the Seychelles. It was built in the early 20th century, and gives you an idea of how houses used to look back then. The wonderful wooden veranda is a real highlight, while the house was also designed to enable natural ventilation and air-circulation.
The wooden Kaz Zanana house, built in a Creole style, offers a wonderful veranda, café, and exhibition by well-known artist George Camille, whose works have been traded internationally since 1983. Through his art, Camille tries to depict the vibrancy and spirit of the Creole population.
The Grann Kaz is located in the Domaine de Val de Près, and displays superb wooden houses from the early 20th century. You can also visit the surrounding traditional buildings in the craft village, as well as the excellent restaurant.
The Cerf Island Resort has its own helicopter landing pad. In fact, the Seychellois created a large hill, the second-highest on the island, to accommodate it. This small, flat plain serves not only as the island's landing pad, but also as a lookout point for all guests of Cerf Island, offering a wonderful view of the Sainte Anne Marine Park. To gain entrance, simply as at the Cerf Island Resort reception, before walking to the top, which takes between 15 and 20 minutes.
The only Hindu temple in the Seychelles is located in Victoria, It was built in 1992, and is named after the God Vinayager, the Hindu God for security and wealth.
To the south of Cerf Island lies the tiny islet of Ile Cachée (Hidden Island in English). At low tide, it is even possible to walk to the island in just one minute along the sandbanks. Once on the island, you can enjoy the feeling of being all alone, having left civilisation far behind. This feeling is hard to find anywhere else in the Seychelles, so enjoy it while you can! The island also attracts treasure hunters, as it is rumoured that there is buried treasure here, dating back to French sailors 200 years ago who hid the French fleet's treasure here. This is probably just a legend, however, that is often recounted by the residents of Cerf Island.
This art studio is owned by painter and designed Jude Barallon, who produces signs, flags, logos, and hand-painted t-shirts, many of which can also be purchased on-site.
Kenwyn House is a flagship of French colonial architecture, and is worth a visit thanks to its historical importance and on-site shop, where you can purchase African diamonds and other valuables for relatively low prices. You can also visit exhibitions of native artistic talents in the Kenwyn House Gallery.
In this exotic flower garden, you can experience another unique side of the Seychelles. The site was opened in 2008, and is now home to over 200 kinds of tropical plants and orchids, as well as a number of animal species, such as giant tortoises, sunbirds, and guinea pigs. Groups of visitors are advised to make a reservation in advance.
This laboratory creates scents based on regional and international essential oils. The unique fragrances have been created here at North East Point since 1988, and have since become a popular tourist attraction.
In this beautiful park, visitors can get a feel for La Digue's colonial history. Besides the old coconut and vanilla plantations, the Plantation House and the Union Giant Rock can also be seen in the park, the latter of which is an enormous boulder that is more than 700 million years old. Another attraction is seeing how coconut oil is extracted from kopra with the help of an ox. Meanwhile, in terms of historical significance, the old cemetery which contains the remains of the island's first settlers can also be visited. Finally, the path through the park leads to one of the most-photographed beaches in the world, as well as one of the most beautiful to be found anywhere: Anse Source d'Argent. This located has been used for numerous adverts and films, including the 1984 film Cast Away. The park has an entrance fee of 100 Seychelles Rupees.
The Jardin de Roi continues the tradition of the historic spice garden that was located in Anse Royale until the 1700s, when it was destroyed by a fire. For those who love nature, this 25-hectare estate is well-worth a visit, and houses plants such as cinnammon, vanilla, cloves, and nutmeg. Mango and orange trees, as well as other endemic species, can be found here too, along with numerous giant tortoises. The garden's restaurant also serves up Creole dishes to enjoy, with many of the ingredients coming from the garden itself.
The Seychelles Liberation Monument represents the end of colonialism in the Seychelles. The archipelago officially gained its independence on 5th June 1977, which has been a national holiday ever since. You can find the monument on the aptly-named 5th June Avenue in Victoria.
The Mission Lodge was built in 1875 by the Church, and first served as accommodation for freed slaves. It is rumoured that Queen Elizabeth II herself has enjoyed a cup of tea on the pavillion of the lodge, which itself is one of the most famous viewpoints in the Seychelles. From here, you can see the whole of the south of Mahé, including the ocean and mountains. The lodge also provides plenty of information about the estate that can be read during your stay.
Moyenne Island neighbours Cerf Island, and also belongs to the Sainte Anne Marine Park. This uninhabited island is full of incredible beauty, which you can see while traversing its 1.5 km (1 mile) circumference. This trail leads past old sailor graves, a small church, old ruins left by the island's first settlers, and two beautiful beaches, Coral Cove and Pirate's Cove. There are also around 100 giant tortoises living on the island, and, until 2012, world-famous hermit Brendon Grimshaw also lived there. The island's rich history certainly makes the paddleboat trip worthwhile!
The jetty on Cerf Island is lit up at night, ensuring a unique attraction: a night-time aquarium. From the pier, gaze down into the shallow water and discover turtles, small rays, and other colourful fish species. Equipped with a little bread, you can also attract a larger selection of fish and enjoy the swarm of colours underwater.
This French colonial-style plantation house was first built in the 19th century in the l'Union Estate, and is one of the last jewels of its kind in the Seychelles. The house has a straw rood, and the steps on either side are typical of plantation houses such as this one. The house is also one of the oldest historical pearls of the Seychelles' Creole culture.
The old plantation house is a prime example of typical Creole architecture, with a large veranda surrounding the house and multiple sets of stairs leading down from the building. In 1861, the house was built by Henri Dauban, who owned the island at the time.
This park is famous for its whale shark population, who swim slowly in the ocean, feeding on plankton. There are also sections of reef that are ideal for snorkelling, as well as picturesque beaches where you can relax in beautiful surroundings.
Praslin's first museum displays the traditions and culture of the Seychellois. Visitors can actively participate in activities such as opening coconuts, grilling breadfruit, or take part in various other traditional activities. The garden is also home to many endemic and medicinal plants.
The Roche Caiman Sanctuary is an artificially-created wetland, situated between the Roche Caiman Housing Estate and the National Sports Complex. The wetland is home to a number of different bird species, including the Greenshank, and a variety of other wildlife.
Just 4 km (2.5 miles) from Mahé lies the island of Sainte Anne. This is the largest island in the marine park, and was the first island in the Seychelles that the French discovered in 1770. These days, it plays a special role in the natural and cultural heritage of the Seychelles. The marine park includes Sainte Anne, along with Cerf Island, Round Island, Marianne Island, and Long Island, and is famous for its excellent snorkelling conditions.
SENPA is an organisation that supports and markets small and medium-sizes companies and artists in the Seychelles. In the small wooden house at the centre of Victoria, you can find a variety of accessories, clothes, postcards, and much more, making it well-worth a trip!
The Seychelles National Archives contain information about the history of the Seychelles, dating back even to the first human settlers to arrive in the country.
The 100-year-old Botanical Garden is one of the oldest national sites in the Seychelles, and is home to numerous endemic, exotic plant species. The well-maintained garden also contains different animal species, such as the giant tortoise or the flying fox.
The Seychelles Natural History Museum educates its visitors about the flora, fauna, and history of the Seychelles. Additionally, it takes a look at nature concerns and conservation.
This relatively new national park was only opened in 2010 by then-president James Michel. The island has several mountain peaks, and, thanks to this, lots of rich natural habitats for the numerous endangered plant and animal species that call the park their home.
Those looking for authentic Seychelles flair should pay a visit to the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke market in Victoria. Here, the locals buy their daily goods, including fresh fish, fruit and veg, and spices. Holidaymakers can also find a selection of souvenirs, jewellery, towels, wooden goods, and much more. Saturday is the market's main day, so it's especially worth visiting at the weekend.
This is the only signposted snorkelling trail of its kind in the Seychelles. Starting at the beach between the Cerf Island Resort and Takamaka Beach Villas, the trail is indicated by four buoys, which are located in spots where you can find incredible corals or where there are numerous fish swimming around underwater. The small "road" that thes buoys create runs parallel to the beach, and is a must for any snorkelling fans.
This small, 60 square-metre chapel was supposedly built on Cerf Island's Takamaka Beach by the grandfather of local Seychellois fisherman Harold de la Fontaine, who still lives on Cerf today. These days, it serves the islanders for weddings and funerals. Thanks to donations, the glass mosaic of a peace dove was restored in recent years.
St. Paul's Cathedral is a famous landmark in Victoria. In 2001, the Cathedral was completely renovated in order to increase its capacity, and to reduce the cost of its constant pricey maintenance.
Here, artists Sharon and Les Masterons create wonderful handmade sculptures from small pieces of glass, inspired by the nature of the Seychelles.
Gerard Devoud's paintings exhibit typical elements of the Seychelles, such as the brilliant reds, greens, and yellows of the landscapes, or watercolour motifs of the islands.
Artist George Camille has been putting his works on display here since 1983. He uses an array of different techniques in his work, producing etchings, watercolours, sketches, pastels, and silk paintings, to name but a few.
What would the Seychelles be without their famous Takamaka Rum? The distiller offers visitors the chance to see the production of this delicious drink from start to finish, from delivery of the sugar cane to the filling-up of the old wooden barrels. In the small shop, you can also try out the rum, and buy a variety of different types, as well as a few other souvenirs. In the distillery's restaurant, La Pleine St. André, visitors can enjoy various Creole dishes in a traditional atmopshere.
Since 1962, the tea factory has produced tea on Morne Blanc. From here, you'll enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the western hillsides of Mahé, which you can enjoy from the terraces while sitting amidst tea plants.
The Green House Gallery is home to the artistic works of well-known artist George Camille, who has his own studio on Mahé. The gallery on La Digue is open every day, where visitors can discover Camille's bright pallette of colour in his modern works.
Artist Tom Bower displays high-quality, limited-edition bronze sculptures here, full of beauty and joy. His works can also be purchased on-site.
Located at the centre of the island is the Veuve Reserve, the breeding ground of the famous Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, a rare, endemic species of bird that is immediately-recognisable thanks to its deep blue colour. The information centre at the main entrance to the reserve is the only environmental office on La Digue, and offers literature about the Seychelles' nature, as well as guided tours by Seychelles experts (pre-registration required). Of course, you can also explore the park by yourself if you so wish without any danger of getting lost inside.
The Clock Tower in Victoria has been a major landmark at the heart of the Seychelles' capital ever since it was erected in 1903 in memory of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The clock itself is based on a similar structure, the so-called 'Little Ben' clocktower near to Victoria Station in London.
Sculptor Antonio Filippin's Yellow Gallery and Sculpture Studio showcases his complex wood and coral carvings. His goal is to express the harmony of life in his work, and to make it accessible to the public.