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Mahé (SEZ)

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*From October 2017
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    Beautiful Babymoon in the Seychelles

    Unlike many other tropical destinations, Seychelles is free from the Zika virus. We had originally planned a trip to Cuba but then became pregnant so followed our doctor's advice and changed plans due to the risk Zika poses to unborn babies.

    And we are glad we did! Seychelles was a fantastic opportunity to explore an unspoilt tropical paradise while staying in stunning accommodation alongside breathtakingly beautiful beaches.

    Keen to see as much as possible and mix exploration with relaxation, we embarked on a 12-day island-hopping adventure featuring Cerf Island, Mahé, Bird Island, Praslin and a day trip to La Digue.

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    We weren't expecting to find such mind-blowingly beautiful beaches, the sort of thing you'd see on the front cover of a luxury travel magazine. There are a few popular hotspots, but most beaches are surprisingly quiet, without many people around to bother you, and the water is clear and warm. Great public beaches we visited included Beau Vallon and Anse Intendance on Mahé, Anse Volbert (Cote d'Or) and Anse Lazio on Praslin and Anse Severe and Anse Source d'Argent in La Digue. Private beaches as found on Cerf and Bird Island take it one notch higher due to the added peace and serenity.

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    Food

    Before budgeting for the Seychelles, it's important to understand that all the best food is fairly expensive - an evening in one of the nice restaurants with drinks will set you back around €40 per person, apparently because around 90% of what they eat is imported. We were convinced that there would be street food off the tourist trail for a fraction of the price, but struggled to find much--all the cheap eats tend to serve junk food like burgers and chips. La Digue offered the most affordable options in the form of takeaway cafés.

    We stuck to the top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor which was a great tactic as many are worth every penny. Particular highlights were La Perle Noire and the lunch platter at Le Jardin du Roi(Spice Garden) on Mahé and Les Lauriers Restaurant on Praslin where they serve a delicious Creole buffet.

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    Weather

    Temperatures are hot like any tropical paradise, but not uncomfortably so, feeling less humid than Southeast Asia. We visited in February which was towards the end of the rainy season, meaning there was a brief shower every 1-2 days and sometimes a bit of cloud which provided some relief from the hot sun.

    Transport

    Only Paris and Frankfurt have direct air links from Western Europe, but there are many ways to reach the Seychelles with a transfer. Coming from London, we flew via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways. Having to change aircraft meant there wasn't much chance to sleep during the night, but as Etihad own a stake in Air Seychelles, it meant we could buy a multi-destination codeshare ticket to include flights to/from Praslin at virtually no extra cost.

    On Mahé and Praslin we hired cars which proved vital for exploring. Local buses are unreliable and taxis cost a fortune so car rental may even save you money. The mountain roads are beautiful but lack safety barriers so you need to concentrate to avoid falling off the edge! Roads are generally quiet and other drivers are relaxed.

    We bought a Seychelles simcard at the airport so we could use Google maps to navigate and effortlessly find all the attractions.

    Attractions

    Visiting the beach is the main activity of Seychelles along with and diving and snorkeling. But there are other things to see and do, especially on Mahé. Victoria market is worth a quick visit, as is the Tea Factory where you can see production or packaging depending on the day. Nearby, there is a Le Jardin Roi (Spice Garden)--a hidden gem with great views and a lovely restaurant. Mahé has the Morne Seychellois National Park and Praslin has the UNESCO-protected Vallée de Mai, both of which offer a variety of beautiful nature trails ranging from gentle to difficult. We loved the picturesque waterfall behind Port Glaud church where you can swim against an enchanted jungle backdrop.

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    Highlight

    Our two-day visit to Bird Island stands out the most. There is only one hotel there--Bird Island eco Lodge--which picks up guests each morning on a private charter flight from Mahé that takes around 30 minutes. Having never been to a private island before, it was the first time we had experienced an untouched beach without signs of human life. It's a truly memorable experience swimming with the fish while feeling like you have the whole island to yourself. There are thousands of native birds to learn about, along with 16 friendly giant tortoises that roam the island. The Lodge is basic but has great food. It was all organised through Seyvillas who are able to offer a better rate that booking directly with the hotel.

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  • Image by Marcus and Moonli UK