SIX ISLANDS, FIVE DAY HIKES, THREE SNORKELING TRIPS, SEA KAYAKING, TASTY CREOLE FOOD AND ALL-ROUND GREAT FUNI find myself at the end of the world famous Anse Source D’Argent beach on La Dique Island, Seychelles. As I walk past the last of the sun slaves, I realize I do not want to stop here. This can’t be the end of this magnificent stretch of beach interspersed with boulders and palms. I walk on and find an overgrown path between the thick foliage. Clearly I am not the only one that has had this idea. I try and follow the path, but lose it as it crosses over a small, clear stream. Further on between twigs and vines I find a stash of clothes, props and accessories that look like it has been left here after a wedding shoot (not an unfamiliar site on Anse Source D’Argent). I walk deeper into the jumble of granite boulders and forest to reach a promotory where I could squeeze myself out between the rocks. The only movement is the wind chasing the waves up against the boulders. The granite feels course under my bare feet. I have a feeling of complete and utter happiness, of freedom and joy that I have seldom experienced elsewhere on my travels. The Seychelles is the ideal dream holiday destination. Calm azure waters, deserted white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, mountains, palm fringed granite rock enclaves and brilliant coral reefs full of marine life, makes this the reality of your childhood pirate cove dreams. There is no better feeling than to take a scenic hike through lush vegetation across the ridge that covers the main island of Mahe and just to arrive at a deserted and perfect beach with welcoming water. [gallery ids="93,94,95" type="rectangular"] Here are my five reasons to join Toerboer on this epic tropical island adventure this Spring:
- ISLAND LIFE: Seychelles is an archipelago that consist of 115 islands in the tropical Indian Ocean waters, off East Africa. Of the 115 islands, only the three biggest are really inhabited, while others are accessible for hiking and great snorkeling Each island has a different character and attraction to travelers. In total we visit six islands and six national parks.
- Mahé – the biggest island with the tiny capital of Victoria. Here we visit the Clock tower, the market, a Hindu Temple, a cathedral and enjoy a typical Creole lunch.
- Praslin – Home to the Vallée de Mai World Heritage Site. This is only one of two places in the world where one can see the rare coco de mer palms (“coco fesses” or coconut buttocks) in their natural habitat. We undertake a three hour walk through the park where we view the unique coco de mer as well as five other endemic palms. If we are lucky enough, we can also see the black parrot.
- La Digue – The third largest island and home to the bicycle and ox-cart. We take a hike up the steep road that leads to Bellevue and Nid D’Aigle (Eagle’s Nest) from where we enjoy the most beautiful views of La Dique and the island’s beyond.
- Curieuse Island - Curieuse is a granite island that was a leper colony between 1833 and 1965. It is now used as a breeding centre for giant Aldabra tortoises. We take a short tour around the tortoise pens after which we explore the rest of the island, passing mangroves and structures that was in use during the leper colony time. The house of Dr McGregor has been restored and is now a museum that reflects live on the island during the time of the leper colony. Lunch is a traditional barbeque on the beach. Remember to bring your snorkelling equipment along!. We also visit the St Pierre Islet on the way back for one of those otherwordly Seychelles underwater experiences.
- Coco and Felicite Island - Jump in the clear water for a great snorkelling experience. From here we transfer by boat to Felicite Island for even better (perhaps the best in the Indian Ocean) snorkelling. Think black tip reef sharks (small one’s), sea turtles, eagle rays and a multitude of colourful fishes.
- Beau Vallon (Mahé): With its sweeping white sand and takamaka trees it forms the perfect amphitheatre to the ocean and mountain beyond. It is best for a sunset swim.
- Anse Major (Mahé): A small beach fringed with green vegetation and mountains. To get here, we depart via a local bus from Beau Vallon to Bel Ombre from where we start our first exploration by foot of the main island. Our walk takes us along the most beautiful coastline with views of the azure blue waters as far as the eye can see. Take a well-deserved swim and relax on the beach before starting the hike back. Alternatively, take the water taxi back to Beau Vallon (R300 pp).
- Port Launay Marine Park (Mahé): To get here, we start our hike across the island. We follow a route that was used by the Roman Catholics during the Second World War through the Morne Seychelles National Park. Our guide has vast knowledge of the local fauna and flora that we encounter along the way. We hike through a lost world of mountains, forests and glimpses of the Indian Ocean far below. After lunch underneath the trees right on the beach, it is time for a swim. We spend the biggest part of the afternoon here relaxing and enjoying the sun, sea and sand.
- Anse Lazio (Praslin): We take a two and a half hour hike across Praslin along a deserted path. We pass the Plaine de Hollandaise cemetery close to the top of the hike before heading down into one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Anse Lazio. It is even more beautiful after a walk. Take a refreshing swim in the ocean and feel like a king. This is also one of the few beaches that we visit with waves where you can practice your body-surfing.
- Anse Source D’Argent (La Digue): To get there, we first walk through a Coconut Oil Production area and a vanilla plantation. Spend the rest of the afternoon lost on this stunning beach – wander around the granite rocks and up the overgrown paths to find the hidden treasure – solitude in one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
- Grand Anse (La Digue): Rent a bicycle and cycle to this magnificent stretch of beach and waves.
- Horse riding along the stunning beach,
- Deep sea fishing,
- Visit some of the other beaches on Mahé including Fairyland, Anse Soleil or Anse Takamaka.
- Euro and US$ are widely accepted. As is Visa and Master card.
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