On your way to Paris, Mumbai or Düsseldorf? Why not tag two days in the Seychelles onto your trip?
Air Seychelles recently added a great number of destinations to its route network, accessible from both Johannesburg and Durban. The new flights allow for exciting stopovers in the beautiful archipelago of Seychelles.
We decided to look at what you could experience on a 48hrs stopover in Seychelles.
Since you will only be spending two days in the Seychelles, opt to stay at one of the beautiful lodges on the main island, Mahe, as this will limit your travelling time.
Start your day at the market
On your first morning, get into the Seychellois spirit by breathing in the scents of local foods and spices amidst the vibrant colours of the Sir Selwyn Clarke street market.
Set at the bustling heart of the island’s capital Victoria, this daily food market sells everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to spices, herbs and fish.
Admire the view at Mission Lodge
After breakfast at the market, head to the Seychelles’ most famous vantage point: Mission Lodge. The highest point travellers can reach by road on Mahé, Mission Lodge offers unparalleled sea and mountain views. It is rumoured that even Queen Elizabeth II sipped tea in the small pavilion overlooking the sea.
Mission Lodge, which is the archipelago’s first cultural World Heritage Site, also has a rich history. It is the place where the Anglican missionaries established a boarding school in the 1800s for slave children to offer them education and a better future.
Have lunch on the beach at Beau Vallon
Make your way to Beau Vallon for a delicious lunch on the beach at ‘La Plage’ restaurant. The restaurant which received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, lives up to its name with waterside tables overlooking the northern end of Beau Vallon. Expect excellent seafood and reasonable prices.
Spend the afternoon exploring an underwater wonderland
Beau Vallon has some of the greatest snorkeling sites on the island. Explore the beautiful ‘Sunset Beach’ where snorkelers will find the most abundant and colourful marine life. The right side of the bay consists of rocky islets which are flush and reaching depths of about 3 metres. You can observe many butterfly fish, surgeon fish and parrot fish. When you swim to the sandy area of the bay, you’ll be able to see eagle rays as well as small white tip sharks.
Watch the sunset
Finish this perfect day on the beach of Beau Vallon where the sunsets are out of this world, with the smooth water reflecting the light beautifully.
Explore Vallée de Mai in Praslin
Hop onto one of the first ferries to Praslin Island to go and visit the beautiful nature reserve of Vallée de Mai, also dubbed Valley of Eden.
This gorgeous World Heritage Site is one of only two places in the world where the rare coco de mer palm grows in its natural state. It is also a dream-come-true for avid birders who will be able to spot the endemic Seychelles bulbul, the Seychelles warbler or the endangered black parrot.
Take a leisurely 1- or 2-km hike through the forest and enjoy the endemic trees with a private guide, who will be able to give you the most interesting information about the plants and trees in this beautiful forest.
Cool off on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world
After hiking through the forest, go for a quick dip in the sea at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Anse Lazio beach was recently graded as the 6th best beach in the world by TripAdvisor.
This white-sand beach is cradled by a large bay with two mountain peaks on each side, and is considered as a ‘must’ on the list of to-do’s for visitors to the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Have lunch at La Digue
After your swim, hop onto the midday ferry to the sleepy La Digue island. A lunch at Chez Jules is definitely a must. This secluded little restaurant offers excellent grilled fish fillet and tasty octopus salad alongside lovely sea views.
Cycle around La Digue or opt for an ox-cart ride
La Digue offers travellers a relaxed island vibe with beautiful beaches. This island has only a few surfaced roads and virtually no motorised cars (bar a few taxis). Instead, travellers can explore the island by bicycle. It’s easy to ride around town and visit Anse Source D’Argent, one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
For a more relaxing way of getting around the island, opt for an ox cart ride. Ox-carts were traditionally used on La Digue to transport anything too cumbersome to be balanced on a bicycle's cross bar. Today the island's ox-carts instead provide visitors to the island with a gentle relaxing trip around the La Digue coastal plateau and between the island's hotels and beaches.
Take the last ferry back to Mahé and hop on your plane to Paris, Mumbai or Düsseldorf….