A few days after our intimate wedding in Dubai, we left the U.A.E. to spend our honeymoon in the stunning Seychelles – an archipelago nation off the east coast of Africa. The flight (we flew Emirates Airline) is four hours directly south of Dubai. After I had seen incredible photos of the islands in the Indian Ocean, I had been fascinated by this country even since. I knew it was they were the perfect tropical islands to spend our honeymoon.
We stayed on the main island of Mahe, at Le Meridien Barbarons. The resort is nestled amongst tropical gardens on its own private beach, on its own blue lagoon. Since it was the low-season, some days we had the gorgeous white sandy beach all to ourselves to lie in the sun and snorkel in the warm waters.
English, French and Creole are widely spoken, so communication was always easy. Even though it’s an African state, the Euro is the currency of choice on these islands, so watch out as everything (accommodation, meals and transportation) is quite expensive.
We hired a private driver to take us around Mahe and explore the island. He took us to some spots where he liked to dine – an open-air restaurant, right on the beach. We ate prawn pineapple pizza from a wood-fired pizza oven and sat at a table with our feet in the sand. He also drove us to an amazing seafood restaurant, Chez Plume, where we wore bibs and dined on Seychellois lobster.
We could not leave the Seychelles without seeing the ‘most photographed beach in the world‘, and my main my intrigue: Anse Source D’Argent on La Digue. They don’t make it easy to get to this beach: We flew Air Seychelles from Mahe to Praslin island, taxied to the wharf, and then took a sailboat to La Digue island.
After we docked, we rented bikes from friendly vendors, since there are no taxis or buses on the tiny island. Another option is hiring a oxcart driver, but we thought cycling would be a quicker alternative. Along the way we stopped to drink fresh young coconut, fed leaves to giant tortoises, and cycled through vanilla plantations. We were pretty hungry from our ride, so luckily right off Anse Source D’Argent, there was a little restaurant where we ordered some fresh fish and rice.
We then proceeded to bike for about 2.5 km to Grand Anse beach, which was even more breathtaking.
It’s a good thing they have impressive environmental protection laws: The Seychelles holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservation—nearly 50% of the total land area of the entire country. This enforcement will allow them to protect their giant tortoises and the “world’s heaviest seed pod”, Coco-de-mer – a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the “love nut” because of its suggestive shape.
Legend has it, Valley de Mai on Praslin is the original “Garden of Eden” where Adam and Even lived at the beginning of time and ate the forbidden fruit. With prehistoric looking granite boulders, ancient reptiles, giant tropical foliage, and the most saturated colors of blues and turquoise waters on pristine, white sandy beaches – the Seychelles are truly unique islands that really do feel like the land before time.
The Seychelles are right in the middle of the Indian Ocean: northeast of Madagascar and southwest of the Maldives. Since they are so secluded, remote, luxurious, and unbelievably stunning – they are an idyllic island playground for the uber-rich. Salma Hayek and her billionaire Gucci husband also chose an exclusive island in the Seychelles as their perfect honeymoon destination. Soccer star David, and former Posh Spice Victoria Beckham frequent the islands when they want to get away from the hoards of paparazzi.
9 to 5 Travel has done a lot of traveling and love tropical beaches, but have never seen anything like these breathtaking islands. We’ve been to tons of beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Hawaii, Mexico, Malaysia, Australia, U.A.E., Oman, Indonesia, Fiji, Bali, Borneo, etc. etc. – but none compare to the uniqueness of these islands.
With 115 coral and granite islands, you can easily find your own private island to lounge your days away. Put the Seychelles at the top of your ‘bucket list’ – these islands are the ultimate paradise.