Seychelles - the islands with the garden of paradise is written by Jacob Gowland Jørgensen.
The Seychelles is always a good idea
Try to think of the word “Seychelles”.
Now you are probably thinking of beautiful beaches, round cliffs and azure sea. And there is a good reason for that, for the beaches on the archipelago in The Indian Ocean are some of the most photographed in the world, and they have almost become synonymous with beautiful Seychelles. The beach Anse Source D'Argent is, for example, regularly on the list of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
However, the Seychelles also has a lot more to offer: a vibrant culture, global gastronomy and a diversity that makes the islands one of the most attractive travel countries in the world and for a very different travel experience than, for example Maldives.
It is rare to come across a travel destination that is both as beautiful and as sympathetic as the Seychelles is. And even though I've been to 100 countries soon, the Seychelles took me by storm because the archipelago holds so much more than pretty beaches.
4 degrees south: The Seychelles is in the middle of everything - and still completely itself
The Indian Ocean is gigantic, and somewhere in the middle between the Maldives, Madagascar and Mauritius lies the Seychelles - also called the Garden of Paradise - and spreads over many thousands of kilometers of sea.
The small islands do not take up much space, although there are both mountain islands - called the 'granite islands' - and tiny coral islands; the so-called atolls. The capital Victoria is located on the mountain island Mahé at four degrees south latitude, and from there the islands spread out in all directions.
There are only 94.000 people living on the total of 115 islands, and they are as colorful as the islands themselves. Here is a nice mix of Europeans, Asians and Africans who have brought their different food cultures with them in fine harmony.
Although there are small religious minorities of Hindus, for example, the vast majority are Catholics. Sometimes an exotic splash of natural religion has even been added, where spirits and true to nature mix with the Catholic religion, just as you can experience it on Madagascar and in Mozambique.
Joy of life in the fishing community
There is something sympathetic about the small community. Some soul. There is a base of zest for life, togetherness and pride well topped with a love for the local rum Takamaka and the nature around them.
Like any society, there are also social problems of various kinds here, including with alcohol, but it is as if there is a closely intertwined culture where everyone knows each other and therefore also takes good care of each other and the islands. There is practically no crime, and there is significantly cleaner in the cities than there is in e.g. København.
There is also nothing really dangerous about a trip to the Seychelles. No dangerous snakes, no malaria, no dengue fever. No tsunamis, no hurricanes, no wild weather phenomena.
There is a basic security here that one can clearly feel.
Les Seychellois takes care of nature
The local Seychelles also work to take care of their nature in a way that one can only take the hat off to. This is their home, and care must be taken.
As a visitor, you are unproblematically involved in the local life, where fishing still plays a major role together with the entire tourism industry, which provides for many families. Even though you are a visitor, you are also part of the small community.
If you are out hiking, you will be greeted. If you need help finding your way, you will be helped with a smile. If the merchant does not have what you are looking for, they will forward you to where they have it.
It is easy to feel at home in the garden of paradise. Really easy.
Sprinkle in curry
If you, like me, are into food that tastes of something, the Seychelles is truly a hit. In most places you can get squid in curry with mango, smoked marlin with pickled ginger or sweet potatoes with thyme.
There is a unique and incredibly tasty mix of food traditions, which is especially expressed in the many fishing and seafooddishes. They also have some scratchy chili dressings, but they are always served next to it so you can dose the amount of fire on your tongue yourself.
In the Seychelles, cinnamon is not just cinnamon
Here in the Garden of Paradise, the original cinnamon tree grows wild, just as the vanilla orchid does. The cinnamon we most often get at home is from a cheap copy product that does not at all match the spicy taste of the bark and the aromatic taste of the leaves of this tree, which is completely 'Trump-orange' inside. The cinnamon tree's gastronomic gifts are therefore also included in many dishes on the islands and give a significantly better taste in the mouth than the one to which the former US president usually contributes…
In the hotel buffets you will most often find a mix of local and international favorites, where as always it is wise to go for the local, as it is fresh from the sea, land and palm.
Freshly squeezed juice with passion fruit, pineapple and mango with a twist of lemongrass is a phenomenal drink that you can not get enough of, and which can easily be 'diluted' with rum, which of course is also available in all colors.
The small islands do not have very much usable agricultural land, so there is a large import of high quality products from, among others. South Africa of both meat and vegetables, so you can not always count on what you get is local, but they use to a large extent the products they themselves have.
Bonzour, komman sava?
One of the three main languages of the islands is Creole, which is based on French and then processed over a few centuries into the charming language Seychellois Creole, which is fairly easy to understand if you know French.
The other main languages are English and French, and I managed without problems in English throughout the trip, which also made it easy to get in touch with the locals.
The beautiful trinity of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue
The three main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue lie like pearls on a string. There are regular ferry connections between them with large, modern ferries, where the shortest sailing trip is 15 minutes between Praslin and bette La Digue, and the longest in just over an hour between Mahé and Praslin.
The further away you come from Mahé, the more peaceful the islands become. It is not far to a beach where there are only a few people, or a forest where you can enjoy the song of the birds.
There are several national parks where UNESCOThe Vallée de Mai park on Praslin houses the iconic Coco de mer-coconuts that, in addition to being the world's largest coconuts, must also win the award as the sexiest! The British general Charles Gordon, who lived on the islands in the 1800th century, believed that the forest must be the inspiration for the Garden of Paradise in the Bible, the original Garden of Eden.
Best time to travel to the Seychelles
I was there in October, which is one of the busiest months, when many hotels are fully booked. There are fewer visitors in May and June and in December until Christmas, but otherwise there are always happy travelers in the Seychelles, despite the fact that eg August is not an optimal month due to unstable weather.
Although it was high season, it was only on the two world famous beaches Anse Lazio and Anse Source D'Argent, that there were many people. Otherwise, there was plenty of room.
The Seychelles has a classic tropical climate, where the temperature is always between 22 and 32 degrees. There are two seasons: From April to October it is the dry season with a little more wind, and November to March is the rainy season, where there can be some heavy showers in between.
But no matter when you visit, it can be sunny, cloudy and rainy - just like in many other tropical destinations - and it helps keep the islands green. Due to the local mountain, there is a little more rain in the capital Victoria itself.
How to choose the right island in the Seychelles
There are so many islands, so what to choose? Mahé with the capital Victoria has most hotels and eateries, Praslin is probably the most beautiful, and La Digue is decidedly cozy, so it's obvious to include all three of them and maybe even combine with a few days on one of the few coral islands where you can stay overnight.
Whatever you choose, you get plenty of nature, huge amounts of the iconic granite stones, and toad-old and fascinating giant turtles ad libitum here in Paradise's exotic garden.
The art of living well in the Seychelles
There is a single snake in the Garden of Paradise. Everything costs real human money in the Seychelles, both for tourists and locals, because it is expensive to import and it is expensive to transport between the islands.
The prices of hotels are high especially on the Coral Islands and Mahé, but it should also be compared with the fact that the food prices are expensive, so when there is food included in the stay, it has a high value and the hotel standard is generally high.
There are now also many self-catering options for 100 euros / night, and it is reasonably cheap to rent a car or take the local buses, so it can be done cheaper than you might think.
Luxury in the Seychelles - your very own Garden of Paradise
It can also be made more expensive than you might think, where a smaller pool villa by the beach can easily cost 1000 euros per person. night, and the most expensive luxury villas cost many thousands of euros per. night. But then we also talk about the ultimate luxury with the most beautiful views you can imagine.
Choose it all
There is another important consideration as well; namely the location of the hotel on the island. Not all beaches are perfect for swimming, or they are only part of the year due to the monsoon winds. There are places where there is primarily rocky coast. There are large differences in, for example, snorkeling opportunities depending on whether there are high or low tide.
My advice, therefore, is to find more places to stay on the trip to the Seychelles and then move around the islands instead of thinking that one place can do it all. Because then you can find the best places at the right times, and you can combine luxury with simpler places.
Have a good trip to one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Have a good trip to the Seychelles.
What to see in the Seychelles? Sights and attractions
- The beaches Anse Source D'Argent and Anse Lazio
- The islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue
- UNESCO Vallee de Mai parks
- 'Coco de Mer' coconuts
- Morne Seychellois National Park
- St. Paul's Cathedral
The editorial staff was invited by the Seychelles Tourism Board. Pictures were taken with iPhone and iPhone with Olympus. All positions are, as always, the editorial staff's own.
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