About to begin the interesting and stressful journey of buying my first home and with the prospect of being strapped for cash for what will feel like an eternity, I decided last year would be the year of a holiday of a life-time. Somewhere I could squeeze out every drop of paradise yearning.. I remembered the tales my grandparents told of a magical holiday to the Seychelles, tales of whimsical giant tortoises appearing on doorsteps of beach huts, of talcum powder sand and colourful corals and after that, I set my sights, we were going.
Choosing a base.
If you're the pre-mentioned person looking to do minimal travel and maximum ray-soaking, a private island might be your thang. Fregate Island boasts 16 private villas with swimmings pools and 7 beaches (some of which you can book to yourself!). Eden Island is another popular with the luxury-seekers; this man-made island includes penthouses inhabited by the richest, littered with yachts. Bird and Sillhouette Island are also fab bases for those looking to stay-put and enjoy the resort.
Looking for an island-hopping adventure? Praslin or La Digue are smart places to start. Great destinations for the ferry (which is actually quite easy once you get the hang of the fact there are two services!), these islands provide a great base for excursions to close-by islands such as Cousin Island Nature reserve.
Getting hung-up on the weather.
You can hike in the rainforests surrounded by impressive flying foxes, sip traditional Seychellois rum and enjoy the finest dining at the Takamaka Distillery, or snorkel the many nature reserves dubbed some of the best in the world for seeing an array of wildlife, such as Port Launay. We found some of the most amazing fish on the reef just outside of our hotel.
- This is an African Island, you will burn to a crisp if you don't put on high-factor suncream when snorkelling (my poor back!)
- Although charming, street-side bars along the beach have dodgy tap-water. Choose only bottled drinks and check the sell-by date.
- Creole fish curry is the bomb. Seriously it's delicious and you can't leave without trying it.
- Grilled fish of the day will make you sad - we expect to see nondescript silver fish we usually see on our supermarket shelves. Seeing an impressive colourful parrotfish on your plate that you'd seen earlier while snorkelling is kind of depressing.
- Pack a snorkel. I am pretty sure most hired snorkels are neglected in the 'washing' department...
- Pre-book your excursions. As well as having exciting things to look forward to, excursions book up fast!
- Any cocktail containing Takamaka rum is delicious
- BA do a direct flight to the Seychelles now, it's only 10 hours and avoids a layover in Ethiopia.
- Don't attempt to hike the rainforest when it's raining - you might fear you're going to slide down the side of a granite mountain (oops!)
- I wouldn't opt for a bus as transport, ever. It's cheap as chips but humid as hell and you'll probably be sat on someone's lap.
- Weather forecasts don't exist for the Seychelles. There is zero point in checking the weather, it's a tropical island and the weather can change in a nano-second! Embrace it all.
- If you're a wildlife enthusiast, Fregate or Cousin Island are 100% worth a visit.