A couple of months ago, the travel gods blessed me with an unexpected trip to a tropical paradise. One day I’m at my desk, editing blogs, and the next day I’m on a 4-day/ 3-night holiday to the most beautiful islands in the world – the Seychelles. The perks of being a travel editor for holidayme! Those 4 days in Seychelles were a dream come true; I did everything one must do when on an island holiday. I went island hopping, soaked up the sun on the pearly-white beaches of La Digue island, as I sipped on exotic fruit drinks, climbed up a scenic hiking trail and took in the gorgeous views of Mahe island from a mountain-top. I could wax lyrical about Seychelles’ drop-dead beauty but let me instead give you a blow-by-blow account of how to spend 4 relaxing, yet adventurous days on this archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa. A detailed 4-day Seychelles itinerary, as experienced by me!
Seychelles Itinerary: 4 Days in Tropical Paradise
Day 1 in Seychelles
>> Touch-down at Mahe Island, Seychelles
You might think writing for a travel website that routinely promotes Seychelles as a must-visit island destination, I would’ve been prepared for the breath-taking beauty this bunch of islands has on offer. But no! As our Air Seychelles flight approached Mahe, the biggest and the main island of the Seychelles, I was blown away by the lush green, jungle-clad mountains that arose from the aquamarine waters of the Indian ocean! Even from thousands of feet above, the pristine beauty of the islands shone through and I could not wait to land.
Speaking of landing, it was one of the most beautiful landings I’d ever witnessed. The turquoise waters of the sea were literally lapping one side of the runway and on the other side were the emerald rolling hills, rising above the cute, almost tiny Seychelles International Airport.
>> Check-in at Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa
The half-hour drive from the airport to our hotel on the Beau Vallon beach was scenic, teasing me with gorgeous glimpses of what awaited me over the next few days. Next up were refreshing welcome drinks and the smiling staff at the beautiful Savoy Resort & Spa, our home for the next 3 nights. Set right on the Beau Vallon Beach, the Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa is luxury redefined with some amazing restaurants, the beach just metres away and a nice, big pool! Since it was evening already, I decided to head out for dinner after freshening up.
>> Explore Beau Vallon beach
Literally translating to “beautiful valley”, Beau Vallon is the most happening beach on Mahé island and probably all of Seychelles. It has it all – highly rated restaurants, vibrant markets, a wide choice of hotels and villas, and a wide variety of water activities, from snorkelling or scuba diving to surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and even jet skiing. You would think that all these commercial activities would mean that the place is over-crowded and jaded, making it like just another beach destination. But what sets Beau Vallon apart, is that despite all the tourist presence, you would also catch glimpses of real life, local fishermen selling fresh catch, or the locals manning the stalls, selling delicious street food. I spent the evening strolling up and down the Beau Vallon beach, enjoying the local vibe of the place, working up an appetite.
>> Dinner at Trader Vic’s restaurant
For dinner, I headed to the iconic restaurant, Trader Vic’s, located in the H Hotel, another luxury resort on the Beau Vallon beach, that’s just a 15-minute walk down the beach from the Savoy. If you’re looking for great food, live music, exotic cocktails, an outdoor seating overlooking a lush lagoon and an authentic, classy Hawaiian-Polynesian decor, then Trader Vic’s is your place!
Day 2 of the 4-day Seychelles itinerary
>> Breakfast Buffet at Savoy
The best thing about the Savoy at Seychelles is probably its breakfast spread at one of its restaurants, the Grand Savoy. The adage “breakfast like a king” was realized here, as I relished a plateful of tropical fruits, an assortment of freshly baked breads, waffles drizzled generously with maple syrup, washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice!
>> Explore the smallest capital city in the world, Victoria!
Guilty about loading up on all those calories, I took a 15 min shuttle ride from the hotel to Seychelles’ capital city, Victoria. I spent a happy couple of hours walking around, taking in the colourful sights and sounds of the largest city of Seychelles. Funnily, Victoria is also one of the smallest capital cities in the world!
I exchanged my dirhams for some Seychellois rupees (SCR), picking up conversation with the locals as I did it, spotted the 119 years old Clock Tower (known as Lorloz in Creole language), the Seychelles National Museum, and a few other landmarks. Right next to the National Museum is the Cooperative des Artisans, a souvenir shop that only keeps products that have been hand-made in Seychelles. There’s an array of products made from coconut shells, hats, sticks, needlework, locally manufactured clothes, dresses, and tee shirts.
I would totally recommend putting aside a day or at least half a day to experience Victoria, witness the colourful diversity of its people, and imbibe the warm Creole culture.
>> Enjoy Seychelles’ flora and fauna at the Botanical Gardens
If you’re spending a day exploring Victoria and Mahé island, then a must-visit attraction is the 118 years old Seychelles National Botanical Gardens located at Mont Fleuri, on the outskirts of Victoria. I walked my way to the main bus terminal of Victoria and hopped on a bus from there. A 10-minute ride later, I was dropped right in front of the botanical garden. There’s an entrance fee of 100 SCR (27 AED), for which you get to see the main flora and fauna of Seychelles spread across this 15-acre garden.
The entrance alley is lined with the iconic Coco de Mer palm trees which grow the biggest nuts in the world and are found only on the islands of Seychelles! You can also get up, close and personal with 100+ year old Giant Tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea), one of the largest tortoise species on Earth. These too are endemic to the Aldabra atoll of Seychelles. There’s an enclosure within the gardens that houses these gentle, lumbering creatures. Look at them for free from the outside or pay an extra 50 SCR (14 AED) to get into the enclosure and feed them! I would have spent at least 2 hours at the gardens, walking around, marvelling at the sheer variety of tropical plants, exotic birds and flowers I could spot there.
All that walking and exploring had left me famished, I couldn’t even remember what I ate for breakfast! So, I took the bus back to the city, on the lookout for some authentic, Creole food and luckily hit jackpot!
>> Authentic, Creole lunch at Marie Antoinette
This restaurant oozing rustic charm is in a traditional yet majestic Seychellois mansion that’s more than 100 years old. Located on the side of the St Loius road that goes from Victoria to Beau Vallon, the restaurant offers a set menu covering a variety of Creole dishes. This was a blessing in disguise, as I was too hungry to decide for myself. Lunch at Marie Antoinette was easily my best Creole food experience in the Seychelles – every dish was exquisite! If you’re planning to include Marie Antoinette in your Seychelles itinerary, please make sure that you don’t schedule your visit on a Sunday. Most of Seychelles, including this restaurant, is closed on Sundays.
>> Gorgeous sunset at Beau Vallon beach
All that walking around in Victoria under the bright and sunny Seychelles sun had left me with a headache, so I headed back to the sanctuary of my hotel room for a quick shuteye after having set an alarm for early evening. I didn’t want to miss the famous Seychelles’ sunset!
The lie-in didn’t help much. My head still pounded, but I walked out to the Beau Vallon beach anyway. I was so glad I did go out. The sun had just set, washing the skies in hues of inky blues, orange, greys, pinks and purples. The colours changed every minute and I was scared to even blink, lest I miss any colour! Somewhere in the middle of watching the sky go from orange to pink, my headache vanished. The beauty of Seychelles, its beaches and its sunsets threw up visuals that were going to be difficult to match elsewhere!
Does this Seychelles itinerary sound like fun? You can plan a similar Seychelles holiday customizing it as per your preferences! Check out.
>> Music, street food, and Bazar Labrin!
Apart from its five-star services, staying at the Savoy Seychelles Resort was the best decision because of its location! The popular Bazar Labrin sets up right in the area next to the hotel. After sunset this place outside the hotel gates comes alive! While the market is at its liveliest every Wednesday and last Saturday of the month, on other days too, there are enough stalls selling delicious Creole food, barbequed fish, fried bacon, freshly fried banana chips, bread fruit cassava and sweet potato chips, tropical fruits and other local delicacies!
There was a DJ set up and both locals and tourists were jiving to the music. There was a festive mood for no apparent reason! Guess this is how Seychelles breathes and lives.
>> Dinner by the sea – La Plage restaurant
La Plage (translating to ‘The Beach’ in French) is an aptly named restaurant, as it sits on the northern end of the Beau Vallon beach, just metres away from the sea, dishing out delicious Creole and European fare. I had the sail fish curry made the traditional Creole way – sumptuous, filling, and flavourful! The service, though, is painfully slow, which didn’t bother me much as the restaurant is just a 10-minute walk away from the hotel. If you’re not in a hurry or hungry, the restaurant’s waterside tables are best to catch the sunset as you enjoy sundowners and slowly proceed to dinner.
Day 3 in Seychelles, the tropical paradise
>> Morning run on the Beau Vallon Beach
Woke up unusually early; guess the ocean and beach were calling out to me! Memories of last evening’s spectacular sunset were still fresh on my mind, so headed straight to the beach for a morning run. Realized that solitude is indeed bliss, especially when you’re jogging along the pristine, sandy shores of the Beau Vallon beach, watching the waves come in and go. Also realized that since this beach is on the north-western coast of Mahe island, you can’t catch a sunrise here!
>> Ferry from Mahé island to Praslin island
Your Seychelles itinerary would be incomplete without visiting its three main islands: Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue. Having spent two days on Mahé already, I was most excited about Day 3, as we were headed to the other two islands today. Being a Sunday, most of Mahé Island was closed, and so were all the island tours, but holidayme managed to arrange a special tour for us through Mason’s Travels, a local travel agency. Yay!
Our guide for the day was David, an amiable local who got along very well with the 12-13 other holidayme customers who were on this tour. Right after breakfast, Mason Travels’s shuttle took us from the hotel to Mahe’s Victoria quayside, from where we boarded a 9 a.m. Cat Coco inter-island ferry to the Baie Sainte Anne jetty on Praslin island.
The ferry ride was quite rough, owing to choppy waters, leaving most of the passengers seasick and exhausted by the time we got off the ferry. It was supposed to be a 60-minute ride, but the captain slowed down to give people a break. Pro tip: pop a seasickness pill and avoid eating too much before the ferry ride!
But the moment we stepped foot on the second largest island of the Seychelles, the choppy ferry ride seemed worth it. The aquamarine waters surrounding the Baie Sainte Anne jetty, seemed to relax even the most seasick passenger onboard. Within minutes, we were again transformed to a bunch of happy, beach-crazy tourists!
>> Visit the Vallée de Mai – home of the Coco de Mer palm
If you’re on Praslin island, it’s mandatory to visit the Vallée de Mai – an enchanted Eden-like garden that’s a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This mystical nature reserve allows you to follow traces of pre-history that have remained unchanged for millions of years!
If you look carefully, you can find 6 endemic palm species of the Seychelles here, found nowhere else in the world! Our guide David, was kind enough to point them out to us. He also regaled the group with myths and legends about the suggestively shaped male and female species of the Coco de Mer palm seeds, before proceeding to educate us about its fascinating uniqueness!
I spent a happy hour trudging through this real slice of Eden, also trying hard to spot the endangered black parrot that’s also found only on the Seychelles islands. Even though I couldn’t spot any, walking through this jungle was a surreal experience, with giant palms rising on either side of the path, their huge fronds closing up the sky above us!
>> Relax on the stunning Anse Volbert (Cote d’Or beach)
Praslin island is blessed with beaches that are competing for the “most beautiful beach” award. I’ve heard every beach there is equally gorgeous. Our guide, David told us that since we were behind schedule and could miss our next ferry, we could head to Anse Volbert (instead of Anse Lazio, as originally planned.) He assured us that even though Anze Lazio is the more awarded, in-the-limelight beach, Volbert won’t disappoint either.
And disappointed we were not! For the spectacular stretch of Cote d’Or beach (the other name for Anse Volbert) was insanely pretty, with its powder blue, sparkling waters and creamy vanilla, soft sandy beach. Despite being the most popular beach on Praslin island (there are many hotels and guest homes in the vicinity), Cote d’Or beach still gives off a sleepy, laid-back vibe and was hardly crowded.
Anse Volbert was my second beach experience in the Seychelles after Beau Vallon. And I was so mighty pleased, that I literally flew out of the coach, ran all the way to the beach, happy to dig my feet into the pristine white sand. I could sit there all day, gazing at the crystal-clear blue of the Indian ocean and beyond, wishing to snorkel and swim across to the nearby Chauve Souris island, like some of the experienced swimmers out there. Before I could fall any further in love with the serenity of Cote d’Or, it was time for us to head back to the jetty. For we had to catch the ferry to the 3rd Seychelles island in my itinerary – the idyllic La Digue!
>> Arrive at the pretty, little La Digue island
La Digue was a quick, 15-minute ferry ride away from Praslin island. The moment we stepped on La Digue, I could make out that this charming island was distinctively different from the other Seychelles islands I’d experienced so far. It was like going back in time, the laid-back vibes of this island made it perfect for a silent, meditative retreat! Till some years ago, La Digue was a completely car-free island, locals and tourists preferring to walk or ride a bicycle around the tiny island. Even now, taxis are rare and expensive. In fact, there was a modern oxcart (the ox was replaced by an engine now!), waiting to whisk us away from the La Digue jetty to a well-known restaurant at the Chateau St. Cloud hotel.
>> Creole lunch at Hotel Chateau St Cloud
Hotel Chateau St Cloud was a former coconut plantation, converted into a modern resort, which explained its lush, tropical settings. A delicious Creole spread was awaiting us at its restaurant, which was heartily devoured by the group. After this soul-satisfying meal, the oxcart took us right to the most-awaited destination of the day!
>> Went to heaven on earth – the most beautiful beach, Anse Source d’Argent!
If you ask me for a place from where I’d never want to return, I’m going to name Anse Source d’Argent for the longest time! I was experiencing deja vu, walking down the shimmering-white beach, having seen enough Shutterstock pictures of the “world’s most photographed beach”! I spent more than two hours at Anse Source d’Argent, sighing over the postcard-perfect beauty of its calm turquoise waters, and the giant, granite boulders interspersed with the swaying, green palm trees. This is one beach of the Seychelles that you must not miss, for it is the very definition of perfect beauty! David, the tour guide, had to literally drag our group back to the oxcart waiting to take us back to the ferry. None of us wanted to go back!
>> Ferry from La Digue to Praslin and finally to Mahe
I spent the short ferry ride from La Digue to Praslin island and the longer one back to Mahe island, in happy meditation. I didn’t want to forget the vibrant colours of the sun, sand and sea that I witnessed while beach bumming at the Anse Source d’Argent! Unlike the morning ride, the waters were calmer in the evening and I got to see a beautiful sunset as our ferry approached Mahe island.
Day 4 of the 4-day Seychelles itinerary
>> Morne Blanc hiking trail
My itinerary for the last day in Seychelles was blank, and after two days of island-hopping and beach-bumming, it was time to do something different. The flight back to Dubai was only in the evening, so an early morning hike up one of the most iconic mountains of Mahe, the Morne Blanc seemed like the perfect way to spend day 4 in Seychelles.
I’d arranged for a cab from the hotel to San Souci road, and 25 minutes later, I was at the trailhead, looking up at a nature trail that was 1.6 km long, at an elevation of 630 m. The difficulty level of the hike is dependant on your physical fitness totally. I found the trek to be mildly strenuous and steep. It helped that there had been no rains in the last few days, so the path was not too slippery. I kept taking a break every 10 minutes, not just to catch my breath, but to take in the tropical beauty around me. There was an early morning mist swirling around me, mixing with the sweet smell of jackfruits hanging ripe on the trees, and the air was abuzz with the chirping of insects and birds! I even spotted an endemic species – the Seychelles black snail!
50 minutes later, I was at the top, left breathless by the stunning view that greeted me – the western and southern coast of Mahe Island, from Port Launey to Anse La Mouchel lay in front of me, spectacular and surreal! I think I made it in the nick of time, for barely minutes later, the entire view was covered in mist and clouds. By then I’d settled myself atop a huge rock at the viewing platform, from where enjoyed the visual feast that Mother Nature had prepared for me. If you’re a nature lover and adventure enthusiast, then make sure that the Morne Blanc Nature Trail is part of your Seychelles itinerary!