Seychelles, the Indian Ocean destination has more to it than what meets the eye. From enchanting beaches to terrestrial national parks, extraordinary flora and fauna to friendly islanders, the small island nation is the perfect reason for a holiday like no other.
Tucked away between India and Africa, Seychelles makes for an ideal island-hopping experience.
Here is a guide to help plan your vacation to the Seychelles Islands once the travel corridor reopens.
Mahe is the largest of the 115 islands in the archipelago and home to the world's smallest capital Victoria. Although small in size, Victoria has a lot of character making a visit worthwhile. Take a walk around Victoria Market or Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market for a unique display of creole culture while shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs. Wander along the streets sampling local produce or savour Seychellois delicacies. Also, do not forget to keep a lookout for Victoria Clock Tower, a replica of London's Big Ben. Away from the main city, Mahe also offers an abundance of lush greenery making it ideal for hikes and nature trails. Explore the historical Venn's Town Mission Ruins and Mission Lodge Tea Factory or the popular Copolia trail that promises awe-inspiring views of Mahe Island from the top.
A trip to Mahe is incomplete without a visit to the Takamaka Rum Distillery housed in the 200-year-old La Plaine St. Andre estate. Takamaka rum is authentic to Seychelles and was crafted as a toast to the Islands. Before bidding adieu, hop aboard the Semi-Submarine, an underwater observatory at Eden Island to cruise along the spectacular reefs serving epic views of corals and a variety of marine life.
Praslin is the second largest island and home to picture-perfect beaches and an enchanting prehistoric nature reserve. One can opt for a 20-minute short flight or a scenic 75-minute ferry ride from Mahe.
Take a guided tour of the primeval forest of Vallee-de-Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage site and explore the 'Garden of Eden'. Surround your senses with the sights and sounds of towering palm trees and the call of wild birds fleeting through the Vallee. Learn about the endemic Coco-de-Mer, the largest seed in the world and spot the endangered black parrot among other indigenous gems hidden in the botanical wonderland.
Having trailed the Vallee, soak in the breath-taking, powdery sand beaches of Anse-Lazio, ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Include a visit to Cote d'Or or Anse Volbert for an incredible variety of activities such as snorkelling, sailing or fishing. Cote d'Or also houses Praslin Museum, a small informative gallery about art and popular local traditions.
A 15-minute ferry ride from Praslin, La Digue paints a beautiful picture of the perfect island life. With no cars on the island, the best way to explore the wonders of La Digue is with electric buggies, bicycle rentals or the traditional oxcart. Traverse the changing landscapes of stunning ocean views in the North to dense rainforests in the South.
Take a step back in time and visit L'Union Estate. Visit a traditional copra mill, watch the antics of the estate's population of Aldabra giant tortoises or stroll around the majestic Plantation House framed by giant granite boulders in landscaped gardens. The estate is also home to the cemetery of the original settlers of La Digue and to one of the most pristine beaches in Seychelles, the legendary Anse Source d' Argent.
Known for being one of the most photographed beaches on earth, Source d' Argent is a spectacular sight to behold with crystal clear waters and unique granite rock formations. Other must-visit beaches include Anse Coco and Petit Anse. In a mood for adventure? Trek to the island's highest point with a mountain tour of the Nid D'Aigle or 'The Eagle's Nest' for sensational views of La Digue and its neighbouring islands.