We booked a guesthouse just off the water as I wanted to spend as much time in or around the ocean as possible, especially since we are now living in the desert. Our room had its own balcony and breakfast was served every morning. It was near the Anse Royale beach which I felt was the best beach on the main island of Mahe after all our exploring we did. I read great things about the other islands of Prasilin and La Digue but we opten to spend all our time on the relatively larger island of Mahe.
For the first week we relaxed around the beach and really didn’t get up to much. We hopped into town by public buss a couple of time for some shopping and walking around. The first time we went on Saturday afternoon almost everything was shut down. Business hours are very limited on the weekend (1/2 day on Saturday with everything shutting around noon and everything basically closed on Sunday). There are a couple open air markets in town, one looked fairly permanent while the other seemed impromptly set up on the football field in the center of town, maybe just for the holiday Christmas season.
After a lot of lounging we decided to get a rental car a little earlier than initially booked. This was not an easy thing to do shortly before Christmas, after a lot of calling around I finally found one available. This was great as we picked up the car on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas day circling the island to check out all the areas. I say great because there was not much traffic on Christmas. If you’re not used to driving a manual transmission car on the left hand side of the road with roundabouts, you would also have appreciated the empty streets. The roads are narrow and fairly hazardous especially around the southern part of the island. I found people to be fairly mellow drivers, especially when it started raining. It was perfect to have that day to explore the whole island and decide which parts we wanted to go back to. The guesthouse suggested we could even just rent a car for a day to see everything, then use the bus to get back to whichever places we liked the most; not bad advice at all. We kept the car for the rest of our trip; exploring the island for our last week, going to many different beaches, inlets, bays and cross island roads. There are plenty of hikes and some are well signposted, including the Copolia, which is the most popular on Mahe. We also hiked to the waterfall which wasn’t too difficult to find. December probably isn’t the best time to go for diving as it’s the stormy season with lots of rain and wind. The runoff from the rain and wind can adversely affect visibility and our dive was cancelled a couple days in a row. We had to call the dive shop in the morning to see if we will go out for our last available day on the island. Did get to do lots of snorkeling all over the island. The visibility was not great, but there are plenty of fish and coral to see. In the end, we had a great time in Seychelles, then started our journey back to Dubai right before the New Year Celebrations were to begin there.
The Seychelles are a group of islands over 1,000km off the east coast of Africa and while not a typical budget travel destination, can be done by those not arriving by private jet.