Seychelles is the destination worth visiting if you love beautiful white-sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, and island-hopping. It is definitely a picture postcard tropical holiday. But if you’re after snorkelling, choose the right month to visit Seychelles. We went in June when the sea was choppy and had poor sea visibility. Unfortunately, all corals are dead in Seychelles. So snorkelling isn’t great. A week in Seychelles is about sufficient time to explore 3 main islands – Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Seychelles is the perfect destination to relax and rejuvenate in a luxurious beach resort. It is essential to choose a good hotel. Unfortunately, our hotel in Praslin didn’t understand the meaning of service. It had way too many rules, and the service was non-existent. This trip-report on a week in Seychelles contains a lot of rants and bad experiences, you’ve been warned!
Our Trip Date – 28th June to 4th July, 2018
Things to keep in mind while planning a week in Seychelles
- All beaches technically are public in Seychelles but practically they are private. Yes, you can access any beach, but you won’t be able to get towels or use the sunbeds as it will be available only for the hotel guest.
- If you have chosen a good 4 or 5-star beach property, it wouldn’t make much sense to leave the luxury of your hotel and explore other beaches where you will feel like an outsider.
- The cost of one day’s car rental may be equal to the cost of one transfer by taxi.
- Surprisingly, Seychelles is all hilly, in spite of being a beach destination. Roads are tiny with endless twists and turns. So, if you plan to spend most of your time chilling in your hotel, it is better to just take transfers rather than renting a car and driving around.
- Most restaurants open at 7 pm for dinner. So basically you will have dinner in your own hotel or at restaurants nearby to avoid driving those hilly roads in the dark.
- As expected, food is very costly.
- Vegetarian food is available and you can get by, by eating pizzas and creole curry for a week in Seychelles. It is just about edible and soon you will crave some delicious food.
A week in Seychelles: Our Itinerary & Trip Report
Day 1 – Fly to Seychelles and stay at Mahe
We flew to Mahe, Seychelles from Johannesburg, South Africa. Our flight arrived at 9:30 pm after an hours delay. We had pre-booked a car from Creole Pay who was waiting for us at the airport. While checking the car, Kapil didn’t see the sidewalk and fell down and got bruised. Unfortunately, a bad start to the trip.
It was a 45-minute drive to the hotel. Driving in Seychelles on hilly narrow roads in the dark and with just getting injured was a no mean feat for Kapil. If we would drive slowly, the car behind would honk at us but wouldn’t overtake. Kapil felt it very annoying. In hindsight, I feel I made a wrong decision to rent a car for a week in Seychelles and we should have just used taxis for hotel transfers. For all details on the car rental experience, read my first blog post.
Accommodation and Dinner
We stayed at Constance Ephelia and price was around Rs. 30,000 per night. We reached late and even at this hour check-in was quick. Since it was late, they informed us that they would give us a tour around the property in the golf cart the next day.
Our rooms were massive with a king size bed, a huge bathroom having a separate shower and bathtub and the highlight was the balcony overlooking the swimming pool and the beach. They even gave rooms next to each other as requested.
For dinner, we called for 2 plates of pasta from the room service, as nothing else was available at this hour (12 am). It was the worst pasta I’ve ever had in my life. It lacked any flavour or spice, and I guess the chef had forgotten to add salt to it. The cost was Rs. 1750 for 1 portion of pasta, which was a huge shock coming from South Africa.
Day 2 – Mahe
Today our plan was to chill in our massive, luxurious beach resort surrounded by a lush landscape. It boasts of two gorgeous beaches overlooking the Port Launay Marine National Park and apparently has the best snorkelling off the beach in Mahe. It also has a couple of swimming pools and a boathouse where you could rent kayaks or do some water sports.
We got up late and just made it in the nick of time for breakfast. There was a huge spread – freshly made waffles, soft and fluffy pancakes, surprisingly an Indian counter having rice, dal, pakoras and samosas, and the usual western fare of juices, fruits, hash brown, different varieties of bread, bake beans, eggs, etc. It even had an ice-cream counter.
After breakfast, we requested to give a tour of the property which they promised us last night. The staff at the reception said to ask at the tour desk. The tour desk denied the same stating that someone wrongly informed us. Even after repeatedly saying that they promised us for the same, they behaved as if we were lying. Finally, we complained at the reception; they made a few calls and eventually fixed someone up. I don’t get it why they treated us like this as they take every guest for the tour at the time of check-in.
After that, we had a longish nap as Kapil was feeling tired because of the injury last night.
Pool and Beaches
There are 2 beaches here –
- South Beach, which was in front of our room and is much quieter than the North Beach.
- North Beach which claims to be one of the best beaches in Mahe for snorkelling.
Both beaches are easily accessible by a golf cart, and they are efficient in handling the golf cart operations. Most of the staff was Indian and they would greet guests with a smile. One specific golf cart staff member knew all guests and inquired about other family members while going for breakfast.
At about 2 pm, we finally kick start our day. After a fight with Kapil, whether to head to the beach first or to the pool, Kapil won the argument, and we went to the swimming pool. We swam for a while and then took the shuttle to the North beach.
North Beach was busy. It had sun beds where we laze around for a while with some mocktails. Unfortunately, they didn’t serve food here unlike the South beach. Then I went to try snorkelling. Within minutes I realized, this place or this time is just not good for snorkelling. The visibility was poor and didn’t even see a single fish. Needless to say, not a single person was snorkelling at this beach. Giving up on snorkelling, we just enjoyed the swim and the beach.
We took the shuttle back to the South Beach. For lunch, we ordered pizzas and relished it on the beach with an incredible view of turquoise blue waters. For the sake of it, I also tried swimming on the South Beach. But this time of the year (June), it was all covered in seaweed and it was impossible to swim.
By now, it was evening, and we went back to our room and freshened up.
There were 2 beach towels placed in the room. A note said, if you don’t return them by evening, we will charge for the same. At pool and beaches, they had attendants who would change the towels without any fuss. They also had water dispensers at several places throughout the property which was very handy after a swim.
Accommodation and Dinner
Hotel – Constance Ephelia
There are many restaurants at this property – Corossol the buffet restaurant, Helios offering a Mediterranean buffet, Adam & Eve the Chinese restaurant, Cyann offering a sushi bar and Seselwa having a la carte menu.
I had a look at the menu of Adam & Eve restaurant; it had a few vegetarian dishes. I wanted to try but my family wasn’t that keen. We weren’t that hungry as we had a late lunch, so we just ordered one pizza and a sandwich from the room service to share between us.
Day 3 – Mahe
Today our plan was to explore Mahe and go beach-hopping.
We woke up to a cloudy, rainy day. After breakfast, we sat in our balcony and waited for the rain to stop. Instead of clearing, it rained cats and dogs. So, a good part of the day went by just chit chatting and chilling in our rooms. Anyway, it was the last 5 days of our month long holiday in Africa, so that is what exactly Kapil wanted to do.
It cleared by afternoon and I literally forced everyone to at least use our rental car and go exploring. First, we drove to Beau Vallon beach. We saw some spectacular views on the way. Getting parking at the beach was a nightmare. Eventually, we found a parking spot and walked to the beach. There are some luxury properties by this beach and only their hotel guests were playing around and using the sunbeds. We spent 5 minutes on this beach and moved on. Why spend time here when we have our hotel’s beach? I wanted to visit the evening market, which happens on specific days from 4 pm to 8:30 pm. But we couldn’t find it, probably because it was at the other end of the beach.
Seychelles National Botanical Gardens
- Check out this place to see the rare Coco de Mer which is unique to Seychelles.
- Can also see giant tortoises and feed them at an extra cost.
- Cost – 100 SCR
- Instead of this, we visited the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve in Praslin to see Coco de Mer, which was not worth the 350 SCR entrance fees.
Other Beaches which I had planned but didn’t visit
- Petite Anse at 4 Seasons Resort – known for its beauty. Have heard, that you can pay 35 euro each for a day visitor’s pass to use the hotel facilities including pool, bathrooms, WiFi, restaurant, sun bed, towels, water sports equipment, refreshments and a buggy drive back up the hill. It is better to email the hotel and check as these things change frequently.
- Anse Intendance – Beautiful but swimming is difficult because of big waves.
- Baie Ternay Marine National Park – Half day boat tour and it’s good for snorkelling. It is also possible to drive and then reach the beach by a 15-minute walk.
- Sainte Anne Marine Park – Half day boat tour for snorkelling
If hiking is your cup of tea, there are various good hikes possible which will reward you with stunning views.
- Copolia Trail
- Morne Blanc Trail
- Trois Freres Trail
Accommodation and Dinner
Hotel – Constance Ephelia
Since we were in the area, we went to Le Méridien where there was an Indian restaurant. Unfortunately, it was closed and opened only at 7 pm. We had no intentions to wait for it and then drive back to the hotel in the dark. Hence, we found a pizza place opened next to it and just settled for it. It was just about edible but prices were reasonable.
Day 4 – Mahe to Praslin
We drove to the ferry port and returned the car. It was uneventful.
Ferry to Praslin
Cat Cocos is the sole operator that runs ferries between islands in Seychelles. Book on the official website to get an early bird sailing discount.
I had pre-booked for 9 am. I paid a little extra for the top deck. It was an hour-long ferry reaching at 10 am.
Horrible Check-in Experience
We reached the port 20 minutes prior to departure. It was raining and the port was chaotic and crowded; Thus, we took time to find the check-in desk. At the check-in counter, we faced horrible customer service. We were 4 of us but the rude staff let us checked in only 3 of our bags. He said the rest of our bags are too small and we have to carry it on board. In spite of fighting with him, he cared a damn and said go away else you will miss your ferry. So we ran to the ferry only to find a line of around 50 people waiting to board the ferry. This is Travel First experience where the staff member refused to check in, our supposedly small 22-inch suitcase.
On Board Experience
We had too many handbags which we had to carry it onboard and supposedly carry it to the top deck. But, Dad sat on the bottom deck (anyway he prefers that) with all the luggage. We kept the luggage on the seat. Within minutes, the staff member said to move all the luggage at a designated place. After 10 minutes, he said to move the luggage again at another place. As the sea was rough, and the boat was shaking a lot, he kept asking to move the luggage from one place to another during the entire journey.
We went to the top deck. Within minutes, realized the sea is too rough, and this journey will be tough. 10 minutes into the journey, people were vomiting. Sea was so rough that I doubt, I ever faced any problem on a big boat like this one. Also, the ride was only an hour long. About half an hour into the journey, around 60% of people had vomited on the top deck. Soon, I joined the gang. The staff at least were kind and handed over vomit bags and even threw them. The boat was so shaky that it was impossible for anyone to move.
By the end of the journey, we were all drained and glad it was all over. Dad said that on the lower deck, only a few people had vomited. So I guess upper deck is more prone to seasickness than the lower deck.
We stayed at Le Domaine de La Reserve. It was around Rs. 20,000 per night.
I searched quite a bit for hotels in Praslin as I wasn’t satisfied with any hotel. Eventually, I had a booking for 2 hotels – Le Domaine de La Reserve and L’Archipel. I was really confused between the two hotels and finally chose Le Domaine de La Reserve as I read that it has the best snorkelling from the beach in Praslin. I was after snorkelling, so chose this hotel.
We drove to the hotel after the worst ferry ride of our lives. They offered us welcome drinks, which was delightful and eased the stomach pain after the ferry ride.
After completing check-in formalities, they allocated us one room on the first floor and one room on the ground floor. I requested them to please give rooms next to each. But they replied, this is what we have, as there are several check-ins today and we have to take care of other requests. Hearing this, I questioned them that even I have given my request beforehand and emailed at least four times for the same. They had no answer to this and called the manager.
I waited around 15 to 20 minutes for him to show up. He reiterated the same thing said by the receptionist. I told him the receptionist told me that you have to take care of others request and you can’t cater to mine. He said yes, a request is a request, and it is not guaranteed. So it certainly showed that other guests were more valuable to him and my request had no value in spite of repeated emails.
I had no option but to accept as they wouldn’t budge at all. They have 4 rooms in one block, 2 on the ground floor and 2 on the first floor. So in none of the blocks, he could offer me 2 rooms on the ground floor. On repeated request, he said we can’t do anything and have only one room available in each block on the ground floor. The hotel didn’t seem full at all. He basically allocates rooms in advance and won’t change them for anything.
We walked to our room. The porter had kept our few bags on the first floor and the other bags on the ground floor as per his wish and left. He didn’t wait for us as we were dealing with the manager. I doubt even a 2-star hotel would lack this common sense to ask the customer about which bags go to which room. I told them, I’m not lifting the bag to the first floor in a stubborn voice. At least, then they sent the porter again and got it fixed.
We had beachfront facing rooms. It was quite a good size room with a huge bathroom. The bathroom had his and her basin, a separate shower, and a bathtub. They offered complimentary 500 ml water per person. The room also had a balcony with beautiful sea views. The room on the ground floor was much better as we could directly walk to the beach.
We thought of having a quick lunch and then hit the beach. The hotel offered room service. I glanced at the menu and it had only 1 veg item- the good old french fries. According to the menu, the room service starts at 11 am, so I called them up to order. To my dismay, they said it opens at 5 pm and we need to go to the restaurant at the pool for lunch. Having no other option, we went there. On the menu, they had 10 types of non-veg curry served with rice but had not a single veg option. It was looking delicious on the table next to us. Only the veg option available was a margarita pizza. So I placed an order for it and requested them to add some veggies.
While waiting for the pizza, I asked for the Wi-Fi password. It shocked me to hear that I must go to the reception and ask for the same. Oh c’ mon, I am on holiday. Why do I’ve to waste my holiday precious time going to the reception for every single thing?
The kitchen was 50 meters away from the restaurant and they got our pizza in the rain under an umbrella. We quickly gulped down, even though it was good enough. Then again, they took endless time to get the bill. Having wasted all our morning dealing with their staff, I just got up and was about to leave. Then they rushed and got my bill. It had a 10 percent service charge added on the bill. I was really disappointed on being forced to pay a 10% service charge for this kind of crappy service.
Beach and Snorkelling
It had been an unimaginable, disastrous start to our holiday in paradise. I left all that behind and went to the beach to snorkel. The beach had few sunbeds but no drink or food service. I had chosen this hotel for snorkelling and was curious to check it out. Kapil and Dad were fast asleep and only Mom and I went. I wasn’t expecting anything at all like the Mahe beach.
Within minutes of snorkelling, we saw a school of fish. I was happy that at least I saw something. Then someone else snorkelling around pointed towards a big stingray. I always dreamt to snorkel with a stingray. It was an adrenaline rush on seeing the stingray and thrilled to tick it off my bucket list. Despite having so many arguments and fights, I let it all go while snorkelling. We snorkelled for a while and then the waves got bigger as high tide was coming in. Mom got a bit scared, and we got out of the water and realized yet another problem in this hotel- Their great towel system.
Check out the video below on our snorkelling adventures
On check-in, we got towel cards. We could exchange them for towels as when required. After usage, according to their policy, we have to return them back at the reception. First, we didn’t realize how stupid this system was. We had rooms with direct access to the beach. So I didn’t bother going to the reception to get towels. After snorkelling, I realized if I needed towels I needed to go to the reception to collect them. There is no way to get them at the beach or at the pool or in the room, which is usually the case.
So they expect that on holiday, we first go to the reception to get towels in spite of having a beach facing room. After using it on the beach, head back to the reception to get it changed. With fresh towels, we finally can go to the swimming pool for a dip. Likewise, after using them at the pool, head back to the reception for returning dirty towels. They have an amazing property with beach, pool and room all next door but we’re supposed to make frequent trips to the reception and spend half of the holiday time in it. I don’t get why can’t I just leave the towel in the room and get fresh ones replaced there. They can’t even trust the guest this much?
When we went to La Digue for a day trip, we took towels from the reception and returned them the same evening. They said since you are leaving tomorrow; you don’t need fresh towels. We said we do and unwillingly gave it to us. Before check out, we specifically had to carry dirty towels back to the reception.
Accommodation and Dinner
Hotel – Le Domaine de La Reserve
After dealing with all this, we went for dinner at the Pirogue restaurant. I’d read many good reviews about it and also read it offers good veg options. Furthermore, it offered free transfers from our hotel. When we reached there, it was almost empty. We ordered a rice plate and veggies in a white sauce from their limited menu. Each dish cost was approximately Rs. 1000.
The rice plate had a small portion of rice served with creole curry and a few accompaniments. The rice plate was best described as airplane food if not worse than that. Top it all, the waitress objected that I can’t have water from my bottle as I didn’t buy from them. Needless to say, we were completely disappointed. I believe they are definitely doing a lot of marketing for bringing customers in. It wouldn’t be tough to believe if they rigged their reviews.
We already had faced way too many misadventures and fights on this day. But wait, it’s not over. From our room, we called up reception and asked for an extra bottle of water. They said we’ll have to buy it. I said fine, please send me 2 bottles. To which she replied, take it from the mini-bar. I kept the phone and checked only to find it empty. Called up again and now she said, you heard it wrong. You have to go to the main bar and buy the bottles there. Hence, I went searching for the bar. We don’t drink, so wasn’t aware where it is located. Walked and walked and finally found the bar. Finally, we bought 2 bottles of water. I checked the bill and to my utter shock; They added a 10% service charge on top of their overpriced bottle of water.
There was no point in complaining. I realized I’ve chosen a beautiful property with good snorkelling and rooms but didn’t ever thing service can be such a significant factor in making or breaking your holiday. When you spend almost 300 USD per night in the off-season, which easily goes up to 720 USD in season, I couldn’t believe their service was so disastrous. I wouldn’t even expect in my dreams there would be so, so, so many rules in a beach property where usually one goes to rejuvenate and relax. I was really done with this hotel and just wanted to get back home. Sitting in Seychelles I was missing Goa’s hospitality, which I couldn’t even imagine happening in my daydreams.
Day 5 – Praslin
Breakfast had the usual continental fare along with pancakes and waffles. Service was about fine. The restaurant overlooked the turquoise blue water and views were mind-blowing. I’m not a breakfast person but would go for breakfast just for the stunning views.
Pool and Beach
Since Kapil and Dad didn’t do snorkelling yesterday, first we went to the beach to snorkel. Within minutes, we realized it is impossible to snorkel as the tide was extremely low. We went far from the shore; still, the water was only knee-deep. So, we gave up on it and went to the pool instead. We enjoyed swimming and had a couple of mocktails from the swim-up bar.
Since we didn’t like the beach-hopping in Mahe, Kapil was hell-bent on not to go anywhere. Also, he was of the opinion that we have tried snorkelling at a couple of places; there is no point trying everywhere. We have chosen the wrong season. I literally forced him and off we went.
The first planned stop was Anse Lazio Beach, claimed to be the most beautiful beach in Praslin. But our GPS given by the car rental company didn’t work and took us in the other direction. We missed this for sure and I can’t say how different it would have been than our hotel beach.
We tried one more beach, where street dogs barked at our car like crazy. It went for a good 10 minutes before we could drive away.
Accommodation and Dinner
Hotel – Le Domaine de La Reserve
After the horrible experience the previous night, I googled for an Indian restaurant in Praslin. I found one at Le Relax Beach Resort. Though it had bad reviews, I wanted to eat here thinking it can’t be worse than what we had last night. We drove all the way there only to find it closed. On its website, timings were wrong, and it opened much later. We were in no mood to wait, so we drove back to the hotel.
There were some restaurants near our hotel. We glanced through them and chose Ristorante Pizzeria daLuca. We ordered pizza, pasta, and Creole curry. Finally, we found some good food in Seychelles and really enjoyed it. Creole curry was nice, but it has a peculiar taste, so I’m not a big fan of it. Pizza and pasta were the best we had in Seychelles.
Day 6 – Praslin – Day trip to La Digue
Ferry at 9 am
After the horrendous experience of our first ferry from Mahe to Praslin, we didn’t wish to do any more ferry rides. But this was a mere 10-minute ride, and I didn’t want to miss La Digue. This too was a very rough ride but since it was only 10 minutes, it was easily manageable.
We bought return tickets at the port. The agent advised that since La Digue does not have a ferry office and we were returning on the same day, thus we should purchase return tickets. So I had to commit to a time for the return ferry. We went with 3:30 pm return ferry. She said 5 pm is already full and the last one is at 5:30 pm which we felt would be too long. But it was a half-truth. There wasn’t any office but you could purchase tickets before boarding the ferry.
Half Day trip to Coco, Sister and Felicite Island
Time – 9:30 am to 1 pm
Cost – 50 Euros per person including island fees, water and soft drinks. Must carry your own towels.
Operator – Booked by Simplicity boat charter with whom I chatted on Facebook the previous night. Eventually, the tour was operated by Belle Petra.
I really wanted to try half day snorkelling trip to see if this experience would be better than snorkelling off the beach. After searching and asking operators, they all suggested that this half-day trip to Cocoa, Sister and Felicite is the best trip for snorkelling from several others which are available. Since it takes less time from La Digue to get to these islands, I booked it from here.
The first stop to snorkel was Felicite Island. I was a little scared to jump off in the water. Once Kapil took the leap, I soon followed him but left my GoPro behind. The first sight of the under-water world completely blew us away. The water here was crystal clear blue and loved snorkelling amidst colourful fishes. After 10 minutes, we saw a turtle. The guide made sure everyone saw the turtle. On a few of our previous trips, I had missed seeing turtle by a few minutes, so I was super ecstatic on seeing one. By the time I took my GoPro from the boat, it disappeared. However, it is a pity that the corals are all dead all around Seychelles.
We climbed back on to the boat which was pretty easy as they had a big ladder and off we went to our next spot – Sister Island. This is the island where they serve BBQ lunch on a full-day tour. Again, we saw amazing fishes. I hadn’t seen so many fishes anywhere else in Seychelles.
Our last stop for the day was Coco Island. According to our guide, this was the best spot to snorkel in Seychelles. Unfortunately, waves had got bigger by now and it terrified us to jump off the boat. One guy from our group jumped first and announced it is speculator. We all followed soon. Again, saw beautiful fishes all around. Sea was choppy with huge waves, therefore we just snorkelled for a while and came back on the boat.
It was by far the best snorkelling experience in Seychelles. When we were about to leave, our guide shouted – shark shark shark. An enormous shark swam right by our boat. What a sight it was but unfortunately, I was not quick enough to capture it on my camera. A perfect end to our half day snorkelling adventures. For the first time in Seychelles, the service was impeccable. All crew members were friendly and took great care of everyone. It was totally worth 50 Euros. Obviously, the experience will be much better in months when the sea is calm (probably October onward).
Check out the video below on our snorkelling adventures
La Digue is a car-free island. There are only 5 taxis used mainly for transporting guest with the luggage from the port to the hotel. Most people hire a bicycle and cycle around the island. Since cycling was not an option for us, we took a tour around the island in a golf cart. I believe it was around Rs. 7000 to 8000. We hired him for 2-2.5 hours. He took us around the island for an hour and we saw beaches all along the way. Of course, all looked beautiful and picturesque. If you are after beautiful sandy beaches with turquoise blue water, Seychelles is the place to be.
Afterwards, he took us to Anse Source D’ argent beach as agreed beforehand.
Anse Source D’ Argent
- They have made this popular as the most beautiful beach in Seychelles. So this was the main reason we couldn’t skip a visit to La Digue Island.
- In high tide, it is good for swimming and in low tide, one can take stunning pictures of the granite rocks.
- Entry fee – 100 SCR
- First, he stopped the golf cart at the reserve, which has giant Aldabra tortoises. We fed them plants, and it was a fun thing to do.
- It is surrounded by coconut plantations, the cultivated vanilla and cinnamon.
- Then he dropped us to the main beach and said he’ll return at 3 pm to drop us back to the ferry port.
- We clicked pictures and were starving by now. Therefore, we skipped swimming here and went to the only restaurant there by the beach.
- The food here was finger licking good. Every single dish was tasty. This was by the far the best meal we had in Seychelles. I didn’t expect to find good food here as it’s the most popular touristy beach.
Then our lovely driver came to take us back to the ferry port. Though very expensive, it worked out well as we don’t cycle. Else, we wouldn’t have seen anything as there are only 5 taxis and it would be a great difficulty to find a taxi at the beach to take us back to the ferry port. We took the ferry back to Praslin. It was a perfect day in La Digue and we loved every minute of it.
Accommodation and Dinner
Hotel – Le Domaine de La Reserve.
Before going to our hotel, which only offers a buffet for dinner, we stopped again at Ristorante Pizzeria daLuca and took 2 pizzas takeaway for dinner. We also took a creole curry with rice from a food truck next to the restaurant. It was only 80 SCR which was by far the cheapest we found in Seychelles. However, it was about average in taste. Pizzas like yesterday were enjoyable.
Day 7 – Praslin to Mahe and fly back
Our hotel allowed late check out for one of our rooms. They basically have a policy that if they don’t have any check-in for that room, they will allow late check-out, of course at an extra cost. I requested them to let us keep the King bedroom rather than the twin bedroom which they were providing for a late check-out, but as always there weren’t flexible at all. I believe they make a list of which guest will get which room beforehand and no matter what; they will not budge on it.
I was planning to do one more half-day trip this morning to St. Pierre for snorkelling along with Curieuse Island which is known for tortoises. We were just interested in the snorkelling part of the trip, but it was possible as a package only. We could book this tour through our hotel and it departed from our hotel’s beach. It was really tempting all these days, but I doubted what kind of service they would provide. Hence, I avoided until now. But after a wonderful snorkelling experience yesterday, I wanted to do one more trip before leaving Seychelles and was convincing Kapil and Mom to come along for it. Dad doesn’t enjoy snorkelling, so he definitely wasn’t coming.
Kapil had almost agreed, but then we found out that both of us were sun-burnt from yesterday’s snorkelling. This was our first experience. We never use sunscreen as our brown skin can’t absorb enough Vitamin D and we never ever got sunburnt. It was to the extent that Kapil’s skin was peeling off. So this was kinda shocking, and it pained quite a bit. Hence, we didn’t go on this tour and just passed away time in our room.
We left at around 2 pm as I wanted to visit a Nature Reserve before going to the airport.
Vallee de Mai
- It’s a nature reserve where you can see the rare Coco de Mai, the largest seed in the world. Due to which it also has the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Cost – 350 SCR, which in my opinion was way too expensive just to see a forest.
- It is also home to the rare Black Parrot, of which there are three species in Seychelles and one more sub-species in Madagascar. The birds are very shy and usually can only be heard.
- They offer a free guided tour at 9 am and 2 pm. We missed the tour as we reached at 3 pm. I had read, apart from the tour, there are guides available at an extra cost. Somehow, none were available when we visited.
- There are several possible walking routes, and their distances vary from 1.5 km to 4 km.
- Yes, we ticked off seeing Coco de Mai, apart from that we just saw palm trees and nothing more. The trail was hilly with loads of stairs. We asked a tourist there, what is there beyond this. They said it is the same, forest, nothing else. Therefore, we didn’t go further down and left.
- For us, it was a complete disappointment and way too costly. But I guess if you go to Seychelles you have to see the rare Coco de Mai before leaving. Alternatively, you can see Coco de Mai in Mahe (Botanical Garden) at only 100 SCR.
Return the car and fly back to Mumbai
We drove to the airport where we had to return the car. What followed next with the car rental company, you can read here. It was a nice parting gift to us from Seychelles.
We boarded our flight at 5:50 pm to Mahe. Thank God, I took the flight on the return leg and avoided the ferry. It was a mere 10-minute flight. The airplane was compact, saw lovely views and we reached at 6 pm. We had to collect our luggage and re-check in as flights were booked separately. It didn’t take much time, and we had hours to pass away. Our flight to Mumbai was at 10:10 pm. We grabbed some burgers from Burger King which was delicious. Air Seychelles flight meal was not edible, and we touched down in Mumbai at 4:15 am after spending a month in Africa covering Kruger and Durban (South Africa), Namibia and Seychelles.
That’s it on a week in Seychelles itinerary and our trip report. I started this blog to cover all good and bad experiences. Unfortunately, this part of the trip had more bad experiences than good ones. I believe we were highly unlucky to face one problem after another which spoiled our trip. Sitting in Seychelles, I dreamt about planning a trip to Maldives (one day I will) and even missed Goa’s hospitality. After coming back, I actually booked a trip to Goa which got cancelled as my grandmother was ill.
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Check out the other post in this series:
Seychelles Car Rental (Nightmares) & Trip Planning
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or a free trip – We have paid for all our Holiday expenses but I spend a lot of time researching for the best deals and at times do get a discount as I run a travel business as well. However, this post contains some (not all) affiliate links. Any purchase made through the links will help support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!