My first memory in the Seychelles is standing on the deck of a ferry, with the wind caressing my hair and the seagulls whispering my name, as I counted the shades of blue in the vast ocean before me. I slowly realized it was a pointless task. Over the last three days, I’ve rekindled my love affair with the Indian Ocean, spent lazy afternoons on a hammock, snorkeled into the underwater world, rediscovered the goodness of Creole curries, and settled into the susagade island life.
These are my first impressions of the Seychelles:
1. The ocean is as blue as it’s been in my dreams!
On a clear day, you can see at least four shades of blue in the water, and when you walk closer on the soft white sand, you can see the base of the sea; I snorkeled into the water right from the beach at Kempinski, and found myself amid schools of tiny fish, black sea urchins, and big colorful fish. The blues of the Indian Ocean can cure any other kind of blues, I tell you.
2. The locals are friendly but shy.
I spent an afternoon cycling on the car-free island of La Digue, along the narrow residential by-lanes where locals lounged around on their hammocks and balconies (what a life, right?). I constantly exchanged smiles and bonjour with fellow cyclists, and struck up conversations every time I got lost or stumbled upon a pretty house (and there were so many). The locals were extremely friendly, spoke perfect English, felt happy to help with food recommendations and directions, and one even walked me and my bike to the edge of the forest so I could find my way out. But like in Rodrigues, they seemed shy to come out with their life stories or ask me mine.
3. Creole food is delightful.
Mauritius introduced me to Creole food just over a year ago, and I’ve craved those curries, gateau piments, and rolls since. Sampling a veggie and egg Creole curry at a neighborhood restaurant at La Digue had me filled with nostalgia. I’ve also sampled the most delicious chapatti stuffed with dhal curry (influenced by India but with an African twist) at the night street market in Mahe.
Warning though, my lunches at fancy resorts like Banyan Tree and The Hilton haven’t lived up to my expectations; their set menu offered our group of Indian travel writers, wait for it… daal and palak paneer! Kempinski was an exception, and served up sumptuous fusion Creole dishes and desserts.
4. It’s different from Mauritius.
At first glance, Seychelles can seem like a sibling of Mauritius, but there’s so much that sets them apart. Seychelles feels a bit more rustic, a bit more adventurous, with so many islands to hop to, the forests and birds in its interiors, the dramatic hilly backdrops, and the contagious susagade lifestyle of the locals. It reminded me a bit of Sri Lanka, Goa and Rodrigues.
5. It is possible to do on a not-so-tight budget.
Would you believe me if I told you that I considered extending my trip by ten days beyond the press trip, on my own expense? I eventually chickened out after a bit of research on Google, for fear I might go bankrupt. But after coming here, I’m sure that if you choose to live in a quaint guesthouse and eat only at local restaurants, Seychelles is possible to do on a budget. Budget accommodations range from INR 4000-8000 (50-100 Euros) a night, and a simple meal for two at a local neighborhood restaurant costs INR 2000-2500 (20-30 Euros). So yes, you don’t need to burn a whole in your pocket to experience paradise!
Have you been to Seychelles? What were (are) your impressions?
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*Note: I’m in Seychelles on invitation from the Seychelles Tourism Board. Opinions are always my own.
Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.
Makes me reminisce my stay in Seychelles. It’s so pristine and serene.. Do go to the northholme side .. It’s much more beautiful 🙂
I can imagine Pallavi; when were you here? I wish I was extending my trip beyond the press trip, but unfortunately I’m heading back tomorrow. The other islands have to wait for my return.
Awesome pictures and description! You know, going to Seychelles has always been a dream of mine. We never made it though. At least not yet. Your post inspires me to go there, at least for a few days.
Isn’t INR 2,000-2,500 for a simple meal for two a bit much? Are there cheaper options available? How is the availability of vegetarian food there?
Also, it would be great if you could post about the more affordable stay options in Seychelles and a location-wise comparison, if possible.
Thanks 🙂 I hope you stay longer than a few days, I’m sitting at the airport and really regretting not staying longer!
It’s certainly not cheap, but I meant to say that it’s equivalent of prices in Europe and not AS expensive as it’s positioned to be. Only street food is cheaper than this, and delicious too, but you can’t eat it everyday I suppose! There’s plenty of good vegetarian food, both Creole dishes and international.
Unfortunately I can’t write about more affordable stay options because I didn’t end up staying at any of them. I saw lots of them in La Digue though – quaint French villa style guesthouses – so that’s where you should be looking 🙂
Wooohoooo…..what a blog shivya !! My fav blog so dar 🙂 !!!
Thanks Pushkar, glad you liked it so much!
Great post and beautiful photos.
Shivya, need your reco’ on affordable accommodation and “veggie options” 🙂
I’ll write a bit about the veggie options, but the former shall have to wait till my next trip. Seychelles tourism only put us up in resorts, but I saw plenty of charming little guesthouses on La Digue island.
It looks beautiful. I would love to go there
I’m sure you would love it, Debra!
Nice one, Shivya! Seychelles sounds incredible – especially the local life. 🙂
It certainly has been interesting. Wish I had more time to soak in the local culture than I did!
Seychelles looks so lovely! But 70+ Euros per person per day is hardly ‘budget’ (or am I just being a cheapskate? 😛 ) But then you DO say not-so-tight.
Either way 🙂 Loving the pictures. And oh the fooood!!! I think I would stick to seafood though 😉
i agree with surya. 70 – 130 Euros a day is not budget travelling for me either 🙂 and the pictures are beautiful 🙂
It’s certainly not budget, but I meant to say it’s about the same budget as flashpacking around Europe; not all of it is as expensive as it’s positioned to be.
So gorgeous, the Seychelles is a place that overwhelmingly reads honeymoon destination to me. However one of my travel magazines changed that for me recently and I think it would be a place that I’d really like to go. Your first commenter said it well, very serene looking and I could use that now, well any time of year actually.
I agree it’s so much more than a honeymoon destination! Such beauty can inspire any kind of traveller, and then there are adventure sports, hiking, culture, cuisine, music, what not. Plan a trip!
Please give details about visa requirements for India Passport holders.
Siva, it’s visa on arrival! Not even a visa actually, just a stamp shaped like the famous coco-de-mer, the indigenous coconut. Isn’t that awesome?
Great piece! Love the way you write! I like how you always mention about the local people. The best way to know about a place!
Thanks Kush, happy to hear you liked it 🙂 And yeah, it’s interesting to observe the locals and see a place through their lens. You’re probably going to like the story I posted last night then. Comes right from the heart of a local!
seychelles is near by africa right…. and i think it is near to madagaskar aslo…
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Nice blog post on Seychelles, my country !
And yes, you can visit Seychelles, get your visa at the airport if you have a valid passport, a return flight ticket and a place to stay.
Isn’t that great !
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Hi there, I need your help on deciding my honeymoon destination. I’m torn between Mauritius and Seychelles. My future husband and I plnned to visit either one of these island and then visit capetown after that. Which island is more beautiful and perfect for honeymoon, im a bummer for beautiful beach! And also is South Africa a suitable place for honeymoon as well? Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!
Hi shivya! I love your posts.. Could you help me out in deciding between Seychelles , Maldives and Bali for a 5 day trip?
Shivya !! You are just Amazing !!