If you’re thinking of visiting the Seychelles as a tourist or yacht crew, then read on because this island paradise can be rather expensive if you’re not privy to some outstanding insider info…
Eden Island Marina
Firstly, if you are yacht crew, you are likely to be based in Eden Island Marina on Mahe Island. You’ll have access to the hotel swimming pool, with cabanas, lounging areas, and a bar on hand (at a discounted rate to yacht crew) all within one minute’s walk of your boat.
What else could one require? Well, there is a gym, tennis courts, beautiful grounds, a private beach and a number of other bars and restaurants for you to use if you so wish. There is also a very handy little supermarket, a small brewery and a wine shop with an international range. ‘Boardwalk’ notoriously gets a little rowdy on a Friday night too, for the party animal within.
On a Wednesday evening, head over to the Night Markets at Beau Vallon. It’s is a great place to pick up some local produce, locally made souvenirs, or some boozy coconut and juice shakes and they are also home to an outstanding chapati stand. My advice is that even if you are not a veggie, get the veggie one – it is the best. The chapatis are so cheap and there is always a queue, so it’s best to get there early.
From the night markets you can walk down to other evening drink spots overlooking the sea, which make for unrivalled points to watch the sun go down.
Also, in Beau Vallon, if you are in the market for sushi, head to Coral Strand – you won’t be disappointed.
Also, while you’re in the area hop in a car to Trader Vics for absurdly elaborate and extravagant cocktails and dinner to accompany. It isn’t cheap, but my word is it worth it.
Beau Vallon is also home to a handful of diving schools where you can do any level of PADI in crystal clear blue waters, surrounded by world-class coral reefs and shoals of stunning tropical fish. I did my open water for $200US!
From Beau Vallon, if you head down the coast, drive for a further 10 minutes and you will reach a discreet hotel on the coastal side of the road, called Bliss. Bliss is an absolute gem. Go there for sundowners, natural rock pools, white décor, hanging shells and watch the stars come out. It is totally magical and feels too good to be true.
Takamaka Rum Distillery
Make sure to do the distillery tour and book a spot in advance. I’d also highly recommend making a dinner reservation as well – embrace a pre-meal rum cocktail on the veranda out the front of this plantation house. A Mai Tai is divine, and the food too is exemplary and some of the best on the island.
The Four Seasons
This is an absolute must. Take a buggy all the way down to the pool and beach. Make sure to get a coconut and sit by the pool or pop into the sea for a swim. The background is Jurassic Park-esq. You will pay $40 or thereabouts to sit by the pool for the day but it’s worth it.
If you are in the market for a secret surf spot; an immaculate bay with a long, white, pristine beach that would be perfect for a surf or play in the waves followed by a BBQ and a few chilled bevvies, then head to Police Bay.
Words of warning: if you do visit this beach, make yourself aware of the dangers. Be careful with rip tides, as when the water and swell changes, it can all happen quite fast. I had the best fun in the swell and waves for about an hour, and all of a sudden, I could feel the change in the rip, and I was only a couple of meters out, but it was incredibly difficult to get back to the shore. So, don’t go out if it looks like there is a bit too much swell. Otherwise, you will be fine. Additionally, there have been recorded shark attacks… But there are shark attacks everywhere – I’m afraid it goes with the territory. So it’s amazing, but be cautious!
Here are some more things you have to do
Banyan Tree Resort (Anse Intendance) – this place is stunning. Try and get a buggy to pick you up because it is quite a walk, but if you can’t, then enjoy the beautiful stroll. There are a bar and a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the beach as well as a rum shack down by the sand for piña coladas. The infinity pool is outrageous and it’s a top spot to spend a lazy day.
Chez Batista (Anse Takamaka) – this is where to head for a hike up to a great rockpool that you can dive into. It can be tricky to find, so either take a guide or follow some others. There are also tortoises at the start that you can say hello to. ? ?
Del Place (Anse L’Islette) – this is a cracking restaurant in a great location.
Kas Kreole (Anse Royal) – service can be very slow, but this is a good spot for a pizza and a beer, or some other local food and a swim, or to watch the surfers come in.
Ophelia – this spot has great shallow snorkelling along the reefs off to the right side of the beach.
If you’re not on a budget, then of course go and stay in one of the incredible hotel resorts. If you are out there as yacht crew, watching the pennies, and fancy a stay in a hotel, keep an eye on the various hotel websites for last minute discounts. If you’re not in the market for an overnight stay, then a lot of the resorts are free to access, and you can use the sun loungers, pool and private beach free of charge. There are often Carnivals and other festivities to involve yourself with too.
Notes to the working chef: If you are planning to go to the local market, try and take a native with you. We had a local chap called Ryan working on our boat, and he would often come with me until they knew my face, and with his presence alone we would receive a better price. As you will see, there are no price labels so it can all seem somewhat arbitrary (and it is) at first.
Thanks:I would like to thank both Peter Reid and Katherine Marcilese tremendously, for their collaboration and support in pulling this article together.