Seychelles was a place I had never imagined going, only because I had never heard of it before moving abroad. There are over 100 small islands making the country in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa. Most of the trips I have done while living in Abu Dhabi have been just that – trips. Seychelles was a proper vacation. Well, a vacation in which we still set alarms and made an agenda – but to our liking! What we had planned was for five days of complete rest & relaxation. Turns out, that is harder to achieve than you may think – and especially in a place with so much to do and see.
The flight from Abu Dhabi to Seychelles is a short four hours. The highlight of the flight for me was hearing English and French flight instructions, a very familiar piece of home I had been missing (and a nice change from Arabic). Our drive to the hotel (from the east side of the island to the west) took only about 15 minutes. Up and then down the mountains, winding roads surrounded by lush green trees. We stayed at an amazing resort (Avani) with everything we needed there.
We spent the first afternoon LITERALLY BAKING ourselves in the sun. In case you were wondering, the sun in Seychelles is a lot stronger than the one in Abu Dhabi – take it from our experience.
We went for evening drinks (to cool us down, obviously) and relaxed.
After a night of a few drinks we then thought it would be a good idea to get up for sunrise at 5:45am. . . it was a very cloudy morning unfortunately. Tammy and myself decided to stay up afterwards and enjoy the morning ocean views while having coffee and reading our books.
We decided to rent a car to give ourselves the freedom and choice to go where we pleased. The car was small and fun and the steering was on the right (wrong) side, which was very… interesting.
We drove to Beau-Vallon Bay where we had to barter with a man to an even still unreasonable rate to take a boat to Anse Major, a short 15-20 minute speed boat ride. Okay, perhaps what we paid for was well worth it, incredible views of the most turquoise water I’ve ever seen. Anse Major is a small beach which is only accessed by boat or by hiking a 1.5hr trail . . . we chose the easier option. We spent the afternoon snorkelling (and for some, trying to snorkel) and relaxing on the quiet, nearly-private beach.
There was a small market near where we parked our car, so we tried some foods (pork). On our drive back, we stopped for the best ice-cream I swear I’ve ever had, coconut flavour. We spent the evening sitting outside on the hotel balcony smoking shisha.
The next morning we thought it would be a good idea to wake up early again to try and catch the sunrise at Mission Lodge, which turned out to be a historical site. We perched where Queen Elizabeth II had once sat to drink tea and looked out over the southern part of the island. It was a cool and cloudy morning, so the sunrise wasn’t perfect, but still great views! We got back to the hotel around 8 and went back to bed (lol).
After we woke for the second time that day, we spent the entire day driving the southern part of the island, stopping off at beaches that were completely empty and untouched. This was my favourite part of the trip, you could pull your car over where you saw white sand and glowing water and enjoy a private beach. We stopped at a cute restaurant for lunch and continued our way south. We stayed on one beach until sunset and then made our way back to our hotel.
For every trip, there is (usually) a particular part or event that is the ‘pit’ of the time away. Let me first say I have been on boats before – I did a sailing trip in grade 9 and I was NOT prepared for the sea sickness that came my way on our day trip to La Digue. We had planned to spend the day on Seychelles third largest island, La Digue. To get there, you have to take a 1 hour boat ride across the Indian Ocean to the first island, Praslin. Then, a second 15 minute boat to La Digue. If you have never been sea sick, I wish you never to experience it. The worst part of it was that I knew I still had the return trip to look forward to. . .
Once we finally made it to land, La Digue was such a small, quiet and cool island. The main mode of transportation is bicycles. We rented our bikes and set out to explore the island that hosts some of the best beaches in the world. Most of these famous beaches are not swimmable, the waves are huge and the tides are strong. It is absolutely breathtaking and mesmerizing.
We spent only a few short hours on the island, with more pedalling time than we had thought. We did have time to relax before making the dreaded trek by boat back home (yes I was sick again). Once we got back to the resort it was bed for me from all the sun and sea sickness.
Our final day in Seychelles was a cloudy, windy and rainy one. But as stubborn as we are, we did not let it stop us from laying out by the pool and trying to tan. Except, rather than tanning I achieved an even worse sunburn than the first day we arrived. We left our resort while it was raining in the evening and made our way back to the desert.