Created by Lynn May Gosselin

Dreaming of an uber luxury, beach retreat?

Grab the best flight to the Seychelles in the West Indies. A French Republic, the Seychelles is made up of 155 tiny islands spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off Southeast Africa. The journey may be long for most to travel to this exquisite local but it’s worth it. The beaches are possibly the best in the world but there is more to explore than just turquoise waves and pristine sand. This quiet and exclusive island community is rich with ecotourism both above and below the water as well as fine dining and more. Depending on which of the islands you find yourself on, you will have a great selection of fun and adventure to choose from.

Rare sights

To explore the National Park and Forest of Vallee de Mai is one way to see the diverse nature on this small community. This little slice of paradise is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers the opportunity to see the rare Coco de Mer palms growing in their natural state. Located on Praslin Island, Vallee de Mai is one of only two places in the world where you can see this occur. Beyond the rare viewing, there over 50 other indigenous plants and trees to wander through. Hiking trails are lush and green with massive leaves of the Coco de Mer creating an incredible canopy to walk under. For bird watchers, Vallee de Mai is a super spot to see a number of interesting creatures.

Great dining

Situated on the largest of the island, Mahe, the perfect lunch is found at the Veranda Café. The friendly, warm atmosphere is definitely inviting and the food will not disappoint. The Veranda Café is primarily a lunch spot so be sure to make time in your day for a meal. Seychelles style cooking, similar to creole, fresh fish and amazing desserts are all on the menu. On request, the Café will open for dinner reservations if you call in advance.

Off the beaten track

A hike in the rich green tropics of Mahe Island is a great thing to do while on vacation in the Seychelles. Morne Seychellois National Park has tons of trails to explore on half-day hikes. You will be sure to encounter tropical birds, tiny frogs, stunning flowers and rich green leaves of all sorts. If time only allows for one wander, be sure to walk to the summit of Morne Blanc. This 45 minute hike reaches a summit of 2700 Ft and boasts some of the most spectacular views of the Indian Ocean you will ever see.

Capital exploring

Plan to spend a few hours in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, wandering the quaint streets and exploring the history of the island. A stop at the local market is a must to take in the fresh array of offerings found on the island. Tons of fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and interesting spices are always available. Be sure to have a look at the replica of Little Ben, a silver painted small replica of Big Ben in London. And the Natural History Museum is definitely worth some time. The museum showcases the awesome flowers, foliage and the natural heritage of the islands.