There’s so much more to the Seychelles than meets the eye, says Aisha Gross

When one envisions the Seychelles, pristine beaches with powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters immediately spring to mind. But there are so many more things to do in the Seychelles. While the allure of these idyllic coastlines is undeniable, the Seychelles offers a treasure trove of diverse landscapes and cultural experiences beyond its breathtaking shores. Island hopping here is not just a mode of transportation, it’s a passport to unparalleled natural wonders, with each island singing with its own character, offering a distinct flavour of the Seychellois experience.  

Here are five things the Seychelles has to offer away from the renowned beaches.  

Coco de Mer palm, Vallee de Mai, Seychelles

1. Vallee de Mai: The Enchanted Forest

Nestled in the heart of Praslin, the second-largest island in Seychelles, lies the Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This mystical forest is home to the legendary coco de mer palm, which produces the world’s largest seed. Walk along the shaded pathways, surrounded by towering palms and the haunting calls of the rare black parrot, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a prehistoric paradise. 

Corals and fish Seychelles

2. Aldabra Atoll: A World Apart

Aldabra Atoll, the world’s second-largest coral atoll, is a remote and untouched wonder. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, this atoll is home to the largest population of giant tortoises on Earth. Dive into the pristine waters surrounding Aldabra to witness vibrant coral reefs and an array of marine life. It’s a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking an unspoiled, remote escape. 

Creole cuisine

3. Creole Culture: A Tapestry of Traditions

Immerse yourself in Seychelles’ rich and warm Creole culture by exploring the vibrant markets and engaging with the warm-hearted locals. Taste traditional Creole cuisine infused with exotic spices and flavours and let the rhythmic beats of traditional music guide you through the colourful streets.

Aldabra Atoll giant tortoises

4. Curieuse Island: Home to Giant Tortoises

Curieuse Island, with its rust-coloured earth and dense mangrove forests, is a sanctuary for giant Aldabra tortoises. A nature reserve and marine park, it offers hiking trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints, providing a unique perspective of Seychelles’ myriad landscapes. 

Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue

5. La Digue: The Granitic Beauty

Famous for its granite boulders, La Digue is a postcard-perfect island with a laid-back charm. Explore the iconic Anse Source d’Argent, a beach adorned with giant rocks and turquoise waters, and cycle through vanilla plantations to experience the chilled-out pace of island life.  

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