The striking shoreline of Anse Source d’Argent Beach, Seychelles

Top Reasons Why Seychelles Is The Best Destination For Your Next Island Vacation

Exploring the blues, greens, and everything
in between on this charming archipelago.


As a beach lover who grew up by the sea, I’m naturally drawn to coastal destinations. Azure waters fringed by foamy waves and the chance to unwind on shimmering sands is what I consider ‘soul therapy’. And so, mid-pandemic, when the opportunity arose for me
to visit Seychelles, an East African gem home to 115 islands of which Mahé, La Digue, and Praslin are popular stops, I packed my mask and swimsuit and looked forward to a few days of relaxation and a break from the worries of life. And what a salubrious stress buster it turned out to be!

Celestial Surroundings

Hikers walking through the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
Hikers walking through the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve.

I knew my tryst with the country was blessed when, while huffing and puffing my way up the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Praslin Island, I caught a glimpse of magic. The sun shone behind it like a halo and some branches obstructed my view, but there it was—the elusive Seychelles black parrot. Despite being
the country’s national bird, this avian is a rare find even for the locals.
I pulled my phone out and just then, as if on cue, the shy bird flew off into a dense green thicket, catapulting me back to relative reality—
I say this because it’s hard to ward off fantasy in Seychelles. This enchanting forest’s biggest draw is the coco de mer, an endemic
palm tree with oddly shaped seeds that can weigh up to 30 kilograms—I couldn’t hold the tiniest one for more than a few seconds! Their unusual forms allude to the birth of man and woman, earning Vallée de Mai the title, ‘Biblical Garden of Eden’. It may well be so. The murmur of hidden insects, shadows cast by flying birds, and the salty smell of the ocean mixed with earthy vegetation feel like a dream.
I almost expected a magical creature to show up at any moment! While the palm trees create a canopy and shield you from the sun,
it gets quite humid and, soon, I was ready to return to my hotel for
a night of island-themed dreams.

Photogenic Ocean Vistas

The striking shoreline of Anse Source d’Argent Beach, Seychelles
The striking shoreline of Anse Source d’Argent Beach, Seychelles.

The next morning, a 15-minute ferry ride from Praslin’s jetty took me to the delightful island of La Digue. It’s home to Anse Source d’Argent, widely believed to be the most photographed beach in the world. This Instagram darling features large granite boulders that protrude dramatically from the shoreline towards the sky, surrounded by dancing palm trees. The translucent cerulean waters are shallow, making the beach perfect for families with kids to enjoy. The weather was exquisite, and I set out to explore the marine life ‘down under’ on the amazing Robinson Crusoe glass kayak tour. Completely transparent, these self-rowed boats allow for a different perspective of the waters, and I was mesmerised by the clear views of the butterflyfish, porcupinefish, and colourful coral beneath me. Unable to resist the urge to feel the cool water against my skin, I headed back to the shore and waded into the shallow reef, which was teeming with fish. They nibbled at my feet as if to say “hello”. I laughed at the ticklish sensation, and the world felt light and happy. Totally rejuvenated,
I was ready to explore the islands.

A Peek into the Past

The Aldabra giant tortoise.
The Aldabra giant tortoise.

The shores of Anse Source d’Argent is accessible via the vast L’Union Estate, a former coconut and vanilla plantation, offering excellent insights into the nation’s colonial past. The Plantation House is a lasting example of French colonial architecture replete with a thatched roof. The most entertaining attraction at the estate, however, are the Aldabra giant tortoises. One of the largest of their kind in the world, these creatures are endemic to Seychelles and outlive humans by at least 200 years. What sets them apart are the loud grunts they let out while staying still. Like straight-faced comics, they catch you unawares, eliciting laughter from the toughest cynic.

Eat and Be Merry!

A Creole dish of octopus and curry sauce with rice.
A Creole dish of octopus and curry sauce with rice.

Ocean breeze and endless swims have always made me ravenous. Amidst all the prawns, crabs, and octopuses, is one local favourite: Pwason Griye is a homestyle dish wherein an entire fish, marinated
in lime, garlic, and herbs, is grilled for that perfect crunch. I also recommend the Kari Koko ala Seselwaz, a Creole dish of coconut milk broth infused with cinnamon, curry leaves, and local spices. Seychelles epitomises the essence of slow travel. Here, balmy days are spent on luxurious snoozes at the beach and indulgent meals. I aspire to live up to the words of the great poet William Henry Davies: “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.” I didn’t stop at
just staring, but also savoured every bit of this diamond in the Indian Ocean


Related: An Unexpected Safari