Visiting Praslin Island, Seychelles

September 17, 2016

The Seychelles are right up there with the Maldives on the exotic-paradise-island scale.  While it might be a far off dream to ever grace these coral jewels of the sea, we’ll do our best to twist your arm into booking that bucket-list journey.  After all, they have some of the most remote white sand beaches one could ever dream of, and some of the most diverse underwater exploring to be found on the planet. Not to mention the creole cooking…

Glimpse the glory:

A Brief History

Seychelles is an island country located over 900 miles off the east coast of mainland Africa.  Just over 90,000 people populate 115 islands making up this archipelagic Republic, making it the least populous independent African state.  The islands remained largely uninhabited by humans, with real settlement only taking place in the late 1700’s.  The Seychelles is home to some unique wildlife, including giant tortoises, and the protected Seychelles black parrot.

While human presence has contributed to diminishing some of these native critter populations, the relative newness of the human footprint has spared a few of these sparse species from early extinction.  That said, if you’re gonna show your ‘environmental’side in the Seychelles, be sure to heed your step.  We’ve got a duty to keep the beauty, folks.

Off To The Beach

But first! Behold, the cave-dwelling tortoises:

If we’re talking bucket lists, we don’t have a whole lot of time to waste, so let’s just get to the good stuff.

Anse Lazio is hands-down the crown jewel of Seychelles beaches. Located on Praslin Island, the second-most populous of the Seychelles Islands, this stunning beach is something right out of your imagination. With incredible snorkeling, fine white sand, turquoise water, and big shady trees, you can be as active or lazy as you’d like at Anse Lazio, all the while soaking in the grandeur of this paradisian enclave.  The beach itself lies between two mountain peaks, creating an isolated bay, replete with breathtaking views in all directions.

anse-lazio-1

For the snorkel and scuba-inclined, and turtle-loving set, this beach is a perfect place to get up close and personal with the ancient creatures.  The only thing preventing contact might be the shark nets that have been in place to protect swimmers from the seldom seen beasts since 2011, after a pair of rare attacks sent the island and media into a bit of a tizzy.  Safe to say, ‘rare’ is the keyword when it comes to shark attacks in Seychelles, folks. 

Once you’ve scoped out the underwater scenery, or merely floated in the soothing waters, dry off and head up the hills for magnificent views of the bay.  It’s a quick 30-minute hike to the top, and well worth it.  You’ve got to earn your indulgences after all, right?

Speaking of grub, there are numerous indulgent beach eateries at Anse Lazio.  So if you don’t feel like trekking it back up to your luxurious villa, you’ll have no problem grabbing a bite by the ocean. You’re two closest options will be the very pricey Le Chevalier, and the more affordable local-cuisine, Bonbon Plume. Bon appetite!

Beyond Anse Lazio

Scuba-diving trips on the Seychelles are unlike anywhere else, for myriad reasons.  Some of the islands are made of granite, and others stone, while others are coral outcroppings.  This provides for high reef walls and steep canyons, inhabited by a gorgeous variety of fish and marine life; including hawksbill turtle, octopus, stingray, manta ray, butterflyfish, angelfish, humphead parrotfish, and the elusive hammerhead shark.  The list goes on, but you certainly get the drift.

The shallow waters of the Seychelles turn one man’s trash into another man’s treasure, as there have been many wrecks over the last century.  As is commonplace with exotic diving spots, a few of the ships here were sunk intentionally, but the most popular site remains the 1970 victim of a true sinking, the 47,000 ton tanker, Ennerdale.  Your best diving visibility will happen March-May and September-November.  The waters are warm, and visibility can be as high as 30 meters.

And last, but not least, for the hungry diver, or the supportive spouse who doesn’t dare explore the depths of the ocean, there are chartered dives with creole barbeque available on board.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Down into the clear blue deep:

With so many islands making up the Seychelles, it’s virtually impossible to cover the terrain here in one bitty article, but the diversity of flora, fauna and marine life here is astounding.  The islands play host to some birds, trees, and fruits, you’ll literally find nowhere else on earth.  And if you’re going all out on an excursion, why not go all the way?  Say no more, just Seychelles.

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