On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:Food in the Seychelle islands comes with a modern Creole flair, but you’ll also find plenty of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines influenced by the surrounding cultures Africa and India. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors have rounded up the five best Seychelles food experiences not to miss:
1. Breadfruit. Breadfruit — which has a nutty flavor and is eaten in a variety of ways from fried to boiled — is so popular in the Seychelles, there’s also a saying that goes with it. The rumor is that anyone who eats breadfruit while on the islands will someday return — eat up, and enjoy.
2. Seafood curry. It makes sense that in a country Seychelles, sea creatures make an appearance on most menus and in most homes. But the best thing about Seychelles is the way the seafood is prepared — try the carii coco, based in coconut cream. It sounds basic, but is out of this world.
3. Tea. Visit the Tea Plantation and Tavern in Mahe, which provides tours demonstrating how tea is made, as well as samples of the many flavors produced. Don’t forget to buy some and bring it home to your tea-loving friends.
4. Coco d’Amour. A local favorite, this tropical coconut liquor is made with real coconut extract and features the famous coco-de-mer-shaped bottle. Ask a bartender for a coconut-flavored cocktail and enjoy a taste of the islands.
5. Millionaire’s Salad. Different from the marshmallow and fruit version popular in the U.S., this salad’s main ingredient is heart of palm, which requires an entire tree to be cut down to harvest the small heart.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:The weather in Seychelles stays relatively warm throughout the year, so when packing for a trip to Seychelles, include plenty of warm-weather clothes. If you’re staying at a luxury resort, dressier attire may be required, so be sure to bring a collared shirt and trousers for men, or a sundress for women. The tropical climate isn’t immune to rain, and downpours aren’t unheard of, so pack an umbrella and carry it with you at all times to be safe. As for money, bring a mix of cash and credit cards, as most hotels and restaurants prefer to be paid in anything other than the Seychelles rupee.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:It made international headlines in 2011 when one was given to Prince William and his bride during their honeymoon, but it’s also one of the most sought-after souvenirs to bring home from Seychelles: the coconut of the coco-de-mer palm tree. It resembles a female’s backside, but also requires a license to export out of the country.
If a giant nut isn’t your forte, take back some of Seychelles’ famous tea. Often difficult to locate once you leave the country, it’s available in a variety of flavors such as vanilla, cinnamon and mint, and will remind you of the islands’ relaxed atmosphere months after you return to your busy life.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:Seychelles isn’t exactly known for its raging after-dark culture, but if you look hard enough, you’re bound to find nightlife that suits your tastes. Hotels offer the best selection of bars and entertainment on any of the islands. Live music is popular, as is the local rum. It’s possible to enjoy your night without ever leaving your hotel, many of which also include casinos for a little late-night gambling. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors think some of the best include the Patchouli Bar at Le Meridien Barbarons, which also includes a cigar bar.
If your dancing shoes are calling from your suitcase, Mahe has the biggest selection of Seychelles-style “discotheques”. Katiolo offers an open-air dance floor that pumps the latest international hits into the night, but don’t let the casual atmosphere fool you — there is a strict dress code including no shorts and flip flops.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:The best way to see Seychelles in one day is simple — charter a boat. Assuming you are flying into Mahe from your mainland of choice, Forbes Travel Guide’s editors suggest starting the day by exploring Victoria. Grab a bite to eat, as well as some fruit and snacks for the day, before boarding your chartered rig. It’s more relaxing to hire a crew as well as a boat, so unless you are an experienced skipper, spend the extra money to put someone else in charge of steering.
Start with an hour-long ride to Praslin. The best part about having your own boat is that you can make your own schedule. Slow down to enjoy the sea views or speed up to explore what’s on land. Once you arrive in Praslin, immediately head to Anse Lazio. After enjoying this beach, which is often voted one of the world’s best, change directions and visit the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve — you cannot leave Seychelles without seeing the famous coco-de-mer coconuts.
Board the boat and move onto La Digue, taking time to enjoy the scenic views along the way. The rock formations of Anse Source d’Argent are calling. After a few photographs, and maybe a snack, continue the journey back to Mahe, where dinner at a Creole-inspired spot will finish off your day.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:If you’re looking for the best shopping in Seychelles, don’t bother with most imported goods; more often than not, the prices are higher than you would find on the mainland. Do, however, venture to the markets on Mahe Island and Praslin Island, as well as the most famous specialty shop in the Seychelles, Kenywn House, which is guaranteed to dazzle.
Sir Selweyn Clark Market is located in the heart of Mahe Island’s capital city of Victoria, and features vibrant stalls that sell everything from fruit and vegetables to tea and colored Seychelles sand in a bottle. It’s a true rendition of life on the tiny island and it’s full of Seychellois character.
The local artist George Camille opened his Praslin studio, the George Camille Art Gallery, in 2001 almost 30 years after opening his first Seychelles studio. His artwork is showcased around the globe, but he continues to call Seychelles home. Stop by his gallery to purchase one of his highly acclaimed mixed media pieces.
Also located in Mahe, Kenywn House has unique architecture that makes a visit here worth the trip. The 19th-century French colonial-style duty-free store houses South African diamonds, precious gems and a variety of local artwork. Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can still enjoy a walk through the tropical gardens and snap some photographs of the lush vegetation.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:While Seychelles is geared toward adults — it is, after all, a popular honeymoon destination — there are plenty of things for kids can see and do. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors have rounded up the five best things to do with kids when visiting Seychelles.
1. Curieuse Island. An excursion to this mostly deserted 1.10-square-mile island is a must with kids. The famous inhabitants include giant tortoises that roam free around the island and are protected by law in an effort to save them from extinction. Adults will enjoy the new eco-museum, which is housed in the converted Doctor’s House.
2. A day at the beach. One of the best things about Seychelles is that it’s a giant playground for children. The beach provides endless entertainment, whether it’s swimming, snorkeling or going on a treasure hunt in the sand. Bring a beach picnic and let your kids’ imagination run wild.
3. Cousin Island. The first internationally owned reserve in the world, Cousin Island is home to sea birds as well as Hawksbill turtles that use the island as a protected breeding ground. Kids will also enjoy the boat ride and the free-roaming animals.
4. Horseback riding. Available on several of the islands, you can explore the beaches on horseback with one of the many local outfitters. Make reservations for a ride in advance to ensure availability; the concierge at your hotel should be able to help you make the arrangements.
5. Kayaking. Work up an appetite with the little ones by going on a kayaking adventure. While the adults paddle, children can take in the sights, finding fish under the clear water and watching birds soar overhead — plus the water is just inches away. Equipment is easy to rent for the day or the week.
On August 16, 2012Janelle Schroeder answered the question:With 115 islands making up Seychelles, the things to see and do in this island nation are endless. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for five of the best things to see and do in Seychelles, which will take you to the most populated destinations and give you a taste of island life.
1. Anse Source d’Argent. A series of small coves on La Digue, this spot is most recognized from its granite rocks, which are probably the most recognized landmark for this country. Listen to the ocean while taking a walk — and, of course, take your own photos of this natural beauty.
2. Scuba Diving. Some of the most spectacular sites in Seychelles are under the crystal blue water. Unless the trip is a surprise, it’s best to get certified prior to arrival. See a rainbow of tropical fish and explore the reefs and rocks around many of the islands from the best vantage point: underwater.
3. Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. The UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a glimpse into the forest of Seychelles. The naturally occurring palm forest on Praslin Island contains the world’s largest population of the famous coco-de-mer palm tree. Walk the trail and you might just catch a glimpse of the rare black parrot, an added bonus.
4. Anse Lazio. It’s known as one of the world’s best beaches and Anse Lazio, located on Praslin, never disappoints. With a sheltered cove, it’s a great spot to do some snorkeling as well as sunbathing. Shark nets protect this beach’s waters, which means you can swim without worrying about who else lurks in under the surface.
5. Visit the capital. Victoria, which houses over a quarter of the country’s population, is the bustling city that keeps life in Seychelles moving forward. In addition to the many markets, see Little Ben, the replica of London’s Big Ben, built in 1903, and the botanical gardens.
On July 19, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Depending on what you’re craving, you’re sure to satisfy your inner foodie by dining out in Seychelles. While Creole flavors are heavily favored in Seychellois cooking, there are restaurants on the islands that serve everything from pizza to sushi. Read on for Forbes Travel Guide’s editorse list of the five best places to eat when in Seychelles.
1. La Goulue. This Creole-style eatery on Praslin lacks beach frontage, but that’s about it. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the restaurant’s wide selection of curry includes everything from chicken to fruit bat. If your taste buds aren’t craving curry, the fresh fish dishes are also varied and well prepared.
2. Konoba. Whether you’re looking for a daytime snack or happy hour specials, Konoba has it all. Seafood reigns supreme here, but the menu also includes meat with a Mediterranean flair. Drinks are colorful, the décor modern and the views better than you could imagine.
3. Saffron. Located inside the Banyan Tree Hotel and Resort, Saffron specializes in Thai-inspired cuisine. Try wok-seared lobster or any of the other spicy dishes while dining in a space that truly transports you to Southeast Asia, if only temporarily.
4. Gelateria de Luca. Go for ice cream — trust us. It seems simple but no trip to the beach is complete without it. Flavors rotate, and the Praslin shop also offers a selection of pizza and pasta if you need lunch before devouring dessert.
5. Chez Marston. Located on La Digue Island, Chez Marston’s owner doesn’t hide behind his food; in fact, he’s known for his attentiveness to his diners. The menu is large and offers everything from giraffe crab to hamburgers.
On July 19, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Though the Seychelles has no shortage of gorgeous beaches and clear blue water, you won’t find overwater villas here like in some other tropical destinations. But don’t be discouraged — here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best (on-land) places to stay in Seychelles.
1. Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. A hideaway of individual villas tucked into the trees on a hilltop overlooking the beach, this outpost of the Four Seasons group is located on Seychelles main island, Mahé. Lounge in your own private plunge pool, by the resort’s infinity edge main pool or on the resort’s beach.
2. Fregate Island Private. One of the world’s most exclusive retreats, this private island accessible by plane from Seychelle’s main island of Mahé, Fregate Island has just 17 private villas tucked into a lush landscape that deliver the utmost in privacy. Spend your time here indulging in top notch food and wine, pampering spa treatments or just lounging on one of the secluded beaches.
3. Raffles Praslin Seychelles. One of the newest resorts in the Seychelles, Raffles Praslin Island occupies 30 acres of lush, tropical grounds and includes personalized 24-hour butler service. The award-winning spa offers pavilions with panoramic views and treatments including salt scrubs, caviar facials and couples massages.
4. Banyan Tree Seychelles. This attractive resort made up of 60 individual villas sits on land once owned by Peter Sellers and George Harrison. Whether you choose something secluded in the hills or with a bird’s eye view of the Indian Ocean, each villa comes with its own private plunge pool.
5. Kempinski Seychelles Resort. With enough to do for the whole family, Kempinski Seychelles Resort is the perfect getaway on Mahe Island. Enroll the kids in their own activities club, which gives the adults time to swim in the Olympic-size swimming pool, or simply walk along the resort’s secluded beach.