Most people consider it to be as beautiful as Maldives, but in reality it is more charming than Maldives. Although Maldives has beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and dense coconut trees, similar to Seychelles, the landscape that defines Seychelles is extraordinarily bewitching.
Seychelles is voted as the place that has "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" by the international travel magazines. It is considered to be rich in natural resources like Coco de Mer, the palm that bears the world's biggest coconuts, the giant tortoises, and the famous sites where you get a glimpse of the stunning whale sharks. The Coco de Mer fruit is a reminiscent of a woman's hips, beautifully sculpted by Mother Nature.
The most famous beaches in Seychelles
The beaches of Maldives with their blue seawater and white sand are undoubtedly breathtaking. But the beaches in Seychelles break this monotony with their smooth granite rocks, pink sand, and pure seawater. (The beaches at Seychelles are known to have the world's purest seawater).
These beaches have the ability to cause a soul stirring melancholy. The shades of the water, royal blue, dark blue, and sometimes with a tinge of green caused due to the interreflection between the colors of the rocks, the sea bed, and sea weeds are captivating.
The Republic of Seychelles owns more than 100 islands and 200 beaches. The most beautiful beaches are located on the Mahe, Praslin and La Digue islands. The Anse Intendance beach is the widest beach on Mahe, rich with lush green coconut trees. The lovely dolphins grace the shore every evening, making the beach a major tourist attraction and a reason for a lot of international hotels to be built surrounding the beach.
One more breathtaking beach in Seychelles is Anse Lazio located on the Praslin Island. The water at this beach is strikingly bright and luminous as compared to the other beaches. Anse Lazio is the beach where you feel serenity and piece that is inimitable.
Last but not the least, the most beautiful beach on the La Digue Island is Anse Source D'Argent. Voted as the "The Top Ten Worldwide Most Beautiful Beaches" by major international travel magazines, the beach is a rare combination of giant rocks, coconut trees with varying heights, and its unique appeal caused by the refraction of the sunlight.
Rendezvous with the Whale Sharks
If you are a diving enthusiast, you must be aware of the diving pleasures that Seychelles brings to you. What makes the diving resorts at Seychelles so special? In a nutshell, 900 species of fish, 100 kinds of sea shells, the word's largest coral reefs, and effortless encounters with sharks. If this reminds you of the movie "Jaws", fear not, because most of the sharks that you get to view at these diving resorts are harmless. The famous one amongst these is the Blacktip shark. Shark Bank is one of the most famous dive spots of Seychelles. Seychelles is known to be the best place in the world that facilitates an effortless viewing and up-close encounters with the majestic whale sharks.
Every year, from September to November, groups of whale sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Seychelles. It is actually possible to have a close encounter with them just by swimming rather than diving in the water. Christophe from France, who works in Seychelles since the past 7 years, narrated his adventure to us about a time when he took his canoe into the sea and got surrounded by more than 20 sharks. We asked with excitement "Did you dive into the water to get a closer view?" He said that it was unnecessary, because the whale sharks were literally swimming around his canoe. Even though it was not the prime season to see whale sharks when we interviewed him, we were lucky to get a glimpse of a one-meter long shark, at a depth of 7 meters and 20 minutes of exploring the underwater world. We also got the pleasure of viewing the colorful corals and fishes belonging to various species. Diving in the water at Seychelles is quite different from diving in the Red Sea or at Maldives. It is peaceful, because it is not very commercialized, thus attracting less divers. Also, the impressive number and type of big fishes in the Seychelles water makes your diving experience intriguing. The seawater at Seychelles is very clean and limpid, and is truly a paradise for underwater photography.
Visit Giant Tortoises
Seychelles is a land of giant tortoises. There are countless giant tortoises, some of them having sizes larger than a small table. You will encounter giant tortoises during your journey, and at all the beaches and hotels or even the restaurants that you will visit in Seychelles. If you want to see the most famous giant tortoises, you have to visit Bird Island. The Bird Island has the giant tortoise which weighs more than 800 pounds, is more than 200 years old and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
There are in total 17 giant tortoises living on the Bird Island. Take the example of my good friend Esmeralda. He broke the world record of being the world's oldest, biggest, and heaviest giant tortoise. People could not find out his exact age, until 20 years ago, a British zoologist did a health checkup for Esmeralda and calculated his date of birth to be June 1st 1771. He is 236 years old, 67 cm high, 1.27 meters long and weighs 800 pounds. Esmeralda belongs to the giant tortoise group which doesn't know how to swim and survives only on land. They soak themselves in shallow water during the hot summers.
In reality, the tortoises have been the habitants of the Bird Island since only the last 100 years. The real protagonists of the island are the birds. If you walk for 45 minutes around the island, you will get a chance to view 112 different kinds of birds, including many different species of seagulls. (The most common being Ferry Terns and Noddy Terns). The bird watching season is from October or November to April or May, as many migratory birds fly towards this island located near the equator, to take a break.
The total count of birds that reside on this island as well as the migratory birds that come to the island every year, accounts to 1.5 million. You will experience birds hovering around you wherever you go on this island. Even if it is 10 minutes journey from you mini-plane to the hotel, you will see birds belonging to various species fluttering the sky like fighter planes.
The Eco-tourism on Bird Island is very famous and chosen as the "World's Top Ten Eco-tourism Destination" by the BBC "Wildlife Magazine", because it is the place where travelers can closely appreciate the beauty of birds and actually track every movement of theirs. Sitting on the terrace of your hotel or lodge, you will be able to enjoy the view of the birds incubating under the trees, and if you actually look at the top of the trees, you will also notice dozens of tree nests.
At dusk, you will see tens of thousands of birds flying in the sky. The rooms in the hotels on the island do not have television and air-conditioning facilities. Even the lights in the room are kept very dim to not attract the animals on the island. The sky during the period of year from November to April is covered with shining stars and it is the best time of the year to gaze at the mesmerizing sky.
The World's Biggest Coco de Mer
Seychelles is the land of Coco de Mers. Coco de Mer bears the world's biggest coconuts and is considered holy in Seychelles. Their official national emblem is in the form of Coco de Mer. The reason for its popularity is the way in which the nature creates the shape of the coconuts belonging to Coco de Mers. The shape of the female Coco de Mar is like the hips of a woman and the shape of the male Coco de Mer is like the genital of a man.