A special award from Emirates for “Best Travel Story”
About 2 o’clock after midnight, the stewardess on the airplane woke me up. Is the airplane on fire? Has the engine stopped working? Are we being kidnapped? What is it? With a warm smile, she said, ”Excuse me, Madam, here is your breakfast!” Half dreaming, I was looking at my vegan breakfast in front of me: fruits, burgers, beans in chili sauce, a pastry, and margarine. Okay. I really like beans in chili sauce, but not at 2 o’clock in the morning! I’d rather sleep at that time.
After my midnight breakfast, I went back to sleep as if nothing abnormal happened and I woke up in SEYCHELLES! I got there thanks to receiving a special award from Emirates for “Best Travel Story”, so I forgave them for waking me up at 2 am for delicious breakfast.
The best 7 beaches at Seychelles – Mahe Island
We spent 4 days on Seychelles’ largest island, Mahe, discovering amazing beaches that look exactly like the commercials and tourist catalogs: white sand and turquoise ocean surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. This was the first time we traveled without our kids too, so naturally, we kept mentioning them every step of our way.
There are two ways you can explore the island: taking the local bus for less than 1 euro or rent a car for 50 EUR per day. I will never forget our bus adventure of hair-raising windy roads surrounded by wild vegetation: it was a combination of Luna and Jurassic Park. The kids would have loved it.
After our short bus adventure, we decided to rent a car instead. In four days, we managed to see seven of the best and most beautiful beaches at island Mahe recommended by locals.
1. Port Launay South Beach
We were happy to meet Steve, a local guy who has lived his whole life with his family in the nature reserve of Launay beach. He grows his own organic vegetables and fruits all year round and sells it daily on the beach. We might have looked like some version of Adam and Eve in Eden but without the forbidden fruits. Okay. They were actually naked, but we were not going to gain popularity in that way.
We tested all kinds of fruits for only a few euros. It was one of the most special breakfasts we ever had. You can have a young coconut in a nice bar on the beach, but we preferred to buy it from Steve. It was a bit cheaper and he also opened the coconut shell with a big knife so we could eat the pulp inside. It was so refreshing and delicious!
2. Surfers Beach
This is a beach with the most shade on Mahe island. I noticed it is also very popular among crabs who made so many holes that you could probably play mini-golf on the beach too. The kids would have loved it. As its name suggests, this beach is popular among surfers, but if you like to surf on the internet, you will be disappointed because Wi-Fi is not allowed in the beach bar. They recommend people talk to each other and listen to the sounds of the Indian ocean. We totally liked these rules.
3. Anse Intendance
We were a little sorry that we couldn’t see the other islands of Seychelles (La Digue and Praslin), also known for their amazing beaches, but when we got to Anse Intendance, I just knew that nothing could be better than this. It had the picture-perfect long white beach, turquoise ocean, and palm trees. It is very isolated and peaceful but be aware of the giant waves which turned out to be very high and unpredictable.
4. Anse Soleil
Without a doubt, this is the best beach on Mahe by our choice. We use to spend hours in the warm and calm hug of ocean admiring lush paradise vegetation and finally got sunburned. It is ideal to spend a whole day here since there are enough lush shade and a lovely small hotel-restaurant with an adorable ocean view terrace.
5. Takamaka Beach
If I ever come back to Seychelles again I would like to stay in the Chez Batista Villas located on the idyllic Takamaka Beach. 7 nights in August for two people in this villa is $1200. This photo is taken on their ocean-view terrace.
6. Anse Royal beach
Anse Royal is the most exotic beach on Mahe island with palm trees and mammoth rocks. The ocean changes its color too: it appears to be turquoise when it is bright and sunny and when it is cloudy, it’s an emerald green color. The only downside is that this beach is just next to the main road so it is always noisy and more crowded than other beaches on the island.
7. Beau Vallon
After we had seen all the amazing beaches on Mahe island, we found this one to be the most touristy, crowded, noisy, and also full of restaurants, bars, and hotels. Maybe the best day to visit this beach is Wednesday because of the weekly traditional street food market next to the beach. It’s a good opportunity to feel the local atmosphere.
Victoria – the smallest capital town in the world
There wasn’t too much to do there, to be honest. We visited the famous Victoria Market hoping to experience a vibrant dynamic place where you can feel the local spirit – but it just wasn’t there. Friends who also visited Victoria told me that it is worth seeing the botanical garden with its exotic plants and giant tortoises, but it was too hot for us to walk around.
Life long sentence for innocent tortoises
Some tortoises live in nature reserves and others are in cages so that tourists can see them close up. I didn’t like seeing the tortoises in cages. Tortoises can have an average lifespan of 80 to 120 years old. Imagine spending all this time in prison! It sounds to me like a life-long sentence given to serial killers. Well, they do have a tough armor that protects them from predators, but it cannot protect them from human cruelty.
Vegan Guide to Seychelles
It is good to be vegan in Seychelles because there are plenty of fruits and vegetables all year round, BUT if you are looking for vegan options in restaurants, you’ll be quite disappointed because there are only a few vegans meals on some restaurant menus. Seychelles is also quite expensive when it comes to food and drinks. A simple vegan meal in a restaurant (a vegetable curry or noodle dish) is generally between $17 to $20.
We enjoyed young coconut and all kinds of fruits: Jackfruit, Mango, Bananas, Star Fruit, Papaya, Passion Fruits and Golden Apple.
Here are our top 5 vegan meals on Mahe island, Seychelles:
1. Vegan curry in the hotel restaurant at Anse Soleil Beach
2. Wok vegetables in Hotel Restaurant at Anse Soleil Beach
3. Vegan Sushi at the Four Seasons Hotel
4. Vegan Indian Food in the Restaurant Maharaja at Eden Island
5. Fried bananas and breadfruit at the street market in Beau Vallon (available every Wednesday)
As you can see, there are not many vegan options on Seychelles, so a good solution is to stay in accommodations with a kitchen and buy ingredients in the mini-marts, fresh produce at the big market in Victoria or from local street vendors. I have found recipe ideas from Veganopoleio very inspirational. This musician chef travels all over the world and prepares a variety of vegan meals with local ingredients she sources as well as preparing vegan versions of traditional dishes.