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Nirvana on earth

Rupali Dean |


I got a taste of the famed Sri Lankan hospitality on board the Srilankan Airlines as I flew to Seychelles. I was absolutely surprised with a delightful diversity of food and I must add that the airline has intelligently devoted time in picking perfect in-flight meals.

Gateway to Seychelles is the Seychelles International Airport, located near the Capital city Victoria, on Mahe, the foremost island of the Archipelago. It is a good idea to stay in Mahe and do day trips around. Mahe thrives on its tourism and tuna fishing and one can actually anchor close to the tuna factory. The local people are Creole and everyone speaks French, English and Creole. If you are an early riser, you should definitely check out the fishermen fetching in the morning catch. Climate permitting, the fishermen at Beau Vallon use a small pirogue boat to set their nets and then tow them right into the beach, where everybody waits to see the catch of the day.

Tranquility at its best

Do not also miss boarding a catamaran and head out to Cerf Island, a small island about four miles offshore from Port Victoria. You will be sailed out to Cerf Island and then relocated to a semi-submerged vehicle, somewhat like a submarine, that allows you to view the reef. Back on the catamaran, you can cruise down the east coast of Mahe to a whimsical beach at Anse Royal. Thesand is like milled sugar and a great place to swim. Situated 20 minutes from Victoria, is Le Jardin du Roi (open daily from 10 am to 5 pm) an expansive spice plantation. It is an exceptional opportunity to sample food preparations with freshly grown spices and fruit. The picture-perfect place for an enjoyable calming day out, filled with fantastic aromas, food and views.

A cruise to Praslin

After arriving at the Jetty in Praslin on a Catamaran, you can grab your bags and begin walking down the pier towards the main road to catch a taxi, bus or simply walk around. This is the second largest island of the Seychelles and 44 km north east of Mahe. Valle de Mai in Praslin is a world heritage site because of the coco de mer trees that grow exclusively here, also supposed to be the world's largest nuts. Rambling around inside is bliss for the senses…it's not known as Garden of Eden for nothing. If you are fortunate you can even spot a black parrot out there.

As you sail northwest to the world's best beach, you may catch a small bonito as you round off the peninsula just outside the marine park area. With the fish in you will turn to a corner and sight portrait perfect tropic beach scenery ~ Anse Lazio. With a fine sandy beach, incredible setting it's no wonder this particular beach was filled with tourists. Undoubtedly sunsets at Lazio beach rank with the best in the world and a sundowner just makes it tranquil to appreciate.


Visa: On arrival and is free for Indians.

How to get there: Srilankan Airlines offers very good connectivity with absolutely brilliant hospitality and food on board.

Where to stay: Nestled in the Intendance Bay on Mahe Island, Banyan Tree Seychelles is 30 minutes by car from Mahe International Airport and 45 minutes from the Capital Victoria. Each spacious villa has its own private swimming pool and sundeck; some even have a private outdoor jet pool.