Seychelles. The Gate to Heaven

by Stewart Rafael
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Seychelles International Airport is among the largest airports in Seychelles. To reach the archipelago you need a visa, but this is achieved at the airport entrance.

Mahe is the main island of the archipelago and is located in Northeast Seychelles. The highest point on the islands is Morne Seychellois, which has an altitude of 905 m and is in Morne Seychellois National Park. In the south and west of the island are national parks Baie Ternay and Port Launay, while the northern and eastern portions are the most populated. Mahe forests contain rare plant species unique in the world as well as jellyfish tree, carnivorous plants and many species of orchids. Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, is the largest city on the island is the second largest city Takamaka number of inhabitants and Beau Vallon is one of the most popular beaches in the Seychelles.

Mahe is one of the most populated by tourists and here there are a plenty of traditional art galleries and monuments, and historic sites and gardens lush with vanilla or orange plantations. On this island the locals still deal with spices, and tourists are invited to attend the manufacturing processes… candles handmade, flower petals, spices or medicinal herbs.

Mahe is a granite formation and is part of the other 117 granite and coral islands being the largest as area. It is surrounded by a belt of coral sand beach. Mahe is the only island in the archipelago that has an international airport (Seychelles International Airport), which opened from 1972. It is located at a distance of 11 km south-east of Victoria.

Mahe Island hosts the capital of the republic - Victoria, the smallest capital in the world, the airport and the main port. The island has the highest peaks in the archipelago, a large area covered with tropical vegetation and 70 beaches. The main attractions on the island of Mahe are the Natural History Museum, Botanical Garden and Clock Tower in Victoria. Beau Vallon is the most popular beach on the island of Mahe (of approximately 70 beaches), where you can practice different sports and snorkeling and diving. Morne Seychellois National Park is the largest national park in the Seychelles, founded in 1979 and covers an area of ​​3,045 hectares, over 20% of the island Mahe. In March, in Mahe takes place the Francophone Festival, with movies, music, theater and other cultural events in French and in June there is the Festival of Classical Music.

The only places in the world where there are ’’coco-de-mer palm’’, being considered an UNESCO monument or the ‘’jellyfish tree’’ are in Seychelles.

The official language spoken is Creole, but most people speak English and French. The official currency is the ‘’rupee’’, divided into 100 cents, but for most tourism services you can pay also with dollars. Islands climate is always warm, no extreme temperatures, rarely fall below 24 degrees Celsius or rise above 32 degrees Celsius, making these islands one of the most magnificent destinations.

Now comes the super interesting part ... the pearl of Seychelles Islands and also their symbol, is the ‘’Seychelles Palm’’. This palm grows only on the island of Praslin, another beautiful and fascinating island, which is located at only 15 minutes from Mahe. This stunning palm height up to 30 m, and the length of the leaves is between 3 and 5 m, with a mass of 20 kg, is the largest on earth. Palm trees live up to 1,000 years, and each fruit bakes for 6-8 years, quite impressive! On Praslin, the second largest island, go to the famous Vallée de Mai, another site that is part of the World Heritage, where you will find the ‘’double-nutted coco-de-mer palm’’. You should see the Birds Island too, where are the rarest birds in the world, some of them unique.

The best place for shopping is Victoria, the capital, such as Seychelles Buy and Sell and the traditional souvenir ‘’coco-de-mer’’, also shells, jewellery with pearls, textile, art items and so on. The local teas and perfumes are one of the best in the world, the teas are very concentrated and flavored and the perfumes have a persistent fragrance.

The most delicious dishes are based on fish ocean seafood, exotic fruits such as papaya, mango, melon, apples and limes and the main meat is fish and chicken, which are well seasoned. A special culinary delight is the rabbit fish, which secretes a toxic substance slightly dizzy and the effect is the same as the alcohol consumed in excess. You may also try the octopus with curry and coconut or sea snail soup with fresh pumpkin.

Vanilla shrubs, tea plantations, orchids, the turquoise see… inexplicably beautifully, all kind of flavors, essences, freshly ground sand, everything here is superlative. Seychelles.

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