Here is everything you need to know about planning the perfect travel experience in Seychelles!
10 days in the Seychelles for the Muslim Traveller
Here is everything you need to know about planning the perfect travel experience in Seychelles!
The idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago of Seychelles is widely regarded as the perfect holiday destination for anyone. But if I was to tell you that a place that doesn’t even appear in most world maps is ideal for the Muslim traveller, you would think it’s impossible.
However, with most of the foodstuffs being imported from the United Arab Emirates, you can travel anywhere in the exotic archipelago without needing to sweat about finding halal food. This, along with the seclusion that Seychelles boasts as well as its warming people, makes it ideal for the Muslim traveller.
Here is my 10-day guide for travelling in Seychelles.
Although there used to be direct flights to Seychelles via British Airways, the flag carrier of the UK stopped these flights due to the impact of COVID; so get ready for stopovers and a minimum of a 15-hour flight via the middle eastern carriers of Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad.
With every hotel being halal, you are definitely spoiled for choice but there are still a few things to beware of when choosing the location of your hotel.
Chiefly, you need to avoid staying in the Islands of Praslin and La Digue; despite these Islands being home to the highest-rated beaches in the Seychelles, they are about an hour’s boat ride or 40-minute flight from Mahe Island adding further time, cost, and discomfort to the already long journey.
Therefore, staying in Mahe Island is a must for the perfect holiday; there is more to do in Mahe and you can always make day excursions to La Digue and Praslin respectively.
Day 1 – Get rid of that jet lag
Yes, as soon as you catch a glimpse of the pristine blue waters and sand at your beach you will probably forget about any jet lag but after a 15-hour flight, I highly doubt that you would be jumping on the opportunity to go Island hopping. So relax on your first day, enjoy actual food, and get the sleep you need.
Day 2 – Familiarising
Everything in Seychelles is quite slow-paced and relaxed, so get familiar with that on your second day.
Wake up late and savour your breakfast before heading to the beach. Whenever you visit the Seychelles, the weather won’t really be a problem with water temperatures remaining warm.
Talking about the ocean, the waves here that you get in Seychelles are insane. Just the sensation of being pushed by the waves will keep you entertained for a whole day and with an abundance of coral reefs and sea wildlife, snorkelling here can even be done directly from your beach. Through visiting the Ste Anne Marine Park, this will guarantee that you can see magnificent coral gardens, reef sharks, and colourful tropical fish.
For lunch, you should try creole grilled fish (usually mackerel) which is available pretty much everywhere from street food vendors and indulge on fresh coconut water and its meat (in a few days you will be familiar with the famous coconuts in Seychelles).
In the late afternoon, be sure to watch the incredible sunsets that Seychelles boasts from the sunset rocks as they’re called (these are usually the large granite boulders at the edges of the beach).
Day 3 – Trails
It’s about time that you leave the hotel and explore the vast array of trails across Mahe Island which take you twisting and turning through lush forests – usually to a secluded ribbon of beach.
The best of both worlds of hiking and views is at the Anse Major trail at the Northwest point of Mahe. If you are staying in Beau Vallon, most hotels tend to offer free shuttle services to the trail or you could immerse yourself in the Seychelles experience by taking the bus to the trail.
Ideally, you need to visit before the sun directly starts beaming onto you and wear proper shoes (unlike me who wore slides). Walking along the cliff edge, this trail will take you about an hour to complete and on the way, you will encounter houses situated on the cliff edge overviewing the turquoise waters which will make you immediately check house prices in Seychelles (and subsequently contemplate about living in the Seychelles).
At the end of the trail, you are greeted by the Anse Major beach, an untouched, minuscule beach isolated by the surrounding dense forests; spend a few hours soaking up the peace and serenity of this location and definitely try to pray Zuhr here as you will never be in such a place maybe ever again.
Be sure to bring food and water as there is literally no sign of civilisation for miles and take the shuttle boat back to Beau Vallon as it is free.
Day 4 – La Digue
Although you can visit both the Islands of La Digue and Praslin in a day, you will never be able to enjoy both in the way it’s supposed to be and you can’t visit Seychelles without visiting Praslin AND La Digue.
Mason’s Travel is the largest tour operator and you can’t really go wrong with them; most hotels book excursions via Mason’s Travel so it is likely you will be booked with them on your visit to La Digue.
You will be taken on a speedboat to Praslin Island first before taking another to La Digue which will take a total of 1hr 30 so it is no surprise that you will be having an early start on this day. Once you arrive in La Digue you will notice that there are no cars here, so be prepared to cycle around the whole island which is actually quite fun in the undulating terrain.
The main beaches to visit here are the world-famous Source D’argent; a largely popular beach with towering granite boulders, azure turquoise waters, and a tortoise feeding area; Anse coco which involves hiking and climbing some boulders to reach from Anse Petite but is definitely worth it; and Grand Anse where you are cordoned off by towering boulders and tidal swamps – there is also a restaurant here serving halal chicken.
As time is precious, La Digue makes sense for a day trip as you can pretty much cover the entirety of the island by cycle before heading back to Mahe.
Day 5 – Parasailing and more
Want to appreciate the views of Seychelles to the full extent? Then you must do parasailing here.
At Beau Vallon beach there is a water sports centre where they offer parasailing amongst other water sports activities; whilst it may seem scary being towed behind a 700hp speedboat with only a harness keeping you attached to your parachute, once you are up in the air the sheer beauty will distract you from the fear as you glide along the picturesque coastline of Mahe Island.
If parasailing really isn’t for you then there are still plenty of water activities for you such as kayaking, jet skiing, sailing, as well as scuba diving.
Day 6 – One of the smallest capital cities in the world
Taking up a third of its 82,000 strong population is the capital city of Seychelles, Victoria.
In the “city” you can visit the almost laughable clock tower known as “mini Ben” by the locals which was built in memory of Queen Victoria in 1903; visit the Victoria Botanical Gardens which is home to approximately 500 species of exotic and indigenous plants, as well as a large number of caves, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish; and visit the Sir Selwin Selwin Victoria market where you can see all types of Creole food in one place.
Just outside Victoria is the Copolia trail which takes you through the mist in the forests to a vantage point where you can see Victoria, the Dubai funded artificial Eden Island and the airport; if you are an av-geek I can assure you that there is probably no location like this to spot planes.
Day 7 – Mahe
Whilst you can get a guided tour of Mahe Island, driving in Seychelles is relatively easy as they drive on the left like in Britain.
Renting an air-conditioned car will cost around £30 for the day and you can drive around the whole Island in around 3 hours though there are many places to stop at such as Morne Seychellois national park; home to the largest peak in Seychelles, Morne Blanc where there is a tea plantation; Baie Lazare beach which with its white sands, blue water, and swings hanging from the low palm trees, making the perfect postcard photo; Anse Royale beach if you are an experienced surfer; and Beau Vallon beach, a long, lively, popular beach with a lovely Halal creole buffet restaurant called Boathouse.
Day 8 – Praslin
Get ready for another early start because today you are off to Praslin Island. A day tour here once again with Mason’s Travel will first of all take you to Valee de Mai in the centre of the Island.
As the British General Charles George Gordon put it, this is the garden of Eden and the famous double-nut coco de mer, which weighs 25kg – thought to be the forbidden fruit that Bibi Hawa ate. Yes, it is impossible to even bite through the coco de mer but it’s a story nonetheless.
Guided through the UNESCO world heritage site, you will find five other endemic plants of millionaire’s salad, thief palm, stilt palm, latanier milipattes, and latanier palm as well as endemic species such as the black parrot, blue pigeons, bronze geckos, tiger chameleons, and blue pigeons.
After visiting the nature encyclopedia that is Valee de Mai, you will be taken to what is in my opinion, the best beach in the world: Anse Lazio. This beach, which looks like it’s been plucked straight from a postcard, combines all of the great beaches in Seychelles and dials it up a notch.
With its granite boulders on the right, coves on the left, luscious green forests surrounding, the softest white sand in which your toes melt in, and the clearest blue waters perfect for surfing; it really is the perfect beach and one that is the most worth visiting throughout your entire trip.
Day 9 – Savour
Enough of the early starts, driving, hiking and climbing – it’s time to wind down and truly savour Seychelles as you will be on a small, cramped plane tomorrow heading home.
Take in the views, enjoy the food, get that Instagram-worthy photo and most importantly reflect on the majestic creation of Allah.
Day 10 – Farewell
As flights back via the Middle East tend to leave in the evening, you still have time to purchase souvenirs. Make a trip to the Sir Selwin Selwin market where souvenirs tend to be inexpensive compared to other places on the island.
It’s best that you arrive at the airport as late as you can as there really isn’t much to do in an airport with only two gates so you do have time to have a final meal in the hotel if you request a late checkout.
That is your 10-day itinerary for a perfect holiday in Seychelles which will have you trekking on 667m mountain, taking in the majesty of beaches such as Anse Lazio, Beau Vallon, and Source D’argent, and taking a deeper dive into species you will never see anywhere else in the world.
A few last pointers to beware of when visiting:
If you’re visiting during new years, hotels tend to add significant surcharges to their restaurants.
Prices in Seychelles tend to be really high, especially for hotels which can reach £700 a night in the case of Four Seasons. It is better off going to 3-4* hotels rather than your household names.