Do not go to Victoria without missing one of the central points of the city. This historic covered market offers a stunningly colourful display of fish, fruit, vegetables and souvenirs of the Seychelles. It is the place to go for presents for family and friends before you leave as you can pick up very cheaply lots of locally produced herbs and spices (cinnamon, saffron, vanilla), semi-precious stones, goods made from wood or coconut-based products and textiles. It closes at midday on Saturday so make sure you get there early if you have a Saturday evening flight home.
Centre of Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles
Google map: bit.ly/mSZIoB
This beautiful hotel is situated on the west side of Praslin, directly on the Grande Anse beach. There is a small number of rooms, giving an intimate, family atmosphere. The rooms are situated in chalet-like, two up two down buildings all featuring a balcony or terrace. The decor is tasteful colonial style using local materials and textures. The bedrooms are spacious, equipped with a nice double shower feature, flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities, safe and hair dryer. The hotel has a swimming pool, a beach side restaurant and organises a magnificent creole buffet and barbecue once a week. A free shuttle bus will take you to the Cote d'Or beach on the other side of the island if you wish. The strong points of this frankly excellent family hotel are the helpful and friendly staff (Richard the manager has put together a crack team of Seychellois staff), the restaurant (even the breakfast omlettes attain a mouth watering standard of perfection) and the stylish colonial decor. A fantastic base from which to discover Praslin.
Basic rules to respect - having seen those come a cropper who didn't ...
DO respect the sun - this is tropical microwaving and do not initially expose yourself until after 4pm. Factor 50 recommended. And cover your head with a good white hat if you don't want blinding headaches.
DO take a roll of small bin bags - at any time a tropical shower can start and your western waterproof bag will offer woefully inadequate protection for your mobile and video camera. Plastic bags of all kinds come in useful.
DO take a plastic mac and plastic beach shoes for the same reason.
DO take a pocket torch and keep it with you. Lots of Seychelles roads are unlit and you see tourists hopping around with twisted ankles after they've fallen over in the pitch black. And night falls at around 7pm.
DO fall into conversation with the Seychellois. They are utterly charming and always gratified to talk about their beautiful islands.
DON'T drink the water unless you have an iron constitution. Bottled water is cheap and good. Fight shy of non boiled tap water served in tea in beach huts.
A large house on the mountainside overlooking the sea and Curieuse. We had our Creole meals prepared each night at 15 euros for three courses.
Recommend a car to get to the beaches.
Go before the prices go up!
+248 59 82 30 / 57 63 15 / 57 27 80
Google map: tinyurl.com/yj2pcxw
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