The Seychelles is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world. It is there, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, that 115 islands compete with each other in beauty. Of course, the Seychelles immediately conjures up spectacular beaches and lagoons, lined with fine sand, coconut palms and takamakas. The sun is out at any time of the year, making it an ideal destination for a winter break, just over 7,700 kilometres from mainland France. But there are actually a thousand and one ways to break away from everyday life in the archipelago, since its lush, unspoilt nature also calls for long hikes. There is also no shortage of opportunities to interact with the local population during a trek or a night in a local's home. Finally, you should taste its gastronomy and consult the programme of events that punctuate the year, to discover all that characterises the Seychelles culture and to marvel at it.

Farniente and water activities on the most beautiful beaches of the archipelago

With average year-round temperatures of 29°C for the air and 27°C for the water, conditions are perfect for enjoying the pleasures of the sea while winter is raging in Europe. During a stay in the Seychelles, there are countless beaches that give you the feeling of entering the gates of paradise. On the granite islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the beaches are surrounded by large rocks, giving the feeling of being on another planet. On Mahé, many beaches are popular with travellers, such as Beau Vallon, Anse Forbans and Anse Intendance. There is that fine sand, clear water and vegetation in the background. So many elements that offer the feeling of being light years away from any urban frenzy. But there are also beaches that are less well known and therefore more intimate. We can mention Anse L'Illot in the northwest of the island and Anse Baleine in the southeast. In Praslin, it is difficult to resist the blue shades that illuminate Anse Volbert. Families enjoy spending time on this long ribbon of white sand perfectly integrated into the decor of the Gold Coast. Another alternative is to go to Anse Lazio, where you can climb the granite rocks to get some height and immortalize the landscape. On the island of La Digue, one must pass by the dreamy setting of Anse Source d'Argent, famous for its amazingly shaped pink granite rocks. But there are many other options for sunbathing, swimming or snorkelling. For example, you can go to Anse Gaulettes, Anse Patate and Anse Sévère.

One of the must-do activities in the Seychelles is a cruise on a catamaran or a sailboat. In addition to sailing on the translucent waters of the Indian Ocean, you can reach some of the most beautiful islands of the archipelago, and stop on superb stretches of sand. You can enjoy the feeling of being alone in the world by stopping off at the beaches of Cerf Island, Curieuse... and by anchoring close to the islands of Praslin, Grande Sœur, Petite Sœur, to name but a few. Moreover, the waters of these islands are ideal for big game fishing. Yellowfin tuna, wahoo, sea bream, there are more than 300 species that roam the sea.

Another nautical activity not to be missed is scuba diving. For experienced divers or for those who want to try scuba diving, the archipelago is full of spots such as Cove Reeve Fisherman in Mahé, Aride Bank in Praslin and Ave Maria in La Digue, where you can swim in the company of rays, turtles, sharks and napoleon fish. Finally, to vary the pleasures, one can easily find a place to practice stand-up paddle, kayak and surf. The generous winds of Anse aux Pins can only delight windsurfers and kitesurfers.

Hikes, meetings and environmental awareness

This is another aspect of Seychelles that strikes visitors on their arrival: the archipelago is home to an extremely well preserved nature. The lush forests are an opportunity to go on superb hikes, close to the local fauna and flora. To discover an incredible area of palm trees and plants, you must go to the Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, where 6 species are unique to the Seychelles. This is where you will discover the coco de mer, an endemic species, emblematic and the largest seed in the plant world. You can also see the black parrot, endangered, the Praslin snail, the green gecko, as well as many other birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The Vallée de Mai has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1983. By following one of the 3 trails of this dense forest, you will enjoy an extraordinary view and even reach the roof of the island, at 300 m of altitude.

Another interesting trek takes place in the heart of the mountains of Mahé. Before setting off on the Glacis Trois Frères, one can linger at the Sans-Souci forest station to contemplate the fauna and flora. Then it's on through a lush forest with the sounds of birds such as peacocks and bubuls, before arriving at a granite boulder with a breathtaking view of Victoria and the St. Anne's Marine Park.

There is also the amazing Silhouette route leading from La Passe jetty to the sublime Grande Barbe beach. With over 90% of the island protected, this hike is ideal for a glimpse of everything that makes the Seychelles so beautiful, from mangroves to rainforests to rocky headlands. A sporty trek, the best is to be accompanied by a local guide. Many treks can be done with a professional in the Seychelles. This is an opportunity not only to learn more about the specificities of the island, but also to be made aware of the need to preserve this exceptional biodiversity. The Seychelles are keen to remain preserved from mass tourism, for example by limiting the number of resorts on the islands. In this respect, visitors can choose to stay directly with the locals, in a small guesthouse for example. In addition to living at the rhythm of the Seychellois, it is a great opportunity to interact with the locals and to benefit from their advice to visit the most incredible and unsuspected places of the archipelago.

Discovering the Seychellois culture

There is no better way to get to know the Seychellois culture than to sit at the host's table or to go to a restaurant. The gastronomy of the archipelago emphasizes the products of the sea, associated with spices, vegetables and tropical fruits. Coconut curry is a typical dish. It is a stew where the meat or fish is simmered in a sauce of spices and coconut milk. Among the other main Creole dishes, rougail, fish in a spicy tomato sauce served with rice and spiced with lime and ginger. Exotic fruits such as mangoes, bananas and coconuts are the best ingredients to satisfy the small hungers during the day under the generous sun of the Seychelles.

The cultural agenda is also to be watched very closely. There are many events that allow you to better understand the culture of the Seychelles, and to have a good time with the locals and other travellers. In October, there is the religious festival of Vinayagar Chadhurti, which takes place at the Hindu temple in Victoria. Also not to be missed is the Kreol festival with concerts, dance performances, traditional costume displays and local food tasting. A great time to celebrate Creole culture, every year in the last week of October. In November, the Fashion Week is also held in Seychelles, where you can discover creations from all over the world, but also those that are more local and which highlight the emblematic fabrics and patterns of Africa and the Indian Ocean islands