Top 10 family adventures in the Seychelles

Revive your family’s spirit of adventure in the Seychelles with activities from searching for lost pirate treasure to feeding giant tortoises. Here’s our guide to the best family adventures in the Seychelles.

Zip lining at Constance Ephelia Resort

Zip lining in the Seychelles

• Search for the legendary pirates’ treasure on a trip to Moyenne Island

A short boat ride from Victoria, Mahé, is the National Park of Moyenne Island, a Robinson Crusoe-style desert island with no human inhabitants and over 100 giant tortoises. Parents will enjoy the rare biodiversity of the island while kids will adore the legend that says the two graves belong to pirates who also buried their treasure somewhere on the small island.

• Experience a thrilling zip line ride through the jungle canopy on Mahé

Based at Constance Ephélia, SMAC Adventures offer adventure sports including zip lining, rock climbing and abseiling for adults and children over 4. See the beautiful forests and mountains of Mahé in a new and exhilarating way on eight different zip lines up to 120m long. Or try scaling the island’s natural granite crags with climbing for beginners through to advanced. Check out the fun on SMAC’s Facebook page.

• Try some traditional local crafts at Domaine de Val des Près

Based around the Gran Kaz Plantation House on Mahé this National Heritage Site not only celebrates local crafts and culture but gives you the chance to get involved with a series of craft workshops for the whole family.

• Explore the ocean on Teddy’s Glass Bottom Boat

Board the boat from Beau Vallon Bay, Mahé and discover the jewels of the Indian Ocean with your family. See the vibrant corals and the rainbow colours of lush marine life that live on and around the reefs from the safety of the glass bottom boat. Then jump into the water for some snorkelling and the chance to get a closer look. The excursion then takes you to a secluded beach for a bbq and swim before heading home.

A giant tortoise, part of Mauritian wildlife

A giant tortoise

• Meet giant tortoises in their natural environment on Curieuse Island

A short boat ride from Praslin is Curieuse, home to a colony of hundreds of Aldabra Giant Tortoises which walk freely around the island. Tourists are encouraged to interact with these regal creatures feeding them snacks of greens and watermelon. There is even a tortoise ‘nursery’ on the island where they care for young tortoises from birth to five years. Of course, being the Seychelles there are also glorious, deserted beaches for the kids to enjoy too following a 30 minute nature walk across the island.

• Discover the interior of Mahé with a wildlife walk to Sauzier Waterfalls

Setting off from Port Glaud this beautiful forest walk will take you past traditional Creole homes and the guide’s own farm where groups can stop off to meet the resident bats and farm animals. The short walk is perfect for families – kids and (brave) adults are then rewarded at the end with a refreshing dip in the crystal pools at the foot of the beautiful waterfall.

• Spend the day swimming and hanging out at Beau Vallon Beach

While the Seychelles has a plethora of beautiful, deserted beaches sometimes it’s fun to hang out amidst the hustle and bustle of locals and tourists. Beau Vallon Beach on the North Coast of Mahé is a beautiful white sand beach with restaurants, bars, craft shops and cafés lining its shores. Water sports abound and the cafés have a great selection of ice creams and smoothies to keep the kids happy. The best time to visit is on a Wednesday when the evening Bazar Labrin market brings fresh food stalls, live music and an authentically local vibe to the beach.

• Explore the unique biodiversity of the UNESCO World Heritage site Vallée de Mai

Famous for its unique coco de mer seeds, legend has it that this Nature Reserve on Praslin island was the site of the original Garden of Eden. Kids will love exploring the nature trails through the national park and discovering the rare endemic plants and wildlife here. Set them a challenge to catch sight of the rare, endangered Black Parrot.

Family fun at the beach

Family fun at the beach

• Horse riding in the Seychelles

Available on most of the islands, horse riding is a thrilling way to explore the local area. Whether you’ve done it before and want to gallop down a white sand beach or if you’re just trying it for the first time and want a gentle nature trek, local guides will ensure the experience is unforgettable. Riding in the Seychelles is popular so it is worth contacting your hotel before you arrive so that they can book the excursion for you.

• Seychelles National Botanical Gardens

The National Botanical Gardens is a perfect way to spend the afternoon in Victoria, Mahé, with all the family, particularly if you want to see one of the islands’ giant tortoises. Meet the tortoises and check out the colony of fruit bats feeding and roosting in the trees, then while away the afternoon exploring the beautiful tropical gardens.

Get the lowdown

 

Recipe: Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

Bourbon vanilla produced on the islands of the Indain Ocean (Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, La Réunion) is very popular. It is widely used in patisserie, as an ice cream, and also in confectionery and in various forms (fresh pods, powder, liquid extract or sugar vanilla).

Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

Ice cream with Madagascan Vanilla

At Constance Belle Mare Plage, we offer a multitude of different flavours of ice cream. It is always vanilla which is the most popular.

Ingredients

The ice cream:

  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 750ml milk
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 150g sugar
  • 125g crème fraîche

1. Prepare the custard: slit the vanilla pod in two lengthways and scrape the seeds with a knife into a saucepan.

2. Pour the milk into the saucepan and bring it to the boil over a gentle heat. Turn off the heat and leave it to infuse for 15 minutes.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl, until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour the hot milk slowly, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the spoon. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.

5. Remove the vanilla pod from the custard. Pour it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The chocolate sauce:

  • 100g cooking chocolate
  • 100ml whipping cream

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and cover them with boiling cream.

2. Stir until the chocolate melts, then store it in the fridge.

The garnish:

  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 50g crushed hazelnuts

Top tips for the best beach reads of 2013

Whether you’re loading them on your kindle or wedging paperbacks into your suitcase, choosing the perfect holiday read is always a challenge. Here’s our list of the Best Beach Reads for 2013.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

1. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Sitting comfortably in all the bestseller lists this summer is the first novel for six years from Khaled Hosseini (‘The Kite Runner’). This moving family saga follows a brother and sister born in Afghanistan as they journey through life moving from Afghanistan to Paris, San Francisco and Greece. A beautiful depiction of love and the family bonds that shape us.

2. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell

Following all the hype around the release of the Baz Luhrman Hollywood production, the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ will be on many people’s reading lists this summer. If it’s on yours this is definitely a book to read alongside it. Sarah Churchwell’s thorough research attempts to put together the true characters and places that inspired Fitzgerald’s novel. The result is a fascinating insight into the affluent, social climbing and turbulent human stories behind the glittering roaring Twenties.

3. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

A darkly atmospheric, menacing tale from the author of ‘After the Fire, A Still Small Voice’ this novel follows the reclusive Jake Whyte as she sets up home on a remote and seemingly deserted British island. Jake wants to be alone with no one but sheep and her untamed companion Dog but when something starts brutally killing the sheep, one by one, she begins to question her solitude.

Constance Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina

4. The Infatuations by Javier Marías

Every morning María, a publisher’s editor, has breakfast in the same café and watches the same couple at the next table. She grows increasingly attracted by their obvious infatuation until one morning they’re simply not there and she feels oddly deprived. Seeing a picture of the man murdered in the papers María feels compelled to get involved. Spanish author Javier Marías lures us into a world of desire and infatuation with such graceful beauty and ease that the reader becomes as entranced by the playing out of the inevitable murder as María herself.

5. Soon by Charlotte Grimshaw

Tensions arise as two families are thrown together for the summer in a palatial beach house in New Zealand belonging to the Prime Minister. The intense inter-personal relationships are further complicated by emerging tales of corruption and political intrigue in this page-turning novel which has sat at the top of the New Zealand bestseller lists since publication.

For more inspiration for your summer reading check out:

Healthy holiday menu for kids

Discover a family holiday in the Maldives where elegant luxury goes hand in hand with a warm, child-friendly welcome.

On the beach at Halaveli

On the beach at Halaveli

Sit back and relax in a deluxe hotel where you know your children aren’t simply an afterthought, fobbed off with chips and ice cream, but are catered for by top chefs with a healthy holiday menu designed to inspire them.

Halaveli chef Holger Joost believes that the secret to a successful children’s menu is in the combination of fresh healthy ingredients and comfortable tastes and textures kids crave.

‘We treat the kids with just as much attention as the adults, we consider that luxury,’ describes Chef Holger, and that means giving them food they love.

Healthy eating

‘It all has to do with finding the balance between comfort and healthy. So, for example, offering frozen yogurt with berries instead of ice cream – there’s still that comfortable icy-cold feeling but it’s healthy.

‘Instead of soft drinks we are implementing a smoothie program with organic honey – it still has the sweet refreshing taste but none of the preservatives.’

Picky eaters

That’s all very well for most kids but for some parents a major concern about a family holiday can be a child who is reluctant to try new things.

Chef Holger claims fussy eaters don’t faze him, ‘We can cater to any child who has particular aversions to foods. That is what luxury is, tailoring everything to better serve our guests.’

Fresh smoothies at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Fresh smoothies at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

An organic approach

At Halaveli the children’s menu is almost entirely organic because Chef Holger believes that growing kids need their intake of pesticides limited.

He also slow cooks the food to ensure they get the maximum nutrients from the fresh, organic ingredients. ‘Instead of fast, flash fried food we are cooking foods at a lower temperature for a longer period of time to preserve more nutrients. The main concept is staying away from premade foods and preservatives.’

Sophisticated tastes

Chef Holger recognizes that many of the children who stay at Halaveli are already familiar with the more sophisticated flavours of good dining and he intends to stimulate and satisfy those with a taste for great food.

‘So many kids today are raised to enjoy quality food that most of the time their standards are higher so we cater to those high standards.’

Find out more

 

Are you getting the most out of your 5 star hotel?

Many travellers can be reticent about getting the most from a stay in a luxury 5 star hotel, according to travel writer Mark Hodson in the Huffington Post.

Personal service at the Beach Bar, Constance Tsarabanjina

Personal service at the Beach Bar, Constance Tsarabanjina

Hodson suggests that ordinary travellers need to understand that excellent high-end service is what you’re paying for when using 5 star hotels and travellers should not be timid about taking advantage of this.

Ways to improve your 5 star experience, according to the post, include:

  • The concierge – Hodson describes the concierge as the pinnacle of service at a 5 star hotel. ‘The concierge is a highly-trained and well-connected fixer whose services are at your disposal.’ Available for everything from theatre ticket bookings (if you contact the concierge desk before you arrive) to restaurant reservations and bookings, the concierge is there to smooth out any difficulties, fix any problems and make your stay as pleasurable as possible.
  • Get in touch before you arrive – ‘Once you’ve made your booking, contact the hotel to let staff know how they can make your stay more comfortable,’ advises Hodson. This can mean anything from ordering the perfect pillow to informing them what brand of tea you prefer in the morning.
Expert preparation at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Expert preparation at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

  • Butler service – Take advantage of butler service by having your butler unpack for you, they will also iron clothes and hang them for you if required. Hodson claims a personal butler will run any errand for you during your stay, much like an executive PA.

Read Mark Hodson’s full post on How to get the most out of a luxury hotel.

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Indulge in the ultimate spa holiday at Halaveli

Indulge in a spa holiday at Constance Halaveli and you’ll enter a world where the relentless pace of life gently slips away.

Spa de Constance

Spa de Constance

This haven in the North Ari Atoll offers a huge range of treatments to pamper and revive your senses.

In its 2013 Spa Guide, Condé Nast Traveller described the spa at Constance Halaveli:

‘At the overwater spa… rejuvenate your jaded spirit and zap negative energy…’

Personal consultation

Indulge in a Wellness Consultation in which one of our team of qualified therapists will design a series of treatments specifically for you as part of a holistic journey of healing which may include everything from massage, nutrition, skincare and fitness.

Treatment rooms

Whatever treatment combo is devised for you, you’ll feel an innate sense of relaxation in the cool mahogany treatment rooms, where the open sides invite the ocean breeze and the massage table looks down to a glass panel below so you can watch the marine life swimming beneath you.

Ila at Halaveli

The organic, natural products created by Ila are sourced from plants or minerals carefully selected from around the world such as the Himalayan rock salt from Kashmir, rosehip seed oil from Southern Andes and Babassu oil from the Amazon.

Relax in the private spa pool overlooking the ocean

Relax in the private spa pool overlooking the ocean

Highlights include:

The Ila experience

Combining facial techniques, a Himalayan rock salt body scrub, Manipura massage, reflexology and lymphatic-drainage this complete experience aims to re-awaken the body and spirit inviting a sense of euphoric calm.

The Valmont Spa

Exclusive Swiss skincare and anti-ageing specialist Valmont has its own spa at Halaveli offering treatments that blend the purity of Swiss ingredients with the very latest scientific breakthroughs in skincare treatment.

Highlights include:

Snow Bright Radiance Ritual

Restoring the natural uniformity of youthful skin this treatment uses vitamin C and white lupine extract to blend away small vascular anomalies and larger pigmentary spots leaving the skin with a radiant glow.

Spa de Constance

‘From skin to within’ is our maxim at Spa de Constance, Halaveli. We use only handcrafted natural ingredients, many sourced locally in the Maldives, blended into our own custom made oils, scrubs and wraps to create an enveloping sensory experience for your body and mind.

Foot treatments at Spa de Constance

Foot treatments at Spa de Constance

Pamper your senses with a full body massage, scrub, bath soak or wrap – or why not combine all three in one of our Skin to Within Experiences.

Highlights include:

Meditative Indulgence

A sumptuous 4-hand massage featuring oils of frankincense, rosewood and lime inducing a deep-level of relaxation.

Relax after your treatments

Feel your body detox in our sauna and steam room and then rejuvenate your senses with a refreshing dip in the spa’s outdoor hot and cool pools with views out across the turquoise waters, or take the wooden steps down and bathe in the ocean below.

Find out more