13 things to do in the Seychelles

Dream about the Seychelles and you imagine picture perfect beaches. Head to the archipelago in the Indian Ocean and you’ll discover plenty of those, along with a host of other delights.

Anse Lazio

Take a stroll along the beautiful Anse Lazio

Here are our 13 ideas for things to do in the Seychelles.

1. Take a hike

Whichever island you are staying on you will find the verdant interior criss-crossed with trails for walkers where you can trek through stunning Jurassic forests and spot tropical birds and wildlife. One of the most spectacular is through the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. A 45 minute walk will take you to the summit of Morne Blanc with stunning views across the island and the Indian Ocean.

2. Visit a local market

Immerse yourself in Seychellois life at one of its vibrant, bustling markets. Visit the famous daily food market in Victoria and see colourful fish of all shapes and sizes, a fragrant array of local herbs and spices, and luscious fresh fruit and vegetables. Experience the laid back local vibe at the beach market at Beau Vallon every Wednesday. Part market, part social gathering you’ll find live bands and dancing along side street food and local craft stalls.

3. Ride a horse down one of the world’s most photographed beaches

Visit the traditional plantation house L’Union Estate on La Digue which doubles as a riding centre and you get the unique opportunity of riding down the stunning beach of Source d’Argent. Ride on powder white sand and splash in perfect clear waters as you pass the stunning granite boulders that are such a feature of this beach.

4. Eat traditional Creole food in a national monument

The restaurant Marie-Antoinette is not only one of the best places to savour traditional Creole food on Mahé, it is also located in a colonial mansion declared a national monument in 2011. The colonial architecture, dating back to the 1800s remains unchanged, but while the building may be colonial the vibe in the restaurant is entirely Creole.

Bird watching in the Seychelles

Bird watching in the Seychelles

5. Birdwatching on Aride Island

One of the finest tropical island nature reserves in the world, a trip to Aride is like stepping back in time to the Seychelles before human habitation. A mecca for bird watchers, Aride is the breeding place for 18 different species of native birds, including five that are only found in the Seychelles.

6. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai 

This stunning palm forest at the heart of Praslin Island survives in its original state from prehistoric times, virtually untouched by human influence. Its most famous palm is the endemic coco-de-mer with its distinctive shaped seeds. Visitors will find easily accessible trails through the forest with guides on hand to help and advise. More on Vallée de Mai.

7. Play golf on the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles

Play golf on the stunning 18-hole golf course at Constance Lémuria with views over three of Praslin’s most beautiful beaches. The terraced landscape of greens spanning the breathtaking scenery of Praslin’s hills and forests make this one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. Celebrate your round with a glass of chilled champagne and views across the island to the beach below.

8. Explore the wildlife of Cousin Island Nature Reserve

Just 2km off the shores of Praslin lies this idyllic island nature reserve. With a rich variety of endemic wildlife and seabirds it is also considered the most important breeding site for the endangered Hawksbill turtle in the Western Indian Ocean. As well as the island itself the reef around it is also protected and boast rich marine life including nurse sharks, lion fish and redbanded grouper. More on Cousin Island Nature Reserve.

Golf at Constance Hotels and Resorts

Golf in the Seychelles

9. Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world

Regularly featured in lists of the world’s top beaches Anse Lazio on Praslin is a stretch of perfect sugar-white sand shaded by takamaka trees and enclosed at each end by striking granite boulders. Great for swimming and snorkelling.

10. Connect with Creole culture at the Domaine de Val de Près

This pretty recreation of a Creole village on Mahé is set in the grounds of the Gran Kaz Plantation House and provides a fascinating insight into Creole history and culture. Its 12 craft workshops sell traditional arts and crafts while the quirky ‘Maison de Coco’ is a house built entirely of coconut products. More on Domain de Val de Près.

11. Snorkel around Ile Cocos Marine National Park

This collection of 3 small islets off the coast of Praslin may look like classic ‘desert islands’ but in the waters off their shores is some of the best snorkelling in the Seychelles archipelago. A shallow reef, protected from fishing and tourism, has provided a haven for the rare marine life that thrives in these waters. More on Ile Cocos Marine National Park.

12. Breathe in the fragrant air of Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden

Perched above the beautiful beach of Anse Royale on Mahé is this renovated plantation growing spices such as vanilla, citronella, cinnamon and nutmeg. Visitors can buy fresh produce at the plantation shop or eat at the stunning outdoor restaurant with views over the plantation and the beach below. Find out more about Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden.

13. Meet the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island

Meet and feed the giant tortoises who wander free on this island nature reserve (it is estimated there are more than 500), walk through the stunning mangrove forest and keep your eyes open for the hawksbill and green turtles which come here to breed. Visitors to the island are usually greeted off-shore by the hundreds of giant hump-head parrotfish which live in its waters and can grow up to 1.2 meters long. More about Curieuse Island.

Find out more

Visit our website to find out more about Constance Lémuria and Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

For more ideas of things to do in the Seychelles visit Virtual Seychelles

7 ways to get the most from diving and snorkelling

Marine biologist Robin Aiello gives her top tips for getting the most out of your dive and snorkel experience. Robin is visiting Constance Halaveli, Maldives and leading dive and snorkel excursions for guests as well as island nature walks and talks.

Baracudas

Baracudas

1. Scan the area – Look down, look out, look up

Let your eyes relax and scan the whole area – don’t look at anything in particular, just take in the whole reef. Do this at regular intervals. Take a wide panoramic view. You might spot a large manta ray is cruising past in the deep water, or a tuna is speeding by just above your head.

Large schools of snapper or fusiliers attract larger predators, such as barracudas and tuna. Take the time to hang back and observe for a while – sometimes, out of the blue one of these large hunters will dash through the fish trying to grab one.

2.  Use your peripheral vision

Pay attention to your peripheral vision – a quick motion or an unusual colour – and turn to have a look. It might be an octopus feeding in the coral, or a turtle grazing or a titan triggerfish tearing apart the reef trying to get to some morsel of food.

3.  Weird behaviours

Pay attention to ‘weird behaviours’:

  • a fish floating vertically on its head (tail up), or the other way around (head up, tail down). Fish don’t usually act this way so stop and look.
  • is the fish flexing its gills, is it opening its mouth wide, like a yawn (fish don’t yawn!), does it look like it is dazed and tilting sideways? Look even closer – there are most likely some very small, blue and white fish darting around the fish. These are cleaner wrasses that play a very important role for fish by cleaning off harmful parasites. As they are cleaning, they also ‘massage’ the fish to help it relax. As they relax, the fish change colour, which in turn allows the cleaner fish to see the parasites easier.
  • a fish wiggling its body sideways, flat against the reef or the sand? Look closer – you could be watching a female laying its eggs, or a male fertilising freshly laid eggs.
  • two fish, head to tail, spinning in tight circles around one another – like two dogs in a dog fight? You are probably witnessing fish spawning.
  • a small tightly packed school of fish suddenly dash to the surface, then burst apart and swim back to the reef? This is another style of fish spawning.
Diving in the Maldives

Diving in the Maldives

4. Don’t forget to look behind you

Animals, even marine wildlife, avoid approaching other animals from the front – they would rather creep up from behind where they are less easily seen. This is even true of fish.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen turtles, rays, reef sharks and trevallies (jacks) following divers, staying only a few feet from their fins, and the divers were completely oblivious.

In fact, just last week while diving at Halaveli in some very strong current, we were hanging on the reef flat doing our safety stop when one of my guests started gesturing to me to look behind – and sure enough there, nearly touching my fins, was a beautiful white tip reef shark!

5. Focus in close

Every so often shift your focus and concentrate on a small area of the reef – whether on the reef flat, or on a steep wall face, or under an overhang. Stay in one place, hovering close to the reef, and select an area about one metre square. You will be amazed by how much you can see in this small patch.

Slowly scan side-to-side, taking in all the small animals and plants. Be sure to look in the nooks and crannies – that is where many of the small shrimps and crabs hide out.

Do you see something moving, like thin white strings sticking out of the hole and waving around? Look closer – it is probably the antennae of the red-banded cleaner shrimp. They use their antennae like a neon billboard to advertise that they are open for business – for fish or other animals to come bay and get cleaned. The shrimp use their long claws to pick off parasites and dead skin.

Butterflyfish, Maldives

Butterflyfish, Maldives

6. Pick one thing to look at

Find one thing – a soft coral, a sea fan, a sea anemone – and focus exclusively on it. Don’t be distracted – let your eyes adjust so you are looking at all the small details. Look for tiny animals that live there.

Small shrimp, sometimes transparent or the colour of the object it is sitting on, or small parasitic snails, or teeny fish looking for even smaller prey. Look all around – some crabs like to hide on the undersides for better protection. In bushy soft corals you can sometimes find delicate ghost pipefish or long-nosed hawkfish that stay so still, and are so well camouflaged, that you can barely see them, even when they are right in front of your nose. But they are there to be found.

7. Stop and listen

Sound travels much faster underwater than in the air, and marine animals use sound for all sorts of communication. Stop and listen. You can hear it too.

The reef is alive with sound – the crunching of the parrotfish as they graze algae off the reef, the clicking of shrimps as they snap their claws together, the woosh of tuna as they attack a school of fish, and the drumming noise of fish defending their territory.

They do this by using their air bladder (swim bladder) – an internal sac structure that is filled with air, that they inflate and deflate to maintain buoyancy. Surrounding the sac they have muscles, which if quickly flexed will strike against the air bladder and make a noise – like a drum. Many fish use this during spawning to attract females, or as a warning alarm.

So remember – Stop, take your time, do not rush through the dive. Stop, look closer and see the incredible underwater world unfold in front of your eyes.

See you soon

Robin

Top 5 reasons to visit the Maldives right now

Enjoy a holiday to the Maldives and take advantage of the archipelago’s glorious dry season.

Constance Moofushi

Constance Moofushi

If beautiful sugar-white sand and crystal lagoons aren’t enough of a temptation, here are our top 5 reasons to visit the Maldives right now.

1. The best season for uninterrupted sunshine

From December to March the idyllic islands bathe in the sunshine of the North East Monsoon bringing with it low rainfall, low humidity and plenty of sun – weather which continues into the transitional month of April.

For those looking to escape the dull, cold greyness of a northern hemisphere winter the calm, crystal waters, consistent 30ºC temperature and 12 hours of daylight could be the perfect remedy.

2. Swim in beautiful warm waters

While the Maldives is undoubtedly a year-round destination the shift from the South West Monsoon in November brings with it gentle breezes and calmer waters making it the perfect time of year to enjoy water sports. From water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and pedal boating to swimming and snorkelling this time of year equals tranquil, clear waters to relax and play in.

Spa de Constance

Spa de Constance

3. Dive in clear, calm waters with heightened visibility

The gentler winds and calmer waters mean that this is a time for outstanding visibility when diving. From November many glorious species pass through the eastern side of the Maldives including large numbers of whale sharks and grey reef sharks. December to April is Manta season in the Ari Atoll where both Constance Moofushi and Constance Halaveli are located. Join us at this time of year and swim with these elegant, beautiful giants as large schools migrate through our waters.

4. Big game fishing

During the winter season the Ari Atoll sees an increase in the number and size of pelagic species making it the perfect time to come and fish our waters. Thanks to the increased warmth and calmness of the ocean at this time of year we see more large yellowfin tuna and swordfish, among others, as well as the marlin and sailfish which are caught here all year round.

5. Festivals

Time your holiday to coincide with one of the many festivals celebrated at this time of year, and enjoy traditional feasts and festivities in Maldivian style.

• Hay Festival Maldives, 1 – 31 October
An offshoot of the famous English literary festival, the Hay Festival in the Maldives celebrates Maldivian culture and is a chance to discuss the challenges climate change creates for the archipelago.

Constance Halaveli

Constance Halaveli

• Al’h'aa Eid Day, 6 November
Join in a day of celebration and feasting in most areas of the Maldives on this important religious holiday.

• Republic Day, 11 November
A celebration of the day the Maldives became a republic which usually includes local festivities including street parades, local food stalls, music and dancing.

• Fishermen’s Day, 10 December
Celebrate the important role of fishing in the Maldives with a day of feasting on the very freshest seafood including tuna, mackerel and may other locally caught delicacies.

Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Add a touch of ultimate luxury to your winter break with a stay at Halaveli with its water villas complete with private plunge pools and beach villas set on crystal white sand. Enjoy the very best of 5* dining at our selection of restaurants and pamper yourself in the Spa de Constance and Valmont spa.

Or kick off your shoes and enjoy the laid-back vibe and castaway chic of Moofushi. Drink cocktails on beanbags underneath the stars, dine with your loved one on your very own sandbank, watch movies on the beach and enjoy the sumptuous seclusion of your own water villa in this relaxed 5* resort.

Find out more about Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi on our website.

Guide to diving in Madagascar

Madagascar is one of the hottest destinations for 2013 and if you love diving, it’s a hidden gem. Off the coast of the world’s fourth largest island, you’ll find waters that have never been dived in before, and underwater rock formations that add a special thrill to the whole diving experience.

Diving in Madagascar

Diving in Madagascar

Explore stunning coral reefs and gardens of huge sponges that are home to turtles, jack fish, scorpion fish, sting rays, moray eels, and grey and white tip sharks.

Constance Tsarabanjina reopened earlier in 2013 after a major refurbishment. Barefoot luxury set on its own castaway island, it’s the perfect place to stop a while as you explore the oceans off the island.

Highlights of diving off Tsarabanjina

1. The Tétons

These stunning towers of rock off the coast of Constance Tsarabanjina are covered under the waves with vibrant corals and tunnels that divers can swim through, lined with colourful sponges and sweetlips.

2. South Beach

Beginners can explore the beautiful reef just off the shores of Tsarabanjina, where you’ll discover the beauty of reef diving and the colourful creatures who live there.

3. Kassimo

Good for divers of all levels this long underwater barrier is home to snapper, diagramme voiliers, grouper, giant sting ray, giant loach and grey or white-dotted sharks.

Read more

Guide to yoga classes on a luxury holiday

Imagine welcoming the sun as it rises over the waters of the Indian Ocean with a yoga salutation.

Yoga at Belle Mare Plage

Yoga at Belle Mare Plage

Whether you’re new to yoga or it’s already a crucial part of your life, here’s a rundown of the different yoga classes on offer at Constance.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Join fitness guru Isabelle Lamant for morning yoga on the beach. Feel your body strengthen and experience a deeper sense of calm after a session of Vinyasa yoga.

Get the kids involved with our ‘Yog’animals’ kids’ yoga sessions where your little ones can learn up to 10 positions and stretches while having fun and making new friends.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Join our yoga classes for a fun group session. For a more dedicated approach, book a private yoga session just for you. Those who enjoy yoga might also like to try our meditation and T’ai Chi classes.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Reconnect with your body through a series of yoga options at Lémuria including a ‘silent awakenings’ morning beach yoga session, ‘body balance’ incorporating yoga and meditation techniques, Inyangar Flex to improve flexibility and yoga therapy, a holistic class to strengthen body and mind.

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Visit our tranquil Spa Village set in a secluded area of our lush tropical gardens and enjoy the relaxing, strengthening experience of our one-to-one yoga sessions.

Yoga on the beach at Ephélia

Yoga on the beach at Ephélia

Combine yoga, meditation and massage in one luxurious package or enjoy a private session with our fully trained yoga instructor. Deepen the experience with an individual class in Pranayama breathing and learn how to use the power of your breath to its fullest.

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Practice yoga at our Spa de Constance on the stunning Halaveli jetty while looking out across the crystal waters of our lagoon. Breathe in the idyllic setting in one-to-one sessions with our expert yoga instructor or make it part of your Spa Journey, a spa package which includes a private consultation, spa treatments and individual fitness and yoga classes.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Improve your health and wellbeing by incorporating yoga into your luxury holiday at Moofushi. Feel the benefit of individual yoga sessions or include mediation and stretching as well. One-to-one sessions are also available for Pranayama breathing practice.

Connect with yourself and your partner with a Thai-yoga massage workshop. Help each other improve flexibility while having fun in this imaginative class.

Find out more

 

 

Mauritius: the ultimate winter getaway

For those dreaming of escaping the winter blues with a trip to sun-kissed beaches and warm balmy evenings, Mauritius is the ideal destination for a winter getaway.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Mauritius’ summer runs from November to April with temperatures of between 21-30ºC during these months.

Mauritian flowers and fruits

The Mauritian summer heralds the season for many of the island’s flowers and fruits. Visitors can enjoy succulent mangos, lychees and longans.

Those tired of the winter grey of the northern hemisphere will find themselves in a vibrant world of colourful blooms with many of the island’s trees, including the aptly named Flamboyant Tree, in full bloom from December onwards.

Perfect season for big game fishing

With the warmer weather the temperature of the ocean also rises to an average of 23-27ºC, bringing a vast array of fish to our waters. With the smaller fish come the larger predators including, throughout the Mauritius summer, the famous blue marlin as well as sailfish, barracuda, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and shark.

Diving in Mauritius

While diving is excellent all year round in Mauritius, the warmer water temperatures make this a perfect time to dive with a wealth of new marine life drawn to the area.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

The increased numbers mean that divers may see a wide variety of exotic marine life including angelfish, parrot fish, moray, groupers, wrasses and sweetlips as well as a stunning array of corals and sponges.

A warm Mauritian welcome at Constance

The ultimate 5* luxury at the secluded Constance Le Prince Maurice, with its boutique feel and emphasis on personal service, is the perfect winter treat.

Or join the fun at the family-friendly Constance Belle Mare Plage where you can enjoy a raft of activities, spa facilities and water sports, enough to make even the most winter-weary bodies leap into action.

Find out more about Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage on our website

Book now and take advantage of our fabulous Winter Sun Offer

Read more