DESTINATION FOCUS • August 2018
Who better to guide you around this Indian Ocean paradise than those who call it home? With British Airways’ year-round direct flights to the Seychelles now in full swing, we meet the locals for their views on the must-see places
The Seychelles is a diver’s paradise. For your dream water sports all in one place, pay us a visit at Blue Sea Divers on my favourite Seychelles beach, Beau Vallon, where you can explore wrecks, coral reefs and - after a delicious dinner - wrap things up at the Bazar Labrin. On Wednesday nights, this lively market offers up classic creole delicacies, plus a chance to catch the moutia, a traditional dance typically performed around a small bonfire. Don’t just stick to Mahé – where the international airport is – hop over to Praslin and finally La Digue, the car-free island, to dive and snorkel.
People use the phrase ‘melting pot’ to describe the food in the Seychelles because it has so many influences. You must try the fish – it’s fantastically fresh with so much variety, but if you want to be more adventurous, fruit bat is an interesting specialty. For dinner, I like Deplace for the whole grouper or the bourgeois in banana leaf, or for a simple lunch, I’ll order a pizza and slip my toes in the sand at Kafé Kreol. At my restaurant, La Grande Maison, we try to use local and organic ingredients, creating fusion creole dishes such as flamed pork belly on sugar cane or creole bouillabaisse.
I was born on La Digue and have lived here all my life. For active travellers, the island’s best trail is the Anse Marron, with secluded white-sand beaches, tropical forests and boulders dotting the coastline. There’s also a beautiful lagoon where you can snorkel with spectacular fish. Another great walk is to Anse Cocos beach, mostly in the forest, but you’re later rewarded with breathtaking views of Grande Anse and Petite Anse and the wild coastline to the east. Straight after any walk, I stop by the Old Pier Café on L’Union Estate – a former coconut and vanilla plantation – for a fruit cocktail. For a sunset to remember, head to Anse Source d’Argent beach – its majestic boulders frame the sky and the colours are mesmerising, especially during monsoon time.
Dark granitic boulders shrouded by lush tropical greenery, framed against the glittering ocean and azure sky. This is the image that makes this archipelago so special and why I’m still working here a decade since I arrived. On Mahé, Anse Intendance and Anse Gaulette are two of my favourite places to shoot. Both beaches are on the south west of the island and offer the best light for romantic sunset images. While at Anse Gaulette, visit cosy beach restaurant La Gaulette – I’m often found tucking into their specialty prawn dish and the grilled red snapper fillet before heading back to the beach to shoot.
Check out De Waal's Seychelles snaps here