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Island and Beaches Holidays

Africa island and beach holidays

Getaways to Anse Lazio, Seychelles, Praslin Isle

Discover the idyllic beach of Anse Lazio located in Bay Chevalier on the north-west corner of Praslin Isle. This photogenic beach is a perfect crescent of soft, fine-grained white sand, fringed by stands of Takamaka and palm trees that extend past huge rounded granite boulders into the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

Seychelles beach, Africa

A sheltered area to the east of the beach is protected by a reef and is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The water is shallow, warm and safe.

There are no sports rental facilities here so make sure you bring your own snorkel gear. The seaside 'feet in the sand' Bon Bon Plume restaurant is an excellent lunch spot offering superb Creole cooking. For shade use the palm trees, but beware of falling coconuts and remember to bring enough water to last the day, as you're far from any shops.

Highlights

Rent a car and drive around the nearly deserted Praslin Island: you'll discover one secluded beach after the other - perfect for making your footprints the only set in the sand.

About the Seychelles

Renowned for dazzling white sandy beaches, dramatic rock formations, warm crystal clear turquoise water and lush vegetation, the Seychelles probably has the most photogenic beaches in the world. The Indian Ocean archipelago consists of 155 islands about 1600km east of Kenya and situated just north-east of the island of Madagascar. The capital, Victoria, is situated on the largest island, Mahé. Due to its isolation, the Seychelles is famous for unique flora and fauna. Take time to explore the nature reserves and watch millions of terns nesting and don't miss the world's largest colonies of lesser noddies.

Seychelles highlights

Vallée de Mai - Hike into the valley's Eden-like vegetation, a World Heritage-listed site and one of only two places in the world where you can see the marvelous coco de mer palm growing in its natural state (the other is nearby Curieuse Island). On your walk try to spot the rare Seychelles black parrot.

Aldabra Atoll - Explore one of the world's largest coral atolls, some 22km long east to west, home to tiger sharks and manta rays. Get up close to one or more of the 200,000 giant land tortoises as well as thousands of seabirds, including the white-throated rail, the sole remaining species of flightless bird left in the Indian Ocean.

Cousin Island - Watch more than 300,000 birds on an island just 1km in diameter. See the rare Seychelles warbler and magpie robin as well as fairy terns, white-tailed tropic birds and two varieties of shearwater. In season you may also see hawksbill turtles nesting.

Victoria - One of the smallest capital cities in the world, the only major port in the Seychelles and its only town - all other settlements are villages. The main post office and courthouse in the centre of town remain unchanged since the colonial era.

La Digue Island - The least developed of the main islands and home to Anse Source d'Argent Beach - the iconic image of emerald waters, white sands and sea-smoothed granite rocks.

Things to do

Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities in the Seychelles with more than 900 species of fish and 100 species of coral easily seen in clear water. Hiking and walking tours allow you to easily explore the islands' flora and fauna. Windsurfers, canoes and sailing dinghies are available for hire on most of the popular beaches, as well as waterskiing and paragliding at many resorts.

Hiking - Discover great walking trails in the Vallée de Mai as well as along the beaches of the east coast - some of the best trails are on Praslin, Aride, Mahé and Silhouette islands.

Kayaking - Choose from any number of secluded coves to paddle around. Go ashore and explore the beautiful deserted beaches.

Snorkelling - Head for any of the semi-submerged granite boulders and you'll be amazed at the number of colourful tropical fish swimming about. For some of the best snorkelling in the Seychelles take a water taxi to St Pierre Islet and Coco Island. Most of the larger hotels rent out snorkelling equipment.

Golf - Tee-off at the five-star Lemuria Resort at Anse Kerlan on Praslin Island for 18 holes in a superb setting.

Scuba diving - Explore the ocean depths to see turtles, humphead parrot fish and sharks. Spearfishing is illegal in the Seychelles, which is probably why the fish are unafraid of divers. Don't miss the annual Subios underwater festival held in November.

Game fishing - Hook the big one: go after black, blue and striped marlin, sailfish, yellowfish and dogtooth tuna, wahoo and barracuda - just a few of the game fish found in the waters around the Seychelles. For saltwater fly fishing head to Alphonse and Desroches islands.

Sailing - Explore the calm waters and coves of La Digue, the third largest of the inner isles.

Other great beaches

Anse Source D'Argent - This is possibly the second best beach in the Seychelles and also one of the most popular: a small pink crescent of soft sand separated from a series of similar beaches by gigantic granite boulders, famous for their unusual curves worn by time and weather. The beach is sheltered by a reef making it ideal for snorkelling and sun bathing, while the calm waters are perfect for children and families. Take time to stroll along the coastline to view the magnificent scenery.

Anse la Blague - A secluded beach near the port, ideal for snorkelling. Walk along the shore past Petite Anse and up the hill towards Anse la Farine (on the other side of the headland) for stunning views over Le Ronde and to La Digue Island.

Anse Volbert - A sheltered and gently shelving beach also ideal for families. Stroll along the beach or snorkel around the boulders at the northern end and around nearby Chauve Souris Island or St Pierre Islet.

Anse Possession - Another pretty beach good for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.

Best time to visit

Any time, although it's best to plan your trip around what you want to do: hiking, surfing and windsurfing are best at the start and end of the trade winds, usually around May and October; while diving, swimming and snorkelling are best during April/May and October/November when the water temperature averages 28°C and visibility is often more than 30m. Bird watching is best in April during the breeding season, between May and September for the nesting of sooty terns and in October during migration. Game fishing is best between October and April. The annual temperature ranges between 24°C and 31°C with humidity around 80 per cent. July and August are the driest months. The rainy season lasts from mid-November until mid-February and while downpours can be heavy they rarely last long.

Shopping

Look for local handicrafts including textiles such as batik, basketwares, table-mats and hats, traditional ornaments and model boats as well as jewellery made from green snail shells.

Did you know?

Many seashells you see along the beaches are used as homes by hermit crabs. Collecting shells is prohibited in nature reserves, marine parks and reserves in Seychelles. Any flora taken as souvenirs must have a certificate and an official export permit, which must be produced when checking in at the international airport.

Recommended side trips

Take time to island-hop and explore some of the other islands. It's easy to get flights from the main island of Mahé to Praslin and La Digue Island as well as to Frégate, Desroches, Bird and Denis Island. Ferries operate regular services between Mahé, Praslin and La Digue - for the other islands you'll need to charter a boat.

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