Our first international trip as a couple was to the Seychelles! Pete is an incredible diver; he started when he was 13 as an Open Water Diver, then earned his Dive Master (the lowest level of professional diver) a few years ago, and just last year became a Dive Instructor. He had been dreaming of diving the Seychelles and seeing the wonders of the warm Indian Ocean after reading diving magazines regularly. The colorful and plentiful coral and fish captured both of our imaginations, so it didn’t take us long to book our flights and accommodations.
Mahé is a blip of an island northeast of Madagascar, covering just 60 square miles, making it a tenth the size of Oahu, Hawaii. It is the main island of the Seychelles archipelago, housing the country’s capital, international airport, and importation hub. Mahé is not the most beautiful island that the Seychelles have to offer, but it is the least expensive (though far from cheap), and is a great place to visit with helpful knowledge.
Day 1: Arrive and Get Situated
Approaching the island is so beautiful; the greenery is lush and the surrounding ocean is an amazing deep blue. You will arrive in the little Seychelles airport, south of Victoria, the capital. Be ready to present your return ticket, passport, and proof of accommodations to the officials – we just showed them a screenshot of our AirBnB reservation.
You will walk outside to be greeted by hustling taxi drivers, black smog, and immense noise. This is shocking to the senses after being on quiet airplanes for so long, but it gets better, or maybe we just got used to it. The pollution and noise are not what we expected from the Seychelles, and from what we understand, the version of the Seychelles we were expecting (picturesque, empty, white-sand beaches), is typical of the rest of the archipelago, but can be found on Mahé if you know where to look. It took us a few days to discover these spots, with the delay mainly due to us not renting a car until halfway through our trip.
Read more about why we decided to rent a car (and why we are sooo glad we did!) in this article.
We attempted to board the bus since there is a stop just outside of the airport, but being that it was rush hour, it was packed and we also didn’t have any of the local currency yet. We ended up utilizing the services of a very nice taxi driver who gave us a 50 Euro “deal”🤦🏽♀️ to take us to our accommodations. Herve, our lovely host, gave us a quick tour of our room, an addition to the bottom of the house with its own entrance, bathroom, kitchen, and porch, and pointed us toward Sunset Beach. It took us about a minute to walk to Sunset Beach from our AirBnB, which is really a dream-come-true since it’s one of the best beaches we found on the island!
Sunset Beach is a protected cove with a resort on the left, rocks on the right, and the jungle behind. Since we had gone during off-season, the resort was quiet and so was the beach. The beach hardly sees any wave action and remains very shallow, which is ideal for snorkeling and just bobbing around. If you take a look under the water, you’ll find an incredible amount of Pompano, who swarm to greet you when you enter the water.
Besides exploring Sunset Beach and getting to bed at about 3pm (jetlag 😴), not much happened on this day as far as sight-seeing goes. At this point, we were kind of unsure of what this trip would bring us – maybe we’d find dozens more beaches like Sunset Beach or maybe the rest of the island was as noisy and dirty as what we had seen on our drive to our AirBnB. Either way, we were thrilled with the location of our little room being steps away from our new Pompano friends.
Thanks so much for your read and please comment with any pointers and feedback – we love to know how we can improve and what we’re doing well!
Pete and Kiana
We have received no compensation to write this post – all opinions are our own.