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Seychelles

Curious what backpackers do on the Seychelles? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • So it has been a while since I had the time/energy/internet connection to write, but better late than never.
    My colleague left finally, so today was my first day alone. Managed to drive on the left side without damaging myself, others or the car...that's already a good start. I have a pretty Kia Picanto, as the name suggests it is small. For now I just call him matchbox, but I am thinking about a proper nickname. It is pretty funny to drive on the "wrong" side, because it's not only about where you drive, but that inside the car everything is placed the other way as we are used to. So instead of blinking, I usually wipe my window. To change the gears with left hand is also a challenge. The roads around the island are very curvy and steep, and when it gets dark, then there are no lights near the roads, so good luck with surviving here. As we are in the rainy season, it really rains a lot....like I have never seen so much water. I also had to move from one room to another in the hotel where I stayed before, because the first room was under water because it rained so much. So yes, there is really a looooot of rain, so when it rains a lot then the small Picanto turns into a boat.

    I also moved from the horrible hotel (aka youth hostel) where I stayed, so now I have my final residence in Coral Strand Hotel in Beau Vallon. I have a balcony overlooking the mountains and a nice room, so far so good. The front office manager also speaks Turkish, which is cool, like this I won't forget the language and feel a bit closer to my beloved Turkey.

    The first day at the office was quite challenging. A couple of interesting cases to solve and of course, the law of Murphy..nothing seemed to work on my laptop, there are still some things to be set up and sorted out. Me and IT are maybe not that good friends after all...:)
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  • Sunday I went to Anse Major, it's not far from Beau Vallon, where I live. There is a quite easy trail, in approximately 45 minutes you can go through the forest and find yourself on a postcard picture-like beach, called Anse Major. There are spectacular views of Beau Vallon bay and Silhouette Island on the way. There are massive granite rocks and the trail leads you to Anse Major in the shadow of Morne Blanc, the highest peak of Mahe (on the bucket list...next thing to check out). There is a small waterfall on a huge granite plateau. Locals were enjoying washing themselves on the way back from the beach. There is also a cave, formed by several rocks. On the way there, I took like every two minutes a picture: the lush vegetation, the different plants, trees, wonderful views...not to mention the beach: it really looked like those beaches on the postcards and in the catalogues. Anse Major consisted of two small bays bordered by granite rocks. Behind the second bay, there was also a kind of a lagoon. There were quite big waves, so probably it is not the best for snorkeling, even if the ocean is that perfect turquoise color. But again, maybe around march/april it is calmer. Small note here for myself to come back and check - it is really so close anyways and then by walking to Anse Major and back, I also get my daily dose of sport. And you don't need sunbeds there... the granite rocks provide you a great place to relax, read a book, admire the ocean.
    This trail through the woods and the perfect beach without tourists made me feel really lucky to be here. There is so much beauty here...if you are a nature lover, then here is your untouched paradise.
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  • Finally some time to relax (read an interview with Alexis Bledel about Gilmore Girls on the beach...yes I am a big fan!) and do some sports during the weekend. The gym of Savoy Hotel which is located right next to where I live, is just amazing. There is also a spa with sauna..or Russian Banya, as they call it. Steam room, pool, relaxation area. Just what I need! I also bought a yoga mat. Life is good:)Read more

  • My line manager came yesterday evening and today we had a day with site inspection and a meeting at the office. The new hotel during the site inspection was H Resort. It is a creole-french styled hotel with great interior design. They used a lot of wood, and they really caught the colonial creole feeling. It felt very close to the nature. The bathtubs were really cool in the rooms, retro style. The whole garden is very nice, very tropical. They also have a garden with different spices, like for example rosemary, and they also use these organic spices in the restaurants. I really like this hotel, it is one of my favourites so far. I also got to know from a colleague of mine that the Trader's Vic restaurant/bar is also a cool place to go out, and Wednesdays there is ladies night...good to know:)Read more

  • We also had a lot of fun driving around, as I am still very funny with driving on the left side, and I have not much of an idea about things other as Beau Vallon and Victoria. There are different roads going uphill and then down hill and crossing the island horizontally. These roads go through the lush vegetation, kind of a jungle. So we drove to Hotel Constance Ephelia, through La Misere...it was really a bit of a "misery" with all those steep streets, and so many curves. There is a great viewpoint- you can see the islands of St Anne Marine Park and Eden Island also.
    On the way back I chose to take Sans Souci road. I had high hopes that the road will be "Without worry"...well it was very long and even more curvy as the other one. But at least not much traffic. Then I got back to Victoria and then I was on my usual way direction Beau Vallon. It even started to rain, it was dark...then the bus stopped in the middle of the hill and the car in front of me also stopped and I was stuck there at the worst place. Like on a really steep street...and then cars behind me, and I couldn't start because I was so much stressed that I'm gonna slide down and crash the car behind me. Fear of all the women driver came true...Special thanks to my ex colleague from whom I took the car over: she found one of the few cars on the Seychelles which has a manual gearbox. Well...after I asked for help from the guy behind me, and showed my blonde hair, they were more patient behind me. So finally I could start on my own, without crashing anyone behind me. Successful day, I guess...
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  • I had to arrange some "official" things, so in the last days I was also getting an insight of how is bureaucracy on the Seychelles. I got my super nice national driving license, so here I come left side driving. By the way, I thought I'm gonna change my matchbox car for an automatic one, but seems like there is no possibility for that, so just have to get used to my left handed gear changing.

    The driving license and also the ID card can be done in minutes, they have their own camera and printing machine, I was really pleasantly surprised. In Europe I haven't seen something like this. OK, one should also precise, that the volumes are different: on the islands there are in total approximately 60.000 people living.

    Going to the bank is another experience, less pleasant as getting the ID card and the driving license. After queuing for at least half an hour, when you once get there then they are already quick. There is no number system, you just have to stand there in the line like as at the passport control on the airport. It took like half an hour to get to the cashier. In the bank seychellois they take it very seriously if you talk on the phone while standing in the line. It is strictly forbidden, just like wearing a helmet:) I got away with my crime as I was talking on the phone and mamma security didn't notice it. The girl behind me was not so lucky, she got warned.

    I also paid a visit to the phone operator as I want to cut/exchange the sim card in order to use it with my own phone. After queuing again, of course I need another couple of emails and papers in order to do this, because the sim card is not on my name, but on the agency's. The phone operator is called Cable, the store is rather simple, it doesn't look like anything back home, so there are no shiny phones and gadgets exposed everywhere in the store.

    It is funny that there is no language barrier, wherever you go, everybody speaks English. This is so different from Turkey, where you had to speak the language in order to be able to make yourself understood. But somehow it was nice...you felt like a local. Here I guess i have to spend some more time to feel a bit more like a local person. But there are so many foreigners: from Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, Russia, France, Italy and soooo on... not to mention the huge Indian population and there are some Chinese also. I guess you cannot really become a local unless you were born here. But as I said, this journey is about how to be a Seychelloise...so let's see;)
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  • I just love this hotel. Amazing views, several
    small bays, garden with wooden villas...The hillside and ocean front villas are colonial style, inside-outside wood, when you step into the villas it smells very nice, a bit like in a sauna...this wooden scent. The new pool villas which have a modern colourful design inside, have a pool overlooking the ocean. There is a special tree also with a nice flower fragrance and huge melon-like fruits on it. The fruits are more used for healing, medical purposes as to consume it pure.
    On the terrace next to the main restaurant there is also two times a week yoga in the morning...I have to experience that too:)
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  • So how does a less fabulous, usual office day look like in Victoria?
    As I mentioned already, our office is right downtown Victoria, close to the Big Ben and the mayor's office. It means also that as in any other city center, here also we are short of parking places. We have to parking lots close to the office, but you really have to go round and round till finally somebody leaves. There is also a daily or monthly parking fee, we receive a monthly card, it's a round piece of paper with the month and year printed on it, you have to put that in the window.
    At the office it is more vivid as usually in Europe. Seychellois are a bit louder, especially that it's almost only women working at our office.
    I can get quite lost in work and forget about taking a break. But when I do realize it's time for a break, then I either go to La Dolce Vita ("our italian") or to Little Italy which I discover lately thanks to a colleague of mine who showed the place. Sometimes I feel like I am living in Italy after all those pizzas and pastas what I am eating here. I was also very brave and tried sushi at Dolce Vita...and it was actually good.
    One morning I was looking for the key for my office, which I left at our receptionist so that she passes on early morning to the cleaning lady. But our receptionist was strangely not at her place. The others explained me that she must be soon back, she is on the other side of the street in the bank. So I went over, and I saw all these people queuing at the bank..Now I know that this phenomen happening on the 27th of each month is called payday. It's especially the expats from African and Asian countries who want to send home part of their hard earned money as soon as possible.

    When I finally survive the usual office day...I usually do some sports, go to the gym in Savoy and enjoy the sauna and swim a bit. I also started to go to a local yoga class organized by the Indian Embassy. This is the real hot yoga: the instructor is closing the door of the room and there we are sweating like never before. I discover that some unknown body parts can also sweat. The instructor is a Seychellois man with braids...if I would have seen him in the street, I wouldn't have guessed he is doing yoga. But he is quite good, he also corrects the mistakes and has a quite calming voice. I am definitely coming out refreshed...and if I can catch a nice sunrise on the beach, then it's a perfect closure for the day.
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  • V Day is approaching and Seychellois are so much into it. For two weeks every day they are talking about Valentines day on the radio. All the small stores are having very tasteful (...not) V day decorations and special promotions. The restaurants are preparing with special menus and of course there are also romantic boat tours...whatever you want, you have it all on the Seychelles. Well, there is definitely more fuss about it as in Europe.Read more

  • Creole people in general love reggae music, and the Seychellois are no exception. So the long waited show of Kymani Marley finally arrived to the Seychelles. Organization was quite good (ok except that nobody knew when does actually the show start), you could buy front row and back row tickets. Of course we took the vip ones, so we were close to the stage. There was no huge crowd, more people in the back row. When we entered, they took our tickets and put some uv paint on our middle finger (why that?!). There were some stalls like at a festival, you could get drinks, takamaka as usual and some local beer. Some local artists started the show (each of them was performing one or two songs, and it was more than enough). Kymani Marley, one of the 42 children of the one and only Bob Marley, arrived a bit after 23h, and did a show of an hour and a half approximately, great songs from his father...great voice and there was a nice atmosphere. He also did mention the current political situation and stood up against Trump.
    What I also really liked was that to be honest...I have never felt so comfortable at a concert: nobody pushed nobody, no beer landed on me, nobody tried to approach me...you could just enjoy the music. Also interesting: there was a lot of police and they were even walking around with the drug searching dog..quite a surprise, you wouldn't expect such a control at a reggae concert. I also never so as many people at night in the "city" as Saturday evening/night. Normally the whole city is deserted at 5pm.
    Another interesting fact: the Seychelloise like to dress like they are going to a club even if it's a reggae concert on a football field. Well it was for sure an interesting experience and all in all, it was a super nice evening. As I heard the next celebrity coming in the summer will b Sean Paul...will definitely be there;)
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Seychelles, Seychellen, Seychelles, Seychelle, Seyhyɛl, ሲሼልስ, سيشل, Seixeles, Seyçels, Сейшэльскія Астравы, Сейшелски О-ви, Sesɛli, সিসিলি, སཱ་ཤཻལ།, Sechelez, Sejšeli, Seychely, Seychellerne, Seshɛls nutome, Σεϋχέλλες, Sejŝeloj, Seiiellid, Seychelleak, سیچلز, Seysel, Seychellit, Seyskelloyggjarnar, Sêch·èles, Na Séiséil, શેશેલ્સ, Saishal, איי סיישל, सेशेल्स, Սեյշելներ, Seycheli, Seychelleseyjar, セイシェル, სეიშელის კუნძულები, Shelisheli, សីសែល, ಸೀಶೆಲ್ಲೆಸ್, 세이쉘, سیشێل, Seychellys, Insulae Seisellenses, Sesere, Sɛshɛlɛ, ເຊແຊວ, Seišeliai, Seshele, Seišeļu salas, Seyshela, Сејшели, സെയ്ഷെല്‍സ്, Seychellene, सेचेलेस, Seichèlas, ସେଚେଲସ୍, Seszele, سیشل, Ilhas Seychelles, Seychellas, Amazinga ya Seyisheli, Сейшельские о-ва, Seychellsullot, Sëyshêle, Sishelis, Sejshellet, Seychellerna, ஸேசேல்ஸ், సీషెల్స్, Ҷазираҳои Сейшел, ประเทศเซเชลส์, Seyshels, ʻOtumotu Seiseli, سېيشېل ئاراللىرى, Сейшельські Острови, سشلیز, Xây sen (Seychelles), Säceluäns, Orílẹ́ède seṣẹlẹsi, 塞舌尔群岛, i-Seychelles