When the time came to choose a honeymoon destination, we had some hard decisions to make.
I want to share with you my whole experience, step by step, from deciding what we want to experience, to living the actual experience. I hope it will help you in your vacation planning, because it can easily become a pain in the a**.
When my husband and I started to talk about our honeymoon, an important aspect we established first was the budget. This limitation made our search a lot easier.
We decided on a budget, around 5kEuros, and started our search.
We quickly agreed that the perfect honeymoon destination would be an exotic place, that offers lots of vegetation and activities other than sitting in the sun all day long.
We live in Europe, and having never been to any exotic places, we started to look for the most loved exotic beaches for honeymooners.
Among the world’s favourites are: Hawaii, Maldives, Belize, Bali, Fiji. They all looked splendid! How do we decide??
What helped us was a list. We listed what we wish to experience in our honeymoon:
- exotic beach walks and sun baths
- a variety of activities, other than just sitting in the sun, like hiking, exploring a city
- mountains that we can explore
- nice romantic hotel, with views to the ocean
After some extensive research online, we stumbled upon a less popular destination: Seychelles. It rose on top of our destinations top because it check all the boxes in our list:
- Mountains with spectacular views
- A variety of idyllic beaches
- Lots of exotic vegetation and fauna
- Nice and intimate hotels
- The definite winner argument: Lack of tourist crowds. Imagine a sandy white beach, framed by crystal clear water on one side, and palm trees on the other side, and you and your lover are the only ones there….to me it’s like a dream came true!
So, next step: find flights and accommodation.
As you can imagine, a trip to a not so touristy destination as Seychelles can get very expensive, but there thing you can do to get a good price:
- start looking for flights and accommodation at least 6 moths early
- if you are flexible with your period, look for flights and accommodation in the same time, and check for prices in different periods, because they can vary a lot
- look for off-season periods in the destination you chose. The prices can get pretty low.
I started to go through a lot of flight booking sites and search different variations, with only one constant: Mahe airport in Seychelles as final destination. Depending on where you live, you can search for different departure countries, and also you can look for flight with multiple stops.
I suggest trying out different combinations until you find the most reasonable route and price.
I looked for more than a month and started from prices >2000Euros before I finally found the nicest deal, at 1400 euro for both of us.
My preferred solution for booking flight tickets is Expedia. From all the other searches I made online, here is where I found the cheapest combination. Expedia offers pretty big discounts if you purchase the flight and the hotel together.
Other options worth mentioning:
Holiday Pirates – here you can find inspiration for your next holiday at reasonable prices. Here you can find bargain hotels, flights and package trips which are researched daily and compiled from numerous other websites.
Cheapoair – offers alot of discounts for budget-savvy travelers.
My go to site for booking my vacation hotels is Booking,com:
- offers a huge selections of hotels/hostels/apartments/villas/etc.
- the user ratings and comments have very helpful details about the location, cleanliness, staff, internet connection.
- lots of pictures for each hotel
- ease of booking
- possibility of cancelling your reservation free of charge(not available on all properties)
- various discounts after a few bookings
I have a “genius” status here and therefor, I have discounts on different hotels throughout the world. You can also become genius user after a few bookings. It is worth it!
Another great option is expedia.com, as I said above, it offers nice discounts for booking the fight together with the hotel.
Some things to take into account when looking for hotels in Seychelles(and probably other exotic destinations):
- the price differs between a garden view room and a ocean vide room. This difference can increase with as much as 100 euros per night
- As opposed to other more popular destinations, where you can cancel you reservation free of charge, in Seychelles pretty much all hotels require you to give an advance or even pay the full amount of money for the room when you make the reservation.
The hotel we picked is a lovely 4star hotel, situated by a beautiful private beach, Crown Beach Hotel
A first sign of how nice are all the people there we found even before we got there:
When we made the room reservation, we couldn’t chose the view room(ocean or mountain), we were assigned one, depending on the availability, on the day of checkin. Shortly after we made the reservation, this option was added in booking.com, with the ocean view room being much more expensive than the mountain view room(almost 1000 euros more per 7 nights!)
However, I called the hotel saying we were on our honeymoon and we would really appreciate an ocean view room, even if we paid the equivalent of a garden view room. They were so nice, and made sure we got what we wanted.
In short, we got a 2300 euros ocean view junior suite for just 1000 euros/7nights. That made me so happy!
So, to sum up: the total price for flights and 7 nights 4 star hotel was 2400 euros. Yaaay!
The trip there
Almost all flights to Seychelles will have layover in Abu Dhabi.
The airport is very big, it has lots of boutiques, so you will not get bored there. The flight from Abu Dhabi to Seychelles was about 6 hours long, and it was the nicest plane I ever been to(Etihar Airways). Everything looked new, the seats had more room for your feet, the monitors were very big and the food was very good.
We got picked up at the airport by an airport shuttle(40euros return). You can also take a taxi from the airport.
In short, the food is good and expensive, we paid between 60-100 euros for a 2 person meal.
Most of restaurants open in the evening(even the hotel ones), so you will have to look a little for a day restaurant.
There are nice restaurants there, that serve mainly sea food, but also have chicken, lamb, tasty salads, vegetables, etc.
I recommend Del Place Restaurant, located in the north-west side of the Mahe island.
Weather and daylight
The night here comes very fast, check here for the daylight information for your region.: http://www.timebie.com/sun/mahesc.php?q=7
In July the sun would set at 6PM, and it was pitch black at before 7PM.
Sunscreen cream is crucial, as the ray’s intensity – the islands are close to the equator – can cause serious burns.
There are buses throughout the island, they don’t cost much, but they don’t run often in certain areas either, so you must try to obtain schedules if there are ones to avoid getting stranded. Like in other island nations, the custom when taking a taxi is to set a price with the driver beforehand. We preferred to rent a car. The price for one day is 45 euros.
The wheel is on the right side, the roads are pretty narrow with ditches on either sides, but the traffic is calm, people are driving carefully, so we got used to it pretty fast.
The car we rented didn’t have a GPS, but the hotel provided us with a map with the hotels and main attractions and it was very easy to find anything we wanted.
We didn’t have an itinerary, we just rode the car every day around the island and stopped on the important tourist attractions.
Of course, the most beautiful attractions are the beaches. They were all charming, and almost empty. Most of the islands are on the right side of the island, where there are also the most hotels.
Here are the beaches that I loved the most:
- Anse Royale, on the south-east side of the island, is a stretch of small rock-fringed coves, from the area known as Fairyland down to the Anglican church. It is an enchanting place for swimming and snorkelling, here you can admire a myriad brightly coloured coral fish.
- Anse Takamaka – is a beautiful, picturesque bay in the south-west of Mahé. It is a snorkeling heaven, with incredible turquoise water, as well as beautiful takamaka trees.
- Baie Lazare is my faourite beach. It is everything you want in a beach, with tall green palm trees, striking azure water and dazzling white sands.
- Beau Vallon is perhaps the most famous beach in the Seychelles, well-known for its beautiful atmosphere, extensive facilities, stunning sandy surface, proximity to some of the Seychelles’ best-loved accommodations, watersports including jet skying and water skiing.
- Grand Anse on Mahé is one of the island’s longest beaches, and certainly the longest stretch of sand on Mahé’s western coast. The beautiful beach scenery contrasts nicely with the surrounding mountainous landscape, making for a truly spectacular location.
- Pointe au Sel located in the eastern coast of Mahé. The water here is shallow and calm, and the atmosphere of the beach in general is peaceful and relaxing. Suitable for swimming, snorkelling, and windsurfing, this beach perhaps best serves as a quiet spot for couples or families to enjoy a picnic.
- Fairyland Beach is located at one end of the larger Anse Royale bay, and shares many characteristics with its neighbour. The shallow, calm water here is protected by an offshore coral reef, so the waves are almost always small. Easy-access, beautiful scenery, and excellent snorkelling conditions round off the beach nicely.
Morne Seychellois National Park
The largest national park in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois National Park covers more than 20 percent of the area of Mahé. Within its lush borders lies the mountain chain named after its highest point, Morne Seychellois, which reaches a height of 905 m and overlooks Victoria. Hiking trails ascend into the park from the village of Danzil, passing tea plantations, and offering spectacular views of the southwest coast of Mahé from the mountain slopes. Walking west through the park, hikers will reach the Baie Ternay and Port Launay Marine Parks. To the northwest lies the hamlet of Bel Ombre and the isolated beach at Anse Major. Read more
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island. One of the main tourist attractions is the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens. Established almost a century ago, the gardens encompass 15 acres of native and exotic plants as well as flying foxes, giant tortoises, and an orchid garden.
Other tourist attractions worth seeing in Victoria:
- Freedom Square. The most prominent historical structure is the clock tower, a small version of Big Ben in London.
- Overlooking the square, St Paul’s Cathedral is built on the site of the first church of the Seychelles, which was destroyed by a freak cyclone in 1862.
- Rond-Point de l’Indépendance, in the centre of the city, there’s a statue of three pairs of bird’s wings that symbolises the origins of the population in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
- Sir Selwyn Clarke Market– here locals sell fish, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and the many craft shops offer souvenirs ranging from ship models to pearl jewelry.
- For an overview of the flora and fauna of the Seychelles, visit the Natural History Museum, which also displays a few historical artifacts.
Here are other islands from Seychelles that are worth visiting(in our 7 days we preferred to stay in Mahe island, but there are other islands that are smaller and very beautiful):
The second largest island of the Seychelles, Praslin has lots of temptations: stylish lodgings, tangled velvet jungle, curving hills dropping down to gin-clear seas, stunning white sand beaches and lush tropical forests covering the hills.
Praslin features some stunning sand beaches, like: Anse Volbert(Praslin’s main beach) or Anse Lazio.
Vallée de Mai National Park – In the heart of Praslin, the reserve has the vestiges of a natural palm forest preserved in almost its original state. The famous coco de mer , from a palm-tree once believed to grow in the depths of the sea, is the largest seed in the plant kingdom.
There are many unique things to see on Curieuse including the Coco de Mer, mangrove forests, Aldabra tortoises, takamaka trees, hawksbill and green sea turtle breeding ground and the Seychelles Black Parrot as well as much more indigenous flora and fauna. Read more
La Digue Island
La Digue is the third largest inhabited island of the Seychelles in terms of population, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island.
As most of the Seychelles islands, in La Digue you can find beautiful beaches and just a touch of local life. With no airport, and just a handful of road vehicles, this is an extremely laid back place, with some of the most iconic beaches in the Seychelles: Anse Source D’Argent, Anse Cocos. Read more
I wish you a lovely vacation!