Johnny's Journeys: Escape to the Seychelles
Written by Johnny Fugitt
If I Escape to the Seychelles, Don’t Come After Me
There’s a reason the likes of William and Kate, Clooney and Amal, and a host of other celebrities honeymoon in the Seychelles. Picturesque palms, crystal blue waters and clear skies make the beaches some of the most postcard-worthy in the world, but it’s more than that. The Seychelles offer an escape.
Over 8,000 miles from New York, 5,000 miles from London and 3,000 miles from Singapore, reaching the Seychelles requires commitment. In the vast expanse of the Western Indian Ocean, it’s a destination that makes no sense for spring break, a weekend getaway or the family trip to the beach. Yet this distance is what makes the Seychelles so great. The 26-30 hours of travel time from St. Louis to the islands may be long, but this also allows, or forces, one to separate mentally.
The Seychelles are comprised of a number of islands with Victoria as the capital and commercial center. A walkable, quaint town, it’s worth picking up a coconut at the farmer’s market and strolling the streets during the day. The town shuts down in late afternoon as the locals go home and the visitors head to the beach. Tumbleweeds might as well blow through the streets after sundown; one might walk around Victoria at 8PM and think it’s 2AM.
The ‘action’ at the many resorts, however, is mostly subdued. Private villas are often preferred over communal resorts, and, even at the bigger resorts, quiet beachfront bars greatly outnumber pulsing nightclubs. Far from a frenetic beach carnival, this is a place where a dinner of the grilled catch-of-the-day, quiet drink, and sandy saunter followed by retirement by 9PM is the rule more than the exception. It’s just my speed.
Daytime activities can be a bit more lively. The diving is world-renowned, the fishing memorable. Hiking through forests of cinnamon trees is heavenly. The SeyTe mountaintop tea factory provides an interesting introduction to traditional teamaking in this former British colony and the vanilla tea is a treat. But if these activities seem like too much, the spas are open.
For sailors, the marina is conveniently located next to a Western grocery, a variety of dining options and a Cuban cigar shop. The marina seemed to be the most popular location for cruisers, but the beaches are spotted with the occasional anchored catamaran. If windspeed your pace, the Seychelles is an indispensable stop on the eastern shores of Africa.
The variety of accommodations should suit everyone. Private islands are available to visitors pursued by snooping cameras. Individual villas on private beaches are another option – check out MAIA Luxury Resort and Spa. The Seychelles outposts of recognized international brands are often some of the finest properties in their portfolios. Virtually all accommodations will have stunning sea views, whether from the beach or a lush mountainside, and open widely to capture the island breezes.
At the end of the day, is it worth traveling halfway around the world to sit on a beach when there are so many closer to home? Absolutely.