An adventure lover’s guide to Seychelles

New Delhi (IANSlife) Couples who prefer adventure, instead of lounging about all day can now pick Seychelles over Maldives for their getaway. As the country eases restrictions on travel, here’s a list of all the fun you can explore.

Hopping the islands

Nothing puts you in touch with adventure and the grand diversity of this archipelago like island-hopping. Mahe, Praslin and La Digue are the principal islands but there are many others to enjoy as well. In contrast to the mountainous Inner Islands, Bird and Denis Islands to the north are flat coral island outposts offering wild nature at its finest while Fregate to the east and the Outer Islands of Desroches and Alphonse are the ultimate remote tropical getaways. Island-hopping around the Seychelles archipelago introduces you to the incredible diversity of these islands.

A network of air and sea connections places these islands within easy reach, with excursions by local operators offering the chance of day trips to the closer islands where you can enjoy nature walks, swimming, snorkelling and traditional Creole food which is a delicious fusion of old French kitchen and Indian and Chinese culinary traditions that produce such masterpieces as freshly baked fish basted with garlic, ginger and chillies; coconut curries; terrines and fruits used as vegetables in a variety of piquant chutneys.

Hitting the water

With limpid, warm turquoise waters and a climate of perpetual summer, Seychelles is ideal for water sports. Mahe Island’s Beau Vallon bay is where to enjoy paragliding, water skiing, jet-skiing, banana rides and wind-surfing. The islands’ water sports centres and hotels can hire your snorkelling equipment and sometimes canoes for that individual sortie into the big blue but watch for signage indicating strong currents or other hazards. Operators offer deep-sea fishing in waters offering one of the most varied catches on the planet, including marlin, sailfish, tuna, jobfish, dorado and barracuda. Land-based and boat-based dive centres can introduce you to some of the best diving on the planet on both granite and coral reefs.

Blazing the turquoise trail

A new activity that blends beautifully with the stunning Seychelles backdrop is horse riding, now available on Mahe Island. Stables are neatly arranged, professionally operated with a string of gorgeous Appaloosa horses. Travellers have the delight of riding beautiful horses with treks into the lushly vegetated countryside along little-used paths, especially carved out to make the most of the surroundings and to introduce you to the very best of Seychelles’ natural beauty as you ride flanked by pristine forest and the mighty Indian Ocean. Travellers can now have riding lessons, countryside treks, riding on glorious Grand Anse beach, romantic picnics for couples in picturesque settings complete with Champagne and canapes, wedding celebrations and photoshoots, and even swimming with a horse in the ocean.

Ziplining & rock climbing

On the island of Mahe, you can find many other activities such as rock climbing, ziplining and abseiling facilities. Zip-lines range from 80 -120m, suspended both within and above a beautiful, pristine forest canopy, allowing the adventurer the opportunity to sail through the vegetation almost within touching distance on an exhilarating ride. This ride is an adrenaline rush as you speed through the emerald panoply at high speed catching glimpses of the ocean as you descend, as if on hidden wings. You can also have a sensational rock-climbing experience on an 18-metre granite cliff face in a controlled, safe environment which allows you to have a feel of mountaineering but without the danger.

Sailing and cruising the islands

With a near-perfect climate and islands well outside the cyclone belt, the Seychelles archipelago leaves little to be desired when it comes to sailing and cruising. Seychelles’ extraordinary marine scene offers breath-taking panoramas, easy sailing distances and great moorings in many a secluded bay.

Sailing and cruising can be enjoyed from a state-of-the-art fleet of single hulls and catamarans which you can hire either skippered or bare-boat, choosing to stay within the area of the Inner Islands or setting your sails for adventure among the more remote Outer Islands to be greeted by reef islands, sand cays, sapphire lagoons and teeming wildlife.

The big advantage of sailing the Seychelles archipelago is that it is a year-round activity although sailors should bear in mind that the south-east trades which blow from May to September bring with them somewhat stronger winds and rougher seas. Another plus is that the waters around the islands are still relatively uncongested and, very often, the only sails you may see will be your own.

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