2017 will definitely be our travel year. We haven’t traveled this much even before we had our child. We thought before that traveling with young children would be tiring and limited at best, but certainly not enjoyable, relaxing and somewhat adventurous. Our first long distance travel with our son was in 2016 to Malaysia and Singapore. That was the moment we realized that it is indeed possible and truly enjoyable to travel with our family as far as we can and want. Our conclusion so far is that as long as you somehow integrate your child’s daily routine in your program, traveling with kids can be amazing. I will certainly write a separate article about this subject.
A few weeks ago, we spent two weeks on the Seychelles with our toddler son. I always dreamed about seeing the Seychelles one day, but never imagined that I would actually come here (with a young kid). It always sounded to me like an exclusive, honeymoon destination. In 2013 we spent part of our honeymoon on the Maldives and I expected the Seychelles to be somewhat similar. After doing some research, we realized that the Seychelles has a lot more to offer above ground and is perfectly suitable for little ones as well.
When planning our journey, we wanted to spend some time on each of the main islands so we booked 4 days in Praslin, 4 days in La Digue and 6 days in Mahe, spread out across two parts of the island. If I would go again I would plan our stay a little bit different but I will tell you more about this in the coming posts.
There is no direct flight from Amsterdam, so we had 3 options. One was from via Paris with Air Seychelles, one via Dubai (arriving at 2am in Dubai, departure again at 6am, i.e. the ultimate nightmare transfer, especially with a young child) with Emirates and finally, the option we took via Frankfurt with Condor. With a one hour flight to Frankfurt and just 90 minutes transfer time, this was by far the best flight, although somewhat risky given the short transfer time and the fact that this plane only flies once a week. As mentioned in earlier posts, for traveling far with kids, night flights are definitely the way to go. This time the flight was made even easier by one of our best purchases for kids yet: the Jetkids BedBox (http://jet-kids.com/) which is a suitcase/bed/mean of transportation. Needless to say that our son slept the whole night and had fun riding the BedBox in the airport.
Traveling to Praslin
Once we arrived on Mahe, we took the transfer boat Cat Cocos (http://www.catcocos.com/) to Praslin. Bookings can be done in advance. This time of the year (July), the sea is somewhat rough so if you are sea sick it is advisable to stay outside, on the top, in the middle. It takes about an hour to get to Praslin. From there we took a taxi to our rented house in the Villas D’or complex on the Cote D’or Beach. Taxis on the Seychelles are quite expensive, especially at the airport, and you should always agree on a rate. It is cheaper to rent a car if you plan to use it more.
Cote D’or Beach
Our vacation started off a bit difficult since our son was a little bit sick. The first 2 days he slept almost the entire day, did not feel like going to the beach. Our house was located 50m to the most beautiful beach on Praslin so we took turns swimming and spent a lot of time reading on our lovely veranda, rare,luxury activities with a very active toddler:) The Cote d’Or beach is just a perfect beach:plush white sand, turquoise water, coloured flowers from the trees on the sand, little crabs and an endless silence. The only minor point would be that there were quite a few stingrays patrolling the area close to the beach. This is apparently quite unusual for this time of the year. Having to be extra cautious while entering the sea so as not to step on a stingray dug into the sand takes away some of the fun. On Praslin and La Digue I just loved the absence of beach bars. Besides some improvised tents where they were selling coconuts there was nothing and I kind of like that.
Towards the end of the second day our son was feeling a bit better and we started using our rental car. We first drove up the Northeast coast up to Anse Lazio, which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
On the third day we drove all the way along the West coast up to Constance Lemuria (close to Anse Lazio), and along the way we saw a number of breath-taking wild beaches almost entirely deserted. We picked the beach we loved the most and spent a few hours there. We had the beach to ourselves. This side of the island had some seaweed but that did not diminish its beauty. Our son loved playing with the sand, rocks, seaweed and water. His imagination has no limits!
Vallee de Mai
The next day we went to the Vallee de Mai, a nature park which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is mostly a palm forest famous for the island endemic Coco de Mer that has the largest and heaviest seed (double nut seed) of any plant in the world. We walked in the forest with an enthusiastic private guide who explained and showed us the different species of palm trees but also some of the wildlife specific to the island, including birds such as the Seychelles Black Parrot, snails and reptiles. We wouldn’t have noticed this if she did not point it out to us. Unlike the coconut palm, the Coco de Mer is also famous for having separate male and female trees whose nut (Coco de Mer) and the flower of the male palm resemble to human reproductive organs. The pollination process of the Coco de Mer is still under discussion. It is widely believed that it is wind pollination and insect/reptile (gecko) pollination but there are many theories around it.
We had a great time in Praslin, the island is just insanely beautiful and I could not believe that there is anything more beautiful until we went to La Digue! The next post is all about the most beautiful place I have ever seen!