September stood out as a month for some very special travels, my mum and I took a trip to The Seychelles. The significance of our visit saw a return to the Seychellois Islands after 34 years, the first time we had travelled here as a family of three and I celebrated my 2nd birthday on Mahe. Sadly I have very little recollection of these travels bar photos that were taken to mark the occasion and a memory of being hit by my first wave (I was put off the sea for quite awhile after this moment haha). Our utter excitement when booking this years girls trip was quite uncontrollable and thankful for a great deal through Kuoni.
We booked a stay on Silhouette Island @ the Hilton resort, the only resort on this island known as the Jurassic Park of the Seychelles. The Island is named after Etienne de Silhouette, who was the French Minister of Finance under Louis XV. Silhouette Island is one of the richest biodiversity hot spots in the Indian Ocean, it’s history is rich and was operated as a plantation Island by the Dauban Family from the mid 19th century until 1960. The resort is perfectly placed on two kilometres of white sandy beach, in a protected nature reserve. We were looking for paradise and we most certainly had arrived…
Flying British Airways direct from London Heathrow was an added bonus and an excellent experience, we took an apex flight from Newcastle on the morning of our travels and luckily enough managed to get a good deal on an upgrade for our forthcoming flight to Mahe. After a 50 minute flight we arrived in London in good time for our Seychellois adventures, time for some duty free shopping and a drink or two. As we boarded our plane we were greeted with a celebratory glass of fizz and enjoyed settling into our new spacious seats. The flight was faultless, with good food to eat, new cocktails offered and a pleasant service by all. Snoozing, watching movies and sipping on delicious drinks our 10 hour flight flew over, pardon the pun. We landed early morning in Mahe, cleared immigration and customs in time to catch our boat over to Silhouette Island. We were met by our driver and Olivia from Creole Travel Services, it was such a warm welcome and a great surprise to us both. A short drive to the Hilton jetty for our transfer on the Silhouette Express Ferry, we enjoyed a welcome cocktail and didn’t have to wait long to board the boat. Forty minutes later after a calm crossing we had arrived, to the most friendly welcome by many of the Hilton’s staff. We were whisked away on buggies into the resort, with a quick intro to the Island and where everything was situated, as our villas were ready we managed to check in earlier than planned and were very thankful indeed.
Our detached villa was spacious, well designed, housing a big bed with a sofa, flat screen tv, mini bar and in and outdoor bathrooms. The outdoor terrace had sun beds, a table and chairs, we were also gifted with a Hilton beach bag, towels and aloe vera gel included. A very nice touch we thought! Inside we were given two water bottles as a wonderful welcome, where you could fill up with water throughout the island at the various water stations. Silhouette is also a plastic free zone which was wonderful to hear and plastic straws have now been replaced with paper and pasta ones in their place. After unpacking we did the one thing we had waited to do since we planned our trip, we hit the beach. Our first walk wowed us and my mum was filled with many warm memories from our first time in the Seychelles, she couldn’t have been happier and I was utterly overwhelmed by the Islands natural beauty. You know when people say if you could bottle up a moment to share with all, well this was it. However many photos or videos I took none would do the Seychelles justice, it is incredible.
We spent the week wandering around this Island, walked daily, swam in the stunning sea, relaxed and unwound. Our favourite spot for a cocktail was on the beach at the 4th Degree bar, the drinks were perfect and the salted banana chips were the perfect accompaniment. It became our daily stop off for a sundowner or two, watching the waves lapping on the beach and awaiting the nightly sunset. I can picture it now as I write, I’m instantly transported right back there… Food was a real highlight on Silhouette Island, there was a choice of 7 restaurants to which we dined at all. The Teppanaki and Grann Kaz were stand outs for us, for the cuisine, atmosphere and surroundings. We loved the Teppanaki for it’s fun foodie experience, with spectacular mountain views. It was certainly a show stopper, under the pavilion and overlooking the lagoon. Grann Kaz was the Island’s Creole restaurant, that offers lots of local specialities and is set in a beautiful 150 year old Creole house. I enjoyed exploring the upstairs family museum whilst eating here and we loved it so much we ate here twice. I highly recommend the chocolate chilli tart for pudding to all who visit, it’s delicious!
Even though it was hard to pull ourselves away from this Island paradise, we booked a day trip to Mahe with Creole Travel Services with the help of Gary, our Kuoni representative. Taking the mid morning ferry over to the mainland for our pick up and Island tour. After a rough crossing I was glad to be on dry land and enjoy the delights that awaited us here. First stop was a visit to Victoria, which is the capital city of the Seychelles. We took a wander around the city, getting our bearings before hitting Victoria Market and the famous Little Big Ben. Victoria Market is situated in the heart of the capital, it’s hustle and bustle is quite endearing and is a daily food market that both locals and tourists alike frequent. We bought souvenirs and stocked up on our favourite salted banana chips too. An experience everyone should enjoy whilst visiting the Seychelles! Little Big Ben is one of the most iconic and historical features of the Seychelles, it stands in the centre of the city and this clock tower is one of many national monuments here. It was inaugurated on April 1st 1903 by the governor at the time, Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott. As the Seychelles was still a British colony at the time and after the passing of Queen Victoria in 1901, it was proposed to be erected as a memorial. Made out of cast iron, it still stands as strong today 116 years on. The rest of our tour took us all around the island from North to East, South to West. We enjoyed stopping at the beautiful beaches along the way, learning more about the way of life here, the Seychellois people and basking in it’s natural splendour. On our way back to the Hilton jetty, we took a detour and a trip down memory lane, as when we last visited Mahe in 1985 we had stayed on the Beau Vallon Beach and we wanted to recreate that memory together once more. After a few photos and a chance to see some tortoise, we made the short drive back to catch the last ferry of the day back to Silhouette. Toasting the trip with a g and t, excited to return to our Island home!
We had planned to visit Praslin and La Digue, unfortunately bad weather did not allow us to visit but there is always a next time… 2023 is already on our radar to revisit as a family to the Seychelles.
Travel touches the heart, that is so true. The Seychelles will always hold those special memories and this year we had the chance to create many more new ones together, as mother and daughter. I am truly thankful to be able to travel the world and then share it all with you, it’s an incredible honour to be a travel blogger and I thankyou for following along with me on my journeys. As we end the year, I want to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful Christmas time and all the best for 2020, the new year.