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My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

Atlanta
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My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

Hello, we'll be traveling to Praslin for six nights in Nov-Dec. Our vacation package requires us to stay all six nights at the same resort, so we chose La Reserve (thanks to advice on this forum!).

I hesitate to use the term "itinerary" on a beach vacation, but since we may never return, I want to make sure we squeeze as much out of this vacation as we can. With that, I'd love opinions on this proposed itinerary. Some days may not appear "full," which is intentional, and I also realize some of La Reserve's trips may get cancelled or rescheduled. We'll roll with the punches.

Sat 28 Nov: Arrive from CDG in the morning, check-in and decompress at La Reserve

Sun 29 Nov: Explore Praslin by car or bus; tour Valle de Mai

Mon 30 Nov: La Reserve's full-day La Digue tour

Tue 1 Dec: La Reserve's half-day Cousin or Aride tour (depends on weather)

Wed 2 Dec: La Reserve's full-day Curieuse & St. Pierre tour

Thu 3 Dec: Flexible; La Reserve's sunset cruise

Fri 4 Dec: Depart for CDG early morning : (

Questions:

1. Are we making a mistake by skipping Mahe? Unless we can arrange to spend our first morning there before departing for Praslin, it may be too expensive and time-consuming.

2. Do we need a full day for La Digue, or are we better off skipping La Reserve's tour and just doing it ourselves for a half-day?

3. Have I missed anything major?

4. Are we trying to do too much, since we really only have five full days?

Atlanta
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1. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

I should have pointed out that I'm including beach-lounging on Anse Lazio and Anse Volbert as part of our flexible, unscheduled time.

ld
Manchester, United...
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2. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

I would not do an organised fully escorted tour of La Digue. I would try and arrange a tour that includes the transfers and bike hire and then tour the island for yourself. Its not more than a few minutes bike ride to the L'Union Estate to view the estate workings and giant tortoises, you can then leave your bikes and head along Anse Source D'Argent. I'd advise walking as far as you can down the bays to be rewarded with a desserted bay to yourself and amazing snorkellng (take a mask from La Reserve with you as the bikes have baskets). Then head to the restaurant where you left your bikes, to Gregoires Pizza or Chez Marston for lunch. Or you could carry on past the village of La Passe and the road takes you further around the island to La Patatran restaurnat at the L'Ocean hotel. If you are feeling energetic you can cycle over the island to the wilder beaches or if your feeling really fit hike up the mountain!

I haven't visited Cousin or Curieuse, so can't comment. However, I would say that unless you are a bird watcher and very keen to see the Magpie Robin on Aride this is probably the trip to miss. Its quite far and whilst we really had fun with the interesting landing using a rib, because its so pristine, you have to very strictly follow your guide and cannot deviate from trhe path, so unless you really want to see the exquisite bird life there I'd say give it a miss as its quite a long trip withnot imo a huge reward at the end of it.

A trip I would not have wanted to miss is the Sister Island Ills Cocos trip. Which I think you can do from Praslin, but its more usual to go from La Digue. It was a really fun day, snorkelling with turtles, easting lunch on the beach and then feeding the leftovers to the batfish. Wandering around Sister Island - which has the most beautiful beach on the far side I have ever seen is a bit like I'd imagine the garden of eden might have looked. The snorkelling at Ills cocos on the way back was world class as well.

I would really recommend a car rather than the bus on Praslin as it will be much quicker to see what you want on the island. We did Valle De Mai by ourselves and whilst we missed out on the knowledge of a guide, for us this was made up for by exploring on our own at our own pace and not having to wander around in a large group, but thr groups we saw along the way looked to be enthralled by their guides.

As for St pierre, if you decided not to do this as part of an organised trip, you can pay a water taxi to take you out there snorkelling as its not far off the Cote D'or beach.

Whatever you decide you'll have a great time.One of the things I like best about the Seychelles is that as a tourist I felt very at ease exploriong by ourselves and the islands are very welcoming.

We went to La Reserve one night for dinner and it is a really beautiful resort with lovely views, but we joked about the big fence around it and wondered if that was to keep the rest of the island out or the tourists in. I've never stayed anywhere in the Seychelles that had a fence around it. Thats not in anyway a critiscism, just an observation.

If you fancy a meal out of the hotel, the I really enjoyed Tante Mimi at the rather garnd looking plantation style casine. The food was fine dining and its still the best Lobster Bisque I've ever tasted. They also do a free pick up and drop off service as well.

London
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3. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

Wow, what a fantastic trip! You are in for a treat.

I would always advocate going to Mahe, but I's day, if you can take the plane early, hire a car and explore. Get your lunch at CHez Batista and you'll have a great time and will get to see the main island. However, sticking with our itinerary right now will still be amazing.

I'd advocate doing your own thing to get to La Digue, you can turn up and go on the ferry and hire a bike or two when you get there which will get you to the best bits of this amazing island. But do give it a day, you will be richly rewarded.

Other than that, I think it's an amazing trip you have lined up so enjoy!

Atlanta
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4. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

Thank you for all of the great advice.

One thing I should have mentioned is that La Reserve's excursions are free, which makes the La Digue one more appealing even if it's more time than we need. I'll research just how "guided" it is and then decide. We'd much rather explore on our own.

As for Sister / Iles Cocos, is that something you can informally schedule once you arrive on La Digue, or would you advise making reservations beforehand?

LD, I've done a bit more research on Cousin and Aride and your assessment sounds spot-on (I know you haven't been to Cousin, but it sounds similar). Come to think of it, my wife hates birds.

Cape Elizabeth...
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5. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

I would definitely schedule a full day on La Digue, and echo Id's recommendations. If you are game, I would certainly bike it---the whole island if you can. This is a very unique place in the world.

I also think you are fine skipping Mahe. Since you only have the 6 nights, you made a reasonable choice. I would feel otherwise if you were going to have a longer holiday.

St. Pierre---yeesh. I am always in the Seychelles on a yacht charter so perhaps I am biased but....this is a teeny little place! Yes it is gorgeous, and it certainly is where the brochure-people always take the Seychelles photos. There is indeed some of the Seychelle's better snorkeling around there (most of the Seycelles coral is dead, so while the snorkeling is wonderful for fish-life, it is not a great snorkeling destination compared to many South Pacific destinations, e.g.) but St. Pierre can get a bit crowded with boats and people. Nothing like being anchored there with TWENTY SEVEN other boats as I recently was for lunch (we pulled the anchor and fled). Apparently they take those brochure-photos before 6:00 a.m.

I do adore Curieuse----I love the walking and I like the beaches. Nothing like patting a tortoise on the head to make one realize one is not at home with the family dog today!

"Trying to do too much" is a relative thing. You have set a reasonable schedule if your intentions are mostly sightseeing-oriented. If chill-out-on-a-beach enters into the equation, I'd spend half a day or more on Anse Lazio (Praslin). And I wouldn't particulary bother with Anse Volbert.

ld
Manchester, United...
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6. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

The sister island /ills coocs trip is a almost all day, so its not something you could do as well as visiting La Digue. It was just a suggestion instead of Aride - if you can get there from Praslin.

Atlanta
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7. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

Thanks to everyone's helpful input, I've revised my itinerary as follows.

Sat 28 Nov: Unwind at La Reserve

Sun 29 Nov: Hire a car to explore Praslin

Mon 30 Nov: Daytrip to La Digue

Tue 1 Dec: TBD daytrip to Sister/Cocos (pending quotes)

Wed 2 Dec: La Reserve's free daytrip to Curieuse & St Pierre

Thu 3 Dec: Flexible; Sunset Cruise

Cessna, I completely understand your point about St. Pierre, but I really would like to see Curieuse, and St. Pierre is part of the free package. That said, if you had to pick between Curieuse and Sister/Cocos, which would you prefer? My sense is that Sister/Cocos is a must.

I've contacted Mason's Travel about a trip from Praslin to Sister/Cocos. Can anyone else recommend an operator?

ld
Manchester, United...
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8. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

You could try creole travel as well. Failing that I'd be suprised if La Reserve couldn't arrange this trip for you on arrival.

creoletravelservices.com/en/…

The prices for the coco/sister trip look very expensive though with Creole. We certainly didn't pay this kind of money a couple of years ago. I think it was more like 60UK pounds per person, but that was from La Digue. Might be worth waiting until you get there to sort it out.

ld
Manchester, United...
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9. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

I forgot to add, your trip looks lovely - you'll have a fabulous time.

10. Re: My Itinerary: Opinions Welcome!

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