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Natalie Jurcic, a destination specialist from Goway’s Idyllic Islands team, has recently returned from a FAM trip to the Seychelles. In the following interview, Natalie shares her memorable experiences, tips, and reasons why you should recommend the beautiful islands of Seychelles to your clients.
Where is Seychelles and how do you get there?
Seychelles is a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean, east of the African countries of Tanzania and Kenya and northeast of Madagascar. Flights from North America most often route via Europe or the Middle East, though it’s also possible to fly via South Africa, as I did.
Which islands did you see in Seychelles?
I visited the main island of Mahe as well as Praslin and Silhouette, with each island offering something different from the other.
What was your favourite property and why?
I absolutely loved Maia Luxury Resort on Mahe; it is out of this world! This boutique property has just 30 villas in total, each with a dedicated butler at your disposal 24/7. The villas, which are between beachfront and hilltop locations, each have a high degree of privacy with tall walls and gated doors, private plunge pools, large living spaces, and amazing views. Best of all, the resort features the “beyond all-inclusive” concept, offering unlimited scuba diving and whatever, wherever, whenever dining. Breakfast for dinner? No problem. Lunch at the beach? Why not. Sunrise breakfast on the heli-pad? If you can dream it, the staff can make it happen at this fantastic property.
What were some of your highlights and why?
Seeing and interacting with giant tortoises was a bucket list item, and the beaches in Seychelles are the most stunning I’ve seen—even more beautiful than on islands in the South Pacific or the Caribbean. The granite boulders found on many beaches alongside the mountainous landscape give an added wow factor and almost make the islands look prehistoric. It’s like taking a step back in time.
What interesting excursion would you recommend?
I would recommend a visit to the Valee de Mai on Praslin, where you can find rare birds and plant life, including Coco de Mer trees, which produce the world’s largest nut. They can weigh up to 50 lbs. Goway can arrange this as a half-day tour for clients staying on Praslin, or a full-day excursion from Mahe with boat transfers across the water. And on Mahe, I would recommend touring the local Takamaka Rum Factory (with tastings of course).
What are your top five selling tips for Seychelles?
For clients who are all about the beach, Seychelles is the ideal place. Stunning powder white sand beaches abound. As well, the Indian Ocean was so warm when I was there in October. It was like bath water.
The travel distance to reach the islands from North America can make it a tough sell for some clients, so why not suggest a stopover to help break up the journey? Paris, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Istanbul are some of the most popular routings and offer great city stay combos.
When to go?
The Seychelles’ location near the equator means it averages a very warm 27°C/80°F year-round. Seychelles’ wet season is from November through April and tends to be more humid and rainy. The Seychelles also has a windy season from about June through September, so avoid the most torrential rains during the wet season and high winds through spring and fall.
Unlike some other Indian Ocean destinations like the Maldives, where clients usually stay put on one island and at one resort for their full stay, Seychelles is a great place to do some island hopping. Each island has a slightly-different geography, activities, and local flavour. We can offer either a land-based itinerary with domestic flights or ferry transfers in-between, or we can incorporate 3-, 4-, or 7-night small ship cruising itineraries with Variety cruise lines.
Seychelles does not offer overwater bungalows. However, most resorts, whether at the 4-star or 5-star level, offer spacious villa-style accommodations with a high degree of privacy, a plunge pool, and/or easy access to the beach. So, if your clients are looking for seclusion, this destination is a great choice.
Feel free to contact Natalie for any questions or assistance you may need to help create the perfect vacation package for your clients.
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