Seychelles surprises: More than just powdery beaches and crystal clear waters

Above: A view of the coastline of the largest island of Mahe. The Seychelles, located east of Kenya, is made up of 115 islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. The Aldabra giant tortoise (above) spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco
Above: A view of the coastline of the largest island of Mahe. The Seychelles, located east of Kenya, is made up of 115 islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. PHOTO: SANJAY SURANA
Above: A view of the coastline of the largest island of Mahe. The Seychelles, located east of Kenya, is made up of 115 islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. The Aldabra giant tortoise (above) spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco
Sample local products at Victoria's Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market (above) and various types of spirits at the Takamaka rum distillery.PHOTO: SANJAY SURANA
Above: A view of the coastline of the largest island of Mahe. The Seychelles, located east of Kenya, is made up of 115 islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. The Aldabra giant tortoise (above) spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco
Sample local products at Victoria's Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market and various types of spirits at the Takamaka rum distillery (above).PHOTO: SANJAY SURANA
Above: A view of the coastline of the largest island of Mahe. The Seychelles, located east of Kenya, is made up of 115 islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. The Aldabra giant tortoise (above) spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco
The Aldabra giant tortoise (above) spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco de mer, which can weigh up to 20kg and is sweeter than a normal coconut. PHOTO: SANJAY SURANA
Above: A view of the coastline of the largest island of Mahe. The Seychelles, located east of Kenya, is made up of 115 islands sprinkled across the Indian Ocean. The Aldabra giant tortoise (above) spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco
The Aldabra giant tortoise spotted on La Digue island and the double-lobed coco de mer (above), which can weigh up to 20kg and is sweeter than a normal coconut.PHOTO: SANJAY SURANA

Go beyond the powdery beaches and crystal clear waters to discover the islands' forested trails, artisanal crafts and a cuisine rich in multicultural influences

I have always pigeonholed the Seychelles as a destination for newlyweds and the uber-wealthy.

But after seven days in this nation located 1,600km east of Kenya, I have learnt there is much more to the Seychelles than powdery sand and plush linens.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 13, 2019, with the headline 'Seychelles surprises'. Print Edition | Subscribe