Situated right off the eastern coast, is the African island of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.

The country has a history of colonialism, especially from the British and the French, but because of this, the islands are an interesting mix of cultures with three official languages: English, French, and Creole. One thing that is undeniable about The Republic of Seychelles: it inarguably has some of the best beaches in the world. This African island is where you will have an experience with diving and snorkeling like no other in all of its beauty.

Planning a visit? Here are top five things to do on the island.

1. Start Your Day At A Local Market

A visit to Mahé’s busy and colorful market is the best way to get a feel for the Seychellois and their way of life.

Built-in 1840 and renovated in 1999, the market is the heart of the capital and the best place to buy fresh fruits, fish, vegetables,  and spices during your visit.

You will also find a variety of souvenirs, clothing, and unique artwork from local artists.

The market is open Monday to Saturday from 4 am to 5 pm.

Other markets to visit include, Victoria Bazaar every Friday on Market Street, and Bazar Labrin on Beau Vallon beach held every Wednesday and on the last Saturday of the month.

2. Explore the Vallée de Mai on Praslin

Vallée de Mai is a stunning nature reserve that has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to Seychelles’ original palm forest.

This historic reserve has often been described as the ‘Garden of Eden’ as it’s majestic and one of the most beautiful in the world.

3. Island & Beach Hop

One of the reasons you probably chose Seychelles is because there aren’t many places in the world that rival the beauty and beaches.

That’s why you should consider seeing all that you can by going on an island boat trip.

If it’s a day trip, expect to spend around $175 per person. The main three islands to visit: Cousin Island, offering diverse wildlife;  Curieuse Island because of the mango forests; and St Pierre is popular for its amazing snorkeling spots.

4. Hike On Mahe Island

Mahé Island is the island where you will find trails, if you need a break from the beach.

The easiest of the islands’ trails is the Copolia Trail, found in the Morne Seychellois National Park. It takes you 500 m above sea level. Expect a 2-hour hike with some steep sections.

Morne Blanc Trail is another beautiful trail. While it’s worth the views, it’s challenging to get to the top.  The trail takes roughly 45 minutes each way.

5. Visit The National Botanical Gardens

Planted more than 100 years ago, the vibrant flora housed within the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens provides a change of scenery from the beach.

Situated across  5 acres of Mont Fleuri — on the southern outskirts of Victoria — the botanical gardens offer visitors an up-close look at Seychellois wildlife.