Visiting the Vallee De Mai With kids

If you are a regular reader if my blog you will know that we are huge fans of the Valllee de Mai.  It is definitely one of the best things to do here with young kids.  We go with the boys ALL  the time!  It’s undoubtedly our favourite place for a family walk!

The Vallee de Mai

The Vallee de Mai is a UNESCO world heritage site that is managed by the Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF)

It’s home to the world famous Coco De Mer (the one that looks like a life-size bum, no i’m not joking!!) , the worlds largest seed and many other endemic plants and animals including the Black Parrot.

 

Visiting the Vallee de Mai With Kids

From the impossibly tall trees, the musical whistle of the black parrot, lots of bugs and reptiles to look out for and of course the world famous coco de mer. There is so much to see for kids in the Vallee de Mai!  Parents can relax knowing the paths are well maintained throughout, its a welcome relief from the sun, and there is nothing living in there thats dangerous!

visiting the vallee de mai with kids

 Ticket Cost

For tourists the ticket price is 20 euros each.  It is free for under 12’s (with proof of ID)

Opening times

The Vallee de mai is open every day from 8:30am – 4:30pm

How long is the walk

There are 3 main trails.  They are advertised as taking 1,2 and 3 hours.
Honestly I would say even with kids those times are rather generous! I guess maybe if you stopped and read every sign and did a selfie with every Coco de Mer tree you walked past then you could take that long!
Also if you decide to take a tour guide that will obviously increase the length of the walk (more on that further down)
When we go with Arthur and Freddie we tend to do the shortest route (cutting through Ceder Path, see the map below) as their legs won’t hold up to much more than that.  With a long stop at the little bridge to throw stones into the river we probably still don’t quite take an hour to get round.  To be fair though, apart from the stop, they do pretty much run the whole rest of the time!
There are benches dotted throughout all of the trails so you can stop and take a break if the kids get tired.

Map

Here is a digital version of the map you receive in the Vallee de Mai.  You can see the different trails.  It would be great if you saved this image to your phone so you don’t need to use the paper version! Map of the Vallee de Mai

Thanks to Seychelles Island Foundation for allowing me to share this map

Tips for visiting the Vallee de Mai with kids

  • Earlier is better, it’s a bit cooler and quieter in the mornings.
  • Don’t take a pushchair. While the trails are very well maintained, they are not pushchair (or wheelchair) friendly.
  • Get the kids to use the toilets at the entrance, there are no others once you are inside!
  • The whole area is shaded by the trees so you don’t have to worry about sunburn!
  • The guided tours are fantastic and very informative. They may not be suitable for young kids that could get bored listening to someone talk.
  • Mosquitos are not as much of a problem there as you might think, but you may want to use some spray just in case – citronelle is a great natural mosquito repellent if you’re worried about using chemicals.
  • There is no smoking in the Vallee de Mai (not that i’m suggesting your kids smoke, but you might!!)
  • At the entrance there’s a nice cafe selling snacks and drinks, the prices are pretty reasonable.

 

I hope you have an amazing time visiting the  Vallee de Mai with kids.  Id love to hear your experiences, or if you think I’ve missed anything off?

If you have any questions feel free to contact me

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The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In The Seychelles

A while back I wrote a post with the top tips for taking babies and toddlers to the Seychelles.  I am often asked by people the best ways to entertain their kids while they are visiting the Seychelles.  So, Ive decided that I’ll write a series of posts with ‘the best of’ different activities for kids!

I’ll start off with beaches, a free way to keep the kids entertained while you are here!

The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In The Seychelles

There are countless numbers of beautiful beaches and secluded bay’s to visit here in Seychelles.  When I compiled this list I focused on beaches that are:

  • Easy to access – including not needing to go through hotels or resorts to get there.
  • Safe to Swim *
  • Facilities near by

*I must stress that despite there not being a huge temperature change from season to season, you will notice a big change in the water.  Many beaches are crystal clear and calm most of the year but the seasons can bring about strong winds, tides and currents.  The website that I have found explains it best is Expert Africa take a read!  Plan your beach swims around this, and of course knowing your own and your kids abilities and limits in the water.

I have included a google map link to each of the beaches to help you find them!

As I mentioned none of these beaches require you to go through any hotels or resorts to get there.  There are lots of beautiful beaches where the main access is through hotels or resorts, they may not allow you access though.  However, many hotels do allow you to use their facilities, including access to beaches if you are going for lunch.  Call ahead to check and book in!

The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In The Seychelles

Beau Vallon, Mahe

A large and sheltered beach with areas of shade provided by the trees lining the beach.  The best thing about this beach is that there are shops and restaurants a stones through away, which is not all that common here.  There is often street food stalls set up in the car park.   If its on when you go, check it out.  There will be a good atmosphere and you’ll get a good taste of real Seychellois food for cheap!  The water is nearly always calm and often really shallow, perfect for splashing around with the kids.  One downside of the beach is that it is probably the busiest beach around.  Still nothing compared to beaches around Europe in Summer, but for here it is pretty busy!

The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In The Seychelles

Map of Beau Vallon Beach

Anse Á La Mouche, Mahe

A quiet beach on the South West coast of Mahe with extremely flat and calm water.  The surrounding area is pretty quiet with not a whole lot going on, but the beach is nice for a day trip.  You will probably want to hire a car if you’re not staying near by.

Map of Anse Á La Mouche

Port Launay Beach, Mahe

This beach is part of the Port Launay Marine National Park.  It backs on to the beautiful 5* Constance Ephelia Hotel.  The beach is very sheltered and secluded, with shallow and calm waters.  It’s not a huge beach, but there is plenty of shade to be found.

Map of Port Launay Beach

Anse Volbert, Praslin

My favourite place to take the boys for a swim on the beach.  You’ll see plenty of pictures of this beach on my instagram feed! There is not a whole lot of shade to be found in the heat of the day. However, early in the morning, or early evening this beach is beautiful!  You will find calm and shallow water, with very few rocks for a long way out, giving rise to the most beautiful of blues.  There are lots of boats to see (past where you would want to swim, especially with kids) always popular with kids!

The view is beautiful out over to St Pierre and Curieuse islands.  The beach is really long so, kids will have lots of room to run around.  At the far end of the beach you will find Paradise Sun Hotel, a great hotel for kids, and my favourite place to go for lunch (more on that in another post)

The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In Seychelles

Map Of Anse Volbert

 

Anse Lazio, Praslin

Anse Lazio can always be found in ‘best beaches in the world’ lists, with good reason too.  It really is beautiful!  For a day on the beach, this is our go to!  Trees line the whole of the beach, so you can grab a shady spot and make camp for the day.  Big granitic boulders dotted around the beach provide great climbing frames.  The water is often very safe but there are times where the waves can get up and would be too rough for kids.  My kids still always have fun splashing around in the shallows.  You can find two restaurants, Bon Bon Plume serves particularly good Creole food.

 

The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In The Seychelles

Map of Anse Lazio

Anse Severe, La Digue

While Anse Source D’Argent is without doubt the most famous beach on La Digue (probably the most famous in the Seychelles). It is actually not so great to spend a whole lot of time there aside from getting a great picture!  It’s crowded and the water is not ideal to swim in.

Instead, head to Anse Severe.  Trees provide plenty of natural shade throughout the day.   There is a small snack bar which is always useful too.  If you can stick around until sunset, you will be rewarded with an unbelievable view of the sun setting over Praslin!  The water is shallow and sheltered so great for swimming and paddling most of the year round.

The Best Beaches To Take Babies And Toddlers In Seychelles

Anse Severe Map

 

 

Have you visited any of these beaches with your family?  Are there any you would add to this list?

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Tips for taking babies or toddlers to the Seychelles

So now we have been here for almost 2 years something I’ve realised is that it really is a great place for little kids, I mean, honestly little kids don’t need too much to entertain them…..days at the beach and swimming is perfect fun for them!!!

I thought I’d share some tips for taking babies or toddlers to the Seychelles.

Tips for taking babies or toddlers to the Seychelles

It’s really hot!!

1. There’s lots of lovely swimming to be had for a cool down, but not always shade! Get some UV swimwear for your kiddies!  It’s a great place to take your baby swimming in the Ocean, the water is always warm and more often then not very flat and calm.  Check out my post on the best beaches to take babies and toddlers in the Seychelles

2. You’re going to want to cover up your baby outside of the water too, think loose and light clothing, even when its cloudy!  The Seychelles is just south of the equator and so the sun is a lot more powerful than you think, it’s easy to get caught out!

3.  Don’t forget that you will almost certainly have air conditioning in your bedrooms wherever you are staying, so it will be wise to bring something a little warmer for your babies bed time.

4.  I would recommend bringing your own sunscreen with you (both for yourself and your baby), it is available here but not always that easy to get hold of.  It also often more expensive than you would pay at home.  It also means you can get a brand name that you are used to using.

When it rains, it pours:

5. Being a tropical island, you may also experience the rain as well as the lovely sun! It’s pretty torrential and is a spectacle in it’s own right! It can last anywhere from 10 minutes to all day. If the rain has set in, you’re not gonna be going anywhere so maybe bring a movie or some games you can play indoors to keep the little ones occupied!

Food:

6. Formula milk is readily available here however there’s very limited choices in terms of brands. You may want to bring you’re own if your baby is partial to a specific brand.

7. I have never been able to buy fresh cows milk. This is something that the big hotels will almost certainly be able to provide however if you are staying self catering or in a smaller hotel you may only be able to get long life milk. If your baby drinks cows milk, maybe try your baby on some of this before you get here so it’s not a shock for them.

8. If your baby is a fussy eater you may want to bring some of the food they like with you. Saying that, you can often get jars of baby food of familiar brands if you need them.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask. Just because a restaurant doesn’t have a specific menu for kids, ask, you will almost certainly be able to get something made up as a child’s portion!  We have never had any issues with this when we have been out to eat here, every one has been very accommodating.  Quite often you will find people in restaurants will offer to take your baby while you are eating too!!

Pushchairs:

10. I couldn’t do without our pushchair but I have to say it’s not very easy to use them here. There are a lot of roads that do not have payments so you may feel safer using a baby carrier while out and about.

11. You can’t take a pushchair on the bus (or luggage). As a side note, the busses are very regular and very cheap which is great but they don’t run at night.

And finally:

12. Most importantly I would say to remember you are coming to a tropical island, things may not be the same as you get at home, of even if you were going on holiday somewhere more “westernised” but Seychellois really love children, they will do everything to make sure you’re comfortable and happy being here with your baby!

 

If you are thinking about coming to the Seychelles with your baby or toddler and have any questions please let me know, I’ll do my best to answer any that you have!

 

 

 

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