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Dive Review of Blue Sea Divers/Chteau Elysium in
Seychelles/Beau Vallon

Blue Sea Divers/Chteau Elysium: "Easy diving with lots to see; great beach vacation", Apr, 2019,

by Gareth Richards, OH, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 10891 has 5 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We traveled in late March/early April 2019. I could not find many recent reviews about the Seychelles so I will try to be complete. We did a week on land, during which we did some day boat diving (this review), and then a week on a liveaboard (separate review).

The seasons in the Seychelles are more about the wind direction; for one half of the year it is from the north and the other half from the south. During the months of March/April and September/October (according to our divemaster) is when the switch occurs, and thus the waters are the calmest and the diving the easiest. Being just south of the equator the water is therefore the warmest at end of March, and while we were there it was 86-88 F at any depth.

We stayed the week on land on Mahe (the main island) on the west coast in an area called Beau Vallon. In the liveaboard review you can find some comments about the other islands. Beau Vallon has a wonderful beach that at this time of year was very uncrowded. This no doubt could be different in July and August during typical northern hemisphere summer vacation. We stayed in a terrific villa called Chateau Elysium, literally on the beach. This had the advantage of having a large bedroom, large beautiful deck and common living room, kitchen available to guests. With so few people staying, we enjoyed meeting the other guests in a way that you normally wouldn’t at a hotel. Conversely there was no pool; but with the ocean right there, we didn’t think this was a big deal.

Close by , walking along the beach, are many bars and restaurants, some of which are part of the large resorts (eg Trader Vics at the H resort) but available to non-residents. Up away from the beach about 5-10 minute walk in Beau Vallon “village” there are 2 supermarkets, a pharmacy and a bank. I suggest you get local cash (Seychelles rupees) from an ATM so that you are not paying in Euros/Dollars cash at which point the exchange rate will be, let’s just say, unfavorable. Credit cards are widely accepted so that’s another good option.

We did some day diving with Blue Sea Divers. By coincidence this is the same company that operates the Galatea. They are located along the same beach. We had our own gear and they picked us up so we didn’t have to schlep the gear ourselves. Tanks were DIN but adapters for yoke are available so if you have non-DIN gear (as we do) it was not a problem. Make sure to tell the divemaster your gauge is in psi if appropriate and negotiate appropriate signals. T-sign like “timeout” indicates half a tank (100 bar, 1500psi). There is not a pier or jetty so you walk out off the beach to the boat through the water to about chest height. All the gear is loaded for you, so you are really just carrying fins and mask. You get in your wetsuit (if using one) and boots at the shop and there is a place to store your dry stuff at the shop. Then walk across the beach into the water. Due to the warm water I dove in shorts and t-shirt only. Others used shorty or 3/2 full. Sites are 5-10 min ride away. Backroll entry. Pass up fins and weights and climb up ladder.

Diving is very good in terms of fish density and variety. We saw all typical tropicals (snapper, parrot fish, squirrel fish, wrasse etc) but also turtles both hawksbill and green, many eagle rays, blotchy ray and whip ray, stone fish, scorpion fish, nudibranchs, moray, box, puffer, etc. At Beau Vallon we saw clown fish and anemonefish. In other locations while on the liveaboard (see separate review) we also saw many octopus, huge Napoleon wrasse, sharks and other stuff. Soft corals are present, plentiful sea urchins including the unusual pencil urchin. Hard corals are nearly all dead, with the exception being near Grande Soeur where there is a huge area of intact healthy staghorn coral. In amongst the dead hard coral however there are often small patches around 6-12 inches diameter of new growth hard coral. These may be hardy varieties that have adapted. All in all due to the extreme variety and density of fish and other marine life, the diving is great and there is a huge amount to see.
The outlets on land were most commonly the UK style 3 pin, 240v, so make sure your gear can handle the 240v and bring appropriate adapters.

The Seychelles sit on an underwater plateau which is at about 25m so all the dives were shallower than that. Temp of 86-88F always at any depth. Contrary to what is put in the intro section on the website, the level of service in the Seychelles in general was very high. Prices on land were not out of line with other premium locations. Tipping culture is European, ie, not expected.

Conclusion: Great diving, good location, great beach. Would work for a newer diver due to easy diving conditions with warm water and lots to see. Pay attention to the season and go when the wind is calm.
Websites Blue Sea Divers   Chteau Elysium

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Cocos, Philippines, Socorro, GBR, NZ, Bahamas, Mexico Pacific, Cayman, US Keys, Mediterranean (Cyprus, Corsica, Turkey), Belize, Roatan, Bonaire, Cozumel, BVI
Closest Airport SEZ Getting There Many options via Dubai or Doha (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar. Or non stop from Paris (AF).

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 86-88°F / 30-31°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 50 min limit
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No facilities. Carry your camera onto the boat yourself.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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