With more than 100 stunning islands, each offering something unique of its own, you can’t travel all the way to the Seychelles and visit only one. It’s a great destination for island hopping, or pick a few of these and stay awhile.
Mahe Island is the largest, home to the majority of the population and the international airport where you’ll fly in. It’s worth spending time here with its excellent mix of attractions and natural sights. When it comes to the latter, you’ll find the archipelago’s quintessential white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear blue waters for snorkeling and diving, along with scenic trails for hiking in Morne Seychellois National Park, which wind through a brilliant green forest beneath the highest peak in the Seychelles. From there you’ll get a breathtaking view of Mahe, the Indian Ocean and nearby islands.
Mahe is also some to the walkable capital city of Victoria with arts and crafts markets to browse and beautiful botanical gardens with some 200 plant species and giant Aldabra tortoises.
Beach-hopping is a must too – rent a car, and bring or rent snorkel gear. There are many great spots for exploring the underwater world, like Anse Takamaka, a sweep of long beach in the south-east, or Anse Soleil which boasts a vibrant reef just offshore. You’ll find lots of hotels and resorts too, many with a wide range of amenities and activities, like Constance Ephelia which offers unique experiences like rock climbing and ziplining, along with the Indian Ocean’s largest spa.
Have you ever fantasized about living on your own private desert island? Denis Island is about as close as you can get. The most northly in the Seychelles, you’ll enjoy barefoot luxury while immersed in the breathtaking natural sights and the sounds of the wildlife, including many endemic Seychelles’ bird species.
Praslin is the place to go for a laid-back escape. While it’s about a third of Mahe’s size, it’s has plenty of postcard-perfect beaches and alluring coves. With Curieuse Marine National Park bordering its north coast, you can enjoy outstanding snorkeling here, or by taking a catamaran tour to the outlying islands like the Soeurs. Enjoy strolls along the sand and dining at beachside eateries that serve that fresh catch of the day like grilled parrotfish – the island is known for its tasty Creole cuisine too. In Valle de Mai National Park you can see the unique native coco der mer palms that produce massive, 40-pound seeds. From here, there are trails connected to Praslin National Park, known for its rare birds and plants.
Just a 15-minute ferry ride from Praslin, La Digue is a similar in size to New York’s Central Park, and as there only a few motorized vehicles, with most getting around on foot or bicycle, it has an especially peaceful feel while bringing visitors back to another time. It’s the place to go if you prefer exploring on your own without needing a map, hiking or biking from beach to beach, discovering hidden, often deserted and untouched coves.
Walk from Grand Anse and you’ll find coves strewn with smooth boulders, sculpted by the sea. Framed by vibrant greenery, it provides a stunning contrast. Continue to Anse Cocos, perhaps stopping to buy a fresh-cut coconut from a vendor, before taking a dip in the natural pool formed by boulders at the beach’s end. In the afternoon, take a stroll around the marina, watching the fishing boats come in with their fresh catch which will be served in the little Creole eateries along the coast.
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