The Seychelles are the oldest oceanic islands to be found anywhere on Earth. Sandy, dreamlike beaches with granite boulders, swaying palm trees, coral reefs and underwater wildlife make this country a dream destination. The group of 115 tropical islands in the Indian Ocean with only a few inhabited, is known for rich marine life and nature reserves.
You can visit some privately owned islands to see unique natural attractions. Entrance is controlled by the owners, so the island management must be contacted for permission. Bird Island, the northernmost in the Seychelles archipelago, is a private resort with 26 bungalows. The 0.94 km2 coral island, located 100 km from Mahé, is known for its birdlife, turtles and sea cows. It contains a small air strip which connects the island with Mahé. Cousine Island also hosts seabird colonies and exclusive accommodation.
Fregate Island, the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands of the Seychelles (55 km east of Mahé), is renowned for snorkelling and diving. It boasts Anse Victorin, voted "The World's Best Beach" by The Times, a tiny airport, and a secluded private luxury resort which funds an environmental programme on the island. Denis Island, ringed by flawless white sand, is a place where you can snorkel in a sea turtle sanctuary, spot some of the rarest birds on earth, and go sport-fishing. Other privately owned islands in the Seychelles are: Chauvre Souris, Anonyme, Felicite, D’Arros, St. Joseph Atoll, Grand Soeur, Petite Soeur, Moyenne, North Island, Round Island near Mahé and Round Island near Praslin.
Photo: Vladimir Melnik, Shutterstock
How to get there:
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Where to stay:
In Praslin, we encourage you to stay at 3* Coco Bay Guest House with good reviews and airport shuttle. Situated 250 m from Anse Volbert Beach, this property is set in a tropical garden. It offers a restaurant, BBQ facilities and free WiFi in the public areas. Guests can also rent bicycles at the guest house. The air-conditioned rooms and chalets all come with en suite bathrooms. The chalet is also equipped with a kitchenette and terrace. The rooms include access to a shared kitchen and lounge. Restaurants can be found in Cote D’Or which is a short walk away. Coco Bay Villa can arrange tours and excursions upon request. Free private parking and BBQ facilities are available on site. The guest house is located just a 5 minute walk from Anse Volbert village and 750 m from Praslin Museum. Praslin Island Airport is 13 km away.
In Mahé we recommend you to book Oceanic View Self-catering Apartment with good reviews and airport shuttle. This property is only a 7-minute walk from the white sands. Located in Beau Vallon, Oceanic View Self-catering Apartment overlooks the bay. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms have a shared bathroom equipped with a shower and guests have access to a communal kitchen. You will find a shared kitchen at the property. The Victoria city centre is only 15 minutes away by bus. Airport transfers or jetty pickups can be arranged for a surcharge on advance request.
What to do:
You can transfer between the main islands of the Inner Seychelles (Mahé, La Digue and Praslin) by ferry crossing. What is more, Air Seychelles flies scheduled or charter flights between the different islands. To visit the Outer Seychelles (mostly uninhabited coralline islands), you should travel by private yacht or in small local planes that land on remote air strips. There is also a helicopter service between Mahé and Praslin or La Digue as well as between Praslin and La Digue. It also offers scenic flights and resort transfers.
Most of the attractions in the Seychelles are natural. In this paradise for birdwatchers you can easily see the unique land birds and sea bird colonies.
The combination of calm waters and steady winds makes the Seychelles perfect for water-based sports, such as windsurfing, dinghy sailing, water skiing and paragliding.
With visibility generally exceeding 30 metres and water temperatures reaching 28ºC, the archipelago is considered a divers’ paradise. The reefs that encircle many of the islands contain upwards of 300 species of fish and more than 100 varieties of coral.
If you don’t want to get wet, you can take a glass-bottomed boat out over the reef, and admire the underwater marine vistas from on board.
The hawksbill turtle can be found in Curieuse National Marine Park in the islet of St Pierre. It is a perfect spot for scuba diving and swimming.
Anse Royale on Mahé, enclosed behind a reef, is ideal for snorkelling. The corals in the Sainte Anne National Marine Park are also amazing.
Top spot for big game fishing is the edge of the Seychelles Bank, where the ocean floor plunges to 1,800 meters. The best catches are usually between November and April.
The archipelago is a popular destination to spend your honeymoon.
On Mahé, La Digue and Praslin you will find a number of well-marked trails that lead into the interior. The three-hour trek between Anse Royale and Anse à la Mouche, running across the southern hills of Mahé, is one of the most popular. Mahé offers a great choice of activities, from rock climbing to sea kayaking.
The best way to explore La Digue is on a bike. You can also enjoy horse riding in the Union Estate Park. Advanced riders can get taken up into the mountains of Mahé, where bathing beneath thunderous waterfalls is the highlight of the expedition.
Praslin is the only island in the Seychelles where you can enjoy an 18 hole round of golf on a championship course. Discover the amazing Coco De Mer, a rare species of palm tree native to the Seychelles archipelago. Explore the mangroves and meet giant tortoises in the wild on Curieuse Island.
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