Why go to Seychelles

Spectacular Seychelles

The stunning Seychelles archipelago is made up of no fewer than 115 picture-perfect islands, and visitors are spoilt for choice in terms of where to go and what to do. An ideal destination for an island-hopping adventure, the Seychelles will satisfy every kind of traveller – from leisure-seekers looking for long lazy days on the beach or out on the water to adventure-seekers wanting to explore jungle-clad mountains and even cultural enthusiasts wanting to immerse themselves in the local art, markets and cuisine.

The three main islands are connected via ferry transfer, and many of the other smaller islands are reachable by boat as part of a daily excursion or a short stay, so getting around the archipelago is

MAHÉ ISLAND

Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles, and all domestic and international flights originate here. While it’s a busy island compared to the rest of the Seychelles, it’s still quiet and sleepy compared to much of the rest of the world!

The hub of activity is in Victoria, one of the world’s smallest capital cities. Home to about a third of the population of the Seychelles, Victoria is the country’s main economic, political and commercial hub. The provincial-style town offers a bustling market, manicured botanical gardens and beautiful old colonial buildings alongside the more modern structures. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to exlore, the daily Victoria Market is a feast for the senses, and the backdrop of hills that seem to tumble into the turqoise sea gives it an almost other-worldly setting.

One of the most popular beaches for locals and visitors alike, Mahé’s Beau Vallon is a stretching bay with plenty of accommodation options, vibey restaurants and tours on offer. Its clear waters and coral reefs make it a popular base for diving and snorkelling expeditions.

Known as the Beau Vallon of the south, Anse Royale in the southeast of Mahé offers a variety of activities against the backdrop of spectacular scenery and a stone’s throw from a number of hotels and guesthouses. Aside from the popular beach, there is also the Jardin de Roi, which continues the tradition of the historic spice garden that was located in Anse Royale until the 1700s, when it was destroyed by a fire. The 25-hectare estate is home to fragrant cinnammon, vanilla, clove and nutmeg plants, as well as mango and orange trees, other endemic species, and numerous giant tortoises. The on-site restaurant serves up delicious Creole dishes fashioned with ingredients from the garden itself.

On more active days, hikers will love the 905 m high peaks of Mahé’s Morne Blanc, which offers a tour that trails through old tea plantations and tropical forests to a peak with a view so stunning that it makes the trek well worth the effort.

SAINT ANNE MARINE PARK

Just 4 km from Mahé is the island of Sainte Anne – the first to be discovered by the French in 1770. The enviroinmentally-protected Saint Anne Marine Park includes Sainte Anne, Cerf, Round, Marianne and Long Islands, and is famous for its excellent snorkelling conditions (arguably some of the best in the Seychelles).

PRASLIN ISLAND

With the vestiges of a natural palm forest at its heart, Praslin is the second largest of Seychelles’ inner islands, and one of its greenest.

The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve on the island is a UNESCO World Heritage site that protects endangered species such as the Seychelles blue pigeon, Seychelles sunbird, black parrot, bronze gecko and the rare tiger chameleon. The largest seed in the plant kingdom – the 15kg Coco de Mer – can also be found here. One of the best-known sights in the Seychelles, the Reserve is home to thousands of unique and endangered flora and fauna, and is well worth the visit for any nature lover.

Praslin’s stretching beaches are peppered with striking granite boulders that make for a dramatic natural backdrop. The picturesque Anse Lazio is the most popular beach on Praslin, and offers visitors powdery white sands and turquoise waters against this iconic background.

CURIEUSE ISLAND

A small island right next to Praslin, Curieuse is a popular day trip destination. It’s the only other island where the Coco de Mer palm tree grows naturally, and home to lush mangrove forests and majestic giant tortoises. The island is well known for its photogenic scenery and Marine National Park, where seeing hundreds of hump-headed parrotfish (which can grow up to 1.2 m long) and feeding the giant tortoises relaxing around the park rangers’ headquarters are highlights.

ARIDE ISLAND

Another small island close to Praslin (to the north) is Aride. It was designated as a nature reserve in 1973, and ranks amongst one of the most important in the world today. Numerous sea-faring birds have found a home here, many turtles use it as a refuge to lay their eggs during the northwest monsoon season, and it’s the only place in the world where the Wright’s Gardenia can be found.

COUSIN ISLAND

Just 2 km west of Praslin is Cousin Island, a small granitic island that’s the most protected in the Seychelles, and home to the largest variety of endemic plant and animal species. The island is home to approximately 300,000 birds and numerous 100-year-old giant tortoises, and the tourist income helps to fund the important environmental efforts in action here.

SILHOUETTE

The third largest of Seychelles’ inner islands, Silhouette is a 20 km² granite island located northeast of Mahé, and rising up to 751 m above sea level at its highest point. Its undisturbed beaches and natural landscapes coupled with its quiet isolation make it a popular choice for those wanting to escape the crowds. There aren’t any streets or supermarkets, and the approximately 150 inhabitants are comprised mostly of people operating the island’s five-star Hilton Labriz Resort and La Belle Tortue Lodge. The Silhouette National Park is blessed with mountain peaks that provide a rich natural habit for the numerous endangered plant and animal species that call it home.

LA DIGUE ISLAND

One of the smaller islands of the Seychelles, La Digue is wonderfully slow-paced and sleepy. It’s a 15 minute ferry ride from Praslin, and home to the breathtakingly beautiful Anse Source d’Argent beach – the location for scores of films and advertising shots. Think shallow turquoise waters, powdery white sand and contrasting granite boulders.

At the centre of La Digue is the Veuve Reserve, the breeding ground of the famous Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher – a rare and endemic bird species that’s immediately recognisable thanks to its deep blue colour.

BIRD ISLAND

The northernmost island in the Seychelles, this small island is a real treat for nature lovers. Millions of sooty tern birds find a home here between May and September, and it’s also the stomping ground of Esmeralda, a 200-year-old giant tortoise!

FAQ Sychelles

When is the best time to go?

The Seychelles is warm – without any extremes of hot or cold – all year round. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. While pleasant throughout the year, the most popular times to visit are in April, May, October and November.

What is the best way to travel around

How to get to the Seychelles?