Mahe is the main and the largest island in Seychelles. It is home to Victoria, the capital of Seychelles and the International airport, making it the starting part of all trips to Seychelles. With some of the world's best beaches, Mahe is famous as a honeymoon destination. It has coconut plantations, waterfalls, hiking trails, freshwater springs, dense forests and breathtaking beaches. It is also famous for water sports activities. A lot of luxury hotels and big resorts are located here as well. Mahe is easily accessible by road.
Praslin is the second-largest and second most popular island of Seychelles. It has the world's most white and thinnest sand beaches and is more laid back than Mahe. Praslin is home to the popular UNESCO Heritage Site - Valle De Mai Nature Reserve. The rare Seychelles Black Parrot can also be spotted here. It also acts as the base for excursions and day trips to the nearby islands. Praslin Island is easily accessible from Mahe by domestic flight and ferry.
La Digue is the smallest and third most popular island of Seychelles. It is bestowed with the most picture-perfect beaches, jade green waters and beautiful bays with greenery all around. La Digue is known for the world-famous award-winning beach Anse Source d’Argent. Must-do activities in La Digue include diving, snorkelling and crystal kayaking on a glass-bottom boat. The island is accessible by bike or car. It can be reached by ferry from Praslin.
One of the two sister Islands with Petite Soeur Island, the beauty of this little private island cannot be expressed in words. It is one of the best-unspoiled islands in Seychelles. It is owned by the Hotel Château de Feuilles which organises boat trips for their guests, from Praslin. The island allows only a small number of visitors per day. Grande Soeur looks straight out of a Jurassic Park movie with granite boulders, tall palm trees and stunning beaches.
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Petite Soeur island is one of the two islands privately owned by Hotel Château de Feuilles in Seychelles. The guests of the hotel have a full gateway to enjoy excursions to these islands during the weekends. They can enjoy a fun-filled picnic with their friends or family at the Petite Soeur island; playing outdoor games and just taking in the incredible ocean panoramas. The island is also popular for the various watersports and marine adventure activities like diving, snorkelling, trekking, etc.
Notable for its bare red earth mountains, Curieuse Island is a national and marine park. It is known for the raw, natural beauty of colossal rock formations, endemic bird species, freely roaming giant tortoises, and exciting nature trails. It provides an amazing view of Seychelles and is the only other island apart from Praslin where unique coco de Mer trees grow in their natural state. The best way to discover the island is through a hike. The trails are well-marked and easy to follow. Curieuse Island is also a popular day trip from Praslin.
A tiny granite islet, St. Pierre offers some beautiful elements of nature - granite rocks lapped by waves, palm trees swaying in the wind, calm water and a peaceful ambience. It is one of the best snorkelling locations in Seychelles. Even though the coral here is dead, you can spot a variety of fishes and sea turtles. St Pierre Islet is a mile off Praslin and can only be reached by boat. The island is really small and cannot be explored on foot. The boats dock a distance from the main island where you can click pictures and snorkel.
Cousin Island is a granitic island located 2km from Praslin. It is a protected nature reserve conserving sea birds and endemic land birds. It is also an important breeding site for hawksbill turtle. The island can only be visited through local tour operators. The 75-minute guided tour is conducted by the reserve's warden who explains the biodiversity and highlights of the island.
Silhouette is the most undeveloped and remote of Seychelles' uninhabited islands. Actually made up of volcanic syenite, the island has no roads or cars. There are many attractive walking trails where you can explore nature thoroughly as the island houses some incensed trees, rare plants and animals and 100-year-old tortoises.
Aride Island is the northernmost of the granitic islands of Seychelles. The 68-hectare island is a conservation site hosting one of the most important seabird population in the Indian Ocean. It is also one of the most popular diving sites in Seychelles. Tourists can only visit the island on a two-hour guided tour, arranged by the local operators in Praslin (10km away).
Bird Island is one of the many granitic islands in Seychelles. It is approximately 105 kilometres from Mahe and is known to be one of the most beautiful well kept natural islands. The island is home to thousands of tropical birds, marine life and giant land tortoises. The world’s largest land tortoise, Esmeralda can also be found here. Activities on Bird Island include bird watching, tortoise and turtle spotting, snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and exploring nature trails. Bird Island can be reached by a 30-minute domestic flight from Mahe. Accommodation is available here in the form of self-catering villas.
Featured in many of Seychelle's promotional materials, Ile Cocos is a small island that is under environmental protection by the government. Featuring a lovely postcard-worthy island dotted with vegetation, consisting mostly of palm trees, the island offers an unparalleled snorkelling and diving experience due to the rich marine life present here. It is accessible from Praslin and La Digue.
Moyenne Island is situated 4.5 kilometres off the north coast of Mahe in Ste Anne Marine National Park. The highlight of the island is the 120 Aldabra giant tortoises. It is also home to fishes, sharks and manta rays. Like all Seychelles' islands, it has powdery white beaches, lush palms and azure water. It has a sense of a deserted island and still remained underdeveloped. The island is private and was purchased by Brendon Grimshaw, an English newspaper editor, in the 1970s. Only a limited number of visitors are allowed here.
Now you know where to head to and what to expect when in Seychelles. Roam around with the giant tortoises, hike on natural trails, indulge in your favourite water sports activity, or just chill on the beach. So what are you waiting for? Those pristine beaches and lush green forests await you!
This post was published by Pranjali Kureel
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