The largest island and the economic and cultural hub of Seychelles, Mahé is home to some stunning beaches, colourful markets, historical landmarks, luxurious resorts, and one of the smallest capital cities of the world - Victoria. Mahé is also famous for its diverse underwater topography, so dive in to witness some rare tropical species, as well as a few shipwrecks. You can get a chance to dive and snorkel with the gentle giants of the sea here - the whale sharks. Apart from that, the bright markets of Mahé will let you choose your favourite souvenirs, from large coco de mers to locally crafted jewellery, to take back home.
Activities: This island provides a wide range of water sports activities - snorkelling, parasailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing and water-skiing among others. Hike across some amazing trails.
Highlights: Apart from the captivating landscape, this island is your one-stop for shopping.
Best time to visit: April is the best month for beach visits, while October-November is the best time for spotting the whale sharks.
With its pristine beaches, lush jungles, rare species of plants and animals, Praslin is a treat for nature lovers. Take a walk through the UNESCO World Heritage site, Vallee De Mai, famous for the big coco de mers that grow here in their natural form and spot some rare bird species like the Black Parrot. This island has some really amazing beaches like Anse Lazio, which is counted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and probably provides the most romantic setting in Seychelles.
Activities: Walk through Vallee De Mai, hike from South Praslin to Anse Lazio, and indulge in water sports activities at Anse Lazio.
Highlights: The best thing about this island is its vegetation and wildlife.
Best time to visit: April - May
La Digue is the third most popular island of Seychelles and no less in beauty, and it also has one of the world's best beaches - Anse Source d'Argent, a stunning white-sand beach backed by naturally sculpted granite boulders. The environment is peaceful, and the air is clean, roads are perfect for strolling/cycling. Spot the black paradise flycatcher in Veuve Reserve as La Digue is the last refuge of this rare species. L'Union estate, a former coconut and vanilla plantation lets one peek into the colonial history of this place.
Activities: Walk in Veuve Reserve, chill on the beaches and indulge in some water sports.
Highlight: La Digue is ideal for water sports. Grand Anse is the best surf spot in Seychelles.
Best time to visit: April - August
Just a few miles off the west coast of Praslin Island, this secluded island is a conversationalists' successful project to provide a natural setting of endemic trees, shrubs and flowers. It is home to some native Seychellois birds like terns and endangered magpie robins, tortoises and turtles. To prevent disturbance to wildlife, only a limited number of visitors are allowed, with a guide. Don't forget to take an insect repellent with you!
Activities: Take nature walks, get involved in conservation at Cousine Island Seychelles by planting a tree, turtle monitoring and feeding Magpie Robins. Indulge in activities like bird watching, fishing, and diving.
Highlight: Presence of some endangered species is a highlight of this one.
Best time to visit: September to January is the best time as you might be able to witness the hawksbill turtles breeding and hatching.
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No less than a sanctuary for bird watchers, Bird Island is colonised by millions of land birds, seabirds and different rare vagrants throughout the year. Loved by bird watchers, sooty terns come here with the South-East trade winds, lay their eggs and start leaving around October, as soon as the young terns learn to fly. Many unusual vagrants drift towards Seychelles during December.
Activities: Apart from bird watching, carry out a nature walk along the trails and feed those giant tortoises.
Highlights: The vast number of land birds, seabirds and migrants.
Best time to visit: March to October is the best time to spot some fabulous migrant birds.
One of the two sister Islands with Petite Soeur Island, the beauty of this little private island cannot be expressed in words. Imagine walking around the giant tortoises, swimming with hundreds of colourful fishes, and sitting under the palm trees, watching the endless ocean - that's Grande Soeur for you. Enjoy delicious barbeque after! This is a unique, unspoiled island with few people and a whole lot of natural beauty.
Activities: Enjoy the beach; swim/scuba dive/snorkel in the ocean.
Highlights: The unspoiled natural beauty of this island makes it one in a million.
Best time to visit: April to September
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.
Activities: Hiking/Nature Walks
Highlights: Motor-vehicles free natural paths, ideal for casual hikers, are the best thing about this island.
Best time to visit: May to October
Notable for its bare red earth mountains, this island is a national and marine park with 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.
Activities: Learn about tortoises, feed them, walk on the nature trails, chill on the beach and swim in the clear, blue water.
strong>Highlights: A huge variety of flora and fauna makes this island fascinating.
Best time to visit: April to September
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. You will spot a variety of colourful fish and sea turtles here. This island is a mile off Praslin and can only be reached by boat.
Activities: St. Pierre is best for snorkelling.
Highlights: Clear blue water with a variety of colourful fish.
Best time to visit: April to October
Denis Island is one of the most secluded islands of the world with a living, breathing island community. Coral reefs, white sand beaches and a beautiful view which also provides privacy make it a perfect spot for lovers. There is no mobile network or Wi-Fi available here. Thus, this place is away from all those digital distractions and gives you plenty of time to appreciate nature and the ones you hold dear.
Activities: The location offers extravagant snorkelling and diving opportunities among other activities.
Highlight: The natural beauty and privacy this island offers to its guests.
Best time to visit: April to October
Petite Soeur island is one of the two islands privately owned by Hotel Château de Feuilles in Seychelles; with the other being Grande Soeur island. 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 that one can take part in here such as diving, snorkelling, trekking, etc.
North Island is the 9th largest among the 115 islands which altogether make the archipelago of Seychelles. The island is famous for its exclusive natural beauty along with the wildlife that flourishes here. The island truly justifies the word 'heaven' with its tropical ambience and scenic beauty. Flying is the best mode for travelling to this exclusive island with eleven private beachside villas.
Located around 3.5 kilometers from Victoria, Eden Island is an artificial island belonging to the Mahe port islands, built with funds from Dubai, having protected bays and beaches. With premium ocean-facing views, the island is famous for its luxurious Eden Bleu Hotel. The island also has a Yacht marina, bars and restaurants and also places for a shopping spree. Eden Island is the only place in Mahe where foreigners are permitted to buy a land, with waterside villas on Sale.
Fregate Island is a piece of heaven in Seychelles. The easternmost island of the nation, the scintillating island is located 55 km east of Mahe. Also called Fregate Island Private, it was discovered by Lazare Picault (an explorer) who named it Fregate in 1744 owing to the abundance of frigate birds found here. The natives of the enchanting island have worked hard to restore and maintain the natural charm and beauty of this place along with saving the natural flora and fauna. And the result is, the wildlife is restored making it a vacation-land in the midst of the wild.
Alphonse Island forms an integral part of the Outer Island Group of Seychelles. About 400 kilometres south-west of the main island of Mahe, Alphonse is especially beautiful and unique due to its isolated nature and the fact that it is almost completely untouched by man-made destruction. The island has a glow that seems to be its constant companion and is made even more magical by the 16 kilometre stretch of pearly white-sand beaches which are mostly secluded and the stunning sunsets that are sure to take your breath away.
One of the Granitic Inner Islands, Felicite Island lies at a distance of just 4 kilometres from the coast of north La Digue. The beautiful island is lined with white sandy beaches on its shores and a plethora of flora and fauna to make it worth the visit. Felicite is a small island in Seychelles, with just around 3 kilometres of length and 1.5 kilometres of width. This also makes it easy for visitors to explore the entire island in a matter of hours.
One of the Inner Islands, Aride Island is a sight to behold just 10 kilometres off the coast of north Praslin. The island is a 68-hectare site with white sandy beaches and the largest seabird population in the Indian Ocean. This is the northernmost of the granitic islands and has been claimed as a Nature Reserve by the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles. A visit to this beautiful reserve is a must-see when visiting Seychelles as it gives you an all-round experience of everything the island nation has to offer. This includes world-class diving sites, game fishing, and an array of flora and fauna that is sure to blow your mind away.
The Outer Islands of Seychelles are further away from Africa and are known to be some of the most unspoilt, beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean. These islands are mostly uninhabited and are known as some of the best spots for diving and fishing. Fly fishing is exceptionally famous on the islands, and it provides a diverse range of fish species. Aside from this, the Outer Islands are also famous for diving, wildlife, flora, snorkelling and other such activities.
The Inner Islands of Seychelles are a group of islands which are marked by their granitic forms. Located mainly near the main islands of La Digue, Mahe and Praslin, the Inner Islands are more accessible than the remote Outer Islands of Seychelles. There are a total of 43 Inner Islands in Seychelles, 41 of which are granitic while 2 islands are coralline. Each of the inner islands offers a unique experience that makes them stand out from the rest of the islands and makes them worth visiting.
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