The best way to unravel Seychelles is through island-hopping. Jump from one island to the other through the well-connected ferries and air shuttle service. Or if you have more money to splurge, book a yacht or cruise along the main inner islands of Mahe, La Digue and Praslin. The ample number of travel agencies and ferry services make sure you experience the idiosyncrasies of the main inhabited islands without any hassles.
Landing in Mahe
Public transport in the form of buses are also available but you'll be allowed on the buses if you have just one backpack; they turn away commuters with suitcases and other baggage. And, if you are lucky enough to land on Mahe on a Wednesday or the last Saturday of the month, you can also help yourself with the lip-smacking local snacks and witness the vibrancy of the Bazar Labrin, a weekly market. However, do visit Praslin and other islands the very next day, for it is better if Mahe is the last stop of your Seychelles' sojourn.
Mahe to Praslin
How to Reach Praslin from Mahe
The ferry service is available thrice a day at 7:30 AM, 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, instead of 10:30 AM, the ferry departs at 10:00 AM, on Saturday at 11:30 AM and on Sunday at 11:00 AM. There are cab services from the airport to the Victoria jetty which are also offered by Cat Cocos (you can book these online in advance).
As the Cat Cocos ferry departs from the jetty, you enter the panoramic waters welcoming you into the real Seychellois beauty. The journey of sixty minutes takes you past the phenomenal views of St. Anne National Marine Park and the mountainous terrain of Mahe. The Cat Cocos jetty in Praslin is at Baie Sainte Anne situated in the east of Praslin. From here, you can embark upon your adventurous stay in Praslin, one of the most beautiful islands on the earth. You can either opt for a taxi, local buses or your hotel's shuttle services.
The rugged, greeny terrain of the city is also home to Praslin National Park, which encompasses Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The island also has forests of Coco de Mer trees, which are regarded as the best souvenirs to take home from Seychelles.
You will fall in love with the coral reefs found off the shores of Praslin. And, you cannot help but be amazed by the endemic Seychelles Bulbul and the black parrot flying past you as you sunbathe in Praslin's beaches.
Inhabited by approximately 6,500 people, the island has three main settlements- Baie St. Anne in the east, Grand Anse on the south coast and Cote d'Or on the north coast. Each of these settlements is like cute, tiny villages with marvellous picture-perfect beaches.
The other parts of the island are largely uninhabited, and a sweet natural silence sits sleepily upon them. Getting around the island is quite easy due to the network of buses. You can also hire a cab or rent a car if you wish. The island also has luxurious resorts and a bunch of restaurants serving savoury dishes.
Praslin to La Digue
The schedule is as follows- from Monday to Friday at 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:45 AM, 2:30 PM, 4:00 PM and 5:15 PM (On Fridays instead of 5:15 PM, the last departure is at 5:45 PM). On Saturdays, the timings are same as that of Fridays, with an additional ferry service departing at 1:00 PM. On Sundays, the schedule is- 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM and 5:45 PM.
La Digue Island
La Digue is an island which can be perfectly described as an apostle of nature. If you are looking for a place away from the rawks of vehicles and traffic, La Digue is your place. The island has very few motorized vehicles. That said, the transportation options are limited once you reach the jetty in La Passe.
Most hotels here do provide services to escort you from the jetty to your hotel. However, if your hotel does not, then you can look for some motorized taxis or the traditional ox cart taxis. In case you don't have luggage and are just paying a one-day visit to the island, then the best thing to do is to rent a bicycle (bicycle rental agencies are located just a few metres away from the jetty).
Exploring La Digue
The granite formations, pleasant climate, azure waters and silky sand transport you to a completely different place. The island is even home to the rare black paradise flycatcher. The small population of approximately 2,800 people are basically settled in La Passe and La Reunion.
Given its small size, getting around the place is quite easy either on foot or on a bicycle. La Digue does not have an airport and the only way to get to this island is through the ferry service.
After you have enjoyed yourself in La Digue, you need to get back to Praslin through the ferry to discover more of Seychelles. The Inter-Island ferry timings are as follows- from Monday to Friday at 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:15 AM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 5:45 PM (On Fridays instead of 5:45 PM, the last departure is at 6:15 PM). On Saturdays, the timings are same as that of Fridays, with an additional ferry service departing at 2:00 PM. On Sundays, the schedule is- 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:15 PM.
Praslin, as mentioned before, is regarded as the best base to organise your full and half-day trips to other smaller islands. While your stay in Praslin, a visit to these tiny, pretty islands with their own magnificence is a must on your to-do list.
Praslin to Cousin Island
If you are putting up at a hotel in Praslin, then trips to Cousin Island will be arranged by your hotel itself. Otherwise, you can contact local tour operators for excursions to Cousin Island. Another thing to be noted is that there are no overnight accommodations, barbecues or full-day trips allowed on Cousin Island.
The reserve is open for three hours from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM through Monday to Friday and remains closed on weekends.
Praslin to Aride Island
Access to Aride Island is through local boat or tour operators in Praslin. You can also have an excursion arranged with the hotel you are putting up at. The choppy and rough waves make it difficult to sail, and therefore, Aride Island remains closed from May to September. The island is open to visitors on all days except weekends. Nevertheless, you can arrange a trip on weekends with prior permission from the island manager.
Praslin to Curieuse Island
Day trips to Curieuse Island are organised by local travel agents in Praslin and are often clubbed with excursions to Cousin Island and St. Pierre. If you want to charter your own boat, you can do so from Anse Volbert. It takes about five to ten minutes to reach Curieuse Island from Praslin, so do visit it.
Praslin to Illot Saint-Pierre
It is a glorious feeling to swim past the Clown surgeonfish, powder blue tang, and sergeant major fish. Combined with the trip to Curieuse Island, St. Pierre offers a unique opportunity to snorkel, though it is almost impossible to land on this island. The tour guide would advise you where to snorkel, and in case you are on your own, choose the region near the islet on the Praslin side. Happy snorkelling!
It is usually advisable to enjoy the lush, green vegetation of the Cousin Island first, then soak up the sandy beaches of Curieuse Island followed by snorkelling near St. Pierre (an entire day). Next, you can visit the Aride Island separately on another day.
Praslin to MaheAfter you have basked in the warmth and vibrancy of Praslin and other smaller islands, it is time to behold the splendour and glory of Mahe, the largest island of Seychelles. The Cat Cocos ferry is the best and the cheapest option to travel to Mahe from Praslin.
The ferry is available thrice a day according to the following schedule- on Mondays at 7:30 AM, 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM; on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM; on Wednesdays at 7:30 AM, 1:00 PM and 5:30 PM; on Thursdays at the same timings as that of Wednesday; on Fridays at 9:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM; on Saturdays at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM and on Sundays at 7:30 AM, 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM.
It proudly boasts of the Mahe International Airport and has the highest and the best services in terms of transport, hospitals, education and markets. Its enticing beaches invite you to soothe your eyes with picturesque white sands, cyanic waters, dark green palm trees, and ash-coloured rock boulders. Petite Anse, Beau Vallon, Anse Intendance, Fairyland Beach, Anse Takamaka, Port Launay, the list of stunning beaches in Mahe is endless.
Mahe also has a number of hotels, resorts and restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisines such as French, Creole, Indian and Chinese. If you want to do some shopping in Seychelles, then Mahe is the right place for you. Bazar Labrin, Victoria Market and Sir Selwyn Clarke Market are the major shopping hubs in Mahe. Getting around Mahe is quite easy with the help of cabs and buses.
Nowhere in the world is island hopping as enjoyable and exciting as that of Seychelles. The short journey from one island to the other in Seychelles includes witnessing the resplendent beauty of the deep, turquoise waters, the dark green vegetation and the clear blue skies. And with the excellent ferry services, island hopping becomes relaxing and quite convenient.