With its white sand beaches, clear blue water and lush greenery, calling this archipelago of 115 islands a paradise won't be an overstatement. What better place to lose yourself than these charming colours of nature? Here's a list of 10 must-visit islands of Seychelles and what all they offer, because if you thought that beaches are all you can enjoy here, then you are in for a surprise.
Read on and uncover the Beautiful Islands of Seychelles, as it only keeps getting better!
1. Mahé Island
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.
2. Praslin Island
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
3. La Digue Island
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
4. Cousine Island
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.
5. Bird Island
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.
6. Grande Soeur Private Island
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
7. Silhouette 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.
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
8. Curieuse Island
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. Highlights: A huge variety of flora and fauna makes this island fascinating. Best time to visit: April to September
9. St. Pierre
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
10. Denis Island
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
11. Aride Island
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!