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Irresistible island escapes
The Seychelles is a picture-perfect collection of islands, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We recommend that you don’t limit yourself to just one of these enchanting islands, but explore at least two to really feel the true spirit of the Seychelles. Whether you’re looking for a great family hotel, a romantic retreat or an idyllic hideaway, you’ll find it in the Seychelles.
- Some of the best beaches in the world can be found in the island paradise of the Seychelles
- Island hopping allows you to take in the bustle of the larger islands and the untouched natural wonder of the smaller islands
- A range of rejuvenating award-winning spas to soothe the soul
- The jungle-like interiors and colourful coral reefs are home to a range of rare and captivating indigenous species
- With snorkelling, diving, hiking and a whole host of water sports on offer, there is plenty to keep you entertained
Made up of 115 glittering islands, each with its own charm, it’s not easy to decide where you’re going to spend your time in the Seychelles. With so much variety on offer, this is certainly not a case of once you’ve seen one island, you’ve seen them all.
A combination of the two largest islands of Mahé and Praslin is the perfect option for those that want to experience the Seychelles’ varying landscapes and spectacular beaches. If you’re after an authentic insight into island life, visit Praslin before heading to La Digue, where village life exists at a slower pace. Nature-lovers will get the most from a holiday that includes Mahé and Silhouette, where extraordinary national parks await.
By far the best way to see the Seychelles is by island hopping. Click here to see our favourite combinations and recommendations on how to travel.
The Seychelles’ largest island, Mahé is also its busiest, with 90% of the country’s population residing here. The international airport can also be found here, making it a great place to start and finish your adventure. Beyond the picturesque beaches, there is plenty to do. In the spectacular mountains of Morne Seychelles National Park, towering peaks taper down to small hidden bays. A hike up Morne Blanc takes you past rare endemic plants, such as the Jellyfish Tree and the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant to the peak, where the view is nothing short of breathtaking.
While the town of Victoria has its own unique colonial charm, there are also plenty of pretty little villages to explore and colourful local markets to wander around. Linked by winding roads, you can drive around the island in just two and a half hours, meaning that if the diving or snorkelling conditions are not quite as perfect as you’d like, you can easily venture along the coast to a calmer spot.
The second largest island, Praslin offers a more laid-back, rustic atmosphere. If you’re looking for a balance between the bustle of Mahé and the sleepiness of La Digue, this is the perfect choice. For the more adventurous traveller, the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve offers an emerald-tinged slice of Eden and is one of only two places on earth that you can see the towering rare coco de mer palm in its natural environment. If you’re lucky, you may spot the elusive black parrot.
If basking on beaches is what you’re after, the island is also home to some of the region’s most beautiful, including Anse Lazio, which featured in Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Beaches in the World in the 2015 Traveller’s Choice awards. Just across the water to the north of the island, a trip over to the small protected Maritime National Park of Curieuse Island is a must. Here, the red colour of the soil contrasts strikingly against the lush green leaves of the coco de mer and over 300 giant Aldabra tortoises wander unhindered.
The pace of life is set to a definite relaxed amble on the small island paradise of La Digue. There are very few cars here, with bicycles the main mode of transport and traditional ox carts used to move both people and produce from one place to the next. Old colonial buildings give an insight into the island’s past, while secluded beaches have been beautifully preserved and protected from development.
The natural environment is very much a part of island life and it’s not hard to see why. Large, smooth ancient granite boulders rest on the water’s edge, partitioning secluded bays and it’s easy to feel off the beaten track as you hike back towards your resort in the island’s centre. Keep a look out as you walk and try to spot the Seychelles’ famed black paradise flycatcher, one of the rarest birds on earth.
As you peer out across crystal seas from Mahé’s famed Beau Vallon Beach, the mountainous profile of Silhouette with its towering mist-forest-covered peak of Mount Dauban is just visible on the horizon. Protected by the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles, this remarkable island remains relatively untouched, with just the small village of La Passe and the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa the only signs of human habitation on the entire island.
Its natural interior has an ancient, primitive beauty. The pristine white beaches are encircled by a protected coral reef, and majestic giant Aldabra tortoises roam freely. This is the perfect spot for hiking, diving, snorkelling and wildlife spotting.