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Irresistible island escapes
The Seychelles are 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 the islands — but discover at least two — to really feel the true spirit of the Seychelles. Whether you're looking for a great family hotel, a romantic retreat of 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 choose where 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.
One of the best ways to experience this spectacular place is by island hopping. A fantastic option for a relaxing yet adventurous break, we recommend combining at least one of the larger islands (Mahé or Praslin) with one of the smaller (La Digue or Silhouette), enabling you to experience a busy town as well as the sleepy fishing villages and peaceful island paradises.
The Seychelles’ largest island, Mahé is also its busiest, with 90% of the country’s residents living here. Direct flights from the UK are available to its only town, Victoria, making this is 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 and 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 move 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. It’s easy to feel off the beaten track as you hike back towards your resort, closer to the island’s centre, keeping a look out for the Seychelles' 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 life on the entire island.
Its natural interior has an ancient, primitive beauty, while 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.
By far the best way to see the Seychelles is by island hopping. Click here to see our favourite combinations and recommendations.