A GUIDE TO THE SEYCHELLES
OUR FAVOURITE ISLANDS
Between the coasts of Africa and India, lie the Seychelles – a dazzling archipelago of 115 granite and coral islands.
White sandy beaches fringed with palm trees, lapped by warm turquoise waters and backed by lush tropical greenery and granite boulders make the Seychelles incredibly difficult to resist.
If you’re looking for an island getaway, these idyllic islands should definitely be on your list.
It goes without saying that the Seychelles is a beach-lover’s paradise. Most of the hotels and resorts offer packages including a variety of water-based activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking and jet skiing to name a few. Or of course, you can just lie back, relax and suntan on the warm sand. For those who prefer to keep two feet on land, don’t worry, you can still have your fun, with hiking, bike rides and visits with giant tortoises.
Here is a breakdown of where to go in the Seychelles.
Mahé is the largest of the islands. It is home to magnificent beaches but is also a paradise of rare and beautiful flora such as the Jellyfish Tree and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid. For hikers, it has the highest mountain ranges in the Seychelles.
This is the second largest island of the Seychelles. It is home to one of the Seychelles two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the incredible Vallée de Mai. Not to mention the fact that it features two beaches which have both appeared on the top-10 list of the world’s best beaches.
Again, La Digue is home to a number of incredible beaches with warm, clear and calm waters. Its forests contain a multitude of beautiful and unique flora such as delicate orchids, tumbling vanilla vines and Indian almond trees, as well as rare, endemic bird species. Time seems to stand still on La Digue with its intimate atmosphere, friendly locals and practice of traditional boat building, refining of coconut products, and use of ox-cart and bicycle.
If you’re in search of the true desert-island experience, Bird Island is one of the best places to visit in the Seychelles. Don’t worry though, it won’t be reminiscent of Castaway, but does offer the chance to truly relax. The island has only 24 bungalows making for a truly intimate and relaxing experience. The beaches are ideal for snorkeling and deep-sea fishing, and the ocean is rich in sea life with turtles, dolphins and the occasional whale. Bird Island is at the forefront of eco-tourism in the Seychelles and also home to the world’s heaviest giant land tortoise, Esmeralda (who is, in fact, a male).
This is a must-visit for birdwatchers. Cousine Island is a conservation project where 2000 indigenous trees have been planted, endangered magpie robins have been reintroduced, a few thousand nesting birds call home, and 4 giant tortoises can be spotted. It’s a wonderfully unique experience. Even more exclusive than Bird Island, Cousine has only four Old French style villas, with a maximum of ten guests accommodated at a time.
Fregate Island is the best of both worlds – the tropical jungle makes for some beautiful hikes, while the white-sand beaches are perfect for snorkeling, diving, fishing and yacht trips. It is also home to a number of conservation projects which guests are encouraged to engage with.
WHEN TO GO
The best time to go for…
- Calm weather: April and October
- Cheap flights and hotel deals: January and November
- Diving: March to May, September to November, April and October (for best visibility)
- Bird-watching: April (breeding season), May to September (nesting season), October (migration)
- Hiking: May to September
- Snorkeling: Year-round