The Seychelles : As Pure As It Gets. Nothing less than the perfect cocktail of luxury, serenity, and bliss.
Scattered like jewels in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles islands are just 4 degrees south of the equator. These islands will enchant you with the friendliness of their people, breathtaking beauty, turquoise lagoons, and soft sand beaches.
The Seychelles archipelago is made up of 115 islands, each one different from the next. Located just beneath the equator and to the North-East of Madagascar, the islands are divided into 2 categories: the “Inner Islands’ and the “Outer Islands” The inner islands are located to the North and are scattered round the main island of Mahé. These are the granitic islands, characterised by their beaches featuring large granite boulders. Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse, Cousin, Cousine, Fregate, Felicite, North & Silhouette are some of the islands that belong to this category.
The “Outer Islands” are coralline islands: sandy, flat, and covered in mostly palm trees. Amongst those is Bird & Denis, about 100km to the north of Mahe while the others to the southwest such as Aldabra, can be as far out as 1100km! These “Outer Islands” to the south are further divided into two groups: the Amirantes & Aldabra. The Amirantes group has some 20 islands scattered around Saint Joseph, the African Bank, Desroches, Alphonse & Poivre. The Aldabra group comprises of 22 islands surrounding Providence, Farquar, Cosmoledo and the Aldabra atoll.
The ideal holiday program combines the 3 main islands of Mahe, Praslin & La-Digue, each offering something different. The islands offer a variety of hotels from the luxurious hotel chains to smaller family-run guesthouses. You have a choice of transfers between the islands including by plane, boat or helicopter. For those wanting to head off the beaten path to explore exotic cultures and distant lands, then the Seychelles is as pure as it gets…nothing less than the perfect cocktail of serenity, luxury, and bliss.
Mahé (27 km long / 7km large)
The main Island of Mahé is the largest island in the archipelego and the gateway to the Seychelles. It is also the economic and political hub of the Seychelles and hosts the international airport, the port, and the capital ‘village’ Victoria. Although the most densely populated with 72,200 inhabitants, it is still un-crowded and has not lost its beauty and charm. The island is dominated by a mountain range that forms its backbone, the highest peak of which is Morne Seychellois reaches a height of 905m and provides a perfect backdrop of the tiny capital of Victoria.
We recommend that your clients spend at least part of their holiday on the island of Mahe. Besides having over 70 beautiful beaches and lush vegetation, it has the most places to see, the best restaurants and shops and a better selection of facilities than any of the smaller islands. While on Mahe, it's worth taking the scenic drive or tour around the island, and absorbing the more tranquil atmosphere of the wild southern side, including the stunning Cap Lazare, set amid looming granite rocks and palm trees.
- The Victoria market
- The Botanical Garden at Mont Fleuri
- The Clock Tower at Victoria
- Natural History Museum, Victoria
- Pineapple Studio, Anse aux Poules Bleus
- Le Jardin du Roy, Anse Royale
- Craft Village, Anse aux Pins
- Mission Lodge, Sans Souci
- St.Anne National Marine Park
Beaches : Our recommendations
Anse Intendance, Port Launay, Anse à la Mouche, Anse Royale, Anse Takamaka, Beau Vallon, Anse Soleil, Petite Anse, Sunset beach…
Islands surrounding Mahé
A few miles from Victoria lie a handful of islands with a colourful history. The islands of St Anne, Round, Moyenne and Long fall within the St Anne Marine National Park. This park was proclaimed in 1973 in an effort to protect the sensitive and diverse marine life surrounding this small group of islands.
Daily excursions can be made around these islands where you can experience the underwater world by semi-submersible boats or by snorkelling. Thérèse and Conception are to the West while North & Silhouette are to the north.
In 1770, St.Anne welcomed the Seychelles’ first inhabitants. Lazare Picault named it after Saint Anne, as it was discovered on her anniversary in 1742. This is also where the 5* Beachcomber St.Anne Resort & Spa is located.St Anne is the largest of the marine park islands, and measures one kilometre by two kilometres and its highest point lies at 250 metres, from where one can admire a panoramic view of Victoria, the North of Mahe and other neighbouring islands.
The island was baptised « Cerf » after the French ship « Le Cerf » commandeered by Nicolas Morphey, the man who colonised Seychelles in the name of the King of France. Cerf Island is the second largest of the St.Anne marine park islands, located 5km to the East of Mah Island. She measures 1.7km long by 900m wide. Its location makes it perfect for diving and snorkelling.The island is covered with lush vegetation and is also home to giant tortoises. There are 2 hotels on Cerf Island: the 5* Cerf Island Resort and the 3* l’Habitation.
Moyenne is only 450 metres long by 250 metres and is the property of retired journalist, Brendon Grimshaw. Mr Grimshaw’s island is also home to exotic plants and flowers; birds and giant tortoises. The island has tales of pirates and ghosts. There is a small trail that leads round the island where you will find relics from the past… A small restaurant serves wonderful Creole cuisine during excursions only. Just offshore you can admire the wonders of the marine life where 150 different species of fish await to be discovered.
Round Island :
Round is very green and resembles a small floating forest. It’s only 800 meters from Cerf Island and 4.5 km from Mahe. The island measures 150 metres in diameter and has a beautiful little beach and a reputable Creole restaurant.
Thérèse Island :
Situated off the Southwestern coast of Mahe, Therese Island is a good snorkelling site. It has a beautiful beach with turquoise clear waters. Like many islands in Seychelles, Therese remains deserted and has its own legends of pirates and hidden treasures.
Silhouette Island :
Although both islands are only 20km away from each other, Mahe the civilised island and Silhouette the wild island, have only their granitic backdrops and luxuriant vegetation in common. There are no cars or roads on Silhouette on the 25km2 island; only a handful of people live there. This is a perfect island for eco-tourists who will marvel at its unspoilt nature.
Praslin (11 km long / 4 km large)
The second largest granatic island of the Seychelles, Praslin is the perfect base for an island hopping adventure. L’ile de Palmes, as it was previously known, is only a 15-minute flight away from Mahe. Other transfer options include the Cat Cocos, a 25-meter cougar catamaran that glides across in just under an hour and, the helicopter.
Praslin is not as mountainous as Mahe – the highest point being 330 metres but it has similarly great granite outcrops surrounded by beautiful beaches. Amongst them, the famous Anse Lazio, considered as one of the five finest in the world. Praslin is also the legendary island where the coco de mer grows in abundance in the Vallee de Mai.
Day excursions can be organised to many of Praslin’s surrounding deserted islands where you can go exploring, swimming, and snorkelling. Some of the islands include Cousin, a nature reserve, Curieuse, Sister, St.Pierre and Coco, the last two being known for their vibrant marine life where sea turtles swim leisurely around you.
- The village of Grand Anse
- St.Pierre Island (excellent for snorkelling)
- Coco Island(excellent for snorkelling)
- Vallée de Mai
- Black Pearl of Seychelles
- Café des Arts Galery
Beaches : Our recommendations Anse Lazio, Anse Volbert, Anse Kerlan, Anse Boudin, Cote d’Or, Anse Consolation, Anse la Blague, Anse Georgette…
Located 1km to the north-east of Praslin, Curieuse is less than 3km long. Inhabited by only a handful of people, this island is also home to 250 giant tortoises brought over from Aldabra Island some 10 years ago. A small trail leads to a historical leprosy colony site & to the ancient colonial house, once home to the island’s doctor. There is a trail that takes you round the island where you can admire the rich flora & fauna including a lagoon where reef sharks and green turtles abound.
15km off the coast of Praslin, Aride was purchased by Christopher Cadbury in 1973 on the behalf of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation. Aride is second only to Aldabra in its importance as a seabird-breeding colony. It has the largest concentration of sea birds in the region and is sought after by ornithologists worldwide. Fregates, terns, and lesser noddies are regular inhabitants of this spectacular island.
Cousin is located a few kilometres off the coast of Praslin. It is a veritable bird sanctuary and can only be visited on particular days and times. It is managed by Nature Seychelles, a local organisation and is home to rare breeds such as the Seychelles warblers, white tailed tropicbirds, lesser nodies, brown nodies, bridled terns, ferry terns… The best months to visit Cousin is between April and November when over 250 000 birds come to nest. You can also find a lot of reptiles such as lizards and giant tortoises. The island is open to the public only 4 times a week.
Located in between Félicité and the Sister Islands, Coco is a magnificent spot for snorkelling.
This island has a particular charm as it is one the granitic islands that has not been developed at all. The inhabitants of the island live in a traditional house and breed their own chickens, ducks and turkeys, which feed on scraps of coconuts. The coconut husks are used as fuel for the barbeques organised for the visitors of the island. The island is shaped like an « 8 » and is no more than 200 metres large, only a few metres above sea level. The south beach is protected by a coral reef where hundreds of colourful fish, turtles, and other exotic sea creatures abound.
Petite Soeur is a rocky uninhabited island with no plateau. It is protected by a coral reef, which makes it almost inaccessible except for when the sea is very calm. In the past, coconuts were collected from the island for the production of copra.
No doubt the most charming of the islands, La Digue has remained untouched by the passage of time. With a population of 2000 habitants, the island’s rhythm of life is as relaxed and laid-back as its traditional modes of transport: the ox-carts and bicycles!It takes about half an hour to reach La-Digue by traditional schooner from Praslin. From Mahe, the only way to reach La-Digue is via helicopter or private boat.
Attractions on La-Digue include the Union Estate, a park full of history, culture and adventure, and of course, the famous Anse Source d’Argent: the most photographed beach in the world. This beach has provided the perfect backdrop for famous films such as Roman Polanski’s « Pirates », Robinson Crusoe and Cast Away. Adverts such as that for Bounty, Bacardi & Carling have also been filmed on this famous spot.
The " Nid d'Aigle" mountain peak is 300m high and dominates the in-land. The only plateau stretches to the West covering Anse Reunion, La Passe & l’Union. There is a long beach between Point Cap Barbi to the North West and Pointe d’Argent, which is naturally decorated by large granite boulders that changes colours from pink to grey according to the sun’s rays.
La –Digue can be discovered leisurely by ox-cart, by bicycle or by foot. The most secluded beaches such as Anse Source d'Argents, Grand Anse, Petite Anse and Anse Coco, all offer white sandy beaches, turquoise blue lagoons and a majestic granite backdrop.
- L’Union Estate
- Veuve Natural Reserve
- Grand Anse
- Loutie Coco Restaurant
Beaches : Our recommendations Anse Source d’Argent, Grand Anse, Petite Anse, Anse Coco, Anse Sévère
The islands surrounding La-Digue such as Cocos, Petite Soeur, Grande Soeur, Marianne have a reputation of an amazing marine life – perfect for both diving and fishing.
Other Jewels of the Seychelles :
Located 85km from Mahé and 30 minutes from Mahé by plane, Denis is one of the Seychelles 75 coralline islands. Once a coconut plantation, the island now hosts a 4* hotel comprised of 25 chalets. Denis is especially known for the richness of its waters, an ideal location for deep-sea fishing! From fishing to diving, windsurfing to canoeing, tennis to billiard, swimming to sunbathing, walking in the forest or jogging round the island,Denis offers a little something for everybody – the greatest luxury of course is to relax and do absolutely nothing!
Located 30 minutes from Mahe by plane, Bird Island like its name suggests, is the island of birds. During the southeast monsoon (May to September), the island is colonised by thousands of sooty terns that come yearly to nest. The island of birds is also the island of the most famous giant tortoise of the Seychelles, it is also the heaviest, (300kg) and the oldest on earth (more than 200 years old) … a true celebrity!
Bird is located at the edge of the Seychelles Bank, which drops off to over 2km making it a good spot fishing.On Bird Island, the real luxury is its own nature – perfect if you want to unwind and relax completely. The island also hosts a 4* 24-chalet hotel.
Fregate is the perfect island hideaway: only 2km long by 1km large, surrounded by luxuriant vegetation and breathtaking beaches. Located 56km from Mahe, this Seychelles Island is the furthest to the east and a true Garden of Eden. Frégate also hosts one of the most luxurious hotels in Seychelles with a reputation of being the most « private » of all the Indian Ocean islands! The spectacular granite blocks serves as a perfect backdrop to the villas.
Desroches is located 35 minutes by plane from Mahe and is only 3m above sea level. This is the main island of the Amirates Coralline Island group, some 240 km to the southwest of Mahe. The rich surrounding waters are perfect for divers: there are some 15 different sites, only a 20-minute boat ride away ranging between 12m and 32m. Divers often spot manta rays, green turtles, and even tiger sharks! The months between October and April are especially great for deep-sea fishing: marlins, barracudas, tunas, and Dorado’s are plentiful! Desroches is also a good spot for fly-fishing. The island host a 4* 20-chalet hotel.
Located 450km from Mahé (1 hour by plane), the beautiful Alphonse Atoll stretches 16km from north to south and comprises of 3 islands: Alphonse to the north, Bijoutier in the centre and Saint François to the south – a magnificent combination of blue, white and green! The 25 4* chalets of Alphonse are nestled amongst palm tress some 20 metres above sea level. Each resident is given his own mountain bike and can follow the small shaded trails round the island.The Alphonse atoll is mostly renowned for having one of the best sites worldwide for seawater fly-fishing.
North island is a private paradise island located to the north-west of Mahe, a unique luxurious 5* haven. Its 12 Villas are all made out of wood and blends in perfectly with their natural surroundings – a true Robinson Crusoe hideaway. North is considered as the most luxurious island hideaway in the world!