What is the most natural place to visit in the Seychelles? Initially, one might think of the Aldabra atoll and its extraordinary ecosystem classified as a World Heritage of UNESCO. However, because of its remote location, the costs of the visit and the risks of piracy, one must forget the Aldabra Atoll, one of the last virgin sanctuaries of the planet.
The Seychelles is really an archipelago filled with natural treasures, so not really time for regrets. There is nothing easier than renting a boat to visit a deserted island or spending the day on a forgotten beach. So here is our selection of natural places to visit in Seychelles:
Le Morne Seychellois National Park
Created or protected since 1979, the national park Morne Seychellois is the largest park of the Seychelles. The park covers an area of 3045 hectares, which represents one fifth of the total area of Mahé, the largest island in the archipelago. Concealed beneath a dense forest, the park shelters a beautiful ecosystem and the highest point of the archipelago, Morne Seychellois (905 meters).
To discover the park, there are dozens types hikes for all levels and even excursions that last all day long. Some trails lead to other more indigenous places, such as the Marine Park of Port Launay or the heavenly beach of Anse Major. Happy hike!
The May Valley is the other UNESCO World Heritage site of the Seychelles. Remains of a prehistoric forest and the largest collection of endemic palms in the world; May Valley covers more than 20 hectares of land at the heart of Praslin, the second largest island located 44 kilometres northeast of Mahé. Praslin already holds a reputation as a natural island and May Valley is the ideal place to observe the unique flora and fauna of the archipelago.
The main attraction of the park is the famous sea coco or “coco-fesses”, which are found only in the valley and on Curieuse Island. Also take the tour to observe the rare Seychelles endemic bird species such as the Black Parrot, the Seychelles Bulbul and the Blue Pigeon. For lovers of nature and birds, it is recommended to book a guide at the entrance, much more details guaranteed.
The private islands Petite and Grande Sœur are two of the most natural islands of the Seychelles archipelago. Situated not far from Praslin, Petite and Grande Sœur have preserved their wild side and the two islands are maintained by the hotel Le Château de Feuilles. Both islands are uninhabited and offer visitors a unique experience.
The beaches of Grande Sœur are known to be the most immaculate of the archipelago. Marine turtles come to lay their eggs there and the two islands are almost entirely surrounded by beautiful coral reefs offering the most beautiful spots for snorkeling. With your mask and snorkels, you will discover along the reefs sea turtles and tropical colourful fish in their natural habitat.
Bird Island, a small wonder of nature with a well-preserved ecosystem. The island is 1 kilometre long and 700 meters wide, not very large, but a real sanctuary for more than 115 species of birds that live there. Bird lovers, poetic souls and adventurers, if you visit this island between May and September, you will witness an astonishing and rare spectacle.
At this time of year, more than a million terns come to take refuge on the small island to build their nests. A unique phenomenon, a journey in time and a certain change of scenery only a few minutes by boat from Mahé.
La Digue Island
The Seychelles archipelago is mainly composed of unexplored islands, and La Digue is one of those wonders of nature that must not be missed in this archipelago. The island owes its reputation to its magnificent beaches characterized by majestic granite elevations. These multi-million-year-old rocks have been shaped by wind and waves. The island and its fish bearing waters attract a lot of visitors. The sun is present all year round and thanks to this beneficent climate, visitors can enjoy countless nautical activities such as snorkeling, fishing, scuba diving or sunbathing throughout the day.
La Digue is only 5 km long and 3.3 km wide for a population of just 2800 people. On the island, there are no cars or buses, the locals prefer the tranquillity of the oxcarts and the simplicity of moving bicycles. Same for the accommodation, no big hotels, but beachfront villas and some nice holiday homes. So, it is imperative to book your plane ticket and small villa well in advance. To find the best La Digue vacation rentals, we recommend La Digue Island Lodge and for cheap airline tickets we recommend the national airline: Air Seychelles.
Aride Island Nature Reserve
The nature reserve of Aride Island is one of the most preserved treasures of the Indian Ocean. The reserve contains an astonishing collection of seabirds, reptiles, and an incredibly rich fauna and flora. Many of these species are endemic to Aride Coral Island. The reserve is an oasis for many species of birds that cross or dwell the Indian Ocean region. 18 species breed here, including 5 species from the Seychelles. Each year the island receives each year the visit of a million birds and a great diversity of marine species.
Aride Island is also an open-air laboratory. The reserve is entirely under the supervision of the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles, which is responsible for researching and protecting the bird populations, marine life and other plant and animal species that inhabit this small northern island. You like nature? So, go on Thursdays and Sundays, the reserve is open for walks.
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