If you ever visited the Seychelles, you know there are many islands to discover. The archipelago has more than a hundred islands but the 3 most accessible and popular are Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. These three islands are the must see in Seychelles, but where to reside? Which one is better for family holidays, or maybe honeymoon?
Many travelers choose Mahé for its many attractions and facilities to easily visit the other islands. Some voyagers choose to combine the 3 main islands with different hotels, while others prefer to stay on a small private island. If you have not yet decided on your stay, here is a brief guide for the 3 most visited islands; Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Mahé – a complete destination
Mahé is the capital island of the Seychelles. It is the largest and is where you’ll land as the island has the only international airport of the archipelago. Mahé is the largest island of the Seychellois archipelago. The island has a population of 80,000 inhabitants, which makes up almost 90% of the country’s total residents.
On the tourism side, Mahe already lacks nothing. The island has 50 postcards beaches, and most of them are deserted throughout the year. Seychelles operates a controlled tourism, or eco-tourism, to offer the best experience to each visitor and at the same time protect the natural assets of the country.
Unlike the other islands, on Mahe there is more infrastructure for the inhabitants and tourists. Car hire is possible on Mahe only as the other islands do not have roads, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But to get around, you can take the bus or rent a vehicle.
Victoria City, located to the north-west of the island, is the capital and administrative center of the country. It is very easy to get there from other parts of the island, some hotels offer excursions to discover the colors of the city, a very interesting experience. If you visit the city, you will be tempted to visit its famous market, Sir Selwyn Clarke. The market is even a reference for discovering Seychellois way of life, culture and traditions.
Morne Seychellois National Park is home to the highest point of the archipelago that overlooks Victoria. Le Morne Seychellois is a getaway in the tropics; you will descend the paths dug through a dense primary forest full of giant palms, gorges and waterfalls.
The south of Mahe is breathtaking! If you like deserted beaches and nature walks, we recommend hiking that ends on the incredible beach of Anse Major. However, for such excursions, we recommend a guide and of course provisions, as you will walk for hours without seeing anyone, you may fill your bottles in fresh waterfalls!
For sightseers who really want to explore the Seychelles, Mahé is the ideal choice as there are many cheap hotels and vacation rentals. If you find that the beaches of Mahé are too deserted, visit the beach of Beau Vallon, it is the favorite of locals. Mahe has many tourist attractions and it takes at least a week to get a good idea of the island, but it is also the best stage to discover the other islands and other sublime beaches of the Seychelles.
Praslin – a haven of peace
Praslin is the most beautiful island for many visitors. We appreciate its pristine beaches, but the island’s highlight has to be the ultimate privacy that blends perfectly with the luxury hotels in Praslin. The island is the second largest in the archipelago, and you will probably find it much less developed and lively than Mahé. Praslin’s airport is a small airfield of a few hundred meters set in the wilderness!
There are no major roads, but you can travel very easily by bike, as the island is small. The peculiarity of Praslin is the succession of divine beaches which run along its coasts. To the northwest of the island you will find the beach that has made the front page of so many travel magazines; Anse Lazio. The other known beaches of the island are Anse Petite Cour, Anse Boudin, Anse Georgette, Anse Volbert, and Anse Kerlan among many others!
However, the true beauty of Praslin lies inside its lands, well hidden between mountains and dense vegetation, the Valley of May. It is one of the most visited places in the Seychelles, and it must be said that Praslin has become very popular after the region of the park that covers half of the island has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The park is home to a rich natural biodiversity and is the largest concentration of endemic palms in the Seychelles. There are several species of palm trees, including the very famous fruit tree which produces the sea coco which has become the national emblem. The visit of the park can last a day as there are beautiful things to see. This is also where you will have the chance to meet the Black Parrot of the Seychelles.
Thanks to its tranquility, Praslin is a great choice if you are visiting the Seychelles on couple or honeymoon holidays. It is also ideal to discover the other islands of this region of the archipelago such as Curieuse Island, the Sister Islands and La Digue.
La Digue – an integral paradise
La Digue is the 4th largest island of the Seychelles and it has a population of 2,800 inhabitants. If you’ve seen the movie La Digue, it’s a true paradise on earth! The island is easily accessible from Mahe or Praslin, and is the preferred domestic destination Seychellois. Even more than Praslin, La Digue is in its complete natural state, there are no large hotels, but there are villas by the sea and holiday homes.
Most visitors to La Digue come to see one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the beach of Anse Source d’Argent, which is located on the south-western coast of the island. La Digue is almost entirely surrounded by divine beaches such as Anse aux Cèdres, Anse Bananes, Anse Cocos, Anse Gaulettes, Anse La Réunion and the famous Grand Anse beach.
On the island, we notice a rhythm of life even more peaceful than the other islands. Here, no motorized vehicles, one moves by bike or cart.