The Seychelles archipelago, made up of 115 islands, is one the perfect place to discover a world within a world. The islands are mainly made up of granitic rocks and include the largest island of Mahé with Victoria as capital city, where all international flights to Seychelles arrive. The granitic islands, said to be the oldest in the world, hold natural wonders that will enchant any nature lover.
Surrounding the hub of granitic islands are several groups of coral islands, with some of the most magnificent reefs in the world. Seychelles also houses a wealthy indigenous flora and fauna to delight visitors from around the world without forgetting is unparalleled hotels and villas.
Some of the Seychelles most beautiful and interesting locations are also the least known and are, to some, a little unusual too. If you’re willing to discover the secret spots of the Seychelles and see something a little different, some of these places will not disappoint you. And for those craving to discover the places of interest of the Seychelles, hire a car and visit the depths of the Seychelles.
1. Aldabra Atoll
One of the world’s largest atoll and listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Aldabra Atoll is the place to see giant land tortoises (Around 150,000 tortoises in all). The atoll consists of 13 islands making up about one-third of the Seychelles’ land mass. The atoll’s islands nurture a vast array of both unique flora and fauna as well as the world’s largest population of giant tortoises. For those divers and snorkelers, its lagoon will definitely conquer you since it boasts the most vibrant marine life of the entire archipelago.
2. Anse Lazio, Praslin
Praised as the best beaches in the world for several years, Anse Lazio and its powder-white sands fringed with large granite boulders have conquered more than one. It is just the place to relax and enjoy the peace and views. Snorkeling the clear, warm turquoise waters are a must for sea lovers.
3. Anse Major, Mahé
Hire a yacht and explore the islands and secret covers of Mahé at your own pace. Anse Major, Anse Jasmin, Anse Du Riz and Petit Anse are four of the best mooring spots of the Seychelles. Moreover with is 71 km (44 miles) of pristine coastline with safe anchorages, the islands are perfect for cruising holidays. The Sainte Anne national park is close by and Conception Island and Thérèse are to the west. Rated as one of Mahé’s best beaches, it is only accessible on foot or by boat.
4. Aquarium area, Desroches
The Aquarium, Madam Zabre and PasseTambi are the best spots for seeing turtles, stingrays and colourful reef fish. Diving is sublime there. With 14 classified sites such as the amazing ‘Desroches Drop’ or ‘The Canyon’ and mysterious labyrinths of unusual caves and columns, you will, without any doubt, enjoy unforgettable diving experiences. Desroches is the largest of the Amirantes archipelago.
5. Seychelles’ Outer Islands
Visiting outer islands of the Seychelles is a must, since each of them is unique in their own ways. Bird Island has numerous hatching sites, where you might have the chance to watch the hawksbill turtle lay her eggs here.
Photograph rare species on Cousin. The brush warbler, the Seychelles toc-toc and the fairy tern are among 1.25 million birds that nest here during April and May. You must be part of an organised tour to see them however. On Bird island, millions of sooty terns breed between May and October, while colonies of seabirds visit Aride from October to April.
You can also enjoy big game fishing off Denis, where Marlin may be caught from October to December. The location of Bird island, at the edge of the Seychelles continental shelf where the sea floor drops rapidly to 2,000m (5,000ft), also makes it a favoured destination for deep-sea fishing. The best spots for salt-water fly fishing are Alphonse and Desroches islands.
Fregate, Robinson Crusoe Island, the most easterly and isolated of the granitic islands, is home to the almost extinct magpie robin and many other bird species. Wander inland through unspoilt vegetation and visit beaches such as AnseVictorin or AnseMacquereau which have remain unspoilt and maintained their natural magnificence.
Thérèse, uninhabited by humans, is simply mind-blowing. Discover the rock pools and tortoise colony of this small islet off the western coast of Mahé. Explore its two rocky peaks which resemble a giant’s staircase and take some minutes to relax on the white sands or enjoy snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing and fishing.
6. Sainte Anne National Marine Park
Scuba diving, glass-bottom boat trips and snorkelling are popular among the coral reefs of this national park, which comprises six islands off the coast of Mahé. Enjoy a relaxing stay on Sainte Anne and Cerf islands and discover the delicious Seychellois’ cuisine on Round Island.
7. Rene Payet Veuve Reserve, La Digue
Have some time enjoying La Digue’s calmeness at an oxen’s pace. Have a ride through the island’s traditional mode of transport, ox cart, along the coastline or enjoy short excursion to the Rene Payet Veuve Reserve which houses the endangered Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher found only on La Digue.
8. Vallée de Mai, Praslin
A unique spot on earth where you will be able to see the towering Coco de Mer trees with their enormous fruits shaped like a pelvis on one side and a human bottom on the other. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, visiting the reserve is a must for every visitor. Explore the three trails of this prehistoric forest and witness endemic palms and birds such as the shy Black Parrot.
9. Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden
Unlike any other garden you’ve ever visited, Le Jardin Du Roi blends beauty with substance, the air is alive with the various scents of the plants making for a beautiful and eclectic collection to delight the senses. You will have the chance to buy those spices as they are sold in an on-site store A garden growing a kitchen full of spices.
10. Nid d’Aigle
For those who like to work for their reward, a hike to Nidd’Aigle cannot be missed. Astounding scenery surrounds every step, and as the highest point in the area, you’re given an incomparable view of the entirety of the Seychelles.
So, if you think that there’s nothing new to be discovering in the Seychelles, think twice. Interesting and quirky locations are everywhere and they’re just waiting for you to enjoy on your next trip.