For those wishing to “get away from it all”, the Seychelles are the perfect get-away. After all, the Seychelles Islands is characterized by isolation, majestic seascapes, unparalleled beauty and temperate weather. This 115-island archipelago is located about a thousand miles off the eastern coast of Africa and lies, practically, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The islands are scattered over 150,000 square miles (400,000 sq km) of the Indian Ocean and range from granite rock islands with lush vegetation to coral atolls that barely rise out of the sea. What distinct the Seychelles from the so many other holiday destinations is its array of islands -each one having its own particular geography, character and history. Whether you choose a one day excursion to any of the many Inner granitic islands or an extended stay on one of its exotic island hideaways, Seychelles has something exceptional to offer- Another World! Experiencing more than one island during your stay is a must and will add some sparkles to your holiday experience, which will remain forever engraved in your memories.
How to move from one island to the other in the Seychelles?
“Island Hopping” will maximise your enjoyment of the Seychelles and there are various ways to move from one island to the other during you holidays in the Seychelles.
Inter-island flights operate from Mahé, meaning that flying from Praslin to Bird, you must make a connection through Mahé. Praslin, Bird and Denis Islands are served daily from Mahé while the islands of Cousine and Fregate are served by chartered helicopter. Most inter-island flights are operated by small aircraft with around 20 seats. Luggage space is therefore restricted and the baggage allowance is restricted to 10kgs or 15kgs per person on some flights. Excess baggage maybe left at the main airport on Mahé. So for your own wellness, travel light, particularly to the smaller outlying islands. Timetables can also vary due to weather conditions. Last, but not least, it might also be required to spend the first and last night of your holiday on Mahé to allow for international flight connections.
La Digue is accessible through daily ferry service from Praslin, while Cerf and Sainte Anne Islands are reached via ferry from Mahé. But another choice would be cruising around the magnificent islands on a breath taking yacht and visit the islands of your choice. Your cruise journey may begin by a sail around the islands close to Mahé. You could then stop off at one of the world’s most stunning beaches, Anse Lazio followed by a visit to the beautiful conservation island of Cousine, before dropping anchor at Coco Island to enjoy the lively marine life while snorkelling. Whatever your choice, a regular network of air and sea carriage, operating out of the principal island of Mahé, will cater for most routes. Ferry services, domestic flights and even helicopter transfers are also offered on a daily basis to many of the islands.
The Islands To Visit In The Seychelles.
No two islands are the same, each possessing its own attractions, characteristics and ambience. Compare the main island of Mahé for instance and its uneven high mountains, a collection of quiet white sand beaches, the busy capital of Victoria with the absolute peace and tranquility of Denis or Desroches Island, home to un-crowded beaches and diamond blue clear seas.
Mahé, is the largest island of the Seychelles. It is also the cultural and economic hub of the Inner Islands, and the international gateway to Seychelles. The island is home to almost 90% of the total population reflecting Seychelles’ diverse ethnicity and descent from African, Indian, Chinese and European populations. Lodging in one of Mahé’s hotel or villa is one of the best thing you can do.
Mahé is an extraordinary treasure trove of flora that has evolved over centuries of splendid isolation. Rent a car to visit the island in depth and discover his hidden treasures. Rare endemic plants found nowhere else in the world adorn Mahé’s mist forests in mountain strongholds, such as the Jellyfish Tree, the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid.
Praslin, with a population of 6,500 people, is Seychelles’ second largest island. It lies 45km to the northeast of Mahé. Renting a car is a great way to visit the island and a leisurely tour around the island will take approximately 2 hours.
Praslin is the site of the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island also houses truly exquisite beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both appearing on the top-10 list of world’s best beaches in recent years.
Close neighbour to Praslin and to its satellite islands of Félicité, Marianne and the Sisters Islands, La Digue is the fourth largest island in Seychelles. The island hosts the Seychelles’ black paradise flycatcher, one of the rarest birds on earth.
La Digue’s forests contain an affluence of flora in the form of delicate orchids, tumbling vines of vanilla, as well as trees such as Indian almond and takamaka. Gardens blaze with hibiscus and nepenthes against a backdrop of swaying coconut palms. La Digue is an island where time stands still and time-honoured traditions such as travelling by ox-cart and bicycle are still king.
Bird Island is a true chef-d’oeuvre of nature, right at the edge of where the Seychelles bank drops to depths of more than 1500 meters. The island houses a fantastic flock of birds which can be observed and snapped from arm’s length. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the white powdery beaches and the world’s oldest land turtle (“Esmeralda”, born in 1771!!!) happily wanders around the island.
Aride Island is considered a jewel of the Indian Ocean. It is one of the most important nature reserves in the world with flora and fauna that has not be disturbed by human beings for half a century. Visitors take a full day to relax and enjoy this small bit of paradise.
The island has never been developed for tourism and has been a nature reserve for decades. This is the main reason it stayed a wild and beautiful place. Tourists can enjoy the hundreds of birds and their chicks that are not afraid of humans on the top of the island. The birds come up close to people, which is a real thrill for children. On the top of the granite cliffs, visitors can sometimes see hawksbill turtles and dolphins in the water below. Those sea lovers can swim and snorkel over the reefs and see some of the 450 species of brightly coloured reef fish in the area.
In the azure waters of the Indian Ocean it is an island like no other on earth. On Cousine Island, nature thrives and man is just a silent observer. Cousine Island is one of the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles islands. Cousine Island can be reached by helicopter or boat, and it is this seclusion that makes it such an attractive haven for people wanting absolute privacy.
Denis Island Seychelles, is only a 30 minute flight from Mahé. The rich vegetation of Denis with its fertile soil and lush greenery is home to roaming giant tortoises and nesting sea birds. It also boasts excellent nature walks. Free bicycles are also available for exploring the island at your leisure.
A stunning Robinson Crusoe of an island with a cool hippy attitude, Desroches Island is the peak of indulgence and escapism. Floating a thousand miles away from the coast of Africa in the sheer nowhereness of the Indian Ocean, the farthest island of the archipelago, Desroches, remains untouched, a pristine sweep of palm-fringed beaches edged with rainforests and mango groves
Fregate Island is a unique destination to experience the best the Seychelles have to offer. The name recalls legends and tales of treasure chests buried under the sands, as immortalized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. And with over 10 km of roads and walking trails, you can comfortably explore the island on foot. These haven of peace are only waiting for you visitors, grab your tickets and head towards Another World- The Seychelles!