Located in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa, Seychelles is a group of 115 islands with Mahé, Praslin and La Digue being the most visited ones. Here you will find the most transparent and turquoise water, white-sand beaches, takamaka palms, granite boulders and a lot of birds, tortoises and vegetation. And also delicious local creole food!
Read the entire article and found out the top things you can’t miss in Seychelles!
About Seychelles Islands
You need to visit at least two of those islands to understand and experience this dream destination truly.
MAHÉ Island, the largest of the Seychelles islands, has more than 80,000 residents. It is home to the international airport and to one of the smallest capital on earth, Victoria, and also the island where the majority of tourists spends the holiday.
PRASLIN Island, the second largest of the Seychelles islands, with less than 8,000 residents, is only an hour’s boat ride from Mahé. The island resembles more Mahé but has a more chilled and relaxed atmosphere. It is home to the Vallé de Mai and Fond Ferdinand nature reserves, where you can admire the wild Coco de Mer – the world’s largest coconut.
LA DIGUE is Seychelles’ third-largest island and home to about 2,500 residents. It is a small and beautiful island, where everyone travels by bike, and it is the island where you will find the most beautiful beaches.
Curieuse Island is a small island close to the north coast of Praslin, home to the giant Aldabra tortoises which roam around freely. The island isn’t inhabited and can only be visited as a day trip from the nearby islands.
Top Things You Can’t Miss In Seychelles:
#1. Rent a Bike and Explore La Digue Island
The gorgeous island is tranquil, has only a few cars, and the majority of the tourists and locals use the bike as a transport method. It’s a real pleasure spending the day on a bike, exploring everything the island has to offer. The prices tend to be around 100 SCR (6,5€, 7,30$)/ day.
- For those coming to La Digue Island on a day trip, when you get out of the ferry, you’ll spot few bike rental stands, so feel free to rent one and explore the island at your leisure.
- For those coming for a few days, you can also rent a bike through your accommodation, delivered straight to your door.
#2. Fly between Mahé and Praslin
A flight between Mahé and Praslin is a good idea, especially during the southeast monsoon season when the ferry journey might become unpleasant due to strong currents.
The Twin Otter aircraft is relatively small (around 20 seats) and the trip takes no more than 20-minute. The views from above are merely incredible so flying between the two islands is one of the top things you can’t miss in Seychelles.
AirSeychelles operates the flight, and the fares may vary depending on the travel date and booking date. We bought the tickets two months before our journey, and we paid 65€ (73$) one way/pp, (the ferry from Mahé to Praslin needs about an hour, and costs around 55€ (62$) one way/pp.
#3. Rent a Car and Explore the Islands of Mahé and Praslin
The rides along the cliff edge on the narrow roads are stunning, and you will discover many beautiful places, so you’ll get a better glimpse of Mahé and Praslin Islands.
Renting a car through accommodation is a common thing in Seychelles. Prices tend to be around 40€ (45$) in Mahé and 35€ (39$) in Praslin, insurance included.
We asked our hosts to book a car for us, both in Mahé and Praslin, so we didn’t have to struggle to find a rental company. The best part was that the car was delivered to our door and we dropped it at the ferry terminal/ airport, at no extra cost.
Beware where you park as coconuts are falling from trees and they may cause severe damages to your car.
#4. Eat Like a Local
The best and most affordable way to experience the Creole food is through the takeaway stands, where you get a foam carton filled with food. The selection is different every day with freshly made fish, meat or vegetables which come with rice&salad, chips or even fried noodles.
Sample the best local food at:
COCO ROUGE on Praslin, a great little restaurant with a great takeaway selection. Prices from 80 SCR (€5.35, $5.85) to 150 SCR (€10, $11). If you want to try the grilled fish (capture of the day) at the restaurant, it would cost around 400 SCR, but it will be delicious!
OLE RESTAURANT & TAKEAWAY on Mahé, near Anse Royale, offers delicious and fresh local food. Try the smoked fish salad or the grilled fish from the takeaway corner, and you will love it. So so tasty!
GALA TAKEAWAY on La Digue has plenty to choose from – eighter on display or to order: lamb, chicken, fish, stews, curry, fries, juices and shakes. Outdoor tables are available if you wish to sit and enjoy a good meal or take your containers and enjoy the meals on your terrace. Gala Takeaway has more variety than other takeaway places on the island, and the food is simply delicious and inexpensive.
#5. Discover Anse Georgette on Praslin
While Anse Lazio located on the northern tip of Praslin Island is the most famous and most visited beach of Praslin, I found Anse Georgette much nicer and quieter.
Situated on the northwest coast of the island, bordered by giant granite boulders, Anse Georgette has crystal clear turquoise water, fine white sand and many palm trees. You need to make a reservation through your accommodation, one day before or even earlier in the high season, to enter the beach through Constance Lemuria Resort.
From the bus station, walk 5 minutes to the main gate of the resort and from there another 20-25 minutes to reach Anse Georgette. We only got to Anse Georgette one hour later because we made it to the viewpoint first, taking lots of photos and enjoying the incredible surroundings.
There is another way to reach the beach. A trail goes over the hills between Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio. It’s a 1h30′ hike, and it’s only for experimented ones or for those who like hiking. I wouldn’t recommend it on the rainy season as it can get very slippery and muddy.
#6. Hike to Anse Petit Boileau on Mahé Island and Have an Entire Beach All to Yourselves
A hidden gem in the very south of MAHÉ, this incredible beach can only be accessed by foot or by boat. You can reach the beach eighter from Anse Capucins (the heaviest way) eighter from Petite Police (the most accessible way).
We heard about Anse Petit Boileau from the locals, only by mistake. It seems like a former president whished for him and his family a private road to access this beach. Back then, the road was protected by two gates so that none could pass. Now everything is abandoned, and the mother nature takes her tribute by covering everything with thick vegetation. After visiting other secluded beaches, I can say this one was by far our favourite one!
You’ll have to park the car near Petite Police beach (see foto), turn left and follow the road. The trail is rough, unmarked and goes through a lush but beautiful forest. The hike takes around 60 minutes. It might get creepy as you’ll find all by yourselves surrounded by thick vegetation. Stay chill and enjoy the sounds, nature and the hike. There’s nothing scary, and the road takes you straight to the beach so no worries that you will get lost.
Once you get to the beach, you will realize it was all worth it as you will be rewarded with a virgin beach, unspoiled sand and turquoise water and even some sea turtle tracks. The currents are sometimes rough, so be vigilant. We were lucky enough as the sea was calm and we could swim all day long.
We loved Anse Petite Boileau so much, and we will definitely come back someday! It’s by far one of the top things you can’t miss in Seychelles!
Coordinates: 4° 48’05.8″S 55° 31’45.0″E
#7. Ride and Walk to reach Anse Cocos on La Digue Island
Most of the tourists come to La Dique for a day trip, only to visit Ane Source d’Argent, often regarded as the most famous and most photographed beach in Seychelles. But the most famous doesn’t mean the most beautiful.
For me, Anse Cocos is the most beautiful beach on La Digue and one of the top things you can’t miss in Seychelles!
Ride your bike along a slowly ascending hill to get to Grand Anse, around 6 kilometres/30 minutes ride from the jetty; it’s not well signposted so check out before on google maps or ask around. Once you arrive at Grand Anse, leave your bike near the nearby restaurant and take the trail to Petite Anse: it’s a 10-minute easy hike through lush forest. From Petite Anse, hike another 30 minutes until you reach Anse Cocos. The hike is a little bit more challenging, depending on your fitness level, the rocks can be slippery, so wear some proper shoes. Once here, you will encounter gorgeous golden sand, fantastic scenery and clear water. There aren’t many spots to hide from the burning sun, but if you come early, you might find some.
Don’t leave this place without enjoying a delicious cold drink at the Coco Bar!
#8. Relax at Grand Anse, Curieuse Island
Your day trip to Curieuse Island ends at the beach. You’ll have some spare time to relax at one of the beaches near the tortoises’ area so I would suggest heading to Grand Anse. The beach will be most likely deserted, and you’ll have the sand, shadow and the ocean all to yourself. Tank some sun, do a little walk, pick up some shelves, read a book or take a nap before you leave.
#9. Touch an Aldabra Tortoise
Aldabra tortoises are the second-largest species of tortoise in the world. You can find them in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Seychelles. Interesting fact, they like being touched. So, when you get the chance, do it!
#10. Find the Coco de Mer on Praslin Island
Vallée de Mai
Vallée De Mai Nature Reserve is one of the two Unesco World Heritage sites in Seychelles, home to the famous Coco de Mer, strictly protected by the Seychelles Government. The seeds produced by the Coco de Mer palms are the largest in the world.
The circular route inside the nature reserve takes around two hours and feels like walking straight into the jungle, with occasional stairs. Along the way, you might spot black parrots, blue pigeons, black snails, lots of geckos or vanilla orchids. All paths are well marked with signs and explanations. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to spot the black parrot as it is rare.
ENTRANCE FEE: 350 SCR (€ 23.5, $25.6) without a guide. There is a free guided tour early around 9.00 am and one at 2.00 pm.
Fond Ferdinand, the second nature reserve of Praslin Island, it was opened in 2013, and it is a great alternative to Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. Not to mention cheaper. The reserve is entirely worth visiting, being six times larger than Vallée de Mai and easy to reach by bus or car. It is located near Anse Marie-Louise where you can spend the rest of the day after visiting Fond Ferdinand.
There are only four tours daily (the last leaves at 1 pm) and a personal guide is always included. You will learn more about the famous Coco de Mer, the black parrot or the dutch bird. The tour takes about two to three hours, and you’ll have to climb more than 600 steps. Getting to the top is quite challenging, but you will be rewarded with incredible views over Baie St. Anne and all the neighbouring islands.
ENTRANCE FEE: 150SCR (€10, $11), guide included. Bring plenty of water, insect repellent and trail shoes!
#11. Go on a Day Trip to Curieuse Island
A half-day trip to Curieuse Island should cost around €65, $71/pp– €30, $33 for the boat, €15, $16.5 for the entrance fee, €20, $21.5 for the BBQ.
Ask your host to book the boat trip for you or find a water taxi service. But do some research first! I’ve heard some tourists booked the same trip for €150, which is outrageous.
First, the boat takes you to a small and beautiful beach. Spend some time here and then walk to the Doctor’s house, a small and informative museum. From here hike uphill until you reach a lovely viewpoint and then walk through the mangrove forest where you’ll see many crabs, turtles, coconut trees. One hour later you will reach the other side of the island. I would advise you not to wear flip flops for this hike as it might get slippery.
Next, you’ll have the opportunity to feed the tortoises, admire them and take pictures. Visit the nursery where baby turtles are fed and kept away from the predators.
Most of the tours to Curieuse Island offer lunch with BBQ arrangement, and I encourage you to try it: fresh-grilled barracuda fish, grilled chicken, rise, mango and crab salads, fruits, juices and water.
You’ll have then some free time to spend at the beach before moving on to St Pierre Island for snorkelling.
#12. Go Snorkelling
Snorkelling is among the top thing you can’t miss in Seychelles. There are some hidden gems when it comes to the best places, so here they are:
Booking a half-day trip to Curieuse Island means you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel at St Pierre Island, near Praslin. You will get the chance to swim for half an hour with turtles and different fish species. Bring your own gear or rent one from the travel company.
Another great spot to snorkel for as much as you want is Anse Royale, in Mahé. We spent more than 4 hours exploring the area and we’ve seen so many fish species. We even met some fishermen, although I am not sure if they caught something or not. Finally, we get out of the water since our fingers began to shrivel up like an old prune!
If you are spending your holiday on Praslin Island, drive to Anse Marie-Louise, just opposite the Fond Ferdinand reserve. You will spot some small boulders in the distance. Swim-up there and you will experience pure joy and admiration. The species are so diverse here, and the number of fishes so huge.
#13. Book a Tour at Takamaka Rum Distillery
Takamaka Rum Distillery is a great place where you can book a small tour to learn more about rum making and also do some tasting. You can’t leave the island without tasting the Seychellois Rum in different variety: original, white or dark, with cocos aroma! You can buy the rum from every shop around the island or even from the airport, on your way back home.
#14. Visit VICTORIA, Africa’s Smallest Capital
Victoria capital is only 5 kilometres from Beau Vallon and is a great place to spend half a day:
- Start with VICTORIA CLOCKTOWER, a mini replica of Big Ben, brought in 1903 when Seychelles became a British colony.
- NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM, a restored old building with new interactive displays, is just nearby. You’ll get a glimpse on Seychelles history, learn about pirates, Aldabra tortoises or creole culture.
- After that, make a quick stop at ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, a prominent mark of Seychelles.
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, tea and spices from SIR SELWYN CLARK MARKET, open daily Monday through Saturday. Wander the streets and embrace the place and the people.
- VICTORIA BOTANICAL GARDENS, found two bus stops from the main bus terminal in Victoria, is worth a visit. You can see the endemic island species, including the famous coco de Mer and the Aldabra giant tortoises.
#14. Go on a Hike in Morne Seychellois National Park
Leaving the capital, follow the signs with SANS SOUCI ROAD. There are a few places to stop along the way:
Les Trois Frères Trail, quickly reached from Victoria, offers a fantastic view of Victoria and the east coast of Mahé. The hike takes about 5 hours.
Copolia Trail is one of the top things you can’t miss in Seychelles, especially for nature lovers. It’s a moderately challenging trek that goes through the dense, lush forest and takes about 1.5 hours roundtrip. The view from the summit is simply stunning.
Morne Seychellois Trail, for experienced hikers, takes you to the highest point on Mahe at 905 metres. The hike takes 5 hours.
At the Tea Plantation, you can take a free tour of the factory and enjoy some lovely views over the bay.
Morne Blanc Trail is another must-do along the road. Leave the car at the tea plantation, walk down the road, and you will see the sign. The hike takes about 1.5 hours roundtrip.
#15. Search for the Paradise Flycatchers at Veuve Nature Reserve on La Digue Island
The Veuve Nature Reserve is a small natural park in the middle of the La Digue island where you can spot paradise flycatchers, fruit bats and find out more about flora and fauna of the island. The paths are well marked, and it takes around 45 minutes to cover the area. Remember to wear insect repellent as there are lots of mosquitos.
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