Island Hopping is a must when visiting the Seychelles, whether it be only a day trip or extended stay on one of the many beautiful islands in our picturesque archipelago. Each island boasts its only geography, character and history and will add its own unforgettable memories to your stay.
There is a regular network of air and sea transport options operating from the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue that will cater for most itineraries plus private charter options when you want to explore further afield. In total there are 43 Inner islands 41 granitic and 2 coralline.
The Outer Islands are situated beyond the Seychelles plateau and comprise of 72 low-lying sand cays and atolls lying anywhere between 230km and 1150km from Mahé. Less visited than their granitic cousins due to their remote nature, these pristine miniature worlds, some little more than sand spits or lonely rocky outcrops, offer untouched habitats for many species of wildlife.
Praslin lies 45 kms North East of Mahe and is accessible by boat in one hour or by air in 15 minutes.
Praslin is best known for its Vallee-de-Mai Reserve, home of the renowned Coco-de-Mer palm. These double nuts grow on over 4000 trees in the vallee, some reaching to 30 metres and giving this unique spot a second name – “Valley of the Giants”.
Praslin is also the proud home of the world famous Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette beaches, which have been voted time and time again as two of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
An aura of charm and tranquillity surrounds the island of La Digue, some hour and a half by boat from Mahe or 30 minutes from Praslin.
La Digue is an island where time stands still and time-honoured traditions such as travelling by ox-cart and bicycle are still king. The island’s rare calm and the friendliness of its people are too precious to be passed by in haste. Wide deserted beaches are perfect for long walks, safe swimming, snorkelling and fishing from a local pirogue.
Take a step back in time and visit L’Union Estate – see a traditional copra mill and kiln (kalorifer), watch the antics of the estate’s population of giant land tortoises or stroll around the majestic Plantation House framed by giant granite boulders in landscaped gardens. The estate is also home to the legendary ‘Anse Source d’Argent’ – among the most photographed beaches on earth.
Bird Island is the most northerly island of the Seychelles archipelago and is situated 65 miles from the main island of Mahé. Flying into the island gives the first stunning impressions of this expansive 250 acre coral cay, with its lush green interior, surrounded by over 5 Kilometres of fine white coral sand beaches, and lapped by turquoise clear waters.
Bird Island is home to thousands of tropical birds, giant land tortoises, and breathtaking marine life – a treasure trove for nature lovers. From May to October, part of the island becomes home to millions of nesting sooty terns and with a year-round population of at least 20 other bird species. Bird Island is also an important nesting site for turtles and boasts the world’s largest land tortoise, Esmeralda.
Ile Cocos & the Sisters Islands:
Both found approximately 7 km north of La Digue, Ile Cocos and the Sisters Islands are both spectacular spots for day excursions from La Digue. Ile Cocos has been a marine park since 1996 and offers spectacular ocean panoramas and unrivalled snorkelling and diving in watesr where the marine life is prolific. The Sisters Islands also offer excellent opportunities for trekking, picnicking, swimming and sunbathing.
For information on the other Inner and Outer Islands visit the Seychelles Tourism website here:
Air Seychelles Domestic:
The domestic terminal is a two-minute walk from the international terminal, from where Air Seychelles offers more than 178 scheduled daily services between Mahé and the island of Praslin as well as private charter flights to outer islands within the Seychelles archipelago. Website:www.airseychelles.com
Zil Air offers a private luxury helicopter and aerial limo service with access to 21 licensed helipads and 7 landing strips within the Seychelles Archipelago as well as helicopter tours over Mahe. Flights set out from Zil Air’s base adjacent to the International Airport. Website: www.zilair.com
Cat Cocos offers a daily inter-island fast ferry service between the main ports of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. The trip between Mahe and Praslin takes approximately 1 hour, and the trip between Mahe and La Digue approximately 1 hour 10 mins (direct) or 1 hr 30 mins (via Praslin). Website:www.catcocos.com