Seychelles is an island paradise located off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. With 115 islands to choose from, there are a lot of things to do in Seychelles for beach and water lovers.
Ben Reeve shares his picks from his time spent on the island of Praslin and day trips to other surrounding islands.
10 Unmissable Things to do in Seychelles
- The Three Main Islands of Seychelles are Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
- Mahe is the largest island of Seychelles where the majority of the populations lives and is the main point of entry for tourists.
- Praslin is the second largest island in Seychelles and makes for a great base to explore with beautiful beaches and a selection of resorts and hotels. It may be a large island in size, but the relatively small population makes it the perfect island paradise.
- Islands are not too far apart in the Seychelles and tourists can get around from the Inter Island Ferry Services. Mahe to Praslin takes about 50 minutes and Praslin to La Digue is about 15 minutes.
- Island hopper flights take only 15 minutes from Mahe to Praslin.
- To get around the Islands. It is recommended to rent a car in Mahe and Praslin and you will only need a bicycle for La Digue.
1. Go Back in Time – La Digue
La Digue island is like a fly caught in amber, forever preserved for the world to see. It is an island with barely any motor vehicles, very few paved roads and some of the most unspoiled beaches in Seychelles.
Hire a bike from one of the many sellers at the harbour and make your way to the idyllic Anse Source D’Argent or Anse Coco beaches and after that pop into Veuve Nature Reserve in search of one of the rarest birds on earth – the Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher.
How to get there: Take the Inter Island Ferry from Praslin. There are two high-speed catamarans that can take you between islands in 15 minutes for 12 Euros one way.
2. Find a Secret Waterfall – Praslin
No one seems to talk about Praslin Waterfall. It’s not mentioned in the guidebooks; a quick Google search only reveals some vague details and there’s no signage by the road. Maybe they’re trying to keep it a secret because it’s so beautiful, I’m not sure!
Located less than half a kilometre from the UNESCO site Vallée De Mai, Praslin Waterfall is well worth a visit and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the place to yourself!
How to get there: From the Vallée De Mai National Park, drive to the Grand Anse Side of the island and park by the waterworks. It is about a 100 metre uphill walk to the waterfall from the entrance.
3. Visit Another Country
Ok so I may be stretching the truth here a little but Grand Fond (known as Zimbabwe to the locals) is still a fantastic place to view the north-east of the island. The highest point on Praslin Island it has panoramic views over Anse Possession and Curieuse Island.
How to get there: Rent a car and drive up to the highest point. Pull off at the side of the road
4. Eat like a Local
There are numerous creole takeaways dotted around the islands and they offer an incredible double deal: great value and fantastic food! Sample fish curries, lamb stews, savoury rices and a host of dishes that change daily for less than £4 a head!
Our favourite restaurants were were Gala on La Digue, Breeze in Grand Anse and Coco Rouge in Baie St Anne.
5. Experience a Different World
Snorkelling was a new experience for me when visiting Seychelles and it was one I struggled to top! Getting a glimpse into the incredible undersea world was fascinating.
It seems whilst the animals on land took turns lining up to be issued various browns and greys for clothing the fish were just like ‘yeah, can you give me something patterned, I don’t mind how many colours, oh, and can you make it shiny too?’ It was ridiculous.
There are loads easy to access places to snorkel around Praslin Island.
Suggested Snorkelling locations:
If you are inexperienced I would suggest getting used to it in the shallow waters of Anse La Blague, progressing to Anse Lazio, swimming across the bay at Anse Volbert and then going for the ultimate trip out to St Pierre Island.
6. Find the world’s heaviest (and sexiest!) seed
Vallée De Mai is one of two UNESCO heritage sites in Seychelles. It is part of a nature reserve that covers a large part of Praslin’s interior. The highlights of this rainforest are the highly endangered black parrot and the world-famous Coco de Mer palm both of which are indigenous to the Seychelles.
The Coco de Mer was long thought to be a mysterious ‘coconut from the sea’ when washing up on the coasts of India but when the French landed on the Seychelles in the 1700s they found the real source.
With both the male and female parts doing their best to look like – well – male and female parts, it is a tree that gave Seychelles the nickname ‘The Garden of Eden’.
7. Lunch with a View
La Buse restaurant is part of Iles Des Palmes Eco Resort but you don’t have to be a resident to pop in and have a bite to eat. With great food and even better views over Baie Ste Anne sit back, relax and pretend you are living in a glossy magazine. Having lunch here was the moment we realised we were in paradise!
8. Meet the Bird that Saved an Island!
We all like to exaggerate every once in awhile, so when I tell you there’s an island in Seychelles that was saved by a bird I can understand if you just shrug your shoulders and politely agree.
In this instance though it’s the truth! Cousin Island was a coconut plantation until the discovery of the Seychelles Warbler which at the time only numbered 26. The island was given protected status, the native flora re-planted and is now a special reserve.
Even if this doesn’t interest you it is a fascinating place to visit, it has a true one-off castaway island feel to it that is hard to match anywhere else on Seychelles.
Information: Tours to Cousin Island can be organized from operators, guest houses and hotels on Praslin Island.
9. Chill Out
If you’re on Seychelles there’s a very high chance that a part of your plan was relaxation! It’s almost hard not to on these chilled-out islands, the pace of life seems to change down a few gears.
The epitome of relaxation is beach time and Praslin Island certainly doesn’t disappoint. Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette are favourites with the guidebooks but our top pick was Anse Volbert.
Its size means you can carve out your own space without feeling crowded and the bay is filled with shallow clear waters for splashing around when lying in the sun gets too much for you!
10. Have a Selfie with a Rare Beast
Seychelles is the only place in the world you can find wild giant tortoises outside of the Galapagos Islands. If you want to get up close and personal with these rare beauties then book a boat trip over to Curieuse Island where you will find the biggest and most accessible population.
If you want to get up close and personal with these rare beauties then book a boat trip over to Curieuse Island where you will find the biggest and most accessible population. Not only that but you’ll see mangrove forests, pristine beaches and if you’re really lucky may even come across a hawksbill turtle.
Excursions to Curieuse Island can be arranged from Praslin Island. There are no hotels or restaurants. Organized tours usually stop at other islands on day trips as well.
And that sums up our favourite things to do in Seychelles. Have you been to Seychelles. What have we missed?
Ben is a travel writer and blogger over at The Sabbatical Guide. He caught the bug for travel at an early age when his Dad moved to South Africa and has now started documenting his adventures. His site also aims to help other travel bloggers make their blogs a success by giving design, writing and content creation tips. Follow him in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram