Although the Seychelles is commonly known as a singular ‘island destination,’ the African paradise is actually an archipelago made of 115 different islands, each with their own unique geography, heritage and lifestyle. Considering that the Seychelles recorded history dates back to the 16th century, it is no surprise that over the centuries, each island has developed a rich story – perfect for holiday makers looking for a place of wild wonder.
The three main islands are Mahe, La Digue and Praslin – likely names you’ve heard before if you’ve ever done an internet search for the Seychelles. And while these three are the pillars of the Seychelles, there is more to explore, including some UNESCO World Heritage sites, spectacular phenomena straight out of National Geographic and a wealth of knowledge and practices which stem from the island people themselves.
If you’re interested in a little island hopping during your holiday in the Seychelles, look no further. The Seychelles Tourism board and similar organizations have made this increasingly easier. You can hire a car, take a trip on a ferry, or even upgrade your experience to a helicopter ride from one island to another.
With an area of just under 160 square kilometers, Mahe is the biggest of all the islands, both in terms of its size and the fact that it is home to a whopping 86% of the Seychellois population. It is home to the capital city Victoria, and as such, is often the main touchpoint for tourists coming to the Seychelles. Expect busy, bustling and exciting both on and off peak season. But it’s not just another sprawling island capital – it plays host to incredible must-visit sites such as Baie Ternay National Park, the towering peak of Morne Seychellois and of course, an array of lush tropical forests which are home to some of the rarest species on earth. Ever seen a jellyfish tree? Well, you can in Mahe.
There is no doubt that Praslin is a beach lover’s Mecca. Although the second-largest island has an array of attractions, it is home to some of the most beautiful, coveted beaches on Earth. It’s no wonder it’s a top pick for celebrity couples looking to steal away on honeymoon. Two of the beaches, Anze Lasio and Anze Geogette have been recognized as two of the world’s top beach locations – and it’s not hard to understand why, considering they are so often depicted in archetypal images of the Seychelles. For those dreaming of a celeb-worthy island experience, Cafe Des Arts & Tapas Lounge is a high cuisine restaurant perfect for a romantic evening for two or a night out with friends (and perhaps a few rounds of Takamaka cocktails?)
Whether you’re active, or more sedentary, be prepared to explore the fourth largest island on the Seychelles all by foot. At around 10 square kilometres in area, La Digue is a tiny treasure trove within the grand network of Seychelles islands. Despite not necessarily being as well-known as its larger cousin islands, La Digue was a delightful discovery for French navigator Lazare Picault, who found it 1742. It was only in 1789 that the area was a fully-fledged settlement, and since then, it has been a special hideaway for photographer, holidaymakers, documentary filmmakers and the like. One of the prime spots which must be visited is La Digue’s majestic Belle Vue – which offers the chance for a once in a lifetime view of true, (reasonably) untouched island life.