This is a guest article by Simone (German travelblog WOLKENWEIT). More about her at the end of this article.
Island hopping on the Seychelles? Here’s how it works.
Gorgeous beaches, uninhabited islands, a tropical climate, kilometers of reefs – the Seychelles are known as paradise on earth. Largely overlooked and located directly on the equator in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are a dream come true.
With a plethora of heavenly islands (115 to be exact) to choose from, making a decision which ones to visit may be difficult, especially when arriving for the first time. Each island has its own charm, its own story and in its own way something really special.
So I recommend spending a few days on each of the main islands; Mahé, Praslin and La Digue as well as heading out to some of the smaller and uninhabited islands.
Mahé is 28 km long and the largest of the 115 Seychelles islands. With almost 72.000 inhabitants, it’s home to roughly 90 percent of the total population of the Seychelles.
Boasting not only the international airport, Mahe is also the location of the city of Victoria, the smallest capital city in the world. The island is suitable for all who desire a variety of entertainment options due to Mahe’s very animated nature as well as having the largest selection of accommodations among the islands.
The island has a really good bus network (running until 6 pm) and with a fare of only 30 cents, you can travel as far as you want. If you want to visit more isolated areas and beaches for an extended period of time, a car rental is recommended (40 euros per day).
Tip: It’s a good idea to make Mahe the last stop of your island hopping journey. After landing at the airport you should take advantage of the free shuttle bus to the port of Victoria. From there you can go by ferry (Cat Cocos) to Praslin and La Digue (traveltime: 60 minutes).
Praslin has around 7,000 inhabitants and is the second largest island on the Seychelles. The island is 12 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide – don’t let its diminutive size deceive you. Often called the “Garden of Eden”, the island contains many of the most beautiful beaches on the Seychelles (Anse Lazio or Anse Georgette) along with the “Vallée de Mai” a lush natural park. The park (more of a jungle) is home to many tropical animal and plant species. For example, the Coco de Meer, a special palm tree on the Seychelles, is considered the symbol of the islands.
Tip: Due to the small size of Praslin and the easy to use bus network, there’s no need to shell out money for a rental car. Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette beach are considered the most beautiful sandy stretches of coast on the island and should be on your to do list.
Not even a 20 minute boat ride away is the island of La Digue, which is the smallest and the one with the slowest and most relaxing pace of the three main islands of the Seychelles. Encompassing only 9 km² and being home to a mere 2,200 inhabitants, it is my favorite island among the three main islands. La Digue represents absolute silence where time appears to stand still. The absences of wide asphalted streets and other intruding signs of modern civilization serve to preserve the slow and calm way of life on the island. Getting around the island is almost done exclusively by foot or by bike. In earlier days, ox carts were used more frequently. Today you can occasionally see them servicing as taxis.
One of the most famous beaches is the Ance Source D`Argent, which also serves as a popular location for a lot of promotional films such as a popular rum brand or a ball-shaped coconut almond praline. Further beautiful beaches are Petite Anse, Grand Anse and Anse Cocos.
Tip: If you’re searching for silence or nature tours, then search no further than La Digue. There are no busses, only a few cars (which are taxis) and virtually no street lights. The only thing you need is a bike and which can be rented at your accommodation or at the port.
Most of the islands of the Seychelles are uninhabited and therefore don’t have accommodations. From the main islands Mahé, Praslin and La Digue you can easily visit the uninhabited islands for a day trip or a snorkeling excursion. For the most part, families running accommodations offer these day trips or at least have friends who offer them.
Suggestions for day trips
From La Digue to Coco Island, Sister or Felicité Island
From Praslin to Curieuse Island or Saint Pierre
Many people think of the Seychelles as an expensive destination strictly for honeymooners and as a result become deterred by the idea of travelling there. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Apart from the big resorts you can find cheap accommodation either in private homes or in houses with self-catering. You will find cheap double rooms on platforms such as Tripadvisor (for as little as 50 euros per double room). When travelling, you should split your stay on the three main islands (Mahé, Praslin and La digue) and from there organize day trips to the uninhabited islands. Those who search regularly for flights and are flexible will find them as cheap as I did in June and July for less than 500 Euros round trip.
About the author
Simone is an active blogger, passionate hobby photographer and a travelling enthusiast always having that itch to explore and experience new things. On her German blog WOLKENWEIT, which she started recently in June 2014, she vividly writes about and reflects on her travels and adventures, all which are visually enriched through her photography. Visit her at her website or on facebook.