The Seychelles’ beaches compete with the best in the world. Amongst all the beaches, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island deserves a special mention. However, La Digue Island Anse Source D’Argent is also worth exploring. A trip to the Seychelles is never complete without a visit to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin Island. This park has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unusually beautiful flora and fauna of this nature reserve draws thousands of visitors to this place as Vallée de Mai is the one and only place in the world where you will find the rare coco de mer palm. This palm produces the largest nut in the world.
The place is also home to some rare birds such as the Seychelles bulbul, fruit pigeon, and the black parrot. Aldabra Island in the outer circle of the archipelago has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a large population of giant tortoises has made the area a major tourist attraction. However, travellers who are more interested in indoor attractions, should try the Seychelles Natural History Museum and the National Museum of History.
The Seychelles has a tropical rainforest climate with substantial humidity that is tempered by cooling ocean breezes. Pack swimwear, loose-fitting clothes, and open-toe footwear, as much of your time will be spent on the beach. Hiking is also a popular activity, so consider bringing sturdy boots. Keep in mind that the rainy season runs from December through February.
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What to See
Unsurprisingly, beaches are the main draw for this island nation. And since the islands are so far-flung, many of the beaches are virtually untouched and never very crowded. Particularly famous is the Anse Lazio beach on Praslin island, which is known for its clear blue waters and native takamaka trees.
Away from the beach on Praslin is the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve. While visiting this thick green jungle, with its primitive plant and animal species that have remained isolated since the islands were formed, try to catch a glimpse of the Seychelles black parrot. It's found nowhere else on Earth.
The island of La Digue is also known for the Anse Source d’Argent beach. Here, you’ll find a shoreline framed by picturesque granite boulders. If you need a break from the beach, the capital city of Victoria, on the island of Mahé, is home to incredible architecture, open air markets, museums, and a vibrant nightlife scene.
Anse Intendance, Mahé
One of Mahé's most beautiful beaches, this small and secluded crescent of sand on the island's south coast is a favorite surfing spot thanks to its frequent big swells and wild waves. The lack of a protective reef makes swimming a little rough when trade winds blow from the southeast, but sunbathers, beachcombers, and photographers will enjoy this picturesque, palm-framed strand at any time of year. Turtles nest along the powdery shores here.
Morne Seychellois National Park
The largest national park in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois National Park covers more than 20 percent of the area of Mahé and is a haven for nature lovers and hikers. Within its lush borders lies the mountain chain named after its highest point, Morne Seychellois, which reaches a height of 905 meters and overlooks the capital of Victoria. Hiking trails ascend into the park from the village of Danzil, passing tea plantations and offering spectacular views of the southwest coast of Mahé from the mountain slopes. The moderate Morne Blanc hike is one of the most popular trails and offers spectacular views from its summit. Walking west through the park, hikers will reach the Baie Ternay and Port Launay Marine Parks. To the northwest lies the hamlet of Bel Ombre and the isolated beach at Anse Major.
Ste Anne National Marine Park
Encompassing six islands a 15- to 20-minute boat ride off the coast of Mahé near Victoria, Ste Anne National Marine Park became the first national park in the Indian Ocean in 1973. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat excursions reveal the rich diversity of marine life in the park's coral reefs, and you can explore most of the islands within the reserve on day excursions from Mahé. You can also stay overnight on a few of the islands.
Sainte Anne Island is an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles and home to a luxury resort, Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne. In spite of its mangroves and crocodiles, the island was the site of a 1770 French settlement, the first in the Seychelles.
On Round Island, a former leper colony, you can enjoy a nature walk and stay overnight at the Enchanted Island Resort. Île Cachée is an important breeding site for noddies and a designated nature reserve. At Cerf Island, you can swim, snorkel, or dive along the beautiful reefs or bask on the uncrowded beaches. You can also base yourself here at the Cerf Island Resort or L'Habitation Hotel. Privately owned Moyenne Island features nature trails; reconstructed settlers' homes; pirate graves; a small, thatched chapel; and giant tortoises.