Attractive Tourist Places
The Seychelles largest and main island, Mahe is home to the capital of Victoria and about 70,000 people (almost 90% of the nation's total). Still, the island retains its idyllic beauty, with 3,000-foot mountains and scores of gorgeous beaches. Many plants, including the so-called Jellyfish Tree and several rare orchids, are unique to Mahe's shores. The Seychelles Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens and the Codevar Craft Centre, all in Victoria, are not to be missed.
One of the Seychelles’ most popular destinations, Praslin is home to fantastic beaches and intimate hotels and resorts. Soak up the sun in style while you keep a sunglassed eye out for the very rare bird species that dwell on Praslin, including the Seychelles bulbul and the black parrot. Praslin National Park in the island's south contains the spectacular palm forest of Vallée de Mai. Divers love the ancient coral reefs off Praslin's shores.
La Digue Island
Arriving at La Digue feels like sailing straight into a painting, brimming with brush strokes of blue, green and tan. The beaches here are spectacular, particularly Grand Anse and Anse Source d'Argent, which is strewn with pink granite rocks. There are very few cars here, so travelling by bike or by ox cart is the way to go. Pedal over to Ile de Cocos for snorkeling or gawk at the rare Paradise Flycatcher (a beautiful black bird) at the Veuve Nature Reserve.
A day on foot is ample time to see Victoria, one of the smallest capitals in the world. Located on Mahe, one of the Seychelles' 115 granite and coral islands, Victoria is the republic's business and cultural hub. At its center sits the Victoria Clocktower, a national monument reminiscent of London's "Big Ben" that has kept ticking since 1903, unaffected by the modern glass and concrete development around it. Visit the local art galleries and craft markets to soak up the city's friendly charm.
The exclusive Eden Island development is located just off Mahé and is home to a finite number of luxurious villas, sophisticated maisons and stylish apartments. The development also boasts a full-service, deep-water marina with private moorings for each residence in the resort. In addition to exceptional accommodation, Eden Island is also well equipped with secluded beaches, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, a gymnasium, child-friendly play areas and a world-class shopping centre.
Beau Vallon is the name of the best known, most popular and largest beach of Mahé island. It’s located in the north west coast of Mahé, 3km from Victoria, in a huge bay: Baie Beau Vallon. The water is deep enough for swimming, although you have to be careful not to swim in the areas where the fishermen land in their small boats. In the northern part of the beach there are some excellent places for snorkeling, especially around the big granite rocks.
Victoria Botanical Gardens
Located in Mont Fleuri, on the outskirts of Victoria, the Botanical Garden is one of Seychelles’ oldest National Monuments, dating back more than a century. It houses a wide collection of mature, exotic and endemic plants within five acres of landscaped and beautifully maintained tropical gardens. Apart from the palms, the garden is home to a wide variety of spice and fruit trees most of which can only be seen in this garden. An added attraction is the population of giant tortoises from Aldabra.
Vallee De Mai
A trip to Seychelles is never over without a visit to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. This nature park has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unusually beautiful flora and fauna of the nature reserve pulls thousands of visitors to this place. Vallee de Mai in Praslin is also the one and only place in the world where you will find the rare coco de mer palm. This palm produces the world’s largest nut, which weighs about eighteen kilograms. It is also home to some of the rarest birds in the world: Black parrot, Seychelles bulbul, and the fruit pigeon.
The Morne Seychellois Park is the largest in Seychelles and was created in 1979. It covers a total surface area of 3,045ha, more than 20% of the area of Mahé. It is 10km in length and between 2km and 4km wide and equipped with an extensively trail network covering more than 15km. A total of 12 different trails can be explored either by half or full day excursions.
The atoll is comprised of four large coral islands which enclose a shallow lagoon; the group of islands is itself surrounded by a coral reef. Due to difficulties of access and the atoll's isolation, Aldabra has been protected from human influence and thus retains some 152,000 giant tortoises, the world's largest population of this reptile. First given its name by Arab seafarers, the atoll’s harsh, sun-baked environment and the fast-flowing waters of its lagoon typically kept all but the most intrepid explorers at bay.