Island hopping in Seychelles

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Tucked away between India and Africa, Seychelles makes for an ideal island-hopping experience.

Seychelles: an archipelago of 115 idyllic islands floating in the azure Indian Ocean. From entrancing beaches to terrestrial national parks, extraordinary flora and fauna to friendly islanders, the small island nation is the perfect reason for a holiday like no other. Picture white-sand beaches lined with coconut palms, lush jungles home to giant tortoises, and warm waters teeming with colorful coral, rays, and turtles make Seychelles a paradise. It is an ultimate beach getaway but how do you choose which islands to visit? Let us explore an island-hopping guide to Seychelles once the travel corridor reopens. Seychelles, the Indian Ocean destination has more to it than meets the eye.

exploring seychelles by boat

The most popular Seychelles destinations

Seychelles is made up of 43 inner islands, 41 of which are granitic and two corallines, while the 72 outer islands are isolated and largely uninhabited, lying between 230 and 1,150 kilometers from Mahe. The touristic, economic and cultural hub of Seychelles, along with most of its population, is centered around the three largest inner islands: Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue.

Mahe

Known as: The largest island in the Seychelles.

Recommended resorts: Maia Luxury Resort & Spa sits on the west coast of Mahe and has 30 secluded villas with plunge pools, butler service and ocean views. For hillside and beachfront villas overlooking the Indian Ocean, Banyan Tree in Intendance Bay is the ideal choice with pools, a spa, and fine dining.

Mahe is the largest island in Seychelles, home to 90 percent of the country’s population and the international airport. All holidays in Seychelles begin in Mahe, where you can take connecting flights or boats to other islands. Mahe is also a holiday destination in itself, with 75 sandy beaches, lively resorts like Beau Vallon, and the capital city Victoria, which is filled with creole history. Go rock climbing, hiking in Morne Seychellois National Park, and visit some nearby dive sights.

maia luxury resort  spa   ocean panoramic villa view
The largest island in the Seychelles.

Hop to: Cerf Island, which lies around four kilometers from Mahe’s ferry terminal in the Sainte Anne National Marine Park. Head there for a day of world-class snorkeling or diving, spotting over 150 species of fish, as well as octopus, starfish, and sea turtles. You can even stay overnight at the boutique Cerf Island Resort.

Praslin

Known for: Its UNESCO-listed Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve.

Recommended resorts: Constance Lemuria lies just 15 meters from the sea and has villas made from natural materials with decks, as well as a pool, tennis courts, spa, and 18-hole golf course. One of Praslin’s best resorts, Raffles, sits on the north-east coast and features plunge-pool villas by the water.

constance lemuria aerial view

Praslin has some of Seychelles’ most picturesque beaches, with iconic white sands lapped by topaz waters and laced with granite boulders. Some of the most famous include Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio, which often appear on lists of the world’s best beaches. Praslin is best known for its National Park, which encompasses the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, a 45-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site home to rare Coco de Mer trees. These produce the largest seed and palm flowers in the world.

La Digue

Known for: Its sleepy vibe.

Recommended resort: Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie is a boutique resort that lies on the northwest hillside of La Digue, offering incredible views over the sea. There are 63 villas, several restaurants and bars, a pool and bicycle hire, as well as the exquisite Eden Rock Wellness Centre and Spa.

The third-largest island in Seychelles, La Digue has one of the most photographed beaches on the planet: Anse Source d’Argent. The beach lies on the west coast of the island and is lined with huge, distinctive granite boulders. There’s very little motorized transport on this sleepy island and most people get around by bicycle. Visit the Veuve Nature Reserve on La Digue, which is a key breeding ground for the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher bird.

pasyon pool villas aerial six senses zil pasyon

Hop to: Felicite Island, which is situated four kilometers from La Digue. The former coconut plantation is covered in thick vegetation and has mountainous terrain perfect for a day hike. Six Senses Resort Zil Pasyon covers a third of the island.

Top private islands in Seychelles

Seychelles has a number of privately-owned islands which feature ultra-luxurious resorts, here are the favourite options:

Denis Island

Known for: Its Castaway atmosphere.

denis private island seychelles

Denis Island lies north of Mahe and is a favourite for honeymoon couples due to its distant, Castaway vibe. The coral island has trails through dense forest, a 100-year-old lighthouse, natural lagoons, and some of Seychelles’ top diving and snorkeling spots nearby. The only accommodation is Denis Private Island Resort, which has 25 cottages scattered along the beach, built from local materials that blend into nature. Relish sea-view verandas, in-room massages, a beach restaurant, and free bikes to explore.

North Island

Known as: A royal honeymoon destination.

luxury north island seychelles

North Island was a royal couple William and Kate’s honeymoon destination. This tiny slither of remote paradise is just two kilometers squared and only accessible by helicopter, offering ultimate privacy. Relax on deserted beaches under the shade of palm trees, enjoying silky pale sands and views of the island’s forested peaks. There are just 11 handcrafted villas on North Island nestled in the trees just steps from the ocean, all made from natural materials. The resort also has a sunset bar, spa, restaurants, and diving, and snorkeling services.

Desroches

Known as: A faraway outer island.

four seasons resort seychelles at desroches island hammock

Desroches is one of the Amirante Islands, set around 230 kilometers from Mahe, and one of the only outer islands you can stay on in Seychelles. If you’re looking for a true desert island experience, then this is it. Four Seasons Resort at Desroches Island provides 71 villas, suites, bungalows, and residences with private pools and beach access. There’s also a spa, restaurants and bars and even a kids’ club. Spend your time chilling out, snorkeling, and visit Desroches’ Tortoise Sanctuary to see the giant Aldabra tortoise.

Silhouette Island

Known for: Its national marine park.

pool2 hr

Although not privately owned, Silhouette sits in its own marine park and over 90 percent of the island is protected. There’s just one hotel, the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, which is set amongst jungle near the local village, La Passe. Visitors come to Silhouette for its pristine beaches and healthy coral reefs, as well as sheer granite underwater cliffs which make for exciting diving. The island has a mountainous interior filled with 500 meters of virgin rainforest ideal for hiking and there are spectacular views from the 751-meter peak of Mount Dauban.

Seychelles island-hopping combinations

The most convenient options for hopping between are the inner islands: Silhouette, Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue, as well as their smaller neighbours Round, Cerf, and Felicite. Many visitors combine a stop on one of these islands with a stay at a more remote destination such as Denis, Desroches, or North. Here are our top island-hopping holiday combinations in Seychelles:

•    Denis and Silhouette
•    Praslin and La Digue
•    Mahe, La Digue and Praslin
•    Denis and Mahe
•    Mahe and Silhouette
•    Mahe, Silhouette, and Praslin

cerf island 1

Cruising and Sailing options allow you to see more of the country and can combine beach breaks in the Seychelles with trips to Northern Tanzania, Dubai, or a Kenyan Safari.

Internal flights in the Seychelles

It’s possible to hop between the main islands in Seychelles by plane or helicopter, here are some of the options:

flying over st anne marine park seychelles

•    Mahe to Praslin Island – Air Seychelles runs 20-minute flights multiple times a day between these two islands, which lie 43 kilometers apart
•    Mahe to Silhouette Island – the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa runs helicopter flights via ZilAir, the 20-kilometer journey takes around 15 minutes
•    Mahe to North Island – the owner of this exclusive island only allows guests access by helicopter (also by ZilAir). It takes just 20 minutes to cover the 39-kilometer distance
•    Mahe to Denis Island – make the 95-kilometer journey to Denis Island in just 30 minutes by plane. Flights go once a day, seven days per week, and are automatically reserved when booking a room at Denis Private Island Resort
•    Mahe to Desroches – this island lies a substantial 230 kilometers from Mahe, so is only accessible by plane. There are seven flights per week that make the 30-minute journey, operated by Island Development Company

Getting between the islands by boat

It’s also possible to island-hop around Seychelles by ferry and fast boat, which is a cheaper option. The main boat companies that operate in the country are Seyferry, Cat Cocos, and the Inter-Island Ferry Services. Here are some common boat trips:

boats around praslin island

•    Mahe to Praslin – there are at least three boats per day for this route, the journey takes roughly one hour
•    Mahe to La Digue – these islands lie around 50 kilometers apart, boats go multiple times per day and take approximately 90 minutes
•    Praslin to La Digue – a short, 15-minute boat trip between these neighbouring islands is available every day
•    La Digue to Felicite Island – this trip takes just 15 minutes by boat
•    Praslin to Round Island – hop just five minutes by boat from Praslin to Round Island
•    Mahe to Cerf Island – it takes less than 10 minutes to reach Cerf by boat

On-island transport in Seychelles

There are taxi and car hire services on many of the inner islands in Seychelles, but prices may be high and roads can be windy and difficult to navigate. Most resorts will provide transfers around the islands for sightseeing and activities, it’s also fun to explore on foot or by bicycle. In fact, bikes are the main form of transport on La Digue. Look out for scooter hire if you’re confident about riding one, or take advantage of the cheap round-island bus services on Praslin and Mahe.

aerial view mahe main road

Seychelles cruising and sailing

A cruise or sailing trip can be the most luxurious way to explore the Seychelles. Choose from chic yachts or modern catamarans with air-con en-suite cabins, sea views and large sundecks. Boats usually have snorkeling and diving equipment as well as sea kayaks and an experienced captain, steward, and chef on board. Our Seychelles boat trips often include brief beach stays at either the AVANI Seychelles resort on Mahe or the Coco de Mer Hotel in Praslin.

variety cruises pegasus

Set sail for between nine and 12 nights and choose from various itineraries, all starting from Mahe. Most routes go through the stunning Sainte Anne Marine Park, stopping for snorkel, beach, and swimming breaks at Coco Island, La Digue, Cousin, Saint Pierre, and Praslin. Other stops on your itinerary may include Silhouette, Grand Soeur, Curieuse, and Felicite islands. You’ll have the chance to take cycling and trekking excursions, spot wildlife, and enjoy cooking classes and spa treatments at your beach resort stops.

Seychelles weddings

Thanks to its naturally romantic and unspoiled surroundings of pristine beaches, calm warm waters, and year-round sunshine, Seychelles offers the perfect location for a truly luxurious wedding abroad.

Of the 115 islands that make up the archipelago of Seychelles, the two main locations are Mahe and Praslin. Every island in Seychelles offers something different and many are easily accessed, giving you and your new partner the unique opportunity to witness rare flora and fauna in this truly unspoiled tropical paradise.

Whichever of our luxury resorts you’d like to stay at, we can help you organize your perfect wedding and guide you through every step of the way. 

Devendra Grover
Devender was born in the year when the Beatles Group was formed. He holds two master’s degrees in English Literature and Public Administration. He also has an Honors degree in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. He ventured into business, forming his own Media House, Profiles Media Network Private Limited, a twenty-year-old company. Excelling as an editor, Marketing, PR, Anchor, and Advertising specialist, he is now expertly navigating the world of social media. A widely traveled professional internationally, Devender has a deep understanding of Travel and Tourism, Fashion and Lifestyle, Aviation, and Hospitality Industry. Connect with Devender Grover @ [email protected]