10 Must Visit Spots in the Seychelles Islands

The Seychelles islands form an archipelago off the southeastern coast of the African continent. The islands are home to some of the world’s most pristine environments and unique species; they are also home to white sand beaches, tropical rainforests and mountains. With so much natural beauty to recommend them, the Seychelles truly are a tropical paradise. And since there are more than 100 individual islands to explore and discover, it can be difficult to pick just one Seychellois destination. We’ve selected 10 of the best to help you narrow down your choices.

10. La Digue

La Digue is one of the larger islands in the Seychelles archipelago, belonging to the Granitic Island group. La Digue is very popular with tourists and is one of the islands that has a cap on the number of tourists who visit each year. The island itself is only 10 square kilometers and biking is the primary mode of transportation on the island. It is famed for its white sand beach, Anse Source dArgent, where ominous granite formations loom behind swimmers and sun-bathers. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of the rare paradise flycatcher, an endangered bird that inhabits only a few islands in the Seychelles; it is most commonly spotted on La Digue. While you’re visiting this island paradise, don’t forget to sample the local cuisine: fried octopuses, lobsters with garlic and La Digue’s most intriguing indigenous dish, bat curry.

La Digue

9. Mahé Island

Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles, and home to the country’s capital city, Victoria. Part of the Granitic Islands, a group of 45 islands made up of some of the world’s oldest granite rock, Mahé is renowned for its dense tropical forests, its white sand beaches and its mountain peaks. The tallest mountain in the Seychelles archipelago, Morne Seychellois, is located on this island. Hiking through some of the island’s national parks is a must. Climbing to the summit of Morne Blanc takes about 45 minutes and offers some of the best views of the Indian Ocean. Also popular is a visit to Sainte Anne Marine National Park, the largest marine park in the Seychelles. If you visit Mahé, be sure to visit the capital city to get a taste of Seychellois cultureincluding its unique blend of cuisine.

Mahe

8. Silhouette Island

Silhouette Island is renowned for a couple of reasons. The first is its magnificent coral reefs, which offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. More than 1,000 species of fish inhabit the clear, warm waters surrounding many of the Seychelles islands, which makes these coral reefs rife for exploration. On the terrestial side of things, Silhouette Island is one of the most mountainous in the archipelago, with 5 peaks soaring over 1,600 feet above sea level: Mont Dauban (2,464 ft), Mont-Pot-a-Eau (2,037 ft), Gratte Fesse (1,690 ft), Mont Corgat (1,647 ft) and Mont Cocos Marrons (1,600 ft). With all those peaks, you can imagine that Silhouette Island offers up some of the most dramatic landscapes in the Seychelles; be sure to bring a camera if you plan to visit.

Silhouette island

7. Bird Island

At first glance, Bird Island may not seem to have much to recommend it. It is the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, approximately 60 miles from Mahé. The island itself is less than 1 square kilometer and is made up of coral, unlike the 45 Granitic islands to the south. Bird Island is also a private island resort, with just 26 bungalows renting to curious visitors. Nonetheless, Bird Island is renowned for its avian populationhence the name. Sooty terns, fairy terns and common noddies all inhabit the island, which provides an important breeding ground for them. Two species of turtles, the Hawksbill and the Green, are also common on Bird Island. If you want to do some bird-watching, Bird Island is your stop; don’t forget your binoculars and your camera.

bird island

6. Praslin

Praslin is one of the bigger islands of the Granitic group and, as such, is one of the more popular tourist destinations. Along with Mahé and La Digue, it is one of the islands that has the number of visitors capped. It is also one of only 2 islands in the world where the famed Coco de Mer palm tree grows. Praslin is also home to a market where you can buy the fruit of the palm, which is a national symbol of Seychelles. The island is also one of the best places to see and watch birds, functioning somewhat like a bird sanctuary for many of the Seychelles’ threatened and endangered avians. The Vallee de Mai is one of most famed parks in the country, and is home to many indigenous plants, such as the vanilla orchid.

Vallee de Mai

5. Frégate Island

Frégate Island was named for the frigate birds that once flocked to its shores. These days, you’re more likely to find tourists than the namesake avian (although the island is still an important nesting site for them). But Frégate Island hasn’t had to have numbers of tourists legislated like some of the other islands in the Seychelles. That’s because the island is privately owned and operated as a luxury resort. Only 20 residences are available at a time, which means you’ll have to book early and be prepared to pay if you want to make this island your Seychelles destination. Many people are ready and willingperhaps because the island boasts what the Times calls the world’s best beach, the Anse Victorin. Aside from lounging on the beach, snorkeling is a popular activity for those who make a stop on Frégate Island.

frigate bird

4. Moyenne Island

This tiny island was once uninhabited, until it was purchased by a former newspaper editor, Brendon Grimshaw. Grimshaw, who died in 2012, dreamed of making the island a national park in its own right and planted some 16,000 trees. Visitors could come ashore for 12 euros, tour about and eat at the Jolly Roger restaurant, which Grimshaw ran. The island is rumored to be host to hordes of pirate gold, but, despite evidence of human activity, none has ever been found. With Grimshaw’s death, the island returned to being uninhabited, although the government has now turned the 34-million-dollar island into Moyenne National Park, realizing Grimshaw’s lifelong dream. Come ashore and see birds, plants and even some Seychelles giant tortoises, once endangered, but now making a comeback throughout the islands.

 Photo By Camera Eye from UAE (A side of Moyenne Island) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo By Camera Eye, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Shark Bank

One remarkable feature of the Seychelles archipelago is the clear and warm waters of the Indian Ocean that surround most of the islands. This, coupled with the coral reefs and abundant marine life, make the Seychelles an ideal destination for snorkelers and scuba divers. Among the popular locations for getting under the sea is Shark Bank, a granite plateau that shelters an amazing array of fish and other aquatic life. Here you can encounter shoals of brightly colored tropical fish swimming alongside enormous stingrays and Napoleon fish. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon the odd whale shark, the biggest fish in the sea. And, despite the name, you needn’t worry about shark attacks out here; although some shark species do swim in these waters, attacks are relatively rare events.

reef

2. Aldabra Atoll

The Aldabra Atoll is the second-largest coral atoll, a ring-shaped reef that encircles a lagoon. It is located in the Aldabra group of islands, south of the Granitics. Relatively undisturbed by human activity, the coral atoll has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site on account of its biodiversity and pristine ecosystemswhich says something in a country renowned for its attention to environmental concerns. The Aldabra Atoll is home to innumerable bird species, as well as endemic plants and lizards. Perhaps the most famous residents of the atoll are the Aldabra giant tortoises. Once thought to be almost extinct, these tortoises are now found on islands throughout the Aldabra area and most other islands of the Seychelles, although Aldabra remains far and away the best place to see them in their natural habitat.

Aldabra Atoll

1. Victoria

Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles, located on the Granitic island of Mahé. While it might seem strange not to simply lump it in with the island, Victoria has enough charm to demand its own entry on a list of must-visit spots. The city, which has a population of less than 30,000, is the center of Seychellois culture. As such, it is home to landmarks like the 3-winged bicentennial tower, constructed to mark the 200th anniversary of the city’s founding. Victoria is also the de facto shopping capital of the country. While perhaps not as cosmopolitan as other capital cities, Victoria’s markets feature local handicrafts and represent the island-nation’s blended heritage. One of the most popular items to purchase at the market is a sarong; picking one up is almost a rite of passage for those who visit the Seychelles.

view from victoria

The Best 12 Places in the World to Charter a Yacht

Planning your vacation is always one of the best parts about the vacation itself and if you happen to be taking a sailing trip in the near future, the first thing you have to decide is where you want to go. Are you looking for the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, complete with palm trees and white sand? Or are you after a more rugged and wild adventure? From the Southwest Pacific to the Mediterranean there are hundreds of amazing places to charter a yacht. Looking at an array of factors we have narrowed the list down to our favorite 12 places to charter a yacht around the world.

12. Fiji

In the Southwest Pacific there are 300 stunning islands over a large area of ocean waiting to be explored. These islands are surrounded by an abundance of sea life, spectacular reefs, crystal clear waters and beautiful lagoons. Fiji is also known for having some of the most welcoming people around. The remoteness of Fiji makes exploring these water and islands unlike anything else in the world. Discover the land of amazing beaches, coconut plantations, tropical rainforests and underwater adventures. Experiencing Fiji is easy, as English is widely spoken and it is known to be very safe. If you are looking for those long sandy beaches with palm trees and coral reefs make sure to get to the Mamanuca Islands. If you want to experience the traditional way of life, make sure to head to Yasawa Islands where the amazing scenery and crystal clear lagoons go perfectly with the laid-back lifestyle here.

Fiji Island

11. Seychelles Islands

The Seychelles Islands can best be described as paradise on earth with towering granite rocks, swaying giant palm trees and turquoise inlets that are framed with sparkling white sand beaches. These 115 islands lay off the east coast of Africa, just south of the Equator and are absolutely breathtaking. The outer islands are low-laying, mostly coral atolls and sailing is done mainly within the inner islands, all close together which make for easy island hopping. They are blessed to be situated in a balmy, calm part of the Indian Ocean and exploring these secluded islands is a once in a lifetime experience. Mahe is the largest and most developed isle and deserves to be explored at the mountains soar to almost 3,000 feet above sea level and the tropical forests are laced with hiking trails. Picturesque bays and coves line e 44 miles of coastline and boast 65 world-class beaches.

Seychelles

10. Tortola, British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands boast that they have more yachts there than anyone else in the world, reminding everyone that this destination is the perfect place to charter a yacht. What makes this destination so perfect? To start, the consistent trade winds, line-of-site navigations and abundance of sheltered anchorages. The ideal blend of easy deep water island hops is perfect for the whole family. Combine all of this with crystal clear waters, picture perfect beaches, breathtaking rock formations, abundance of on-shore activities and a great selection of dining options, and you can see why so many people love to sail here. Make sure to visit Anegada with its pristine white sand beaches and colonies of pink flamingoes. If you are sailing as a family you won’t want to miss Marina Cay, a flower covered island nestled in the calm, sheltered warm water lagoon that is perfect for young children.

Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

9. Thailand

Thailand is truly an awesome destination for sailors from anywhere in the world. Sandy beaches, towering palm trees, mountain ranges and bright blue sea make for an unforgettable landscape. Chartering a yacht here allows you to find both peace and tranquility while still letting you indulge in the sensational nightlife. Each island will share the same tranquil waters but feature different beaches and amazing landscapes. Head to Phuket if you want to escape the busyness and explore the exotic flora and fauna, hidden coves and bays. Everywhere you go in Thailand expect wonderful food and the warmest of welcomes from the locals. They don’t call this place “The Land of Smiles” without good reason. Warm waters mean plenty of snorkeling and diving throughout the day and we promise a yacht trip here won’t be boring.

Thailand yacht

8. Sicily, Italy

Sailors are attracted to this part of the Mediterranean for its famous beaches, secluded anchorages and quiet fishing villages. You will want to spend some time in the port of Palermo as this ancient city begs to be explored. Visitors can expect historic squares, impressive cuisine and stunning architecture. Also found in Palermo are an abundance of galleries, museums and opera houses. Don’t miss out on heading to the Aeolian Islands which are located just 35 miles north of Sicily. This chain of volcanic islands offers seas as clear as the Bahamas, exceptional cuisine and breathtaking landscapes. Also plan on visiting Catania where you will have extraordinary views of Mount Etna, as well as Trapani and Marsala.

Sicily, Italy

7. Whitsunday Islands, Australia

The 74 Whitsunday Islands are located along the northeastern coast of Australia, right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Water sports along with snorkeling and diving excursions brings yachters from all over the world to experience these waters. The eight main islands here offer resorts but there are plenty of deserted islands and sandbars to visit as well. Make sure to anchor at Bauer Bay and walk to the top; as you will get the best view of the islands. Blue Pearl Bay is the spot you will want to anchor at if you want great snorkeling and plenty of whale sightings. Make sure you don’t miss Whitehaven Beach, considered one of the best beaches in the world. True to its name this beach offers pure white sand, some of the purest on earth and charms visitors with beautiful sunsets and breathtaking views.

Hamilton Island Whitsundays

6. French Rivera

This coastal region along the Mediterranean is just packed full of breathtaking beaches and stunning scenery. Full of sunshine all year round, to charter a yacht here will be an experience unlike any other. This area manages to do an incredible job of combining the rugged landscapes with the large cosmopolitan resorts of Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo. For vibrant nightlife and exceptional cuisine, head inland to any of these places. To escape the crowds, yacht down to Port Cros and Porquerolles where the atmosphere is relaxed and gently swaying palm trees is all the action you will see. Historical architecture along this coast combined with white sandy beaches and small marinas make this one of the most fabled places to charter a yacht.

Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock.com
Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock.com

5. Canary Islands, Spain

Located just off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are a popular European vacation destination, especially for those looking to take to the seas. Unspoiled nature and favorable winds make this a year round destination. The islands are a mix of different cultures, people, historical influences and warm local hospitality. The best way to explore the islands is to travel to and from them by yacht. The beaches of Gran Canaria are among the favorite of all visitors as well as the bustling nightlife of Tenerife. The island of La Palma is what makes this destination stand out among the rest though, and some visitors here refer to it as the most beautiful place in the world. With sheltered marinas, breathtaking beaches and favorable winds; this is one of the best places to be on the water in the world.

Canary Islands Tenerife

4. Croatia

Croatia is one of the Mediterranean’s hidden gems, offering over 1,000 islands and is truly a sailor’s paradise. The Dalmatian Islands are wild, rugged and mostly uninhabited and offer some of the best sailing in the area. Ancient villages steeped in history, pristine beaches and the isolated Kornati archipelago await you here. If you do plan on sailing here and want seclusion, plan on coming from in early spring where you can find your own private little cove. The water in April and May can be warm enough to swim in. If you are looking for exceptional cuisine, wine and culture; head on over to the West and South Istria where the people are proud to offer you these goods. Croatia happens to be a very popular spot for yacht owners who wish to keep their yachts in Europe but not in the EU, as it gives them a tax break.

Dubrovnik Croatia

3. Turkey

Turkey boasts over 8,300 kilometers of coastline, four seas and an abundance of coves, inlets, bays, beaches and marinas. Sailing in turkey is amongst the best in the world due to the crystal clear blue waters, the steady winds and the abundance of beautiful beaches and secluded anchorages. Turkey has long since been the meeting point between the Far East and Mediterranean and the culture and cuisine in this country can reflect this. The stretch of Turkish coast line is divided in four different yacht charter areas; each offering their own unique experience. Head up the Ionian Coast if you are looking for the best climate and to discover the shores which brought forth the rich culture of the Ionians or if you feel like discovering mountainous shores head to the West Lycian Coast. Rock tombs make up much of the Easy Lycian Coast and the Carian Coast is the most popular sailing ground.

Turkish Riveira

2. St. Martin

St. Martin has to be one of the most popular sailing destinations in the world and it’s no wonder why as this island is overflowing with beauty. The island is ruled by both French and the Netherlands and you truly get to experience two cultures in one place when you visit. When you charter a yacht here there are plenty of other islands to explore including St Barths, Anguilla and Saba. Expect beautiful deserted beaches full of silky white sand, exceptional waterfront restaurants and exceptional shopping. Explore the waters and learn why Saba is a diver and snorkelers paradise. The enchanting tropical scenery combined with enough nightlife, world-famous beaches and other islands to explore make this the number one Caribbean escape.

Yachts St. Martin

1. Greece

Greece boasts over 3,000 islands and islets and truly is one of the best places on earth to charter a yacht. The ancient archeology, stunning natural landscapes and rich culture draws yacht goers from all over the world. Some of the most popular islands to explore include Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. In Santorini you will find white washed houses, striking hillside towns and sunsets to die for. Crete offers visitors exceptional Greek food and the chance to go back thousands of years in history at one of their many archeological sites. Mykonos is where you will find the busyness of the Greek Islands, so head here if you want to experience the epic nightlife and packed main beaches. Sail through the ancient seas here exploring the many islands, both inhabited and not, under the glorious Mediterranean sun.

Greece islandssi