5 amazing sights in the Seychelles for nature-lovers
From palm forests to giant tortoises, this beautiful country is packed with natural wonders
In partnership with Tourism Seychelles
The Seychelles is best known as a luxury honeymoon destination, with five-star resorts found all over the sprawling archipelagic country – some even claiming entire islands. Look past the private pools and perfectly appointed beach cabanas, however, and visitors will be treated to an alternative side that’s a bit more down to earth. Literally. Its rich biodiversity on both land and in water makes The Seychelles an ideal holiday destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. And with a huge new nature trail opening in May 2023, it’s the perfect time to book a trip. Here are five highlights not to miss.
You might have heard about the Seychelles’ endemic palm, coco de mer. Although it’s forbidden to eat or export them, you can still feast with your eyes at this UNESCO-recognised nature reserve on the small island of Praslin. It boasts the largest intact forest of the coco de mer palm, along with a forest of other unique and indigenous species. If that piques your curiosity, you can also take home a coco de mer as a souvenir (hollowed-out, to avoid planting the seeds elsewhere) after filling in a simple registration and permit. Click here for details on the process.
Hikers should head to Mahe, the Seychelles’ largest island, to take on the country’s best-known mountain trail: Morne Blanc. Covering a distance of 2.1km, with an elevation of around 228 metres, it’s a short and moderately steep path through unspoiled verdant forest that provides a pleasant contrast to the coastline. The summit affords spectacular views across the western side of the island.
If someone asked you to picture a beach on a tropical island, the likelihood is you’d picture one on La Digue – even if you’ve never even heard of it. That’s how idyllic this island’s beaches are. For this reason, its main spots – Grand Anse and Anse Source D’Argent, for example – are often popular destinations. Anse Marron, on the southern tip, is much more remote and spacious, perhaps due to the fact you have to navigate a challenging trail to get there, so make sure to go with a guide.
Visitors to the Seychelles might encounter some unfamiliar but phenomenal wildlife on their travels. The islands are home to many unique endemic animals, from the Seychelles warbler to the blue pigeon. One of the most exciting has to be the protected Aldabra giant tortoise. There are more than 150,000 of them living on the Aldabra Atoll, but visitors are only allowed here with special permission. You can still see them roaming round, though, by visiting L’Union Estate or Curieuse Island.
If Morne Blanc’s too easy a hike, Morne Seychellois should be challenging enough. Summiting at 905 metres, it’s the highest peak in the Seychelles and offers appropriately eye-popping views. Find it in the Morne Seychellois National Park, a muddle of mangroves, mountains and jungle covering more than 20% of Mahe. Visitors might also see ruins of old distilleries, houses and agricultural buildings on their way.