An inspiring travel guide featuring the 10 best Seychelles Islands you need to add to your bucket list in 2023.
I think that most people would agree that the Seychelles archipelago is one of the most amazing and beautiful island paradises in the world.
Is lazing on beautiful beaches and snorkeling on pristine coral reefs your kind of thing? What about hiking and discovering unique and endemic wildlife like the Aldabra giant tortoise?
Okay, it’s no wonder why hundreds of thousands of people flock to this Indian Ocean paradise every single year!But, with 115 islands and amazing coral atolls, it’s a tough task narrowing down the best Seychelles islands to visit.
That’s why I’ve formulated this travel guide, breaking down the top 10 best islands in the Seychelles. Here, you’ll find the best ones you should check out on your next vacation, as well as a detailed guide on how to get around to the main islands and where to stay.
- About the Seychelles Islands
- Where Are the Seychelles Islands Located?
- 10 Best Seychelles Islands to Visit
- 1. Mahe – Main Island of the Seychelles
- 2. La Digue – My Favorite Island in the Seychelles
- The Ultimate Seychelles Travel Resource
- 3. Praslin – Where to See Coco De Mer Palms
- 4. Curieuse – Best Seychelles Island to See Giant Tortoises
- 5. St Pierre – Best Island for Coral Reefs
- 6. Silhouette Island – Best Seychelles Island for a Romantic Getaway
- 7. Cocos Island – Best Island for Snorkeling
- 8. Cousine Island – Best Seychelles Island for Honeymoon
- 9. Moyenne Island – HIstoric Island in The Ste Anne Marine Park
- 10. North Island – Private Luxury Island
- Where to Stay in the Seychelles Islands
- More: Best Time to Visit The Seychelles Islands
- More Inspiring Travel Guides and Blogs
About the Seychelles Islands
The Seychelles Islands refers to the island nation of the Seychelles and is comprised of 115 islands. Many of these islands are uninhabited, with most people living in the main, inner island group.
In fact, the main island of Mahe (Mahé - pronounced mah-he) is home to 90% of the 100,000 population. However, that doesn't mean that Mahe is the only place tourists typically visit– far from it!
The truth is that visitors actually do visit more than one island on their trip to the Seychelles.
Usually, it's the three main islands, Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. These are all within a quick ferry or 10-minute scenic flight distance and have solid tourist infrastructure.
However, If you want to get off the beaten path or perhaps discover a more secluded and unique Seychelles Island, you'll have 7 more to choose from in this list below.
Did you know: Many of the Seychelles Islands are mid-ocean granitic islands. This is a geological feature found nowhere else in the world. This is why the iconic beaches and landscapes are so uniquely beautiful.
Where Are the Seychelles Islands Located?
The Seychelles Islands are located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. This is referred to as the Somali Sea.
This archipelago is quite vast and massively spread out. In fact, the main island of Mahe is separated from the southern Aldabra Atoll by over 1000 kilometers of deep, blue ocean.
When tourists refer to the Seychelles islands, they're often referring to the inner island group. This group of roughly 44 islands is located in what's called the Seychelles Bank.
Map of the Seychelles Islands
Below is a useful map showing the locations of all of the best islands in the Seychelles featured in this blog post.
10 Best Seychelles Islands to Visit
By now you're an expert about the Seychelles. But that's not why you came here. You're here to discover your next tropical holiday destination.
So, without further ado, let's dive into this list of the 10 best islands in the Seychelles!
1. Mahe - Main Island of the Seychelles
I've already introduced Mahe Island as the main island of the Seychelles. This is where you will find the capital city of Victoria– one of the smallest capital cities in the world.
To the south of Victoria, you'll also find the Seychelles International Airport, which is likely where you will fly into when visiting as it's the only international airport in the archipelago.
However, the truth is that it's so much more than just a transfer hub or financial capital. Mahe is a true adventurers playground. In its dense, jungle interior of Morne Seychellois National Park, visitors will discover several scenic nature trails. On the coast, dramatic boulder and palm-tree-lined pristine beaches are around every corner.
There's many reasons why you should visit this amazing island. From wandering in the Botanical Gardens to epic water sports activities at Beau Vallon Bay, there's really something for everyone here.
Below are some starting points. Some contain links to separate blog posts where I've written about the attraction, destination, or resource.
- Where to stay on Mahe
- Best Beaches on Mahe
- The Morne Blanc Nature Trail
- The Ros Sodyer Rock Pool
- Sauzier Waterfall
- Anse Major Beach
2. La Digue - My Favorite Island in the Seychelles
It's hard to find a travel resource on the Seychelles islands that doesn't at least mention La Digue.
This quaint little slice of paradise is the smallest of the three main islands. Here, most people get around by bicycle, and you certainly won't find any traffic jams!
La Digue is often used as the poster-boy for Seychelles tourism. That's because its beaches are truly some of the most beautiful in the world. Let me tell you, it's definitely worth visiting!
Most people flock here to see the beautiful granite boulders, weathered rock formations and the peaceful, palm tree lined, shallow water lagoons like those at Anse Source D'Argent.
There is also plenty of coral reef surrounding the island, where you can snorkel and spot abundant sea life.
Below is a list of some of the best resources and activities you'll want to add to your La Digue planning list.
- How to get to La Digue
- Where to stay on La Digue
- Best La Digue Beaches
- Anse Source D'Argent
- L'Union Estate
- Grand Anse
- Anse Cocos
- Anse Marron
- La Digue Nature Trails
The Ultimate Seychelles Travel Resource
Looking for more Seychelles travel guides and inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive guides that will serve as a great resource for your trip.
3. Praslin - Where to See Coco De Mer Palms
Chances are you don't know what a coco de mer palm is. However, in the Seychelles, this endemic palm tree species is a big deal!
Grown exclusively in the Seychelles, the coco de mer palm produces the largest seed in the world. The absolute best place to see this marvel is on Praslin Island, where you'll find the best example of a protected coco de mer forest and a chance to spot rare black parrots.
But, that's not the only reason why you need to visit Praslin. Located just a short hop from La Digue, this pristine, laid back island is another true paradise with loads of excellent resorts, beach hotels, and 5-star all-inclusive honeymoon suites.
As a result, this is one of the best islands in the Seychelles for a family vacation, offering plenty of things to do.
This is the second largest island in the inner island group, and it's also the second most populous. However, it's still much quieter than Mahe.
Additionally, its amazing beaches like Cote D'Or, Anse Georgette, and Anse Lazio are an absolute must-see when visiting the Seychelles islands. Here are some more resources that'll prove useful.
- How to get to Praslin
- Where to stay on Praslin
- Best beaches on Praslin
- Anse Lazio Beach
- Vallée de Mai (Unesco World Heritage Site)
4. Curieuse - Best Seychelles Island to See Giant Tortoises
One of the best islands in the Seychelles to visit on day trips is Curieuse Island. And, it's also the best place to come face to face with a Seychelles Aldabra giant tortoise.
Curieuse Island, which was once upon a time a leper colony, has been transformed into the largest tortoise sanctuary outside of the Aldabra atoll. The tortoises on Curieuse roam freely around the island and are often found chilling right on the beach. It's almost impossible not to spot them!
There are also great beaches like Anse St Jose, and scenic nature trails through jungle and native mangrove forests.
Since it's a sanctuary, you can't actually stay on Curieuse Island. Instead, the most popular and best way to get here is to book a snorkeling and island hopping day trip from Praslin.
This boat trip is one of the top-rated tours in the Seychelles and the most cost-effective and value-packed way to get to this amazing Seychelles island. You'll also get a traditional Creole lunch including freshly BBQ'd fish and fresh fruit.
5. St Pierre - Best Island for Coral Reefs
This next island on the list has to be seen to be believed.
St Pierre Islet, located just off the coast of Praslin, is a tiny granite rock formation with strings of coconut palms reaching out from its center. However, this is a very small island and is usually visited as part of the same snorkeling and island hopping trip linked above.
Surrounding its shores is amazing, crystal-clear turquoise water and coral reefs. As a result, this is one of the best islands in the Seychelles for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Truth be told, after traveling full-time for over 4 years to many of the world’s best tropical islands, St Pierre Islet stole my heart and I’d consider it the most beautiful and perfect island I’ve ever seen.
6. Silhouette Island - Best Seychelles Island for a Romantic Getaway
If you find yourself on the shores of Beau Vallon beach on Mahe, you'll spot a steep silhouette climbing deep into the clouds. That's exactly how this next island earned its name.
Silhouette Island is an absolutely breathtaking paradise that is home to only 200 people. Life here is laid back and traditional. For example, the local people of Silhouette still practice the same traditional methods of agriculture that they did hundreds of years ago!
If you're considering a wild and remote island in the Seychelles far from the crowds, check out Silhouette Island.
The main place to stay on this Seychelles island is the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa. This amazing 5-star resort features private plunge pools, private tropical gardens and is located right on the beach. Also, the mountain backdrops here are absolutely stunning and the main beach of Anse La Passe is a must-visit!
7. Cocos Island - Best Island for Snorkeling
If you're coming to the Seychelles, you'll want to take this opportunity to do some snorkeling!
One of the best Seychelles islands for snorkeling is Cocos Island. This is a tiny, rocky island located near La Digue and Praslin.
Similarly to St Pierre, this tiny islet doesn't offer any accommodation opportunities. Instead, its isolated nature means it's a haven for marine life and schooling fish. If you're lucky, you could even spot some green and hawksbill turtles cruising past this spot!
Cocos Island is located next to Felicity Island, which visitors also usually stop by if taking an island hopping or snorkeling trip.
Again, one of the best boat trips is offered from Praslin. I'll link it below so you can book it in advance.
8. Cousine Island - Best Seychelles Island for Honeymoon
In terms of tropical private islands, they really don't come as romantic or outright incredible as Cousine Island. This isn't to be confused with Cousin Island, which is another, small neighboring islet.
Cousine is situated just off the coast of Mahe and is privately owned by a Cousine Island Resort Villas. Consequently, you'll need to be a guest to have the privilege of visiting this amazing tropical island.
But, if you're already trying to narrow down the best Seychelles islands for a romantic honeymoon, the French colonial-styled private villas on Cousine should be on the top of your list! But, due to the exclusivity, this one often sells out– make sure to book in advance!
The best part about staying here is that no matter where you go, you’re always 1 minute’s walk from the beach!
9. Moyenne Island - HIstoric Island in The Ste Anne Marine Park
Moyenne Island (Ile Moyenne), in the Sainte Anne Marine Park off the coast of Mahe, is amongst the most interesting islands in the Seychelles.
This island has been made famous by its most notable occupant and owner, Mr. Brandon Grimshaw.
This unmarried newspaper editor from England saw the beauty of the Seychelles Islands and decided to purchase Moyenne for £10,000 and remained there until his passing.
During his occupancy, he terraformed Moyenne Island, bringing in several fruit trees and native flora to serve as his private oasis. Interestingly, Mr. Grimshaw also brought several Aldebra Giant Tortoises onto the island, most of which are still there today.
A visit to the Sainte Anne Marine Park is a must when visiting Mahe. Most boat trips and tours stop by Moyenne, where you can see what life was like living on a tiny tropical island in the Seychelles.
10. North Island - Private Luxury Island
Truthfully, Cousine Island isn't the only luxury private oasis in the Seychelles.
In fact, there are dozens!
However, this is the list of the very best islands. So, this wouldn't be complete without including North Island (Ile du Nord). This rocky islet is one of the most exclusive private islands in the country, offering just 11 villas spaciously dotted along the island's untouched beaches.
Of course, since this is an exclusive island, you'll again need to be a guest to visit. If you do choose to stay here, you'll get transfers included, as well as access to scuba diving, an incredible spa and an array of fancy beach-side dining options.
Where to Stay in the Seychelles Islands
Now that you know the 10 very best Seychelles islands to visit on your next vacation, time to plan where to stay.
Below I've included the very best picks, with photos and details for each option. However, if you want a more detailed accommodation rundown with more island options, check out my Ultimate Seychelles Accommodation Guide, or the island-specific guides below.
Stay on a private Island
The Seychelles is luxury honeymoon heaven. The best way to celebrate your engagement, wedding, or once-in-a-lifetime family vacation is to spend a night or two on a private island.
Here are your absolute best options.
1. Silhouette Island: Hilton Labriz resort & Spa
It’s no secret that Silhouette Island is one of the most amazing islands in the Seychelles. If you’re going to visit, you’ll want to stay at the one and only Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa.
The spectacular backdrops of soaring mountains and the sound of a gentle breeze rolling in over the Indian Ocean. That’s what I call true tropical tranquility. Silhouette Island offers one of the most unique Seychelles accommodation experiences, with a chance to stay on an island with only 200 inhabitants!
This beach resort features a stunning pool, private garden, and direct access to a spectacular, palm tree lined, white sand beach.
Cousine Island: Cousine Island Resort Villas
This green, tropical private island resort is easily one of the most beautiful in the Seychelles. In fact, Cousine received a best island destination award in recent luxury travel competitions.
This incredible little island features French colonial-styled luxury, private villas amongst lush island greenery. Additionally, the best part about staying here is that no matter where you go, you’re always 1 minute’s walk from the beach!
Cousine is located just off the coast of Mahe and a private transfer to the island is included if you book your accommodation here.
North Island: Luxury Collection Resort
You already know North Island is one of the premiere private island getaways in the Seychelles.
The best part about staying here is that there are only 11 villas on the entire island. And, they are all split apart, meaning you'll get a true secluded, private island experience.
There's also plenty to do here, from scuba diving to lazing at the the luxury spa.
Round Island: Ja Enchanted Island Resort
Looking for the ultimate Indian Ocean getaway? JA Enchanted Island Resort is an impeccably beautiful resort located on a tiny private island on the footsteps of the St Anne Marine Park.
The French colonial-style villas have a private infinity pool, a terrance with panoramic views and a private walkway to the beach. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind honeymoon getaway that is very close to Mahe and easy to get to, this is your best bet.
Best Picks For La Digue
La Digue is quite a small island and you can get anywhere on a bicycle within 20-30 minutes. You'll find a lot of hotels on the west side of the island near the jetty but only a few along the narrow stretch of coastal road on the mostly inhabited eastern side.
On La Digue, there are a wide variety of hotel and resort offerings ranging from relatively "budget friendly" self-catering lodges to incredible luxury resorts.
Below is a quick summary of the best picks.
- Amazing Chateau: Hotel Chateau St Cloud (Mid-Range) - This is where I stayed on La Digue and I can personally recommend it as one of the best accommodation options on the island. This three-star hotel is perfect as a mid-range option as the location is excellent– just a little out from the main area on a quiet street that is close enough to both the incredible southwest beaches and the port.
- Waterfront Hotel: Le Nautique (High-end) - Rated as one of the best waterfront accommodations on La Digue, Le Nautique is a luxurious offering combining traditional Creole architecture with modern comforts including king-sized beds and rain-showers. Here, you'll also discover an amazing outdoor restaurant and beautiful garden surrounds.
- Self Catering: Dream Holiday (Budget) -located on the northern end of the island very close to the ferry terminal. Offers queen rooms with air-conditioning, TV, private bathrooms, and even a balcony. This is a great option if you're visiting La Digue on a budget while comfort and location are still a priority for you.
- ...9+ more top hotel picks on La Digue
Best Picks for Praslin Island
Praslin is the second largest of the inner islands and flaunts some incredible hotels and resorts. Being a little sleepier than Mahe, Praslin caters to the more relaxed crowd.
The main area to stay in Praslin is along Cote D'Or Beach. This is the main tourist strip with plenty of hotels and beachside resorts. However, there are also great resorts and accommodation options all over Praslin, including Anse Lazio.
- Amazing Beachside Resort on Cote D'Or: Acajou Beach Resort - Acajou is a beautiful resort offering 4-star accommodation right on the doorstep of the white sands of Cote D'Or. I had the pleasure of staying here and honestly, it was one of the best resorts I've ever stayed at. Acajou offers ocean views rooms, a swimming pool, and some of the best fine dining on the island.
- Luxury Honeymoon Suites: Constance Lemuria - Tucked away between 3 of the best beaches on Praslin, this luxury, 5-star resort is ranked as one of the best honeymoon resorts in the Seychelles. Attached is a luxury spa center complete with a hot tub and sauna set in a palm and bamboo forest.
- Budget Self Catering: Treasure Island Retreat - Those looking to enjoy nature and save a few pennies on accommodation and food, opting for a self-catering stay on Praslin is a good bet. The best one you'll find on the island is Treasure Island Retreat. This hotel offers seafront apartments on Anse Kerlan, each complete with king-sized beds and a fully-equipped kitchen, and a furnished terrace or balcony.
- ...7+ More Top Picks in this Praslin Accommodation Guide
Best Picks for Mahe
Mahé is the main island and home to Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles. It's the largest of the inner islands and has several great places to stay. Here is a quick area guide with the top 4 accommodation recommendations below.
- Victoria and Eden Island for nightlife
- Beau Vallon for beaches and restaurants
- Private islands for the ultimate island experience
Top Accommodation Picks
- Top pick on Mahé: Eden Bleu Hotel (Eden Island) - The Eden Bleu Hotel is one of the best places to stay if you're looking to be close to the Victoria and on Eden Island. It's an amazing contemporary hotel on the foreshore of Eden Island's prestigious marina.
- Mid-range resort: Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort - This beautiful, beachfront resort and casino combo offers elegantly furnished rooms with all the facilities you could ever want. Here, you'll find a large pool, three restaurants, a pizzeria, a fitness center, PADI diving center, and a tennis court.
- Budget self-catering Studio: Precious Residence - If you want to explore Mahé on a budget, then self-catering accommodation is your best bet. Precious Residence is an apartment with excellent reviews (9.5/10), offering budget apartments equipped with free WiFi, air conditioning, and a kitchenette on Grand Anse (west coast).
- Ultimate getaway: JA Enchanted Island Resort - Looking for the ultimate Indian Ocean getaway? JA Enchanted Island Resort is an impeccably beautiful resort located on a tiny private island on the footsteps of the St Anne Marine Park.
- ...10+ More Top Recommendations in this guide to where to stay on Mahé
More: Best Time to Visit The Seychelles Islands
Since the Seychelles sits near the equator within the subequatorial climatic zone, the islands enjoy a tropical and mostly stable climate with a constant temperature range between 25-35°C.
As a result, you can generally expect sunny weather year-round with no risk of cyclones or severe storms. However, there are periods of seasonal rainfall which tend to begin in December and finish in March.
Many sources say that the best time to visit the Seychelles islands is during the months of April & May and October & November.
However, I visited in December and as you can see from the photos, I enjoyed excellent weather!
More Inspiring Travel Guides and Blogs
I hope you've enjoyed this 2023 travel guide to the top islands in the Seychelles! Below are some more useful guides you mihgt want to check out for your next trip.