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Inner Islands

The Inner Islands which are mostly granitic, cluster mainly around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, forming the cultural and economic hub of  Seychelles, as well as the centre of its tourism industry. Together they are home to the majority of Seychelles’ accommodation facilities as well almost the entire population of the archipelago. There are 43 Inner islands in total – 41 granitic and 2 coralline.

The Inner Islands which are mostly granitic, cluster mainly around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, forming the cultural and economic hub of  Seychelles, as well as the centre of its tourism industry. Together they are home to the majority of Seychelles’ accommodation facilities as well almost the entire population of the archipelago. There are 43 Inner islands in total – 41 granitic and 2 coralline.

Mahé, measuring 28 kilometres long by 8 kilometres wide, is the largest island and cultural and economic hub of the Inner Islands, as well as the international gateway to Seychelles.  It is home to the international airport and the nation’s capital, Victoria.   
The island is home to almost 90% of the total population (or approximately 72,200 people) reflecting Seychelles' diverse ethnicity and descent from African, Indian, Chinese and European populations, and is the seat of government and the chief centre of commerce. Mahé is the transportation hub for island-hops and day excursions to neighbouring islands and all other islands within Seychelles. All scheduled domestic flights by Air Seychelles originate from Mahé to the serviced islands.

Praslin, with a population of 6,500 people, is Seychelles’ second largest island.  It lies 45 kilometres to the north-east of Mahé and measures 10 kilometres by 3.7 kilometres. A leisurely tour around the island by car will take approximately two hours. Praslin is the site of the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’ two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 1881 the visiting General Gordon (of Khartoum fame) became convinced that the Vallée de Mai was the original site of the Garden of Eden. This is where the legendary Coco-de-Mer, the world's heaviest nut, grows high on ancient palms in a primeval forest. The Vallée is host to six species of palm to be found only in Seychelles.

Praslin stands at the forefront of Seychelles’ tourism industry with a strong tradition of hospitality and wide range of accommodation facilities. It also provides a base for excursions to neighbouring islands, some of which are important sanctuaries nurturing rare species of endemic flora and fauna. The island features truly exquisite beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both appearing on the top-10 list of world’s best beaches in recent years.

Close neighbour to Praslin and to its satellite islands of Félicité, Marianne and the Sisters Islands, La Digue is the fourth largest island in Seychelles. La Digue takes its name from one of the vessels in explorer Marion Dufresne's fleet, sent by the French to explore Seychelles' granitic islands in 1768. Apart from hosting the Seychelles' black paradise flycatcher, one of the rarest birds on earth, La Digue's biodiversity features such stars as the Chinese bittern, cave swiftlet, waxbill as well as two rare species of terrapin. La Digue's forests also contain a wealth of flora in the form of delicate orchids, tumbling vines of vanilla, as well as trees such as Indian almond and takamaka. Gardens blaze with hibiscus and nepenthes against a backdrop of swaying coconut palms.

La Digue is an island where time stands still and time-honoured traditions such as travelling by ox-cart and bicycle are still king. Traditional methods of boat building and refining of coconut products (copra) are still practised on La Digue. The friendly atmosphere of this intimate island with its languid pace of life, traditional architecture and breath-taking beaches, such as the legendary Anse Source d’Argent, is an absolute must for visitors.

Pointe La Rue

Seychelles International Airport or Aeroport de Pointe La Rue as it is known locally is located on the island of Mahé, near the capital city of Victoria. It forms part of the Administrative districts of La pointe Larue (terminal area), Cascade/Providence (in the North) and Anse aux pins (in the south and military base). The airport is 11 kilometres south-east of the capital and is accessible by the Victoria - Providence Highway. There are frequent bus services from the bus station in Victoria and taxi ranks outside the terminal are available to all locations on Mahé Island. Several tour operators provide coach services namely Creole Travel Services and Mason's travel which also links passengers to the ferry terminal at the Old Port (Vieux port) for inter-island ferry services and to the New Port (Nouveau port) for cruise holidays. A domestic terminal is located a short walking distance north of the International terminal and offers domestic inter-island flights with a peak of a departure every 10-15 minutes at busy times which corresponds with international arrivals/departures and every 30 minutes at other times.

Beau Vallon

Beau Vallon is a bay on the north-western coast of Mahé. Beau Vallon is a much frequented beach and is maybe the most popular beach on the island. It is known as a base for diving and snorkelling. Besides many smaller hotels it has three major ones - Le Meridien - Fisherman's Cove, the Berjaya Beau Vallon and the Coral Strand. Towards the north is also the newly renovated Northolme Hotel in the Glacis area. The Coral Strand has the island's only Indian Restaurant.


Glacis is an administrative district found in the north of Mahé. It has its own school, clinic, churches, police station and the five star hotel Northolme is also found there.

Anse Boileau

Anse Boileau is a quiet district on the south of the island of Mahé. Anse Boileau encapsulates the natural wonders of the Seychelles: it sits at the foot of a steep, very green mountain, on the shores of the Indian Ocean, and in their midst are streams, mini-forests, creeks, ponds, and an enchanting array of all that defines the Seychellois landscape. It is often described as a 'fishing village' because many of the local residents fish for a living. The village has a school, a restaurant, a number of grocery shops, a health centre and a police station. It is a short distance away from Anse à la Mouche, a popular tourist destination. Anse Boileau is so-called because of its many coves.

Anse à la Mouche

Anse à la Mouche is situated 17 kilometres from the airport and 25 kilometres from the capital Victoria. It offers a very good base to explore the rest of Mahé, and the surrounding islands. Holiday lodgings can be rented directly from owners of chalets, bed and breakfasts, cabins, and condo accommodations.

Anse aux Pins

Anse aux Pins is perfectly located on a stretch of coastline along the South-East Coast of Mahé and has narrow beaches and shallow waters that lie close to the coastal road. It is very interesting to walk on the sand and rocky outcrops where you can discover all sorts of marine life trapped in rock pools at low tide.

Anse Intendance

Anse Intendance is situated on Mahé and is the widest and most picturesque beach of Seychelles. While being a very popular beach for the local surfers because of the big swells throughout the year, it is also one of the few places on Mahe where turtles still nest. It also displays a massive reservoir of very fine sand, which is a good indicator of a very stable beach.

Anse Louis

Anse Louis on Mahé is about 500 metres long and is framed by large round granite rocks and a wide sandy beach which is sheltered by a few Takamaka trees. During the south-east monsoon from May to October the ocean can be rough. Corals on the north side of this small bay may make swimming difficult. In the south an impressive black granite mountain and the islet Ile Chauve Souris can be seen.

Anse Royale

Anse Royale is the second most popular as well as the longest beach of Mahé and it is considered more or less a stable beach and is well protected by a fringing reef from powerful waves. It is very good for swimming at high tide but not during low tide. The beach experiences choppy seas during the south-east trade wind season from May to October but has very calm conditions during the north-west monsoon. The small Ile Souris (Mouse Island) on the north side is within swimming distance and offers good snorkelling. On weekends Anse Royale is a very lively beach where many locals meet up for picnics and beach sports.

Anse Soleil

Very popular with picnickers, Anse Soleil is a small and the most isolated beach in the south of Mahé. Anse Soleil is very much exposed to wave forces especially during the south-east monsoon from May to October. During the transition period between the two seasons the beach is covered extensively with seaweed due to the currents.

Baie Lazare

The village of Baie Lazare was named after the 18th Century French explorer Lazare Picault, who landed there when he was sent to investigate the islands by the French government. The location of the neo-Gothic church of St Francis of Assisi provides excellent views.


Anse Barbarons is about 1,400 feet long and lies in a beautiful bay where large granite rocks frame the beach at both ends. It is sheltered by coconut palms, Takamaka trees and is well known for windsurfing, water-skiing, kayaking, jet skiing, pedalos, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing spot. Ile aux Vachez and the green landscape of Mount Barbarons are within view of the beach. Occasional coral stones are scattered along the beach due to the nearby reef. During the south-east monsoon from May to October strong currents can make swimming dangerous. Flags at the hotel Le Méridien Barbarons at the north end of this beach indicate the swimming conditions.


Takamaka is ideally located in a completely isolated and private area with no houses around. The quiet beach, about 700 feet long, has very fine sand and is sheltered by pines and Takamaka trees. Large granite rocks separate Anse Takamaka into small pocket beaches, adding even more privacy to it. The beach lies in the Curieuse Marine National Park and is a very good snorkelling spot. While lying on the beach one can enjoy the close view of Curieuse Island.

Grand Anse

Grand Anse is one of the three longest and widest beaches on Mahé. It is characterised by high energy waves and strong currents during most of the year and swimming is not recommended along most of the beach. The beach at low tide is probably the second widest beach on Mahé after Intendance, with its gently-sloped profile. The majority of the vegetation which includes most of the typical coastal vegetation types is largely intact and the beach remains popular with people who enjoy good exercise or simply a late afternoon stroll to cool off after a hot day.

Port Glaud

Port Glaud is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the North-Western Coast of Mahé. It is 25 km² and has a population of 2,174. The main village is Port Glaud and the district contains two marine parks: Baia Ternay and Port Launay. The offshore islands of Thérèse Island and Conception Island are also part of the Port Glaud District. One of the main attractions of Port Glaud is the Tea Factory Museum. Established in 1962, this unit is responsible for growing and manufacturing tea in the Seychelles. The Tea Factory enjoys a splendid panoramic view of the western slopes of Mahé and is undoubtedly one of the finest viewing points on the island.

Here, in the cool mountain air of Morne Blanc, amid terrace upon terrace of tea plants, you will discover, first hand, how Seychelles’ tea is made. It is recommended to visit the factory before noon, when you have the possibility to see the whole process from drying to packing. The estate produces about 45 tonnes of organic tea per year for export. During your visit at the you will pass by slopes of fragrant tea, and enjoy the cool island breezes and spectacular views. Tea growing and manufacturing is done on a small scale in the Seychelles, allowing local blends to thrive in a niche market.

The knowledgeable and friendly staff is on hand to help at all times as you take a tour of the Tea Factory and watch the fascinating process from beginning to end. The hardest part of this tour is to decide what tea to sample! There are quite a few blends to select from but the local SeyTé (Seychelles Tea) is highly recommended as this vibrant and delightful blend combines 5 mouth-watering flavours – vanilla, cinnamon, orange, mint and lemon.

Bel Ombre

Bel Ombre is situated on the North-West Coast of Mahé with its sandy beach where you can enjoy water-skiing, snorkelling, wind-surfing, scuba diving, paragliding or simply swimming in the crystalline turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. In the evening, you can spend time at the famous Bel Ombre Beach hotel, which is just across the road, or 2 kilometres ahead lie other hotels, restaurants and the famous Beau Vallon casino.

Mare Anglaise

Mare Anglaise is located on the north-western side of Mahé, overlooking Beau Vallon, the most beautiful and popular beach and bay of Mahe that one can reach easily by foot. Only 25 minutes away by car to Mahé’s International Airport and 15 minutes to the capital, Victoria.

La Gogue

La Gogue is Seychelles' only mountain lake and it is isolated and surrounded by tropical vegetation. It is located in the centre of Mahe's northern most peninsula and is accessible only by hiking trails.

Anse Etoile

Anse Etoile is situated on the North Coast of Mahé. Manresa Hotel is located there as well as the catholic church of St Anthony. It is a very peaceful place ideal for relaxation.


Providence is perfectly set on the East Coast of Mahé. It provides one of the most splendid beaches of the island and offers a unique view over the turquoise lagoon in front of The Wharf Hotel and Marina.

Anse Major

Anse Major is perfectly located in the north coast of the island of Mahé which is also the main island of the Seychelles. Anse Major is surrounded by a tropical flora and a breathtaking ocean view.

Morne Seychellois National Park

Morne Seychellois National Park is the largest park in the Seychelles and was created in 1979. It covers a total surface area of 3,045 hectares, which is more than 20% of the area of Mahé. It is 10 kilometres in length and between 2 kilometres and 4 kilometres wide and equipped with a trail network covering more than 15 kilometres. A total of 12 different trails can be explored either by half or full day excursions. The highest peak of the Seychelles is situated there and it measures 2,969 feet high and it is covered with hiking trails.

Baie Ternay

Baie Ternay is located on the North-West Coast of Mahé. The Marine Park here is a paradise for snorkelers and divers. The beach is relatively narrow and is little frequented due to its isolated position. The water here is shallow and the beach is characterised by extensive stretches of sea grass beds.

Sainte Anne Island

Discovered in 1742 by the famous explorer Lazare Picault, Sainte Anne was the first island to be settled by the early French settlers before taking up residency on Mahé. The island was later home to a commercial whaling station and World War II gun battery as the base for the Royal Marines defending Victoria Harbour. Sainte Anne, the largest island in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, lies 4 kilometres off the East Coast of Mahé and in close proximity to its neighbours, Cerf Island, Round Island and Moyenne Island. It is alleged that there is a rich treasure buried on nearby Moyenne Island while Round Island was once a leper colony.

The Marine National Park of Sainte Anne is roughly 20 minutes from Mahé by slow boat. It has one of the largest areas of sea grass of the granitic islands where green and hawksbill turtles are often found as well as Bottlenose Dolphins. This park consists of six islands and day trippers have permission to land only on Cerf, Round and Moyenne Islands. Though the scenery and the islands themselves merit a trip, the marine life is very impressive and the coral is truly awesome and well preserved. Apart from its countless coconut palms, among which may be counted three "Coco-de-Mer", cinnamon plants grow wild on the lush hillsides as do casuarinas and many of the same species of plants, trees and shrubs are found on neighbouring islands. The Sainte Anne Marine National Park is an important part of the natural and cultural heritage of the Seychellois people. There are also Creole restaurants on the islands of Moyenne and Cerf with a number of excellent gourmet restaurants on Saint Anne itself. Sainte Anne is also home to Beachcomber’s 5-star Sainte Anne Resort, an 87-villa property that opened in 2002.

Long Island

A former prison, Long Island is located in the midst of the Sainte Anne Marine Park close to Round and Moyenne Islands. This coconut palm-covered gem reaches an elevation of 90 metres, and features fabulous powder soft beaches and beautiful turquoise seas.

Moyenne Island

This beautiful, 10 hectare island is awash with tales of concealed treasure and the ghosts who have remained to guard it, presumably arising from the time when it was a pirate haunt. There is no hotel accommodation offered on Moyenne, but excursions can be arranged through local ground handling operators. Some 6km east of Mahé and located within the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, Moyenne is situated in close proximity to its neighbours, Round Island, Long Island and Sainte Anne.

Cerf Island

Situated within the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, Cerf is Mahé’s closest neighbour and offers excellent swimming and snorkelling as well as memorable sunbathing on several great beaches. Cerf is a popular picnic venue with Mahé residents on account of its fine beaches and good swimming. Cerf earned its name from the navy frigate that visited Seychelles in 1756 to take formal possession of the island in the name of France.  The island once had a thriving coconut industry, the remnants of which are still evident in the form of lush coconut groves. Many exotic shrubs adorn its 116 hectares that is also home to a population of giant land tortoises and flying foxes. Cerf is the only island in the marine park to have a small local population who commute to Mahé for their daily business, making the 4 kilometre trip in a matter of minutes. A high standard of accommodation is available in three hotel establishments currently on the island as is the opportunity to savour mouth-watering Seychellois Creole cuisine.

Anonyme Island

Anonyme Island is only a stone’s throw from the international airport on the main island of Mahé. The waters surrounding this tiny island are ideal for snorkelling and the isle commands spectacular views of sunsets and the other neighbouring inner islands. The island hosts rare species of trees such as bois noir (black wood) as well as a magnificent banyan tree reputed to be more than 100 years old.

Conception Island

Conception Island lies only 2 kilometres north-west of Thérèse Island and about 2 kilometres north-east of the Mahé headland at Cap Matoopa. One of the largest of Mahé's satellites, Conception is hilly with a mountainous ridge running virtually its entire length. The island is 1 kilometre long, 600 metres wide, 131 metres high and covered in coconut trees. Conception was exploited as a coconut plantation until the mid-1970's but has remained abandoned and uninhabited since then, its hilly aspect and lack of beach placing constraints on its development. The island has recently been designated a wildlife reserve to protect its population of Seychelles white-eyed zosterops, a rare endemic species of bird. Other birds to be found on Conception include the Seychelles kestrel, Seychelles blue pigeon, Malagasy turtle dove as well as such threatened endemic species as the skink, green gecko, bronze eye gecko and hawksbill turtle.

L'ilot Island

L’ilot Island is situated to the north of Mahé. The place is famous due its perfect position for snorkelling, scuba diving and picnics.

Anse Lazio

Anse Lazio is a beach situated in the north of Praslin Island, considered by many to be the best beach on Praslin, and one of the best in the archipelago. The beach's extremities are marked by large granite boulders, and the coral reef that surrounds Anse Lazio provides safe bathing and a suitable area for snorkelling.

Anse Georgette

Anse Georgette is located in the northern part of Praslin and is considered one of the best beaches in the entire archipelago, being covered by white sand and bordered by coral reefs, making it a great spot for swimming and snorkelling. Tourists who are spending their vacations on Praslin Island enjoy foremost a truly relaxing atmosphere on gorgeous sandy beaches. The ocean is very rich in marine life, so scuba diving is one of the most rewarding activities.

Grand Anse

Praslin Island Airport is located at Grand Anse. The airport is currently only serviced by Air Seychelles, who fly scheduled flights to Mahé and charters to the other islands off the Seychelles. Grand Anse alongside Anse Kerlan forms the longest beach on Praslin Island, and is blessed by fine sands and a clear turquoise sea with granite rock at the edge.

Vallée de Mai

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is a nature park and UNESCO World Heritage Site (inscribed in 1983) located on the island of Praslin. It consists of a well-preserved palm forest made up of the endemic Coco de Mer species, as well as five other endemic species of palm. These palms have the largest seeds of any plant in the world. The trees' leaves grow up to 6 metres wide and 14 metres long. Also unique to the park is its wildlife, which includes endemic birds, mammals, crustaceans, snails, and reptiles.

Anse Kerlan

Anse Kerlan, situated on Praslin is one of the longest beaches of the island and probably the best beach for swimming and to enjoy some water activities. On the bay of Anse Kerlan is the well known Lemuria Resort with its luxury accommodation and golf.

Anse Boudin

Anse Boudin in the north-east of Praslin is sheltered with Takamaka trees, palm and coconut trees on part of its beaches. This very fine sandy beach with crystal clear sea has large granite rocks dividing it from Anse Takamaka.

Anse Volbert

Situated on the east side of Praslin; Anse Volbert also known as Cote d'Or lies in a large bay with some hotels and restaurant in the surroundings. A sandy beach with sunshine all year round, Anse Volbert is the perfect place for sunbathing and water activities.

Anse Gouvernement

Anse Gouvernement lies in a bay next to Anse Volbert in the East of Praslin Island, with a clear and rich turquoise lagoon. On the beach, there is a clear view of some islets of this region.

Anse St Sauveur

With fine sand beaches, Anse St Sauveur is a wonderful spot which is quiet and almost deserted with few accommodation options. In this area, swimming is suitable only at high tide.

Anse Bois de Rose

Anse Bois de Rose has coral stone formations and granite rocks along the beach line. Anse Bois de Rose is a fishermen’s area with the sea rich in marine life and has two beaches, due to large granite rocks which has divided it.

Pointe Cabris

Pointe Cabris is ideally located on one of the most secluded beaches of the island of Praslin. It is set in a tropical forest and offers a splendid view over the blue lagoon of the Indian Ocean.

Baie Sainte Anne

The jetty at Baie Ste Anne is the main entry point into Praslin. Baie Ste Anne is a busy working dockside in every sense of the word. The local buses stop here in both directions; therefore it is very easy to get to more or less anywhere on Praslin in half an hour or so. Most of the people who live there are scattered along the beach and away towards the hills.

Anse Takamaka

Anse Takamaka is blessed with a very beautiful beach which has featured in well-known magazines and books, for its paradise look. From the beach there is a great view of Baie Lazare.

Anse la Blague

Anse La Blague is situated on a secluded beach in the south of Praslin. It provides a unique view over the crystalline turquoise water of the Seychelles.

Anse Petite Cour

Anse Petite Cour is ideally located on the East Coast of Praslin. The only way to access Anse Petite Cour is by the La Reserve Hotel entrance or by boat. This picturesque beach is framed by large granite rocks and a few Takamaka trees in front of the crystalline turquoise sea. The white sand and the black granite mountain with green foliage create a very rich contrast, while on the horizon you can see the beautiful Curieuse Island.

Anse Consolation

Anse Consolation is situated on the South Coast of Praslin between Anse Bois de Rose and Anse Marie Louise. It is ideally set in front of a blue lagoon.

Cote d'Or

Côte d'Or on the eastern side of Praslin is a dazzlingly white stretch of beach with crystal clear sea. This is an excellent spot for swimming and water sports, where further out in the bay around Chauve Souris Island and St Pierre islet, the snorkelling is superb.

Chauve Souris Island

Chauve Souris is a private island only a few hundred metres from the dream beach of Côte d’Or at Anse Volbert on Praslin, which at low tide is merely a walk away. The Chauve Souris Club is the ideal place for an intimate and secluded vacation, with five luxury rooms suspended between sea and sky amid granite rocks and lush tropical vegetation.

Curieuse Island

Curieuse lies just off the north-western coast of its close neighbour Praslin and is now a reserve managed by the Seychelles Centre for Marine Technology - Marine Parks Authority. Aside from Praslin, Curieuse is the only other island where the Coco-der-mer grows naturally, and also boasts an endemic vine and eight different species of mangrove. No accommodation is offered on this island, but excursions can be arranged through local ground handling operators.

Cousine Island

Cousine offers an exclusive island experience with complete privacy found in very few other places on earth. The Island is a private nature reserve, home to five of Seychelles’ endemic birds such as the Seychelles magpie robin and Seychelles brush warbler, as well as a variety of endemic fauna and spectacular marine life. The island was once a coconut plantation but is now home to a superb resort that offers an exceptional experience within a private nature reserve in four individual Old French Colonial style villas.

Cousin Island

Cousin lies just off the south-west coast of its close neighbour Praslin, just next to its island neighbour Cousine. Cousin is one of nature's treasure troves where every year 250,000 birds nest, among them the Seychelles sunbird, red turtle dove and moor hen. There is a population of geckoes on the island, giant tortoises introduced from Aldabra and Cousin is also a favourite nesting site for hawksbill turtles.

Round Island

Standing on the coral reef at the entrance to Baie Sainte Anne, Round possesses few beaches but waters renowned for the excellent snorkelling. One of the many satellite islands of Praslin, this wonderfully rounded, lushly vegetated, 20-hectare isle is just about as round as an island can be. This granitic island was also once home to the Coco-de-Mer before the palms were cut down to make way for a coconut plantation. In the era when coprah still fetched relatively high prices on the world market, Round was once famed for the quality of its coconuts. Diving here uncovers multiple treasures such as giant stingrays and sleeping reef sharks. Bumphead parrotfish often swim past while several species of large grouper can also be found, concealed under overhangs and in holes around the rocky shoreline.

Saint Pierre Island

Saint Pierre lies approximately 1.5 kilometres from Pointe Zanguilles, in the bay of Praslin's fabulous Côte d'Or beach. This tiny islet with its granite profile interspersed with coconut palms has come, over the years, to represent the quintessential Seychelles Island, appearing in numerous advertising campaigns, posters and evocative photographs. The island was once home to a number of Coco-de-mer that grew naturally on the island. Saint Pierre is a firm favourite with swimmers, snorkelers and yachtsmen for whom the island provides the ideal backdrop to a spectacular Seychelles sunset.

Anse Severe

Anse Severe is a quiet spot, the ideal place for romance. It is well suited for sunbathing and swimming. A quiet beach, Anse Severe enables peaceful relaxation with the sound of waves.

Anse Patate

Anse Patate is situated on the northern coast of La Digue and is close to Patatran Village and borders the longer beach of Anse Gaulettes. Being blessed with soft white sand and calm seas, it is said to be the ideal spot for both swimming and snorkelling in the turquoise and rich lagoon of Seychelles.


L’Union is situated in the west of La Digue. L’Union is also home to “Source d’Argent” which is one of the most pristine and most photographed beaches in Seychelles and all around the world.  If you want to take a step back in time, you should visit the L’Union Estate and see the traditional copra mill and kiln (kalorifer). In the past, the main industry on La Digue was coconut farming which was centred on L’Union Estate coconut plantation south of La Passe. Nowadays the estate is run as an informal museum with demonstration of extracting oil from coprah (dried coconut meat). As well as the operating factory, visitors can see the State Guest House, the majestic Plantation House framed by giant granite boulders in landscaped gardens which is used for presidential guests; a boat yard; a vanilla plantation, several old Creole houses; and watch the antics of the estate’s population of giant land tortoises or enjoy some horse riding. North of the estate is an old colonial cemetery.

La Passe

La Passe is the main Village of La Digue and it is the main landing area for all boats. The Tourist Office is located there as well as the Post Office and the Police station. The island’s silver-sanded beaches give way to the schooner’s berth on the quaint La Passe jetty, where it nestles between traditional fishing boats and sleek sailing yachts.

Anse Source d'Argent

Anse Source d'Argent is the second best beach of the Seychelles Islands and is also one of the most popular with gigantic granite boulders which are famous for their unusual curves and sandy beaches. The ideal spot for snorkelling and sun bathing, the calm waters make it perfect for the little ones.  Anse Source d'Argent has been voted numerous times as one of the “Best Beaches in the World”. Well-known travel magazines as well as travel programmes describe it as the Garden of Eden.

Anse La Réunion

Anse la Réunion is an attractive long and curving sandy beach offering fine views of the neighbouring island of Praslin. The crystalline turquoise lagoon is suitable for snorkelling, swimming and other aquatic activities for all ages. Anse la Réunion is also home to the Veuve Reserve, the last refuge of the black paradise flycatcher, which is also known as Veuve (widow) by the local people. The Veuve is so-called because the male bird appears to be in mourning with its streaming black tail feathers. The Veuve is endemic to the Seychelles and there are thought to be approximately 300 birds left. In recent years, the population of these birds has increased due to reduced human intervention, and as such, they are now considered to be less endangered. The Veuve Reserve is comprised largely of thick jungle, and it's primarily the aforementioned Paradise Flycatchers that seem to attract the bulk of tourists. You don't have to be a birdwatcher to appreciate these rare creatures that reside in the jungle of La Digue, where bodanmyen and takamaka trees are prevalent.

Félicité Island

Félicité is located 4 kilometres from its neighbour La Digue and in close proximity to other La Digue satellites such as the Sisters Islands, Mariannne and Ile Cocos. This picturesque and steep granitic island was a coconut plantation up to the 1970s and supported a population of some 50 people. In the late 19th century, Félicité was home to the Sultan of Perak, one of Seychelles’ most colourful exiles, who spent five years on the island before moving to Mahé. Until recently, the island was home to an up-market lodge offering an exclusive island experience. Now, Per Aquum, the internationally renowned resort and spa company is launching a project on the island which will feature 35 ocean-facing villas, the world’s only rock wine cave, spa and a wide choice of restaurants, bars and boutiques. 28 cutting-edge, hilltop residences will also be for sale on the island through Per Aquum Residences.

Marianne Island

Marianne is a small granitic uninhabited island which is frequently visited by tourists. It is located 3.8 kilometres east south-east of Félicité Island and was a coconut plantation in the past. The southern tip of Marianne is known as a world-class diving spot. There are a few species of gecko on Marianne, including the La Digue day gecko (Phelsuma sundbergi ladiguensis) and Phelsuma astriata semicarinata. Reportedly, the rare Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone corvina) is occasionally spotted on the island. Also, it was once home to the extinct Seychelles Chestnut-sided White-eye.

Coco Island

Often used on the cover of Seychelles brochures, Coco Island or Ile Cocos can be found 7 kilometres north of La Digue and lies in close proximity to La Digue's other neighbours, Félicité and the Sisters Islands. It has been a marine park since 1996 and is a spectacular spot for snorkelling and diving and a popular venue for day excursions from both Praslin and La Digue. No accommodation is offered on this island.

Bird Island

Bird Island, Seychelles’ most northerly island is 100 kilometres or a 30-minute flight north of Mahé. The island was once known as Ile aux Vaches because of the dugongs (sea cows) that thrived there. During the period of the south-east trade winds (May-September), the island is colonised by more than a million sooty terns that each lay their eggs on their own exclusive square foot of territory. Bird Island also hosts populations of lesser noddies and fairy terns as well as white-tailed tropic birds, fodies, plovers and wimbrels. In the early 1970's, Bird turned to tourism, and with several conservation programmes in place, the Bird Island Lodge stands at the forefront of eco-tourism in Seychelles. Twenty-four comfortable bungalows, excellent beaches, a reputation for good cuisine and a convivial atmosphere complement great opportunities for snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, and nature watching.

Denis Island

Denis lies 95 kilometres north of Victoria, Mahé and 45 kilometres from Bird Island, making it one of the most northerly of all the Seychelles' islands. For fishermen it is ideally situated for deep-sea fishing expeditions on the nearby edge of the Seychelles’ bank where Marlin, Sailfish, Barracuda, Wahoo, Dorado and Tuna will thrill novice and seasoned fisherman alike. The island is the recent beneficiary of a successful project to introduce endangered species of birdlife. In 1975 the island was purchased by Pierre Burkhardt, a French paper magnate who ran the island as a successful lodge with the marketing slogan “the island at the edge of the world.” The island was sold to Mason's Travel, one of Seychelles’ first local ground handling operators, in the mid ‘90s.   Denis offers excellent nature walks as well as the facilities of tennis, diving, windsurfing, canoeing and of course sunbathing on its gleaming white beaches and its 5-star 25-chalet lodge is the perfect honeymoon getaway offering seclusion in comfort and with excellent gourmet cuisine.

Frégate Island

Frégate was a popular pirate haunt during the latter part of the 17th century and stories persist of treasure hidden somewhere on its 280 hectares. The island is situated approximately 55 kilometres from Mahé and is the most distant of the granitic Inner Island group. Frégate features a luxurious five-star eco-lodge offering the optimum in comfort and amenities that has become a favourite hideaway for Hollywood stars, with deluxe villas right on the foreshore to ensure each has a million-dollar sea view. Meanwhile guests are encouraged to engage themselves in the island’s many conservation projects, run by ecologists charged with keeping the island naturally pristine. This island microcosm measuring some 2 km² is home to no less than 50 species of birds, among which is the rare Seychelles magpie robin, and also hosts the world’s only population of the giant tenebrionid beetle as well as numerous giant tortoises.

North Island

North Island was one of the very first Seychelles islands to be visited in a 1609 expedition under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh who found the island to have excellent coconuts as well as a thriving population of giant land tortoises. The island was widely regarded as one of Seychelles' most fertile islands, until recently. North lies only a few kilometres north of Silhouette and is the smaller of two visible in the distance from the beach at Beau Vallon on Mahé. In 2003 Wilderness Safaris opened an 11-chalet, five-star resort on the island targeting the luxury eco-tourism market, promising visitors' interaction with the island’s biodiversity at the same time offering a high standard of barefoot luxury. The management is remaking the island into a wildlife sanctuary it dubs the “Noah’s Ark” project, a long-term plan to rehabilitate the island’s habitats to what it was before the introduction of human settlement, and to introduce endangered flora and fauna on the island to help preserve some of Seychelles’ precious endemic species. The resort also taps into the abundance of fresh fish and produce on and around the island for almost all of its cuisine, and a “no menu” concept allows guests to personally interact with the head chef for a custom-made culinary experience tailored to their specific tastes.

Silhouette Island

Silhouette is Seychelles' third largest island, lying 30 kilometres off Mahé's western coast and in close proximity to North Island. Silhouette’s verdant, mountainous profile dominates the view from Mahé’s Beau Vallon beach. The Arabs used Silhouette as a base for their dhows, probably as early as the 9th century, a fact attested to by the ruins of Arab tombs at Anse Lascars. Silhouette, together with North Island, was the very first Seychelles' island to be seen by the ships of the Sharpeigh expedition of 1609. It would have to wait until the early 19th century for a permanent settlement. Protected by the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles, Silhouette remains an untouched, living museum of natural history featuring many unique species of plants and trees. Silhouette’s primitive beauty is the ideal backdrop for hikers and walkers wishing to penetrate the mysteries of an island once reputed to be the home of the notorious pirate, Hodoul, whose hidden treasure may well lie there still. The Island’s 12 room lodge was replaced by the 5 star hotel "Labriz Silhouette".

Aride Island

Aride, perhaps the most unspoiled of all the islands, is situated 10 kilometres north of Praslin and is known as the ‘seabird citadel’ of the Indian Ocean. The island became protected as a reserve in 1967, and since 1973 when it was purchased by Christopher Cadbury for what is now the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, seabird numbers have multiplied and five endemic land birds have now returned after having been wiped out with the introduction of man. Aride’s seabirds include the world's only hilltop colony of sooty terns, the only breeding sites among the granitic islands for the red-tailed tropic bird and roseate tern and the world's largest colony of lesser noddies. Aride also boasts one of the densest population of lizards on earth and a unique flora, being the only natural home to one of Seychelles' rarest endemic plants, Wright's gardenia, as well as to a species of 'peponium' that might also be endemic only to Aride. In 2004, management was passed to the Island Conservation Society (ICS), which opened a new conservation centre to support some of the longest continuous scientific monitoring programs in Seychelles. No accommodation is available, but Aride is open to day visitors 3 days a week (Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday). Excursions can be booked through Praslin hotels, boat owners and ground handling operators.

The Sisters Islands: Grande Soeur Island and Petite Soeur Island

The islands of Grande Soeur and Petite Soeur are commonly referred to as 'The Sisters Islands.' Situated 6 kilometres north-east of neighbouring La Digue and in close proximity to Félicité and to Ile Cocos, these two islands are a popular venue for excursions on account of their spectacular ocean panoramas and the excellent opportunities they offer for trekking and picnicking. These islands are also famous for snorkelling and diving in waters where the marine life is prolific. The hotel Château de Feuilles on Praslin manages the islands.