Discover which Seychelles Island should you visit

Islands in the sun? You will find plenty in the Seychelles, an archipelago consisting of 115 perfectly formed Edens in the Indian Ocean. Many of the Seychelles islands are uninhabited and tourists often head for the biggest and most well-known of the three: Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. But which island is best for you? We have looked at the main players and a couple more options to consider. Whatever island you choose then be certain that paradise awaits.

Mahé - Best for urban adventurers

Mahé is the main island of the Seychelles and home to almost 90% of the population. You could spend days exploring its amazing beaches and mountains that stretch high into the sky, but there is something else that sets it apart – the capital city of Victoria.

It should be easy to access as it is more than likely you will be landing on the island’s airport when arriving for your holiday. This could make Victoria an interesting trip for your final day before a flight back or somewhere to spend the night before heading out to one of the more untamed islands.

‘City’ is also stretching the word for a place that only has two traffic lights and fewer streets than the average London borough. However, it is still worth visiting if only to learn how much a city can actually feel cosy, especially one that is so brightly painted as Victoria where the smells of delicious cooking can be experienced around every corner.

For those who enjoy markets on holiday you will find that Victoria’s main hub is very lively, offering fresh fish, vegetables, fruit and other delicacies of the culture. An interesting seafront sees ships passing in and out of the harbour, many containing the main Seychelles exports of coconut, soap and vanilla.

Not to be missed by your camera is the Clock Tower, a replica of the construction at Vauxhall Bridge in London. Close by is the national Museum for those who want to dive deeper into the culture of the islands with its vivid history and dark slave past. Next, pay a visit to the Botanical Gardens for a charming walk and whistlestop tour of some of the most amazing plants and trees that can be found in this part of the world.

In short, Victoria is not a big city but one that is packed with character offering a good choice of accommodation for those looking to explore the natural wonders the island has to offer.

La Digue - Best for searchers for fantastic beasts

The third largest island in the Seychelles offers a feast of glorious nature. La Digue’s most famous inhabitant is the Black Paradise Flycatcher. Only around 100 of these winged beauties are in existence. Veuve Nature Reserve in the centre of the island has been specially cultivated to provide the perfect breeding and feeding habitat for the species who thrive amidst the Badamier and Takamaka trees.

Other flora and fauna you should try to see (because they are rarely found anywhere else in the world) are the Seychelles Sunbird, the Seychelles Bulbul and the delightful little Seychelles Terrapins.

The island is a true getaway with rarely a car to be seen and visitors are encouraged to experience a traditional ox cart ride to get around. Everywhere is walkable or bikeable though. With its circle of coral around the beaches La Digue is also ideal for snorkelers in search of undersea treasure.

For a glimpse of colonisation, visit L'Union Estate to view the Plantation-style houses still in excellent condition. While there, you can also enjoy the small but perfectly formed fish market which becomes a cauldron of haggling on the jetty when the fishermen return with their catch of the day. Finally, put on your hiking boots and ascend Nid d'Aigle (Eagle's Nest) which is the highest point in the island at 333 metres and a manageable climb for most. From here you can view the other islands in the area and stop for a refreshing drink at the colourful local bar.

Praslin - Best for forest adventures

It is time to find your inner Tarzan and head for the second largest island in the Seychelles. Praslin offers forest from the Jurassic era and some astonishing plants and wild animals to go with the remarkably beautiful beaches you will come to expect from the region.

Praslin’s nickname is The Island of Palms and boasts an attraction that simply can't be found anywhere else in the world. Do not miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve where the coco de mer palm tree grows in abundance. The seeds produced by this tree have to be seen and held to be believed, growing to a remarkable size. Some tourists attempt to bring one home with them in a suitcase but they are much prized and best left in their local region.

Not only do these trees produce such a rare gem but they are also home to the Black Parrot. This elusive bird is a worthy addition to any twitcher’s notebook. Even without the coco trees, the local area is amazing and it is easy to access hiking trails if you want to explore the entire forest.

Fancy something a bit more hands on? Praslin Museum is the home to beautiful objects and artworks created by the locals and also features some of the rarest local plants you might have missed on your walk. For an ‘I did that on holiday’ memory, take part in the fun workshops where you can learn to dehusk a coconut and grill a breadfruit like an expert. On the very rare days that it does rain you might also want to spend some time at the George Camille Gallery where the famous local artist’s work can be seen and souvenirs of your visit can be purchased.

Silhouette Island - Best for castaways

There are plenty of places in the Seychelles where it is easy to feel like Robinson Crusoe. The long, white beaches have seemingly been designed for you alone and the lush vegetation is a place of mystery, adventure and romance. For those who want to stay away from the big tourist crowds and have a soul cleansing trip in paradise, Silhouette Island should be on top of your wish list.

Despite being the third largest island in the Seychelles, only 200 people actually live there. None of them drive cars or need roads and many of them work at the large hotel on the island which is one of the few buildings that could be called significant. Most of the island is protected by law which explains why it feels like a snapshot from the past.

This is a place for bathers and walkers. There are trails everywhere leading to another spectacular view or secluded beach. Most recommended is the La Passe to Grande Barbe hike which will take a few hours but offers up a journey through dense forest to stay out of the sun. Once you hit the sands you will pinch yourself wondering if you have just walked into a postcard. Grand Barbe itself is dazzlingly beautiful and the ideal place for romantic couples or those who just want to while the day away looking out for the local turtles. Talking about turtles…

Curiese - Best for giant tortoises

Curieuse is a beautiful island to visit and well worth your time for any number of reasons. The beaches are superb, the nature trails are a cornucopia of birds and plants and there is even the ruins of a leper colony to explore.

What really sets the island apart though is the giant Aldabra tortoises. These slow moving, placid but magnificent creatures are specially bred at a local farm. You will be able to visit them (usually as part of a boat trip) and see them up close on an organised visit.

Introduced to the island in the late 20th century, the tortoises are carefully reared until they reach five years when they are then released back into nature. They can then live for up to 120 years – a testament to the healthy local cuisine of course. If you are lucky on your boat trip back you can bid farewell to these lovely creatures who will stick their heads out of the water around your transport.

North Island - Best for feeling like royalty

The British royal family have taste and style right? If you are looking for romantic getaway or a honeymoon that neither of you will ever forget then North Island comes with the royal stamp of approval.

William and Kate spent their honeymoon together here in 2011 and it is not hard to understand why. North Island has helicopter-only access to a really small wedge of land that still manages to pack the best of the Seychelles into its square footage with sand, forest and heights to enjoy the view. The accommodation is limited but luxurious and there are a few high end restaurants for those who want to eat like a king or queen.

Expect to pay quite high costs to stay on this exclusive island but, then again, it is the holiday of lifetime right?

Discover Club Med's resort in Seychelles