The Best Snorkelling Spots in the Seychelles

Explore the sun, sand and seas of the Seychelles
Explore the sun, sand and seas of the Seychelles | © Igor Tichonow / Alamy
Sadie Whitelocks

The Seychelles looks like paradise with its pristine coral beaches, fringed with palm trees. But below the surface, this archipelago continues to impress with its abundance of marine life. Watch hawksbill turtles glide through the seagrass, against a kaleidoscopic backdrop of coral and tropical fish at these top places to go snorkelling in the Seychelles.

Dive into the turquoise waters while sailing around the Seychelles on an eight-day adventure with Culture Trip – with a chance to spot hawksbill turtles, if you’re lucky.

1. Sainte Anne Marine Park

Park

Sandy beach between blue water and a verdant cluster of bushes and trees in Sainte Anne Marine National Park
© Panther Media GmbH / Alamy

Dedicate a day on your sailing itinerary to exploring Sainte Anne Marine Park, off the coast of Mahe. This marine reserve – the first of its kind in the southwestern Indian Ocean – promises to impress even the most experienced of underwater explorers. Highlights include pristine coral gardens, sprawling seagrass meadows, and many types of rays including mantas, which swarm the area from April to December.

2. Cocos Island

Natural Feature

A couple of boats exploring the water around tiny Cocos Island
© Massimiliano Finzi / Alamy Stock Photo

Play at being castaway on the tiny island of Cocos. This outcrop is the true vision of a desert island, with powdery white beaches, palm trees crowning the interior and azure waters lapping its shores. Take your tender to the beach and spend an afternoon snorkelling around the shallows, navigating large granite boulders as you go. These waters are home to everything from bigfin reef squid to hawksbill sea turtles.

3. Grande Soeur

Natural Feature

Beach of Grande Soeur Island, in the Seychelles
© Foto Feeling / Alamy Stock Photo

Point your compass in the direction of Grande Soeur and enjoy the dreamy shores of this private island. The granitic outcrop, which is home to a small boutique hotel, is home to one of the region’s most beautiful beaches framed by lush foliage and large boulders. A coral reef stretches along the west side of the island with resident species including reef sharks and an array of tropical fish.

4. St Pierre

Natural Feature

Snorkellers arriving at St Pierre Islet from Anse Volbert, Praslin Island, Seychelles
© Anders Blomqvist / Alamy

Moor up off St Pierre and prepare to be dazzled by the landscape lurking below the water’s surface. The tiny granite island, off the coast of Praslin, is part of a marine reserve and features a reef close to the shore. A stop here makes for a great day trip in combination with Curieuse. This neighbouring island serves as a giant free-range zoo for hundreds of giant tortoises which were introduced between 1978 and 1982. A healthy number of turtles can also be found swimming here.

5. Anse Lazio, Praslin

Natural Feature

Woman enjoying the Anse Lazio beach on Praslin Island, the Seychelles
© Panther Media / Alamy

Get your camera ready for a trip to Anse Lazio on the northwest side of Praslin Island. This spot often crops up in lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches, thanks to its postcard-perfect scenery. The best place to snorkel is between the granite boulders at the north end of the beach – keep an eye out for stingrays, moray eels, bluefin trevally and checkerboard wrasse.

6. Desroches

Natural Feature

Woman feeding a giant turtle in the Seychelles
© Wolfgang Pölzer / Alamy

If you’re looking for a magical turtle encounter, hop over to Desroches. This low-lying coral island – home to a slick eco-focused Four Seasons resort – is framed by swathes of seagrass which acts as an important territory for turtles. There are several beaches around the island, so you can spend the day doing a snorkelling crawl before sipping a well-earned fresh coconut at the resort bar.

7. Beau Vallon, Mahe

Natural Feature

People walking around Anse Major, a beautiful beach on Mahé backed by palms and other lush greenery
© Panther Media / Alamy Stock Photo

While it might be one of the busier beaches in the Seychelles, lined with quaint restaurants, bars and hotels, Beau Vallon on Mahe shouldn’t be overlooked as a snorkelling destination. The southwest end of the beach is best for taking a dip. Expect clear, warm waters with excellent visibility and little to no current. Barracudas, hawksbill turtles and stingrays are among the marine life you might spot here.

8. Bird Island

Natural Feature

Esmerelda, the worlds largest tortoise lives on Bird Islands, the Seychelles
Courtesy of Bird Island Lodge

Gear up for a snorkelling trip to remember at Bird Island, the northernmost outcrop in the Seychelles archipelago. This small coral island is known for its wildlife, both above and below the water. Pop on your gear, navigate the powdery beaches and take a dip below the surface. One of the best snorkelling spots is off Hirondelle Beach, where juvenile green turtles swim among the colourful coral. Conditions are best between October and April.

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