The majority of the inner islands of Seychelles are all made of granite, including Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, which are the three most populated islands. This means that although the beaches are stunningly white and sandy, the middle of the islands are mountainous.
There are some amazing hikes to be found in the rocky middles of these islands, so read on to find out more about the best hiking trails in the Seychelles.
In the Morne Seychellois National Park, the summit of Mount Copolia is around 500m above sea level. The trail starts at a small and very missable green sign, simply saying ‘Copolia Trail’. It starts at around 300m, meaning the trial elevates by 200m. Expect the hike to take around 2 hours with some steep sections.
Anse Major Trail
The Trail to Anse Major is definitely a highlight. It is a relatively easy walk, starting at Danzil and it takes around an hour and a half. You’ll see many amazing rock formations along the way and some amazing views too. The trail is the only way to get to Anse Major on foot.
To get to the trail, park at the tea factory. Walk a little down the road and you’ll see a sign for the trail. It’s well signposted. The hike takes around 45 minutes each way. This is not a walk to attempt in flip flops as it is pretty challenging and steep in places.
The point which gives its name to the national park, Morne Seychellois is the highest point on Mahe at over 900m above sea level. The hike takes around 5 hours, and it’s definitely not one for beginners. You’ll find yourself cutting through thick undergrowth and on trails that are not well maintained.
Vallee de Mai
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this one is really a must visit. There are three marked-out trails to choose from. The leaflets will tell you that they take 1-3 hours, but they really don’t take as long as that. None of the trails are particularly difficult, but it is still an enjoyable walk. Aside from the steps up to the viewpoint, the vast majority of your hike will be in the shade, a rare privilege for Seychelles!
There are always people outside offering tours. If you are interested in more than just the walk, take up their offer. The fee is not too high and they really are extremely knowledgeable about the Vallee de Mai and all of the Seychelles. And if you feel like you’ve finished a little too quickly for the entrance fee you paid, you are, of course, able to walk all three trails as many times as you like once you’ve entered!
Fond Ferdinand is a relatively newly opened nature reserve on Praslin.
You access it by driving along the Consolation (coastal road) There is a tiny little red wooden arrow marking the entrance, and if you’re not looking out for it, you would almost certainly miss it.
It is cheaper to enter than the Vallee de Mai and it is also pretty much guaranteed to be less busy. A big difference is that a guide is required (at no extra cost) to enter the reserve.
The trails are a little more challenging and not quite as well maintained as those of the Vallee de Mai. A lot more of the area is exposed to the heat of the sun – or rain, of course.
The views from the top of the viewpoint are absolutely stunning, and are well worth the 3 hour walk. Look one way and you can see Curieuse, Sister Island, Coco Island, Round Island, Felicité, and La Digue, while in the other direction you can spot Frégate, Mahé, and Silhouette. On a really good day, you may even be able to spot Denis Island on the horizon
Park at the Vallee de Mai car park or get off at the bus stop there. Walk a little past the entrance (heading towards Baie St Anne, away from Grand Anse) until you reach a path that has a chain across it. This is the start of the Glacis Noire trail.
This is a free trail, so unless you hire someone privately you will not have a guide for this trail. It’s not an easy walk and the path is not particularly well maintained. There are some great views when you reach the old fire tower
Coco De Mer Trail
This trail is for guests of the Coco de Mer Hotel only. There are organised guided walks on their property. The walk takes around 2 hours. When you get to the top you’ll get a 360 degree view unrivalled on Praslin.
Coco de Mer Hotel, Praslin, Seychelles +248 4 290 555