The Most Beautiful Islands to Visit in the Seychelles by Boat

Six Senses Zil Pasyon is a private island beach resort on Felicite, the Seychelles
Six Senses Zil Pasyon is a private island beach resort on Felicite, the Seychelles | Courtesy of Six Senses Zil Pasyon / Expedia
Sadie Whitelocks

Navigating the 115 islands in the Seychelles can be intimidating, especially when choosing where to go. Culture Trip reveals the best Seychelles islands to plot on your itinerary for their beauty and unique offerings, from empty beaches on Praslin to giant tortoises on Desroches.

Island-hop around the Seychelles on this eight-day group sailing holiday with Culture Trip – no yachting experience necessary.

1. Mahé

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 Mahé is the largest and most populated island in the Seychelles, it retains an otherworldly charm, fringed by white-sand beaches and aquamarine waters. If you’re looking for a busier pocket, moor up at Victoria, the capital of the island nation, and take a trip to the bustling market. Alternatively, point your compass towards Beau Vallon Beach, where you’ll find characterful bars and restaurants hugging the coast.

2. La Digue

Natural Feature

Crystalline waters lapping granite formations backed by lush vegetation on La Digue
© Oneinchpunch / Alamy Stock Photo

Considered one of the most picturesque Seychelles islands, La Digue is a must-visit while you’re in the region. The granitic island, the fourth biggest in the archipelago, is home to many sublime beaches, including the unmissable Anse Source D’Argent. If you fancy stretching your legs, there are dozens of hiking trails worth checking out; they’ll lead you through the lush inland to lookout points and secluded spots.

3. Felicite

Natural Feature

A person enjoying the pool overlooking the ocean at a private villa at Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Courtesy of Six Senses Zil Pasyon / Expedia

Step ashore, and prepare to be wowed by the natural beauty and calm atmosphere on this island. There’s just one luxury resort on Felicite, the Six Senses Zil Pasyon, which has 30 slick villas, two restaurants and a decadent spa if you want a spot of pampering. Take a guided trek to the highest point on the island; while you’re there, spot the coco de mer palm, which produces the largest and heaviest seeds in the world.

4. Cocos Island

Natural Feature

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

Play at being a castaway on this tiny island east of La Digue. The picture-perfect granite outcrop, sitting within a marine national park, features lush vegetation and small white-sand beaches. Sail there early to have the island to yourself and take a tender or kayak to the shores. It won’t take long to explore this uninhabited outcrop; make sure you pack a picnic to enjoy afterwards.

5. Desroches

Natural Feature

A dirt path cutting through a lush coconut grove on Desroches
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

Get up close with giant tortoises and sea turtles on Desroches. This remote low-lying coral island, which measures just 5km (3mi) long, is home to a tortoise sanctuary; one of its residents is more than 120 years old. There are sandy trails running around the island, perfect for navigating on foot or by bike. Explore the lush jungle tracks, quaint village and secluded beaches. Alternatively, the island is home to a plush Four Seasons resort, so you could swap your boat for a swanky beachfront villa for a few days and dine in the upscale restaurant.

6. Cousin Island

Natural Feature

A pair of tropical islands known as Cousin and Cousine as seen from Praslin in the Seychelles
© Christian B / Alamy Stock Photo

Get your nature fix at this privately owned nature reserve, where you’ll find dozens of rare birds, breeding turtles and giant tortoises. Once a coconut plantation, Cousin Island was transformed into a nature reserve after the International Council for Bird Preservation (now BirdLife International) purchased it in 1968 to protect the Seychelles warbler, a near-extinct endemic bird species. Take a guided tour to Cousin Island as part of Culture Trip’s group sailing holiday around the Seychelles.

7. Praslin Island

Natural Feature

Various granite formations adorn the white-sand Anse Lazio on Praslin Island
© Lucky Photographer / Alamy Stock Photo

Step off the beaten track and back in time on Praslin Island, the second-largest island in the archipelago. This granitic island is home to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a Unesco World Heritage site. The land in the nature reserve has remained largely unchanged since prehistoric times. Highlights include a well-preserved palm forest populated with the coco de mer palm, as well as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, some of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles.

8. Curieuse Island

Natural Feature

Rugged rocks on a tropical beach on Curieuse Island, in the Seychelles
© Zoonar / Alamy Stock Photo

Sitting off the northern coast of Praslin, Curieuse Island is a gem of a place that deserves a day trip by boat. The small island serves as a giant free-range zoo for hundreds of giant tortoises, which were introduced between 1978 and 1982. As part of the conservation programme, there’s a tortoise nursery on the island, while the beaches are popular with nesting sea turtles. Curieuse is also one of the few places in the Seychelles where the coco de mer palm grows naturally.

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