Islands of wonders and mysteries, the Seychelles archipelago got everything you could probably think of for a perfect dream holiday. Undoubtedly, the island of the Seychelles lives up to their title of ‘Paradise’. Let us explore some of these fascinating islands!
If you are heading to the Seychelles, this is where you will probably land. Mahé Island is the largest and most developed island of the archipelago and is home to 90% of the Seychelles’ population.
Mahé Island is located in the northeast of the nation and measures 157.3 km². It is of granitic origin and spreads over 26 km long and 6 km wide. Its highest peak known as the Morne Seychellois rises to 2,969 feet (905 meters) and boasts magnificent panoramic views over the nearby islands and the Indian Ocean.
The island was name after the French governor of Mauritius, Bertrand-Francois Mahé de la Bourdonnais.
With over 60 stunning beaches, lush tropical vegetations, sightseeing and activities, Mahé Island will take you to pure bliss.
One of the Seychelles most popular islands, Praslin is for those in quest of tranquillity and peacefulness. It is the second largest island of the archipelago and is inhabited by merely 6,500 people.
Praslin Island lies 44 km northeast of Mahé and measures 38.5 km². The granitic island is 12 km long and 4.6 km wide. The Baie Sainte Anne and Grand Anse are the two main administrative district of the island.
In 1744, the island was known as the Isle de Palmes- named given by the famous French explorer Lazare Picault. At that time, Praslin was a pirates’ hideout. It was only in the year 1768, that the island was renamed Praslin in honour of the French diplomat César Gabriel de Choiseul, duc de Praslin. Embark in the fascinating world of Praslin and come across world top ranked beaches and set foot in the primeval forest of Vallée de Mai.
La Digue Island
The exquisite charm of La Digue Island will certainly keep you spellbound. The relaxed island vibe of the island makes it one of the best laid back locations in the Seychelles. In terms of population, La Digue is classed as the third largest inhabited island (2,800 populations) and in terms of size the island is ranked as the fourth largest island of the Seychelles.
La Digue lies east of Praslin Island and west Felicite Island. It measures 10.08 km² with a length of 5 km and width of 3.3 km. its small size makes it easy to commute around the island.
The first person to spot La Digue was Lazare Piacult as per modern historian; however, the island was named in 1768 when the French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion visited the Seychelles. It is absolutely a must for all visitors of La Digue Island to spend some time in the renowned Anse Source d’Argent beach. The beach might seem familiar to you as it did appear in countless adverts, films, magazines and brochures.
An island of pure bliss and tranquillity, Fregate Island is known to be the favourite hideaway of Hollywood stars. The island famous Anse Victorin beach was voted ‘The World’s Best Beach’ by The Times.
Fregate Island is the most distant of the granitic Inner Island group and is located 55 km away from Mahé. The Island measures 2.07 km² with length of 1.6 km and width of 1.8 km.
The island was named as Fregate for the abundance of frigate birds present on the island. It was named by the French explorer Lazare Picault. During the latter part of the 17th Century, the Fregate Island was a famous pirate’s hideout. Many historians and locals believe that there are many treasures hidden in its 280 hectare.
Known for its unique blending of tropical beauty and mystery, Silhouette Island is the land of dreams and fantasies. Silhouette is the third largest granitic island of the archipelago and is home to merely 200 persons.
Lying 20 km northwest of Mahé, Silhouette Island is of 20.1 km² with length of 5.3 km and width 5.3 km. Its highest peak is the Mont Dauban which measures 751 m (2.464 ft). The island has some of the most spectacular scenery in the archipelago. The island was named after the French minister of finances Etienne de Silhouette.
Curieuse Island is a little piece of paradise hidden in the Seychelles archipelago. Blessed with elegance and quietude, the island is the best place to leave the daily worries and stress behind. Managed by the Marine Parks Authority of the Seychelles, Curieuse is a bio-reserve which hid thousands of natural wonders. The well preserved flora and fauna of the island makes it certainly the gem of the Seychelles.
Curieuse Island is located northwest of Praslin and measures 2.86 km² with a length of 3.6 km and width of 1.6 km. its highest elevation is 172 m and is known as the Mont Curieuse.
At a given time, the island was named as Ile Rouge (Red Island) due to its red coloured soil, but in 1768, it was renamed after a ship which was under the command of French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne. In order to protect the native wildlife, Curieuse and its surrounding waters were declared the Curieuse Marine National Park in 1979.
The island counts approximately 300 Aldabra tortoises and is also a refuge for the Seychelles black parrot.
Known as the ‘seabird citadel’, Aride Island is probably the most unspoiled island of the archipelago. It features unparallel scenery and is home to five endemic land birds.
Aride Island is located 10 km north of Praslin and measures 0.71 km² with length of 1.65 km and width of 0.6 km.
In 1967, the island became a protected nature reserve and in 1973, it was purchased by Christopher Cadbury. The island is managed by the Island Conservation Society of the Seychelles.
Aride Island boasts many bird species including the world’s only hilltop colony of sooty terns, red-tailed tropic bird, roseate tern and the biggest colony of lesser noddies on earth. Among the many species of the island, Aride is home to the densest population of lizards in the planet. Aride Island is open to visitors on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.