Where is Seychelles located? Which islands to visit during your trip? Planning on island hopping the Seychelles? Hopefully we’ll sort out these out with this very map-article. Our illustrations will reveal the remote area of the Indian Ocean where the Seychelles Islands are located, including those islands of the archipelago that you can visit during your visit.
The republic of Seychelles is an African nation-island with approximately 115 tropical islands scattered in the Indian Ocean.
The archipelago is located to the northeast of Madagascar. The country covers 455 square kilometres of land and its population of 91,000 is one of the World’s smallest.
The capital of the Seychelles is Victoria, located on the main island of Mahé. Victoria is only city in the archipelago and it accommodates one-third of the country’s total population.
The exact latitude and longitude for the country are 4.6308° S, 55.4619° E.
Visiting the islands of Seychelles
The Seychellois archipelago comprises of more than a hundred beautiful islands. They are divided into two categories that are significantly different in terms of their appearance and also for their location. Furthermore, you’ll often hear group of islands when visiting the archipelago.
Granitic – Inner Islands
A dense group of 42 islands, the only group in the world located in the middle of the ocean consisting of granite rock. Their luxuriant green vegetation is tropical green with an abundance of coconut trees, palms palm, bananas, mango trees, yams, and other tropical fruit trees. Native forests are found on the highest slopes where cinnamon trees and tea plants are grown. All the islands including Praslin (the second largest island) are located less than 65 km from Mahé.
Coralline – Outer Islands
The outer islands are isolated outcrops of coral islets located southwest to the granitic group. These islands are uninhabited by man and they rise only few meters above sea level. However, the outer islands present the richest collection vegetation and fauna of the Seychellois archipelago. A great example would be the Aldabra Atoll, one of the world’s largest atoll and it covers around the third of the entire Seychellois territory. It’s incredible fauna and flora is preserved and is classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Which islands to visit in the Seychelles?
While the Inner Islands are quite developed and ideal for tourism, it can be very adventurous to visit the outer island. Although they are somewhat remote and require a lot of planning to trip to, it can be a unique experience to land feet on an uninhabited island.
However, most tourists visit the inner islands mostly, for their secureness, infrastructures, hotels, facilities, and obviously the beautiful beaches. So we’ll go with that first. Here are some of the best islands you can visit in the Seychelles:
Mahe Island – Inner Islands
Mahe is the largest of all Seychellois islands, and is home to the capital city Victoria. Mahe also accommodates around 72,000 people, or almost 80 % of all the country’s inhabitants.
Among the highlights of the island are the outstanding sandy beaches, the most famous is probably Beau Vallon and its paradise bay. The south-western region of the island is also well-known for its numerous secluded bays with idyllic settings like Anse Major’s.
As you would expect, Mahe is the most animated island, and it is often called the capital island of the Seychelles. The meeting place of all Seychellois traditions and island life. For a pure local immersion, visit a fishermen village or drive to Sir Selwyn Clarke Market in the capital.
Mahe is mostly famous for its beaches and hotels, but you’ll also find the most beautiful national park of the country, Le Morne Seychellois. Hikers will enjoy its 3045 hectares of fauna & flora and the view from its 905m, highest peak in Seychelles.
Praslin Island – Inner Islands
Many visitors consider Praslin to be the most beautiful island of the Seychelles. We think the 7,000 people living on the island will agree. It is one of the most authentic island of the Indian Ocean and it is ideal for vacationers and honeymooners alike.
The island lies 45 kilometres to the north of Mahe, 45 minutes by boat or 10 minutes flights by air Seychelles. Praslin is the second largest island of the archipelago. Its beaches like Anse Lazio or Anse Gorgette are worth the sea crossing. In fact, some visitors choose to spend most of their time on Praslin Island for its calmness and the privacy of its luxury hotels but also for its all year round deserted beaches.
Praslin requires to be quite adventurous. Its 38.5 km² of land is for the most part undeveloped. There is one main road that crosses the island and smaller routes lead to coastal villages. Sometimes, you have to stroll to reach immaculate strands.
If you heard about Sea Coconut and its curious shape, Praslin Island is the home of the famous fruit of the Seychelles. Visiting the centre of the island is a complete scenery change. The rainforest of May Valley, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO will enchant you with its eclectic collection of palm trees.
La Digue – Inner Islands
La Digue is the fourth largest island of the archipelago located 30 minutes by boat from Praslin and 2 hours from Mahe. La Digue is primarily known for its idyllic beaches like the world famous Anse Source d’Argent, regarded as one of the best on the planet.
One day is not enough to enjoy all that La Digue has to offer. Reason why many visitors choose to book their hotel on Praslin or even stay on La Digue for a weekend.
La Digue offers many activities and places to discover. You’ll meet giant tortoises, explore romantic beaches like Grand Anse, Anse Coco, or the highly recommended Veuve Special Reserve located on the island.
The biggest attraction on La Digue are the inexplicable rock formations on the beach of Anse Source d’Argent. Along the coast you can dive and snorkel almost everywhere, the submarine biodiversity is exceptional. La Digue is also ideally located to visit the other inner islands like Sisters Islands, Curieuse and Marianne Islands.
Aldabra Atoll – Outer Islands
The Aldabra Islands form the largest atoll in the Indian Ocean and are nurtured by a huge biodiversity including giant turtles and diverse species of birds. The island is inhabited except for a few people, who work for the protection of the island. However, with permission, it is possible to take day trips to the Aldabra Atoll.
Alphonse Island – Outer Islands
All urbanisation you’ll find on Alphonse Island is a resort and a village, that’s it, the rests is all deserted nature. Overall only about 80 people live there. The island is best reached by plane from Mahé, there are several Air Seychelles flights each week. Just three kilometres to the south lies the uninhabited Atoll of Saint-François with its picturesque lagoon.
Platte Island – Outer Islands
On Platte Island (Île Plate) only three people live, so it is a real secret tip. The island can be reached by airplane, but it is irregularly felled – the 900 meter long runway stretches from the northern to the southern end of the island. Platte Island is praised for its beautiful coral surroundings, snorkelling is a must there. There are no tour-operators there, you should bring your own equipment and everything else you might need.