Which Seychelles island should I visit? Familiar question? I spent months researching where to go and why, yet found no real comparison between the islands. There is a lot of debate whether you should book tickets to Mahé, be in Praslin or chill in La Digue. I decided to spend a month on all of these three islands, and here is why I recommend you do the same. I now understand why nobody can recommend me one island over the other: they are all different, magnificent and suitable to different people with different tastes. Looking back, I made the best decision by spending time on all of these three islands, exploring them and understanding their dynamics. For example, my favourite beach is on Mahé, my favourite restaurant in La Digue and the best driving roads are in Praslin. They are all different, all unique, and all must be visited at least once in this lifetime. So which of the Seychelles island will you visit?
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Seychelles island - Mahé
Mahe is the largest of the Seychelles islands and the best if you are interested in trails. I would recommend Mahe as an introduction to the Seychelles. A visit to Victoria, the capital, is an absolute must, especially during the morning in order to purchase fresh, local produce. Mahe is also the only island to have a large hypermarket, hence is a great option for indie travellers who want to cook using supermarket ingredients.
As a beginner to the Seychelles, I reckon Mahe is the best bet. It has amazing beaches, luxurious hotels, budget apartments and large supermarkets. Mahe is a great island for those interested in hikes, walks, and cultural activities.
Shopping is not really a sport in the Seychelles, I’m afraid. You can always find necessary ingredients to cook, a few snacks and even some clothes, but nothing stood up to me. I particularly enjoyed shopping in the hypermarket, although I did find prices in the Seychelles to be incredibly high. When it comes to food, makes sure you check the expiry date on all items.
Petite Anse is definitely the best beach in Mahé. In my opinion, it was also the best beach in the Seychelles. It is located through The Four Seasons, but it is open to the general public as well.
For top notch luxury, then there isn’t a better place than the Four Seasons. However, it is very expensive indeed. For a more budget approach, I’d book an apartment close by.
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Top three things to do
The best thing to do in Mahé is to chill by the beach, on Petite Anse. The second best thing is to go on an adventure and hike a trail in the wilderness. The third best thing to do in Mahé is to rent a car and drive around the island to discover all its corners.
Seychelles island - Praslin
Praslin is in a sense the middle ground between the large and populous Mahé and the small and chilled La Digue. Depending on what you are after you have two choices: you can stay on the West side of Praslin if you prefer seclusion and quiet, or you can locate yourself on the East if you want more restaurants and bars. I decided to stay on the Western side because I found a great price for my accommodation. I stayed in Praslin Holiday Homes and loved every single second of it. Of course, there are luxurious hotel options too. We just wanted to stretch our honeymoon for as long as possible.
I would recommend Praslin for its beautiful beaches, nature reserve, and chilled atmosphere.
Praslin is fantastic for nature lovers who are keen to visit the UNESCO Heritage Site: Praslin National Park. Praslin has fantastic beaches, with Anse Lazio being one of the most famous in the world. The restaurants have relatively good food, but the supermarkets are small and prices are high. Please don’t forget to check the best-before-date on the products, as I found tons of expired items in a small shop called Whole Foods Market & Cafe.
If I thought shopping opportunities were few and sparse in Mahé, well Praslin has even less. I found it quite difficult to get ingredients to cook my own meals, hence I needed to dine out a bit more.
Without a doubt, Anse Lazio was the best beach in Praslin. Did I like it more than Petite Anse? No, I thought it was busier and lacked a few amenities which Petite Anse had. Anse Lazio is amazing for snorkelling and swimming. The second best beach in Praslin was Anse Georgette, although you need a reservation to visit it. To do this, go to your hotel or apartment concierge and ask them to sort this for you. Everyone will be happy to assist.
I loved my stay in Praslin Apartments. The flats were very spacious, in a great location and offered free on-site parking. I especially liked the bedroom and the living room was huge. I also had a good, fully equipped kitchen to make my own meals. Should you fancy something more luxurious, there are several options as well including the well known Constance Lemuria.
Not to miss
Coco de Mer is the largest fruit, sometimes weighing over 10 kilos. It’s also very expensive to buy (over £500 per coco de mer). However, if you just want to see coco de mer, you have the chance to observe them in their natural habitat, in Valle de Mai, a UNESCO Heritage Site. Entrance is relatively expensive, but it’s well worth it, as you will enjoy long lush walks, surrounded by raw nature. It’s really a magical place.
Top three things to do
The top things to do in Praslin is to lounge in Anse Lazio and have a lazy afternoon. The second best thing is to swim and snorkel in Anse Georgette. The third best thing to do in Praslin is to visit Valle de Mai and check photograph lots of coco de mer.
Seychelles Island - La Digue
La Digue is a really small and chilled island, home to lots of tortoises and pristine beaches. La Digue is the most relaxed on the Seychelles islands and most locals and visitors alike tend to either walk or cycle everywhere. The air in La Digue is quite clean and the roads are perfect for strolls. There are several secluded beaches, although during peak times you might struggle to get a beach just for yourself. When I went to La Digue during October, I found the island to be relatively busy.
La Digue is great for those wanting to have a relaxed time in the Seychelles. If you don’t mind sharing a beach with a few more people and want to explore the island on bike or foot, then La Digue is for you. It’s also great for local parties, making new friends and interacting with people from all over the world. La Digue is a hippie’s paradise.
There are quite a few shopping opportunities in La Digue. To my surprise, this small island seemed to be the most entrepreneurial. I liked walking around in the centre, checking out shops and markets. There are quite a few restaurants and supermarkets around, although most shops have very few ingredients. I didn’t find any expired items in La Digue either, which was rather refreshing. Overall, I really liked the atmosphere in La Digue.
Anse Patates was my favourite beach in La Digue, followed by Anse Gaulettes. Many will probably argue and say Anse Source d’Argent is the real deal. Well, I went there and didn’t really like it that much. It was very busy, difficult to access and quite pricey. To get access to the beach you have to go through the L’union estate which costs roughly 10 euro per person.
Not to miss
A walk around the island. There will be some parts of the island which you might not be able to access during high tides. The best thing to do is to turn around and take an alternative route. This was the best way to explore La Digue and loved every single second of it. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you.
As with everything in Seychelles, luxury is everywhere. Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort and Spa is one of the best luxury hotels on the island (see below), however there are mid-range options as well. Everything is walking or cycling distance on the island, which makes it one of the most intimate paradises in Seychelles.
Top three things to do
The best thing is to walk around La Digue and discover the island. The second best thing is to chill in a hammock with a coconut. The third best thing is to enjoy cocktails at sunset, on the western side of the island.
So what Seychelles island suits you the most? Leave a comment below and tell us all about your travel plans.