the fp is things-to-do
Things to see and do in Seychelles
Seychelles Tourist Office in the UKAddress: Fourth Floor, 11 Grosvenor Crescent,
Telephone: (020) 7245 6106.
Attractions in Seychelles
Delve underwater at Sainte Anne National Marine Park
Scuba-diving, glass-bottom boat trips and snorkelling are popular activities among the coral reefs of this national park, which comprises six islands off the coast of Mahé. Enjoy a relaxing stay on Sainte Anne and Cerf islands, or a mouth-watering Creole meal of tuna on Round Island.
Explore L’Union Estate
A cycle ride through the peaceful L'Union Estate on La Digue is a great way to see giant tortoises, visit one of the last working copra mills, or reach the cemetery of the original settlers of La Digue. Cool off at the stunning Anse Source d'Argent beach, which featured in the Bounty television advertisements.
Feel like a castaway on Frégate
Frégate Island, the most easterly and isolated of the granitic islands, is home to the almost extinct magpie robin and many other important bird species. Pass though unspoiled vegetation on your way to one of the island's picture-postcard beaches such as Anse Victorin or Anse Macquereau.
Get close to a giant tortoise
The world's largest atoll, and listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Aldabra is the place to see giant tortoises, with 150,000 individuals in all. The atoll consists of 13 islands, making up about one-third of the Seychelles' land mass. Some tortoises have been exported to Curieuse, now a giant tortoise reserve.
Go diving off Desroches
The Aquarium, Madam Zabre and Passe Tambi areas around Desroches Island (largest of the Amirantes archipelago) are the best snorkelling spots for sighting turtles, stingrays and colourful reef fish. Scuba-diving is particularly good here too, with sea cliffs, tunnels and caves open to exploration. Visibility is best from September to May.
Hike through prehistoric forests on Praslin
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vallée de Mai on Praslin is one of only two places in the world (Curieuse is the other) to see naturally-growing Coco de Mer trees and their enormous fruit, which is shaped like a female's lower torso. Visitors can hike three prehistoric forest trails, looking out for endemic palms and birds such as the shy black parrot.
Kick back in colonial Mahé
Take in the bustling market, the Botanical Gardens (with Coco de Mer trees, giant tortoises and orchids), and the replica of London's Vauxhall Bridge Tower Clock in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, before setting off around the island to visit colonial-style mansions in graceful decline and plantations of cinnamon and vanilla.
Marvel at the natural beauty of Thérèse
Uninhabited by humans, discover the rock pools and tortoise colony of this small islet off the western coast of Mahé. Explore its two rocky peaks which resemble a giant's staircase, relax on the white sand beaches or enjoy snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing and fishing. The boat journey from Port Glaud, Mahé, takes only five minutes.
Photograph rare birds
The brush warbler, the Seychelles toc-toc and the fairy tern are just some of the rare birds that nest on Cousin Island during April and May. Twitchers should also head to Bird Island, the famed nesting site for millions of sooty terns, which breed there between May and October.
Relax with La Digue’s slow pace
Today, La Digue's traditional ox-cart transport is reserved for tourists who want to enjoy a gentle and relaxing trip along the island's coastline or take a short excursion to the Rene Payet Veuve Reserve, home to the endangered Seychelles paradise flycatcher found only on La Digue.
Sail your way to Mahé’s best beaches
Hire a yacht and explore the islands and secret covers of Mahé at your own pace. Anse Major is rated as one of Mahé's best beaches, along with Anse Jasmin, Anse Du Riz, and Petit Anse. Alternatively, seek out one of the island's other 70 white-sand beaches spread over 71km (44 miles) of pristine coastline with safe anchorages.
Soak up the sun on Anse Lazio
Rated as one of the best beaches in the world by, erm, Giorgio Armani, the powder-white sands fringed with large granite boulders of Anse Lazio (Lazio beach) on Praslin Island are just the place to kick back and enjoy peace and panoramas. The clear, warm turquoise seas are an invitation to snorkel.
Spend a night with turtles
With numerous hatching sites around Bird, Praslin and Mahé islands, you're in with a good chance of watching a hawksbill turtle lay her soft round eggs and cup her flippers to shovel sand back into the hole to cover them. Lying exhausted, she drags her enormous bulk over the sands before disappearing into the turquoise sea. It's an amazing spectacle.
Take up rod and reel
Marlin can be caught off Denis from October to December. The location of Bird Island, at the edge of the Seychelles continental shelf where the sea floor drops rapidly to 2,000m (5,000ft), makes it a favoured destination for deep-sea fishing, while the best spots for salt-water fly fishing are the Alphonse and Desroches Islands.