The Seychelles offer a choice of must-see attractions for a beach holiday, including flora and fauna unique to this island paradise.
Vallée de Mai (Praslin Island)
Hike into the valley’s Eden-like vegetation, a World Heritage-listed site and one of only two places in the world where you can see the marvelous coco de mer palm growing in its natural state (the other is nearby Curieuse Island).
On your walk try to spot the rare Seychelles black parrot: coloured pale brown-grey, they usually fly in small flocks and are recognisable by a distinctive whistling call.
Veuve Nature Reserve (La Digue Island)
Look out for the rare black paradise flycatcher bird, found only on La Digue and numbering around 200. Watch as the male bird, with its blue bill, iridescent blue sheen and long black tail streamers, flitters through Indian almond trees in search of insects with the white, black and brown females.
Nid’Aigle (La Digue Island)
Hike through the heart of La Digue to Eagle's Nest Mountain then climb up to the summit of Nid’Aigle (333m) for panoramic views over the neighbouring islands and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean beyond.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise (La Digue Island)
See one of Seychelles’ unique species, the Aldabra Giant Tortoise, munching on vegetation at L’Union Estate Plantation south of La Passe. The male tortoises average 120cm in length and weigh around 250kg; some at L’Union are more than 100 years old.
Wander around the Old Plantation House and watch demonstrations of extracting oil from copra (dried coconut flesh).
Watch more than 300,000 birds on an island just 1km in diameter. See the rare Seychelles warbler and magpie robin as well as fairy terns, white-tailed tropic birds and two varieties of shearwater. In season you may also see hawksbill turtles nesting.
Explore one of the world’s largest coral atolls, some 22km long east to west, home to tiger sharks and manta rays. Get up close to one or more of the 200,000 giant land tortoises as well as thousands of seabirds, including the white-throated rail, the sole remaining species of flightless bird left in the Indian Ocean.
Located just off the coast of Praslin Island, Curieuse Island is home to a colony of Aldabra tortoises as well as the Curieuse National Marine Park, which teems with colourful marine life including schools of jack, snapper and butterfly fish. Scuba dive the popular Coral Garden and snorkel at St Pierre.
The most developed of the Seychelles islands is home to the country’s capital, Victoria, more than 70 powdery white-sand beaches and a choice of hiking trails through coconut palms and cinnamon trees within Morne Seychellois National Park. Don’t miss hiking to the Seychelles highest point at Morne Seychellois (905m).
The beautiful Beau Vallon Bay offers a 3km-long golden beach, off-shore reefs, wrecks for diving and easy access to the nearby Marine Park of Bay Ternay.
One of the smallest capital cities in the world, the only major port in the Seychelles and its only town – all other settlements are villages. The main post office and courthouse in the centre of town remain unchanged since the colonial era.
The most easterly and isolated of the Seychelle islands, Frégate is the home of the almost extinct magpie robin.