Let's face it: much of the east coast is given over to housing, so there are only a few spots that fit the picture-postcard ideal. And swimming is not that tempting, with very shallow waters and a profusion of algae – hardcore beach-hounds may be disappointed. This is not to say the east coast isn't a worthwhile place to visit.
Other Inner Islands
If you want to live out that stranded-on-a-deserted-island fantasy, consider staying at a private island resort. Rack rates are sky-high, but look out for internet deals. Apart from the sense of exclusivity, what makes these hideaways so special is their green ethos. They're all involved in pioneering conservation projects and are sanctuaries for various rare species.
Bird is the ultimate in ecotourism and bird-life viewing. Hundreds of thousands of sooty terns, fairy terns and common noddies descend en masse between May and October to nest on this coral island that lies 95km north of Mahé. Now is your chance to relive a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds! You just have to sit on your veranda and birds will come to land on your head.
You land on a strip of coral by the sea. There's a white-sand beach lapped by luxuriously warm waters; a shimmering lagoon with every hue from lapis lazuli to turquoise; palm and casuarina trees leaning over the shore. Welcome to Denis, a coral island that lies about 95km northeast of Mahé.