Essential Seychelles

  • 2 Weeks

Two weeks is fine for a taster of the Seychelles' islands – allowing plenty of time for enjoying the very best of the country's superb beaches.

On the first day, tune into island life in the capital, Victoria, checking out the market and strolling among the palm trees in the botanical gardens. Move on to Beau Vallon, where three days can easily be spent messing around in and on the water. Devote the next two days to the beaches and byways of Mahé and to visiting the Morne Seychellois National Park, which has a little bit of everything: a colonial-era ruin, a tea factory and some fabulous hiking.

Next, cruise over to Praslin, which closely resembles paradise. Ogle curvaceous coco de mer nuts in the Unesco World Heritage–listed Vallée de Mai, hike amid massive palm fronds and then flake out on the perfect, sugar-white sands at Anse Lazio, one of the prettiest beaches we know. Fill the next four days with snorkelling, diving and swimming off Anse Volbert, getting up close and personal with giant tortoises on Curieuse Island – home to a large breeding farm of giant Aldabra tortoises – and walking among cacophonous clouds of seabirds on Cousin Island, with more than 300,000 birds and numerous endemic species – even amateur bird-watchers will want to spend more time here than most tours allow.

From Praslin, make sail for La Digue; if you thought Praslin was paradise, just wait until you lose yourself on La Digue. Three days is the perfect amount of time to lapse into La Digue’s slow vibe. Visit Anse Source d'Argent – the archetypal idyllic beach, although it's by no means the only one on the island. Get there late afternoon for the best atmosphere and try to avoid high tide, when the beach all but disappears. Take a snorkelling trip around nearby islands, then find solitude on the beaches of Grand Anse and Petite Anse. Grand Anse is incredibly scenic and has a great restaurant, Loutier Coco, where you can enjoy a superb lunch buffet. Petite Anse, which is accessible on foot only, feels wilder and more secluded. All too soon, it will be time to tear yourself away for the trip back to Victoria.