More destination information on the surrounding islands
There are no regular trips to the islands lying off Mahe, but you can hire a boat at Victoria, Beau Vallon, Port Glaud, Port Launay or Baie Ternay for day trips. Excursions are available in glass-bottom boats to explore the underwater life in St Anne Marine National Park, one of four marine parks in Seychelles. Apart from enjoying swimming and snorkelling opportunities (and perhaps a Creole lunch), you can descend to the deep in a semi-submersible subsea viewer and see the fish without getting wet.
St Anne Island , now home to newly built St Annes Resort Hotel is reached by a private launch.St Anne Island
The main islands off the west coast are Thérèse (privately-owned), Conception, and the tiny Ile aux Vaches Marines. Further offshore, to the northwest, Silhouette, with only a few hundred inhabitants in its 16 sq km (6 sq miles), is the third-largest of the islands. Strange trees and plants abound in the jungly interior: the pitcher plant with its amphora-like receptacles ready to snap their lids shut on anything silly enough to crawl inside; takamakas; sandalwood and cinammon trees.
Visitors land at Anse La Passe, near the Island only hotel. Here you can see the well-maintained colonial home of the Dauban family who emigrated from Mauritius at the end of the 18th century and bought up the Falcon bit by bit. At Anse Lascar, remains of Arab graves suggest a possible 9th-century Arab settlement.
Neighbouring North Island , which you can see from Beau Vallon, is the site of the newest and most amazing of the Seychelles Hotels, North Island Lodge is an architectural and environmentalists’ paradise set on this small private Island .
Huge takamaka and casuarina trees shade the exquisite white sandy beaches of Curieuse Island , north of Praslin. Only 3 sq km (1 sq mile) in area, the Island was named after one of the ships of explorer Marion Dufresne. A few hundred giant land tortoises live here. They lay their eggs on the beach in May and June, and guardians watch over the eggs and then the little hatchlings until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
The granitic Aride, northwest of Curieuse, is one of the most unspoiled places on earth. An important nature reserve, it is home to vast colonies of seabirds: sooty terns, lesser noddies, white-tailed tropical birds. This is the only place in the world where the lemon-scented Wright’s gardenia grows.