The first thing that springs to mind when you think of the Seychelles is probably an idyllic island paradise, rather than a walking destination. However, the Seychelles has some wonderful trails that are perfect for a relaxed hiking trip.

What’s fantastic about choosing this as your destination is that you can hop between the different islands and really get an insight into the diverse ecosystems they support. Explore Worldwide is just one company that offers an itinerary that allows you to discover the three main islands on one holiday.

In just under two weeks you can travel between Mahe, Praslin and La Digue on an island-hopping tour unlike any other. The following are a few of the highlights on each isle.

 

Mahe

Mahe is the largest of the Seychelles’ islands and where you’ll find the country’s capital, Victoria. You should divide your time here between exploring the town and the amazing natural attractions. Due to its diminutive size, walking around Victoria shouldn’t take you too long and will give you an insight into the nation’s colonial heritage.

A tour of the island will introduce you to the Seychelles’ flora and fauna, with Mahe having some interesting scenery thanks to its mountainous interior, much of which is protected by a national park. Strange endemic plantlife, such as the jellyfish tree and the Seychelles pitcher plant, can be found in the mountain forests.

The Glacis Trois Freres walking trail will lead you through a section of rainforest, over some of the granite boulders that the islands are famous for, and up to a viewing point where you can look down over the capital.

 

Praslin

Praslin is the second-largest island in the archipelago and boasts one of the Seychelles’ two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. This protects an area of palm forest that is unique and remarkable in that it contains all of the Seychelles’ endemic palm species, including the coco de mer tree, which produces the world’s largest seed.

Following a walking trail through the national park is the best way to explore it and to see some of the incredible plants and animals that live here. Keep your eyes peeled for geckos, sunbirds, tiger chameleons, tree frogs and blue pigeons as you stroll.

You should also be sure to visit some of Praslin’s beaches, which are said to be among the most beautiful on the islands. Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette both stand out, but any of the stretches of sand here are stunning.

 

La Digue

The final island you can visit is La Digue, which is only 10 sq km in size. This makes it easy to walk around the entire island if you want to and gives you the chance to discover its many scenic coves and bays for yourself. Large granite boulders that have been shaped by the elements dot many of the sandy stretches on this island, adding to their unique and picturesque appearance.

There are several walking trails you can follow here too, including a track that leads you through a working coconut plantation and a route to the Belle Vue viewpoint, which is best visited early in the morning for spectacular vistas.

If you’re interested in seeing more of the Seychelles’ wildlife, take a stroll through the La Digue Vev Reserve, which was established to protect the rare black paradise flycatcher (known as vev in Creole). Other birds you can spot here include the Chinese bittern, waxbill and cave swiftlet.

 

photo credit: D-Stanley via photopin cc