An archipelago made up of 115 islands set in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles just might be the most relaxing beachside getaway in the world. And all it takes is a quick Google image search for “tropical paradise” before you’re inundated with images of the Seychelles’ many idyllic islands.
Picture this: gently swaying palms, pure white powdery sand, and unrealistic blue seas. Better yet, one of the best things about Seychelles beaches is that they’ve all been made public!
Once a popular hideaway for pirates, where treasure is still said to be buried, many travelers visit the Seychelles to escape reality and lounge on the the world’s most picturesque beaches.
The following is a guide to three of the best, on each of Seychelles’ top 3 islands. I’ll introduce you to the nation’s most popular beaches, as well as those that offer a bit more seclusion.
The Best Beaches in the Seychelles
Beaches of Mahé
Mahé Island not only offers up the nation’s capital Victoria, but it also boasts what could be the Seychelles’ most popular beach.
Beau Vallon’s appeal comes from being able to enjoy its beautiful calm waters, while also experiencing a bit of the culture of the Seychelles. This beach is far from secluded, but it’s Mahé’s longest which means people easily spread out a bit.
Beau Vallon offers extensive facilities, loads of water sports and activities, and can easily be accessed by those staying at the beach’s luxurious Seychelles hotel (pictured above).
One of Seychelles’ safest beaches, Beau Vallon is patrolled by lifeguards. This makes it ideal for families as well as couples looking for a relaxing getaway. You really get a sense of community here, being able to intermix with locals and sampling fresh seafood with a Creole touch from nearby local vendors.
You’ll find most dive operators based here as well as plenty of parasailing, SUPs, and great snorkelling. If you’re looking for a lively beach where you can engage with people, and feel like you’re part of the action, there’s no better beach on Mahé.
You’ll find that many of Sechelles’ beaches have names that begin with “Anse”. This translates as “bay” in Creole which happens to be one of the three official languages spoken on the islands (the other two languages are English and French).
Anse Intendance lies along Mahé’s southern coastline. While its lack of protection means the bay may not always be the safest for swimming, its bigger waves make it a popular beach for surfers.
Anse Intendance offers a much more wild and natural feel than Beau Vallon, and its fewer crowds combined with its kilometer-long length make it perfect for those looking for a bit more isolation. The beach also attracts sea turtles that come ashore to lay eggs from October to February each year.
Expect pure white sand that joins up with granite boulders and lush foliage. Just one resort sits along this beach, further enhancing its more natural feel.
Image: dronepicr (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
If you’re looking for even more seclusion still, head to Anse Major. It may take a bit of effort to get to, but you may just find yourself all alone if you get there early in the day.
Anse Major can only be accessed by enduring an hour-long hike or hiring a water taxi to take you there. If you happen to be driving a rental car, take note that there are very limited parking spots available at the start of the trailhead which leads to the beach.
You’ll definitely work up a sweat hiking along the trail that winds through the Morne Seychellois National Park. The trail is rather exposed to the sun for most of the way, making it necessary to carry water with you.
Your reward, a refreshing dip in a postcard-worthy oasis. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for exotic wildlife along the way.
Image: Njohn5188 [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Beaches of Praslin
You’ll find Anse Lazio on the second largest island in the Seychelles. This easily accessible beach can be found on the island’s northwestern side.
Lounge beneath the Takamaka trees or try a bit of snorkeling along the beach’s coral-rich eastern side. It’s definitely one of Praslin’s more crowded beaches, but can be enjoyed with much fewer people early mornings.
Most of the island’s hotels and resorts provide economical shuttle service to Anse Lazio or you can simply grab a taxi. Anse Lazio consistently not only ranks as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles, but in the world overall.
Image: dronepicr (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Anse St. Sauveur
On the opposite side of the island, you’ll find the much quieter Anse St. Sauveur. If you’re looking for the quintessential tropical beach with coconut palms, this is it.
It’s ideal for photography purposes and even better for relaxation due to the lack of people. Enjoy shallow waters that make for ideal snorkeling, and simply take a break from the busier parts of the island.
The waters are also normally calm, making it a good location for families to swim. Anse St. Sauveur may be small, but its lack of crowds makes it appear much larger.
Heading back up to the northwestern corner of the island, this time taking the island’s southern route past the airport, Anse Georgette may be Praslin’s most beautiful.
Visiting this beach requires a little prior planning, as the single resort that provides access to Anse Georgette limits non-guest visitors and doesn’t exactly advertise the fact you can gain entry to the beach without booking a room.
You will need to call the resort to schedule your visit. For this reason, it often receives much less attention than the easier accessibility offer by Anse Lazio.
An alternative to scheduling your visit through the resort’s access is to take on an hour and a half hike from Anse Lazio. The journey is a bit adventurous and requires a bit of endurance and struggle through the jungle.
Whichever way you decide to get to the beach, you’ll be rewarded with stunningly clear waters that catch the sun as it sets each night. Be careful swimming at Anse Georgette as the deep waters and strong currents are not for the inexperienced.
Image: dronepicr (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Beaches of La Digue
Anse Source d’Argent
It may be one of the very few beaches in the Seychelles that requires an entry fee, but that doesn’t stop most people from flocking to it. The reason, it is simply exceptionally beautiful.
Anse Source d’Argent may very well be one of the most photographed beaches in the world; it’s been used for countless TV commercials and magazine advertisements over the years.
Many people mistakenly believe that this beach was the location where Tom Hanks filmed Cast Away. In reality, however, Tom and his volleyball Wilson were actually marooned on a small uninhabited island of Fiji named Monuriki. The confusion may be from the fact a 1980s British film called Castaway was filmed at Anse Source d’Argent.
Although Tom Hanks may not have set foot on Anse Source d’Argent, this in no way detracts from the beaches attraction. Shelling out around $8 entry to the L’Union Estate grants you access to the beach, where you’ll find its famous giant granite boulders, pink sand, and abundant marine life.
The shallow water here, especially during low tide makes it an easy place to spot sea turtles and tropical fish without even having to don a mask and snorkel. Your entry fee also gains you access to the plantation’s museum, park, coconut mill, and Aldabra giant tortoises.
Although the beach’s west-facing position makes it ideal for sunsets, it’s important to note that the plantation gates close at 5PM each day.
Image: Didier Baertschiger (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
Grand Anse offers La Digue’s longest beach, which is a much less crowded option than Anse Source d’Argent.
Accessed via a 20 minute bike ride or hour long walk from town, the beach is rather wide and once again offers a more-natural feel. You can recoup some of the energy needed to get here by grabbing a bite to eat at the beachside restaurant called Loutier Coco.
The beach may not be advisable for swimming during the April-October monsoon season due to large swells and strong currents, but it can make for some decent surfing. Don’t expect to find much shade, as there is a definite lack of trees. Consider it more of a sunbathing beach.
Find even more seclusion and just as much beauty by walking the shoreline of Grand Anse to the north where you’ll find Petite Anse. This beach is referred to as the sister beach to Grand Anse, and despite being named Petite is actually roughly the same size as Gran Anse.
You’ll find a small beach bar on Petite Anse where you can reward yourself for making the short journey.
If Petite Anse is considered to be the sister to Grand Anse, then Anse Cocos might be considered the third sibling that often gets left out. The beach can be found north of Petite Anse around Pointe Petite Anse.
Starting from back at Grand Anse, it should take you around 30 minutes to walk to this beach. While you won’t find much safe swimming in Petite Anse, Anse Cocos offers a lovely natural swimming pool that is set amongst cool looking granite boulders.
It is one of the few beaches in the Seychelles that you may have to yourself any time of the day due to the extra effort it takes to get there. Just remember that you won’t find any amenities at Anse Cocos and you may want to bring along some food and water.
Image: Jean-Marie Hullot (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
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