If you’re hoping to combine the cultural and varied charms of Mahé with some more classic Indian Ocean island experiences but don’t want to venture too far, these offshore smaller islands might offer just the ticket.
Anonyme (just offshore near the International Airport) has a small resort but can also be visited for the day or for a half-day when the whole island is not hired out. Call Anonyme Island Resort and arrange a time to be collected by boat from their jetty, just north of the airport.
On the island there’s a swimming pool, plus nice beaches for swimming (though the water is shallow at low tide). Feeling more active? There’s also a nature trail around the island, snorkelling equipment and kayaks. It’s usually possible to kayak across to the nearby deserted Rat Island (where there are actually no rats because they were all eradicated in 2005) in about 30 minutes, but ask the staff about sea conditions before doing so. Lunch or dinner at the Piment Vert restaurant can be arranged, with flexible meal times.
St Anne Island now has the private grounds of a five-star resort in one corner, but most of the island retains a wild character. The first settlers lived on this island, clearing a patch of marshland in which to plant their crops and it’s still easy to imagine how it might have appeared.
The small islands of Round and Moyenne in the St Anne Marine National Park, and the larger island of Cerf, can easily be visited by small boat or glass-bottom boat from Victoria.
Tiny Round Island can be circumnavigated in less than 10 minutes’ walk. Moyenne is somewhat larger, with a nature trail that takes about 45 minutes to walk. Cerf Island is much bigger, covered in coconut palms and scrub, and has several trails that run up the hill if you want to explore inland. All three islands are excellent for swimming and each one has small restaurants.
Several of the smaller Seychellois islands are effectively the domain of one tourist facility, generally a single resort for overnight stays. It’s legal for anyone to land on any beach at any time in the Seychelles, but the land above the high tide line is private. Frégate Island is the largest of these and also the most isolated of the granitic islands, lying 55km east of Mahé. For many years it was a thriving plantation, with a small hotel based around the plantation house. Today, it’s home to an upmarket resort, flanked by several beautiful beaches, watersports and a network of pathways to explore on foot or by golf cart.