You don’t need to pick just one amazing island to visit in the Seychelles – it’s easy to move between them, whether for a multi-island stay or day trips. The next bit of good news is that you don’t need to be a millionaire to island-hop here – you can travel by ferry, seaplane or helicopter, depending on your budget and how much of a hurry you’re in – but if time is on your side, there’s nothing quite like sailing to your next destination.
The small Air Seychelles planes make regular trips throughout the day from the Domestic Terminal on Mahé to Praslin, and operate a single flight daily to Bird and Denis (chartered by the hotels on these islands, through which bookings must be made).
Islands Development Company (IDC) operates scheduled flights most days to Alphonse and Desroches plus charter flights to other outer islands where airstrips exist, including Alphonse, Assumption, Coetivy, Marie-Louise, Platte and Remire. There are no facilities on planes and no in-flight services. It’s important to be aware that Praslin is the only island where hotel confirmation isn’t needed prior to landing.
For an idea of timings and prices:
ZilAir is the main provider of helicopter luxury transfers and scenic flights in the region. It operates three high-tech machines, which fly out of ZilAir’s base next to the International Airport runway. Money no object? This is the mode of transport for you (though you'll be looking at £800+ for the flight). You can even relax in a VIP lounge before take-off with wi-fi, computers and refreshments.
The company has access to 21 licensed helipads and seven landing strips in the archipelago, including Aride, Bird Island, Cap Lazare, Cerf Island, Frégate, La Digue, Félicité, Round Island, Lemuria, Cousine, North Island, Ephelia, Grand Barbe, Grand Soeur, Kempinski, Maia, Marie Anne, Alphonse and Rémire.
Up to four passengers are allowed aboard each helicopter; children over two must occupy their own seat. Passengers should avoid taking more than 20kg of baggage without prior consultation.
Ferries operate between Mahé (from Inter-Island Quay, Victoria), Praslin (Praslin Quay/Baie Ste Anne) and La Digue (La Passe jetty).
A fast catamaran, Cat Cocos, takes one hour to cross between Mahé and Praslin (cost: £45 one-way). A direct trip from Mahé and La Digue is just over an hour (cost: £55 one-way). The first Mahé–Praslin catamaran leaves at 7.30am, the last at 6pm.
Inter Island Ferry Pty Ltd operates daily schooner sail ships between Praslin and La Digue (cost: £12.50 one-way). It is essential to book seats in advance. Arrive 15 minutes before departure for all ferries.
Services run throughout the day with seven daily return journeys departing Praslin Mon–Thu 7am–5.15pm and La Digue 7.30am–5.45pm. On Fri and Sun the last sailing in each direction is 30 minutes later. On Sat the last sailing from Praslin is 6.15pm.
Day trips or trips of several days on a yacht or motorboat can be a great way to move between the islands and explore at a slower pace. These can be arranged through a resort. Or contact a local tour operator for a tailor-made excursion.