Five active Seychelles’ adventures

By Glynn Burridge

Photography by Alamy

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September 2017

Home to sensational beaches and jungle wilderness as well as world-class scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and sailing, the Seychelles are a playground for adventure seekers. Here are five of the most exhilarating reasons to visit.

Island thrills

Nothing feels quite as adventurous as a trip where you hop, skip and jump taking in several islands. The Seychelles archipelago has 115 islands, each with its own charm. Mahé, Praslin and La Digue are the main, most-visited of the bunch with granite mountains which thrust high into the sky, dense jungle and pretty sandy beaches. To the north lie Bird and Denis islands, flat coral outposts that teem with nature, such as the rare paradise flycatcher. For real Robinson Crusoe types, the far-flung outer islands of Desroches and Alphonse will make you feel like a castaway, albeit with more creature comforts than Crusoe.

With a reputation for some of the best scuba diving anywhere on the planet, divers can expect to frolic with dolphins, rays, turtles and neon flurries of fish on underwater jaunts

Air and sea connections on-the-ground make travel between islands a breeze, and no matter which you visit, your tastebuds are in for a treat. Feast on local Creole cuisine – a fusion of French, Indian and Chinese influences – freshly cooked fish and impeccably spiced coconut curries take centrestage.

  • Scuba diving locations don’t come better than the Seychelles © Gallo Images/Alamy

    Dive in

    Residents you might meet underwater here range from a myriad of fish species to turtles and dolphins. Book flights from London to Seychelles from:£420 each-way

    Book flights
  • Turquois Horse Trails riding tours © Damien Dreyer

    Just say neigh

    Horse-riding is a memorable and eco-friendly way to see the sites, with Turquois Horse Trails’ motto being ‘Leave only hoofprints’.

    Plan a holiday
  • Take to the Indian Ocean on a sailing adventure © Gallo Images/Alamy

    Motion of the ocean

    If you ever played with a toy yacht in the bath, you will be able to live out a fantasy in the Seychelles archipelago, where travel by boat is the best way to experience the delights of remote outer islands.

    Explore Seychelles

Hit the water

With its turquoise waters and perpetual-summer climate, partaking in watersports in the Seychelles is a no-brainer. The dilemma is which to try first. Mahé Island’s Beau Vallon bay is a hotspot for ocean pursuits from paragliding and water skiing to windsurfing. While surfing and kitesurfing are on the rise here, they’re not well established, so bring your kit for boardsports. Some of the best scuba diving on the planet can be found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and with both granite and coral reefs to explore, divers can expect to frolic with dolphins, rays, turtles and neon flurries of fish on underwater jaunts. Especially lucky sub aquanauts might even catch a glimpse of a mighty whale shark in the big blue. Deep-sea fishing is also popular; reel in big-hitters such as marlin, sailfish, dorado and barracuda on a trip with local outfit A1.

  • The paradise flycatcher is just one of Seychelles’ spectacular birds © Zahoor Salmi/Getty Images

    A little bird told me

    The wonderfully appropriately named Bird Island is among the many spots where you might catch a glimpse of rare and wonderful species such as the paradise flycatcher.

    Seychelles travel guide

Giddy up

Cantering through the surf on Grand Anse Beach on the back of a gorgeous Appaloosan steed is the stuff equestrians’ dreams are made of. Turquoise Horse Trails operate stables on Mahé’s west coast; choose from lessons and hacks through lesser-explored countryside. An eco-friendly philosophy abounds and focus on a quality experience rules supreme – owner Damien Dreyer employs bit-less bridles, the best American saddles and ensures rides always avoid any nesting turtles on beaches.

Rock on

Whizzing along 80-120m long aerial ziplines suspended in the canopy of a pristine forest is a truly epic experience. Try it with long-established SMAC Adventures that run a one-stop adrenaline shop offering rock climbing, zip lining and abseiling at the Constance Ephelia hotel on Mahé’s north-west coast. If scaling up 18m-high craggy granite cliff faces in lush Port Launay National Park doesn’t get your heart racing, nothing will.

Sail away

Moorings in secluded bays, breath-taking panoramas and relatively uncongested waters, sailing in the Seychelles archipelago is an all-round dreamy affair. The south east trade winds which blow from May to September make for rougher seas at this time, but, by and large, conditions allow for sailing year-round. State-of-the-art single hulls and catamarans can be hired, either skippered or bare-boat. While the waterways of the inner islands won’t disappoint, voyagers to the remote outer islands will be rewarded by astonishing deserted sand cays and sparkling sapphire lagoons.