5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

The Seychelles, an archipelago of granite and coral islands, reefs and atolls, is blessed with a sublime tropical climate, and a rich and unique biodiversity.

The Seychelles

The Seychelles

With two UNESCO World Heritage sites, six marine national parks and countless areas of outstanding natural beauty it could be argued that the entire archipelago is a natural wonder.

Here is our list of 5 natural wonders of the Seychelles

1. Atoll of Aldabra

Top of any list of natural wonders of the Seychelles must come this collection of stunning coral islands set around a shallow lagoon and surrounded by a rich, vibrant reef. One of the largest atolls in the world, its location in a remote area of the Seychelles has meant that it has remained largely untouched, a fact now protected by its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a rich, largely endemic, biodiversity and the highest population of giant tortoises in the world.

2. Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

The second UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Seychelles is the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin. Once believed to be the original Garden of Eden, this primeval palm forest is the home to many rare, endemic palms including the famous coco de mer. Wildlife includes the endemic black parrot, Seychelles kestrel, sunbird, Seychelles house snake, green and bronze geckos and six species of caecilian.

Port Launay National Marine Park

Port Launay National Marine Park

3. Grand Anse, La Digue

There are so many beautiful beaches in the Seychelles that it is difficult to pick any one out above the others. Grand Anse, on La Digue (a short boat ride from Praslin) does, however, epitomise what visitors are looking for when they come to a Seychellois beach. With its perfect white, powder sand, softly shaded granite boulders and clear, shallow waters it looks as if an artist has created a vision of a perfect beach and brought it to life. La Digue itself has many beautiful and rare species including the paradise flycatcher or ‘veuve’, swiftlets and sea turtles.

4. Port Launay National Marine Park

This stunning reef and natural seascape is the only marine park in the Seychelles accessible by both land and sea. Including 8 stunning beaches on the island of Mahé, the park offers fabulous snorkelling opportunities as well as the chance to spot whale sharks as they pass through the waters attracted by the rich plankton which accumulates here. Constance Ephelia overlooks the marine park.

5. Aride Island Nature Reserve

Home to one million breeding seabirds across 10 species, including the endemic magpie robins, fodies, brush warblers and blue pigeon, Aride Island is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Protected from human influence since 1973, Aride is the largest nature reserve of the granitic Seychelles islands and the only natural home of Wright’s Gardenia. It also has a rich population of reptiles and nesting turtles.

Where to stay in the Seychelles

Vallée de Mai celebrates 30 years as UNESCO World Heritage Site

This year the Seychelles celebrates the 30th anniversary of the primeval palm forest, the Vallée de Mai, being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Set in the heart of Praslin island, a short drive from Constance Lémuria, the Vallée de Mai is part of the beautiful Praslin National Park, an area of ancient forest largely untouched by human hands.

The Coco de Mer

Visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage Site can see a range of endemic species, including the protected coco de mer palm.

A 19th century British explorer was so bowled over by the valley’s beauty that he set out to prove that it was the original site of the Garden of Eden and that the coco de mer palm was the actual tree of knowledge.

Endemic wildlife and plants at Vallée de Mai

A walk around the breathtaking verdant forest, alone or with a guide, is an opportunity to spot rare endemic wildlife including the endangered black parrot, chameleons, Seychelles house snakes and green and bronze geckos.

Alongside the famous coco de mer there are five other types of endemic palms here, the only place on earth where they are all found together, as well as a range of other trees including mango and cinnamon.

Stay at Constance Lémuria

If you’re tempted by the splendour of this World Heritage Site take a look at Constance Lémuria, where you stay in ultimate 5* comfort and luxury while enjoying a holiday of discovery and adventure.

Find out more about Vallée de Mai