Praslin is surrounded by a handful of smaller ‘satellite’ isles that each offer something unique for a visitor to discover, be it rare species found in protected island reserves, beautifully remote beaches in hidden coves only accessible by boat, or diving and snorkelling sites teeming with marine life.
St Pierre & Curieuse
From our resort one can look out onto the tiny islet of St Pierre, which falls within the protected Curieuse Marine National Park. Featuring often in Seychelles postcards as the iconic desert isle – it consists merely of an outcrop of granite boulders and a handful of swaying palms – St Pierre is a wonderful spot for snorkelling or simply relaxing on deck with one of the world’s most picturesque islands as your backdrop. Nearby, Curieuse Island itself is an ideal day-trip and picnic spot, where visitors can venture along nature trails winding through mangrove forests, visit its giant tortoise conservation project, or learn about the island’s colonial history as a leper colony at the Doctor’s House, a small museum.
This sleepy island community is the third-most populous island in the Seychelles and is a favourite amongst visitors for its peaceful and quaint island atmosphere, where bicycle is the most common mode of transportation. Day trips are easily arranged and ferries run often between the Baie Ste Anne Jetty on Praslin and La Digue’s only harbour and town, La Passe. That’s plenty of time to rent a bicycle, explore the historic colonial Union Estate plantation, and laze on iconic Seychelles beaches like Anse Source D’Argent, Grand Anse, pr others, while enjoying the charm of the people and imitating the native island life at its slowest and most relaxed.
Oft-referred to as the ‘seabird citadel’ of the Indian Ocean, Aride is a stunning example of a Seychelles island habitat restored to its original state before human settlement. Aride hosts more breeding species of seabird than any other island in the Seychelles, and is also home to endangered endemic land birds, as well as a few species, such as Wright’s Gardenia and a curiously large species of skink, that are found only on the island and nowhere else in the world. Trips to Aride, which is managed by the Island Conservation Society, can be arranged by boat and are typically possible between October and May, when landing on the beach is considered safer.
A special nature reserve dedicated to conservation habitat restoration, Cousin is a sanctuary for endemic Seychelles plants, birds and reptiles. The prospects for several critically endangered species of endemic land bird have been greatly buoyed by the habitat on Cousin, which is run by NGO Nature Seychelles. The island is also a frequent nesting site for sea turtles, and projects for coral reef restoration. . Tours are available all year round.
The Sisters (Grande Soeur and Petit Soeur)
These private islands are everything one would imagine in a desert island hideaway. On Grande Soeur, numerous snorkelling and diving spots fringe the island’s reef, where guests can land on the beach on one side, and walk across to the other in just a couple of minutes, where one of the most picturesque beaches in all of Seychelles awaits.
A tiny outcrop of granite and tropical foliage, with a small beach that’s barely visible at high tide, Coco is protected as a Marine National Park, and is an oft-visited site for the sparkling waters that surround it and the uniqueness of the island itself. Day excursions can often be organised to visit both the Sisters and Coco in the same day.