Last updated on January 11th, 2019
Planning a trip to Seychelles and not sure on which island to stay to stay because there are 3 amazing options (or even more)? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’ve just returned from Seychelles, and I’m ready to share with you all the information I’ve acquired during my trip. So, Mahe or Praslin or La Digue, what is the best island to stay in Seychelles? Keep reading to learn more about each island and what do they have to offer.
Have you been to the Maldives as well? Not yet? You can check my post about the best time to go to the Maldives! Alternatively, if you’re looking for great tropical holidays, you can check out my post about Cancun and Riviera Maya in Mexico.
Best island to stay in Seychelles
Seychelles is a beautiful place. It’s a country that consists of a vast number of islands; however, the most famous three are Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Mahe and Praslin are the two biggest ones and probably the most visited ones. However, all the three islands are undoubtedly beautiful, and sometimes it’s hard to pick just one. In my itinerary, I actually combined all the three islands in one trip (read about my itinerary for Seychelles and how did I manage to enjoy Mahe, Praslin and La Digue in one trip HERE), however, I know, that sometimes it’s impossible and you only need to pick one.
Well, in this case, you can pick the best island to stay in Seychelles for you – as everybody has different needs and priorities. Let me tell you a bit more about each island, so it’s easier for you to make your mind.
Mahe vs Praslin vs La Digue – best island to stay in Seychelles
Mahe – the biggest island with the best beaches in Seychelles
Let’s start with Mahe. I visited Seychelles in December, so the “good side” of Seychelles for us was the right one. What does “good side” mean? Well, Seychelles
I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in Mahe, as I thought it’s a crowded island with a lot of traffic, commerce and other downsides (I imagined something like Male in the Maldives), however, it’s 100% not right. Mahe is actually amazing, and in my opinion, Mahe had the best beaches for swimming in Seychelles. And also for snorkelling.
We stayed at the far end of the island, in the hotel called Takamaka Green village, a few minutes away from the beautiful Takamaka Beach. We rented a car (it’s a must in Mahe) – try to rent a car in advance during the busy periods. Check rentalcars.com for the car offers & availability. The car is a necessity in Mahe if you want to get around the island and explore what it has to offer.
Beaches in Mahe
I will probably write a separate post about the best beaches in Mahe, but here I’ll mention that my absolute favourite beach for swimming and snorkelling was the Port Launay. I also enjoyed the Beau Vallon beach and the Takamaka beach.
Things to do in Mahe
There are plenty of things to do in Mahe besides swimming and snorkelling: you can hike, go fruit shopping to the fruit & fish market in Victoria, buy a diving tour to a nearby island, go inside the Morne Seychellois park and much more.
Best places to stay in Mahe
A good thing about Seychelles is that you don’t need to stay in a resort – there are plenty of beautiful apartments, and you can really stay on a budget. You can read my post about the tips to spend your holiday in Seychelles on a budget. However, you can also stay in one of the dreamy resorts in Seychelles and have the best beaches at your fingertips.
Best things about staying in Mahe:
Mahe is a great place to stay in Seychelles: you’ll have access to the fabulous beaches, there’s a huge selection of restaurants, and there are plenty of activities you can do in Mahe. The airport is in Mahe, and you don’t need to pay extra for a ferry or a plane to Praslin or La Digue.
The downsides of Mahe:
Mahe is not a small island, and you will have to hire a car to be able to see it properly. Mahe is definitely not walkable, and it’s not a tropical paradise island, where you can walk everywhere. Mahe can be quite crowded and noisy. Some parts of Mahe aren’t very safe.
Praslin – the island of Coco de Mer
Another popular option for staying in Seychelles is Praslin – the second biggest island. Praslin is famous for the Anse Lazio beach that always makes it top 15 of the best beaches in the world. Praslin is a lot smaller than Mahe, but still not very walkable. You can get around by buses, but it’s just so much easier to explore Praslin by car, as you can get almost everywhere in 15 minutes.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy car rental, we hired a car through Capricorn Car Rental and the service was excellent and our car was new, clean and nice. We had an excess of 3500 euros, which is a bit scary given the number of falling coconuts on the island; however, we didn’t have any accidents, and it was great.
Praslin is much smaller compared to Mahe, and it’s not all fantastic turquoise beaches as you can imagine. In fact, in December, we could only swim in Ferdinand bay (a lovely not-so-well-known beach close to the jetty) and in Anse Lazio. All the beaches on our side of the island (where we stayed) – on the side of the Praslin airport, were not suitable for swimming, so we had to drive to Anse Lazio.
Things to do in Praslin:
There are slightly fewer things you can do in Praslin vs Mahe, but there are two fascinating natural reserves that are worth visiting – the Vallee De Mai which is a bit pricey (costs almost $25 per person), where you can see the famous Coco De Mer that only grows in Praslin. Coco de Mer is a very interestingly shaped coconut (looks like a heart, or a butt).
Fond Ferdinand is another cheaper national park, which also has a beautiful viewpoint, from where you can see the entire Praslin. You can also take a couple of tours to other smaller islands from Praslin.
Where to stay in Praslin:
There is a number of amazing resorts located in Praslin. If you’re looking for affordable accommodation, we totally recommend Ocean Jewels Resort, where we stayed for 3 nights. Other options to look at: The Marine Park Cottage, Seashell Self-Catering, Villa Milou.
Benefits of Praslin: Praslin is a relatively small island, so it’s easy to drive everywhere. One of the best beaches in the world is located in Praslin.
Downsides of Praslin: Praslin is not walkable, during some seasons, there are only 2-3 beaches suitable for swimming.
La Digue – a tropical paradise with expensive beaches
Finally, the third island that we are going to discuss in this post is La Digue. La Digue is probably most compared island vs Praslin, as they are really close to each other, just 15 minutes away by ferry. The ferry goes pretty often and starts very early, so it’s possible to come to La Digue just for a day. However, if you’re looking to stay in La Digue, there are a couple of things you need to know.
First of all, there are many fantastic beaches in La Digue, but not all of them are free, and not all of them are suitable for swimming during certain times. For example, in December, Grande Anse has such strong currents, that it was not safe to swim (at all). However, the most famous Anse Source’D Argent was perfect, however, to get in, you need to pay around 120 Seychelles Rupees each, and that’s only for a day. So imagine you have a family of 4, you’re staying in La Digue for 5 days, and you want to visit Anse Source D’Argent every day. Prepare $170 just for the beach.
However, I felt like it was worth visiting La Digue and if I wanted to relax property in Seychelles, I’d stay in La Digue for at least 3 days. You don’t need to hire a car; however, you need to hire a bike, and you can explore the entire island by bike. It’s super convenient and fun, so why not?
Where to stay in La Digue:
There are some beautiful resorts located in La Digue, for example, Le Domaine D’Orangeraie.
Things to do in La Digue:
Apart from swimming and snorkelling and riding everywhere by bike, you can also go on a tour hopping the islands nearby, which is pretty amazing.
Benefits of La Digue: it’s a small tropical island with its unique vibe and atmosphere. It’s the most relaxing island in Seychelles and the best island in Seychelles for a proper relaxing holiday.
Drawbacks of La Digue: La Digue is slightly more expensive than other islands in Seychelles. There are not many free beaches to choose from if you don’t want to visit Anse Source D’Argent every day. It’s far from Mahe and the international airport.
Praslin or Mahe or La Digue – what to choose?
Well, now when I told you a bit more about each island, it’s time for you to choose between the islands in Seychelles. If you need to choose between Mahe or Praslin, I would probably recommend staying in Mahe. If you’re choosing between Praslin or La Digue, I would probably recommend La Digue more. La Digue was my favourite island in Seychelles and Praslin was the one I liked the least (nonetheless, it’s still amazing and beautiful, but just when comparing Praslin vs Mahe vs La Digue, the contenders are strong).
If you have an opportunity, try to visit all the islands or at least 2 of them. It’s easy to combine 2 or even 3 islands in one trip to Seychelles, and you can do it even within 5 days as we did. If you want to take a look at my itinerary, check it out here.
Summary: Mahe vs Praslin vs La Digue
All the islands in Seychelles are beautiful and unique and totally worth visiting, and it’s up to you to choose where to stay. If you’re looking for great snorkelling, Mahe or La Digue are great, but Praslin isn’t. If you’re looking for a good place to swim, I recommend you Mahe. And if you’re looking for national parks, active holidays and swimming as well, Praslin is a good option.