Are you longing to escape the mundane and experience nature’s aquatic splendour? Is your soul craving more than just a generic beach holiday? Look no further, as Seychelles has the perfect answer to satisfy your wanderlust. Prepare yourself for extraordinary snorkelling adventures that will leave you spellbound.
But with countless breathtaking diving spots scattered across this vast island paradise, where should you even begin? Fear not. Our carefully curated list of the top 10 spots in Seychelles will guide you to discover the hidden treasures beneath the mesmerising waves. Grab your gear, including your trusty mask, underwater camera, and fins, as we embark on an unforgettable journey to capture the vibrant beauty of exotic marine species and surrender to the enchantment of the ocean’s depths. It’s time to turn your dreams of exploring the sea into a glorious reality!
1. Sainte Anne Marine National Park
Established in 1973, Sainte Anne Marine National Park rests just five kilometres from Victoria – the capital city of Seychelles. It’s the first wildlife sanctuary of its kind in the Indian Ocean and consists of eight small islands, including Cerf. Renowned as a prime location for undersea exploration, this park enthrals sightseers with its bright coral reefs, reef sharks, and tropical fish. With an array of Creole-style restaurants and luxury resorts, Sainte Anne effortlessly blends conservation with comfort. Local tour operators also offer day trips, making it an accessible and popular destination for tourists from around the globe.
2. Anse Lazio
Recognised as one of the best beaches in Seychelles by reputable travel experts, Anse Lazio provides visitors with an exceptional tropical experience. Its clear, turquoise waters are perfect for a refreshing swim, while the backdrop of lush greenery provides a scenic contrast. Large rocks flank the shore’s edge, giving the sandy coastline a stunning coastal environment. The coral reefs close to the beach are teeming with kaleidoscopic marine life, making it a popular tourist destination. Additionally, the beach is accessible by road, and there is a small parking area available for visitors.
3. Baie Ternay Marine National Park, Mahé
Named after Chevalier Charles Louis D’Arzac de Ternay, Baie Ternay is cherished for its organic, economic, and cultural significance to the locals. This park spans 80 hectares and showcases wetlands, seagrass beds, mud flats, rocky shores, and vibrant coral reefs. Its geological origins lie in the remnants of Gondwanaland, sculpted over time by trade winds to create beautiful shapes that support various plant and animal life. Birdwatchers can enjoy the mud flat’s stunning birdlife during low tide, including native and wading species. Accessible by land or sea, Baie Ternay offers excursions through licensed boat charters and dive operators, often accompanied by snorkelling and barbecues.
4. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue
Anse Source d’Argent can be accessed by passing through the scenic L’Union Estate coconut plantation, which requires a nominal entrance fee for a day’s access. The paths leading to the seaside are clearly marked, ensuring a hassle-free journey. While low tide may present challenges for swimming here, high tide offers a safe and delightful adventure. Moreover, tourists can savour the delights of nearby restaurants and fruit stands, allowing them to spend an entire day immersed in the beach’s splendour. Anse Source d’Argent’s undeniable charm has attracted photographers and filmmakers alike, featuring renowned productions such as Cast Away and Crusoe.
5. Shark Bank
North-west of Mahé, about eight kilometres off the coast, lies Shark Bank, an impressive dive site that enchants people with its rich sea life. Divers exploring Shark Bank can expect to encounter large schools of yellow-striped snappers, jacks, batfish, turtles, parrot fish, eagle rays, and reef sharks. Dolphin sightings are also common; sometimes, one may even spot whale sharks. The depth varies between 18 and 30 metres, and the diversity of fish species at these different depths is a sight to marvel at. It’s not just the wildlife that captivates divers; the underwater scenery, complete with large granite formations and colourful coral reefs, is equally mesmerising.
6. Coco Island (Ile Coco), near La Digue
Coco (Ile Coco), a petite gem measuring only 18,000 square metres, is situated approximately one kilometre north of Félicité, near La Digue. This small isle and its surrounding ocean have been under state environmental protection since 1996. In a dedicated effort to facilitate the recovery of the damaged underwater ecosystem, anchoring boats have been prohibited for several years. Visitors are kindly reminded to respect aquatic life and refrain from disturbing it, echoing the conservation ethos prevalent across Seychelles. Coco stands as a testament to the locals’ commitment to preserving its natural wonders for generations to come.
7. Anse Major
As one of the most remote coasts, Anse Major provides a sense of tranquillity and untouched paradise. The hike to this area begins at the end of Bel Ombre Road near the village of Bel Ombre, with clear signposts guiding the way. The trail weaves through dense equatorial jungle, exhibiting diverse scenery that transitions from lush forests to granite slabs overlooking the Indian Ocean. Along the trail, hikers will pass a viewpoint called Point de Vue sur Anse Major, providing a breathtaking beach view. Arriving at Anse Major, travellers are greeted with a secluded stretch of soft white sand lined with swaying coconut palms.
8. Félicité Island
Once a coconut plantation with a population of around 50, Félicité Island carries tales of exile and intrigue, having housed Sultan Abdullah of Perak during the 19th century. With a peak of 277 metres, matching the isle’s name, it spans approximately three kilometres in length and over one kilometre in width. Félicité is known for its stunning beaches, including Anse La Cour and Anse La Fleur. The island’s coastline also features dramatic cliffs and rocky outcrops, adding to its picturesque charm. Its palm-fringed shores provide an exotic setting, while the surrounding waters offer mesmerising diving opportunities.
9. Port Launay Marine National Park, Mahé
Situated near the Constance Ephelia Resort, Port Launay Marine National Park is a favoured spot among its guests, who can conveniently stroll to the shore. Nevertheless, accessibility is not limited to resort tourists, as Port Launay is easily reached by others with accessible parking spaces and bus stops nearby. Port Launay stands out as a rare gem in Seychelles, catering to the adventurous spirit of holidaymakers seeking an active getaway. The calm sea surface is perfect for swimming and snorkelling, while extensive rental options cater to thrilling pursuits like surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing. The exquisite sands and ample shaded areas create an ideal environment for unwinding under the tropical sun, offering blissful days of serenity.
10. Curieuse Marine National Park
Located on the scenic Curieuse island in Seychelles, Curieuse Marine National Park is an irresistible destination with rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. Formerly known as “Ile Rouge” for its vibrant red soil, this destination has a fascinating past, from the French occupation in 1768 to its transformation into a leper colony until 1965. Today, Curieuse’s ecosystem remains protected from human influence. We recommend visiting during spring or fall to enjoy the seaside with warm weather and lesser crowds. To reach here, one must first fly to Seychelles International Airport on Mahé Island and then take a scenic boat ride.
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And there you have it, the alluring treasure trove of Seychelles’ top snorkelling spots. Whether the multi-hued reefs draw you in or the beautiful aquatic life, an underwater escapade awaits everyone. It’s time to let the clear waters be your guide to an unseen, gorgeous world. So, pack your gear, plunge into the azure depths, and create memories that last a lifetime. After all, in Seychelles, every snorkel is a new adventure, and every dive is a story worth telling. Plunge in and let the sea set you free!