Beaches | So Seychelles

Beaches

Port Launay Marine National Park

The beach at the entrance to the national park is a lovely, horseshoe shaped arc of white sands, with calm and relatively deep waters forming a natural harbour. As a protected marine reserve the snorkeling here is excellent - both along the rocks to the right of the bay and around the cross marking the mouth of the bay.

With the jungle clad mountains to your right and a high granite hill to your left where the forest is only slightly disturbed by a handful of small villas, you feel surrounded by nature while on this beach looking out to sea.

Behind the beach lies the Constance Ephelia resort, with two restaurants and a beach bar looking out towards the water, but tucked behind the trees so the resort is not too prominent from the beach or the waters. There is also a takeaway van by the road that runs along the side of the resort to the beach, though sadly it is of the burger and chips variety not Creole style rice and fish.

Anse Royale

Anse Royale is one of the largest bays on Mahé island, with calm and clear turquoise waters and an immense panorama of white sand and palms from any point on the beach. If you've travelled from south the airport this is one of the first east coast beaches worth stopping for, and it is a real treat, with beautiful views in all directions.

Anse Royale has a great deal to offer as a base for independent travellers, with grocery shops and a local market offering fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, as well as a number of restaurants, a takeaway and some souvenir shops. The village also has a school and a couple of churches, allowing you to sample a piece of provincial island life. Behind the village rises Les Cannelles, a pass over the hills to the west coast, making it easy to reach any of the beaches in the south east or west.

Beau Vallon

On the north west coast of Mahe is the resort of Beau Vallon. If you've been hiding in the deep south of the island or have just rolled over from sleepy La Digue you may find Beau Vallon surprisingly large - but it's important to put this in perspective: though this may be the biggest tourist area in the Seychelles, it is still low key, spread out and an altogether chilled place to spend a holiday - and if you've just arrived from Europe it will just seem like a small, sleepy seaside village.

But if Beau Vallon can't offer the secluded beaches you see in the brochures, why would you stay?

Anse Source D'Argent

This is it - the beach you were dreaming of when you picked the Seychelles. Perhaps one of the most photographed beaches in the world, Anse Source D'Argent has been the star of many films, adverts and tv shows for its pure white sand and unique boulders. Picture yourself paradise - and chances are it looks a lot like this.

But does it live up to the hype? Yes, without a doubt - though perhaps it is a victim of its own success.

It really is a stunning sight, but good timing is essential: it can all but disappear at high tide, and it can get very busy in the middle of the day. Yet the crystal clear turquoise waters and pristine sand are truly breathtaking, and it is easy to spot fish swimming in the shallow around the reef without so much as a mask or snorkel - lucky visitors may even spot a sea turtle swimming off the shore! The shallow water does make swimming a little pointless, but it is quite possible to wade out through the waters to enjoy the marine life, and it’s a good snorkelling spot.

Anse Cocos

It may be a 30 minute walk on from Grande Anse, but Anse Cocos is well worth the hike. A stunning sweep of sand with a steep slope into the rocky waters, Anse Cocos is picture-perfect - and all the more rewarding for the fact you found it all by yourself. As well as the beautiful china-white sands you've seen at Petite & Grande Anse, Cocos also benefits from beautiful boulders to rival those at Anse Source D'Argent at the far end of the bay - yet is far more secluded, with few people making the trek all the way from Grand Anse.

Once again it is not safe to swim on this beach - and it is so deserted that help would take a long time to arrive should you get into trouble. Thankfully, if you fancy a dip after the hot walk here you can head to the far side of the beach where there is a natural pool sheltered from the worst of the waves by the surrounding boulders.

Anse Cocos can be challenging to find from Petite Anse, as the path is unmarked and doesn't begin at the end of the beach, as you'd expect.

Anse Georgette

Anse Georgette is outstandingly beautiful, and an unsung hero of Praslin's beaches. While Anse Lazio wins awards worldwide, Anse Georgette keeps quiet, hidden away in the grounds of the Constance Lemuria resort, remaining empty, untouched and a wonderful shade of blue. What makes it so unique - apart from being completely undeveloped - is that there isn't a single rock or piece of coral in the bay, allowing the white sands on the sea bed to create a wonderful turquoise coloured water that is unblemished. In our view it is the most attractive beach on the island - but it is unsafe to swim due to strong waves and currents that threaten to pull you out to sea.

Anse Lazio

At the end of the road on the north west coast, over a jungle clad hill lies Anse Lazio, possibly the most beautiful beach you will set eyes upon. With half a mile of perfect, fine white sands and gorgeous turquoise waters that are so clear you can watch the fish swim around you, it's no surprise Anse Lazio is frequently called 'the best beach in the world'.

It's easiest to reach the beach by car - the bus stops at the last settlement near the bottom of the hill to Zimbabwe, leaving you to trek over a large forested hill and along some way before you reach the beach. However you arrive, the journey is well worth the effort with views that take your breath away and good swimming for much of the year.

Anse Barbarons

Anse Barbarons is a beautiful bay with golden sands surrounded by coconut palms and Takamaka trees, reknowned for its excellent snorkelling within steps of the beach. Backed by Mount Barbarons and with views of Ile Aux Bachez it is a very scenic spot, but the water can be too rough for swimming from June-October. The Avani Seychelles Barbarons opens onto the beach, but aside from this resort there is little else here, creating a very peaceful and natural scene. If you're staying at the Avani the nearest shop is a 10-15 minute walk north towards Grand Anse.

Photo credits: Y Ballester

Baie Ternay & Cap Ternay Beach

Cap Ternay used to be the furthest you could reach along the north west road, but since Emirates have bought the land fronting the bay it is no longer accessible, unless you take a boat or find a way to talk your way in - the gates are protected by security guards.

It's a pity as the area is rather lovely and untouched, and the development plans for the area are immense - 421 rooms and suites, a 'lazy river', conference facilities and a marina - we're not sure but this sounds bigger than any other resort in Seychelles to date. That said, according to Seychelles.travel construction was planned to start in 2008 with opening planned for 2010 - on our visit in 2014 there were still just a few abandoned buildings from the 'Seychelles Youth Village' that existed on the site previously, with no sign of work commencing.

Anse L'Islette (Lans Lilet)

One of the Constance Ephelia's two main beaches, Anse L'Islette is a lovely bay with views of a small island, with waters so shallow its quite easy to walk out to the island - but a little harder to swim! It's a very attractive beach, but swimmers will likely want to head to Port Ternay for deeper waters and great snorkelling.

The beach is best accessed from the Ephelia resort - there is a small river and patch of mangroves seperating the beach from the town, but it is possible to wade across.

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