I will tell, explain, give a lot of advice, and you will find out where is the best place to stay in Seychelles and which island to choose for your vacation. There will be pros and cons for each island, and I will also emphasize those aspects that you will only discover upon arrival in the Seychelles, things you haven’t even thought about before. As they say, don’t switch channels, it will be interesting.

Where is the best place to stay in Seychelles: general information

Let’s start with the basics, briefly and succinctly:

  • The Seychelles is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, consisting of 115 islands. Only 33 of them are inhabited.
  • The three largest inhabited islands in the Seychelles are Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue.
  • The population of the country is 95 thousand people. However, 90% of the population lives on the three islands mentioned above.

It is important to know:

Out of the 33 inhabited islands, only Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue are of interest and accessible to tourists. The other islands are either very far with no infrastructure, or they are private and closed resorts. You can always visit the nearest uninhabited islands as part of various excursions, explore beaches, observe turtles, snorkel, or dive. But that’s for another article: the best excursions and tours in the Seychelles.
best place to stay in Seychelles
Where is the best place to stay in Seychelles? In the photo under the wing of the plane, you can see the islands of Praslin (Praslen) and La Digue (red arrow). Along with Mahé, these are the largest islands in the archipelago. All others are much smaller.
  • Therefore, when it comes to choosing which island to vacation on in the Seychelles, the choice is only between Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue.

The largest island in the country is Mahé, with dimensions of 29×13 km, and La Digue is the third largest island with dimensions of 5×3 km. In reality, La Digue is the fourth largest, and the third is Silhouette Island, but Silhouette Island has only one hotel (Hilton) and all inhabitants are hotel staff. Therefore, Silhouette is not considered for independent travel.

Seychelles: which island to choose. Brief overview

Below is a brief overview with the pros and cons of each island. Also, there is a comparative table for your convenience. I will provide links to detailed reviews on where to stay, beaches, and what to see on each of these islands.

  • Mahé Island
best island seychelles
I’m sitting at the top of Mahé Island and thinking: which island to choose for a vacation in the Seychelles? For active tourists who love hiking in jungles and panoramic viewpoints, Mahé is the clear choice.

It is the largest and main island of the country. Out of 95 thousand people, 77 thousand live on Mahé. The airport is located here, where you will arrive, the capital city is Victoria, and the only supermarket in the country is also here.

Mahé has the most attractions, the largest selection of beaches, hiking routes through jungles and mountains. It is the most developed and infrastructure-rich island.

best island in seychelles for vacation
This is one of the most popular beaches (Cote D’Or Beach) on Praslin Island. It’s great for children. Children will have a wonderful time on any island, though.

In short, Praslin is a scaled-down version of Mahé. It has all the same features but on a smaller scale. There are no large stores here, only two gas stations on the island, fewer beaches, but they are equally beautiful, and fewer attractions.

However, around Praslin, there are about 10 uninhabited small islands, a 5-10 minute boat ride away. Therefore, island-hopping excursions around Praslin and visits to Seychellois turtles (Curieuse Island), snorkeling, and diving are popular here.

  • Overview of Praslin Island: beaches, what to see, how to get there

mahe or praslin to choose
In the author’s humble opinion, the best place to stay in Seychelles is on La Digue Island. The most romantic and cozy island. It’s easy to reach every corner on a bicycle.

It is the smallest of these three islands, with a population of only 2500 people. In my opinion, it is the coziest and most romantic island. If you missed that village vibe, this is the place for you.

A car is not needed on La Digue; there are no buses here. 100% of tourists travel around the island on bicycles. There are no major attractions here, but there is a choice of beaches for every taste. Moreover, the world’s most photographed beach is here, giant Seychellois land turtles roam freely on the island, and you can easily encounter them while cycling. While you’ll also find turtles on Mahé and Praslin, they are in enclosures in parks, not on the road.

seychelles best time to travel
On the way to the beach, you can easily encounter small turtles like these. They just live freely among people.

But La Digue also has its drawbacks: it is the most expensive island of the three, everything is 10-20% more expensive than on Mahé. And it’s the furthest island; getting here costs more than a penny, but I’ll write about that below.

  • Detailed overview of La Digue Island: what to see, beaches, where to stay

And here’s a comparative table with answers to the most common question: where is it better to relax in the Seychelles. It will help structure the information:

CriteriaMahéPraslinLa Digue
Infrastructure: shops and markets++-
Need for a car++
Beaches: beauty and variety+++
For active tourists++-+-
Easy access from the airport+
For family vacations+++
Chain hotels, tour packages+
Sunniest, less rainfall+-+
Where is the best place to stay in Seychelles

Tips and recommendations for tourists

I’ll briefly tell you which island is suitable for whom, and you can find yourself and reflect on what you’ve read 🙂

  • For active tourists who don’t like to stay on one beach, want to see more, hike in the mountains and jungles, explore the capital, visit museums, and change several places during their vacation – definitely Mahé.
  • The safest island is La Digue. Everyone knows each other, and no one even locks their bicycles. It’s comfortable here, like in a village at your grandma’s house. On Mahé and Praslin, there are thieves, and everything about it is in the article: safety in the Seychelles.
  • Keep in mind that you will arrive at Mahé; it’s the only international airport (almost). The ferry to Praslin and La Digue and back for two people will cost about 280 euros. The one-way journey takes just under one and a half hours. Everything about ferries, schedules, and where to buy tickets.
best seychelles island for vacation
Which island to choose in the Seychelles is up to you. In the photo, we climbed to the highest point of Praslin. From there, you can see La Digue Island (in the center), it’s very close.
  • Any island is suitable for a vacation with children. The main thing is to choose the right beach. Each island has beaches without waves, corals, with a gradual entry into the water, and fine sand. Details about this in the article: the best beaches in the Seychelles on Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue.

Personal rating of the author (me):

All three islands are beautiful, and you will have a great time on each, but here’s my personal ranking: the best islands for relaxation are Mahé and La Digue. They are absolutely different and each is unique. Mahé is for active tourists with a car, for hiking enthusiasts, attractions, and changing beaches daily. La Digue is a romantic village island with an unforgettable atmosphere and turtles. As for Praslin, it is in third place for me. It lacks its own zest; in simple terms, it’s like a scaled-down copy of Mahé.

Usually, travelers not tied to tour package easily visit all three islands during a 10-14 day trip. The minimum time needed for each island to see it completely is:

  • Mahé – 8 days
  • Praslin – 3 days
  • La Digue – 3 days.

But that’s the bare minimum. I recommend allocating 4-5 days for La Digue; believe me, it’s worth it.

People are different, and everyone has their own preferences.

Most people believe that if Praslin is larger than La Digue, it requires more time. But that’s not true. I know tourists who fly in for 3 days on Mahé and spend the remaining 10 days on La Digue.

In conclusion: where is the best place to stay in Seychelles? In my opinion, the best islands are Mahé and La Digue. If you’re just starting to plan your dream vacation, plan it in a way that allows you to visit all three islands. La Digue is significantly different from Mahé; they are completely unlike each other. Well, if you have any questions, you can always ask in the comments.

And the best place to relax in Seychelles is where it’s good for you!

IMPORTANT: essential links to organize your dream trip to the Seychelles:

  • FLIGHTS: Aviasales – direct flights and best deals.
  • CAR RENTAL: Mahe and Praslin, no deposit required – DiscoverCars.
    • GetYourGuide – 75+ activities on land and water in the Seychelles.
    • Viator – 150 + activities in Seychelles.
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • PACKAGES: from budget to luxury – Expedia.
  • INTERNET: eSIM of local telecom operator – Airalo.