These islands cluster mainly within the relatively shallow Seychelles plateau, 4° south of the equator. There are 43 Inner Islands in all, 41 granitic and 2 coralline.
The EXPLORER inner Island itinerary permits to discover all granitic islands as follows :
With a backdrop of towering 1000m granite peaks, Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles with 28 km long and 8 km wide (about 155 km²). The island is home to almost the 90% of the population (about 95 000 people). In its mist forests rare endemic plants are found such as the Jellyfish Tree, the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid.
Located 45 km north-east of the main island of Mahé, Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles with 10 km long and 3.7 km wide (about 37 km²). At its heart, the UNESCO World Heritage site, the “Vallée de Mai” where the legendary Coco de mer grows. Its beaches, Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, are considered amongst the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Lying 30 km from Mahé, Silhouette is Seychelles’ third largest island (about 20 km²). Its mist forest on Mont Dauban (731 m) is home of many unique species of plants and trees. For its primitive beauty, Silhouette is classified as a national park since 2010.
Close neighbour to Praslin and to its satellite islands (Félicité, Marianne and the Sisters Islands), La Digue is the fourth largest island in Seychelles (about 10 km²). You can explore the island by ox-cart or by bicycle. La Digue’s forests also contain a wealth of flora in the form of delicate orchids, tumbling vines of vanilla, as well as trees such as Indian almond and takamaka. The beach of Anse Source d’Argent is famous for its fine white sand and its spectacular granite rocks.
Located about 55km from Mahé, is one the most distant of the granitic Inner Islands group. The island is home to no less than fifty species of birds, among which is the rare Seychelles magpie robin, and also hosts the world’s only population of the giant tenebrionid beetle as well as numerous giant tortoises.
Located north of its close neightbour Praslin, Curieuse (about 2 km²) is a natual reserve and a nesting site for hawksbill turtles. The island also boasts an endemic vine and eight different species of mangrove. As on Praslin, the coco-der-mer nut grows naturally.
The Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve is a nature park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (inscribed in 1983) located on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles.
It consists of a well-preserved palm forest. Endemic flagship species that make up the island are the Coco de Mer, and five other types of palms. Also unique to the park is its wildlife, which includes birds such as the rare Seychelles Black Parrot, mammals, crustaceans, snails, and reptiles.
General Gordon of Khartoum
That General Gordon of Khartoum made public his belief that Praslin’s famous Vallée de Mai, home of the Coco-de-Mer was the original site of the Garden of Eden.
Coco-de-Mer, the heaviest seed
The Coco-de-Mer palm, grown only in Seychelles produces the largest seed in the world which weighs up to more than 15kg.
The palm leaves of the coco-de-mer can measure 6 meters in width and 14 meters in length.
Home to endemic birds
Seychelles is home to some of the rarest endemic birds such as Seychelles bush warbler, paradise fly-catcher and the bare-legged scoops owl found only here.