A Complete Guide to Inter-Island Travel in the Seychelles

Pier jetty next to a beach on Praslin island, Seychelles. The water is a sea foam green and there are green mountainous islands across the water

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Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. It is mostly known for its pristine white, sandy beaches, and high-end resorts for honeymooners and vacationers. The islands are spread out through the Indian Ocean and can be reached by various means of transportation from Mahe International Airport including ferries, seaplanes, and chartered boats. Use this guide to learn about which modes of transportation are available to the various islands, from Mahe to La Digue.

How to Ride the Inter-Island Ferry

The best way to travel between most islands in the Seychelles is by ferry. It is best to book tickets online at least 48 hours in advance to ensure availability on a ferry to your desired island. The ferry is also the most common choice for island-hopping due to the ease of booking and availability of ferry boats across the various island canals.

  • Hours of Operation: Inter-island ferry services are available from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday- Friday from Praslin to La Digue. Service starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. From Praslin to La Digue, the ferry services are from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 10:15 a.m.–5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Tickets and Fares: Once tickets are booked online, e-tickets are emailed for use shortly thereafter. Real-time seat availability is accessible upon booking online and tickets are refundable, however, each booking platform has a different refund policy. Tickets range from around $16 all the way to $87 each way depending on the fare class and route.
  • Routes: Ferry services are available between the three main islands of Mahe, La Digue, and Praslin using the inter-island ferry booking services. Ferries can be booked either one way between the islands or round trip. There are several daily services available between the three main islands.

 You can use the trip planner tools on seychellesbookings.com to book your tickets and learn about possible departure and arrival times, as well as available routes. Seyferry and Cat Cocos are additional ferry options for traveling around the islands.

Islands Accessible by Ferry

 Island hopping by ferry is one of the best ways to see multiple islands during a trip to the Seychelles. Some of the most common ferry combinations include the following:

  • Mahe to Praslin: There are at least three boats per day for this route. The trip takes around one hour.
  • Mahe to La Digue: Situated around 33 miles (53 kilometers) apart, ferries go multiple times per day and take around 90 minutes.
  • Mahe to Cerf Island: It takes under 10 minutes to reach Cerf by ferry boat from Mahe.
  • Praslin to La Digue: This commute is a short 15-minute ferry boat trip between these islands which is available every day.
  • Praslin to Round Island: This journey is only five minutes by boat from Praslin to Round Island.
  • La Digue to Felicite Island: This trip takes just 15 minutes by ferry boat.
Aerial view of a white yacht and a small white raft surrounded by bright turqouise water

Tristan Barrington / EyeEm / Getty Images

Islands Accessible by Chartered Yachts

Mahe, La Digue, and Praslin are the island trio ideal for experiencing the Seychelles by boat. Mahe is typically the starting point for any trip and visitors can choose to experience the inner islands nearby, such as Eden island and Perseverance Island, or venture further out to the Farquhar group, the Aldabra group, and Amirantes.

The inner islands are the best choice if you want to moor often and they are easily accessible from the mainland for making plentiful discoveries in the ocean. Additional islands which are accessible by private boat charter include Moyenne, St. Annes, Cousin, Cousine, and Silhouette island.

Plenty of islands are uninhabited, making them ideal options to explore on a private yacht charter. Charter options range in prices from a few hundred dollars to upwards of thousands depending on the boat size and amenities offered. Choices of boat and yacht charter companies include Sam Boat, Trimaran Yacht Charter, and Boat Bookings. Choices of private boat bookings include crewed motor yachts, crewed catamarans, and bareboat catamarans.

Islands Accessible by Helicopters

For those tourists interested in experiencing the high life in the Seychelles, a helicopter tour or arrival to your resort may be appealing. The Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare offers guests the opportunity to arrive directly by helicopter from the airport with their aerial limo services. Additionally, guests can book private helicopter tours starting at $615 for 15 minutes and $1,007 for 30 minutes.

There are also plenty of small islands which are only accessible by helicopter which include North island, home to only 11 villas for seclusion, Denis private island also in the North home to exclusive eco-resorts, and Desroches island which is located 230 kilometers from Mahe. Praslin Island is accessible by Air Seychelles from Mahe and the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa runs helicopter flights via ZilAir.

Car Rentals on the Islands

 There are a host of taxi and car rental services on many of the inner islands in the Seychelles even though they can be a bit pricey. Many resorts offer private car hire options but renting your own vehicle to have access outside of the resorts can be very useful. Having access to your own rental is advisable if you plan to take day trips outside of your resort on the main islands such as Mahe or Praslin.

Popular car rental options include the Car Rental Seychelles Airport in Victoria, Thrifty Car Rental also situated at the airport, and Papa Car Rental which is located on Praslin and Mahe islands. Car rental services start around $60 per day and drivers must be at least 23 years old.

Getting to and From the Airport

 Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) is the main airport in the country and is located 6 miles from Victoria. The airport is the hub for Air Seychelles and can be reached by several modes of transportation which include private taxi services, car hire, and ferry services. The most popular way to get to the airport for those situated in Mahe is by private car rental services. 

From the Northern end of Mahe to the Seychelles International Airport, the trip takes around 35 to 45 minutes. From the Southern end of Mahe to the Seychelles International Airport, the trip takes approximately 45 minutes. For those looking to arrive at the airport from Praslin, it is possible by inter-island ferry which takes an hour from the inter-island jetty.

Tips for Getting Around the Islands

  • On the island of La Digue, bicycles are the main form of transport for many locals and tourists.
  • On the islands of Mahé and Praslin a wide-ranging bus service operates with fares which are cheap and frequent services.
  • Private car hire is readily available on the main islands.
  • If renting a car, tourists should be aware that many roads are narrow and winding. Coastal roads often don’t have barriers up, so you should drive carefully.
  • Taxis are widely available and are perfect for short trips or whole day charters, with metered fares costing around $2 per kilometer.