The Outstanding Outer Islands of the Seychelles
For most people, the Inner Islands epitomise the Seychelles. With their quaint French colonial architecture and exquisitely eroded granite boulders and coconut palms framing white sand beaches, it is easy to see why – the Inner Islands are indeed beautiful (if a little busy these days). To capture the quintessence of the Seychelles, however, we believe it is necessary to venture further to the far flung Outer Islands, where nature is the dominant force and people are few in number. Two of our favourites are Alphonse and Cosmoledo.
For many years Alphonse island mainly attracted fly fishermen drawn to its world-class tidal flats. Recently the resort has been refurbished and transformed into a family-friendly operation now with equal appeal to children, honeymooners, couples, scuba divers and just about anyone looking for a high degree of comfort in a wonderfully pristine marine setting. Along with the island of Bijoutier and the atoll of St Francois, Alphonse Atoll enjoys an enviable location around 250 miles from Mahe in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and offers plenty of activities from which to choose as well as a spa offering first class treatments.
Attractive as Alphonse is, the real jewel in the Outer Islands crown has to be Cosmoledo Atoll, the furthermost from Mahe on which one can stay: indeed, only the legendary Aldabra Atoll is further (and you can’t stay there). There has only been accommodation on Cosmoledo since November 2018: beforehand only a few souls had been lucky enough to visit. With just eight eco-pods imaginatively formed from shipping containers and negligible impact on the unspoiled island environment, Cosmoledo Eco Camp is perfect for its location. The standard of service and delicious catering belie its splendid isolation, creating an oasis of comfort amidst the virgin environment. Cosmoledo Atoll itself has 21 islands of varying sizes, many made of ancient corals and hosting vast rookeries of thousands of seabirds, and some with old growth mangrove forests. Cosmoledo Eco Camp is located on Wizard Island, and there is definitely something magical about it.
This tour combines Cosmoledo with Alphonse to create a delightful juxtaposition, both locations having much to commend them but both being very different from each other. By opting for such a journey, you will be among the privileged few to experience these marvellous marine wonderlands which will doubtless live in your memory for a very long time.