Praslin and La Digue
Praslin and La Digue are close to each other, over 40 km north-east of Mahé. Praslin is 13 km long and La Digue just over 5 km; they're the largest islands commonly visited apart from Mahé.
Silhouette Island, to the north-west of Mahé (visible from my hotel and from Beau Vallon Beach), is about the size of La Digue, but is more rarely visited, because it's surrounded by reefs and landing from the sea is difficult.
We flew to Praslin on one of the small planes operated by Air Seychelles, then continued by boat to La Digue, where we were taken by ox-cart to a small copra factory (for processing coconuts). We looked around that, and were proudly shown the outside of the thatched house where Emmanuelle stayed during the making of the film Emmanuelle II (the house now belongs to the President). Then we were led to a beach and left there for the rest of the morning. I walked for a considerable distance along the beach, taking photos; it was a very picturesque beach, divided into short segments by large, smooth boulders. However, I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was crowded — by Seychelles standards. That is, there were people on it here and there, in addition to the people on my excursion.
After noon, we returned to Praslin and had a buffet lunch at the Britannia restaurant, then visited the Vallée de Mai national park, where we had a guided tour on footpaths through the forest, and saw the coco-de-mer trees. Finally, we we were left on another beach for an hour before returning by plane to Mahé.
Praslin seems to be a smaller, more peaceful version of Mahé. On La Digue, you enter true relax mode: there are a few roads but no motor vehicles, apart from a couple of vans used by Mason's Travel. La Digue has one rather smart hotel, a couple of guest houses, and a permanent population of about 2,000.