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Seychelles: The perfect paradise for nature lovers

For nature lovers, each network of walks and trails criss-crossing the islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue is unique and reflects the islands' richness and wealth. Picture: AP

For nature lovers, each network of walks and trails criss-crossing the islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue is unique and reflects the islands' richness and wealth. Picture: AP

Published Feb 22, 2022

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The trees that cover the granitic islands and the 1500 species of flowering plants contain some of the most rare specimens on the planet, many of which are found nowhere else on the planet.

Seychelles has become known for some of the most amazing nature walks and trails in the Indian Ocean, with over 15 trails to choose from. For nature lovers, each network of walks and trails criss-crossing the islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue is unique and reflects the islands' richness and wealth.

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Here are some of the best nature trails to visit on your next vacation:

Copolia Lodge Trail, Mahe

Copolia Trail, located in Morne Seychellois National Park, is one of Seychelles' most popular hiking trails. The view is simply breathtaking, spanning the east coast of the main island all the way to the country's international airport. The trail is hidden beneath the lush growth of the forest, which contains many endemic palms; higher up, the area is covered in boulders.

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The Anse Major trail will not disappoint if you are looking for a relaxing beach day at the end of a hike. The isolated beach of Anse Major is reached via a relatively easy walk through giant boulders. The walk to the beach and back takes about three hours, but the clear blue sea and lagoon are ideal for a picnic.

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Vallee de Mai, Praslin

Seychelles has two Unesco World Heritage sites, including the legendary Vallee de Mai, one of the world's smallest natural Unesco World Heritage Sites, where millions of years of isolation have resulted in the evolution of many unique species found nowhere else on the planet.

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The Vallée de Mai, a living remnant of ancient palm forests, is the green heart of Praslin Island and home to Seychelles' largest intact forest of the endemic coco de mer palm. If you're lucky, you might even see the rare Seychelles Black Parrot.

Fond Ferdinand, Praslin

Even though the Vallee de Mai is unquestionably Praslin's main draw, the alternative Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve is also well worth a visit. This 122-hectare park is six times the size of Vallee de Mai and contains more endemic plant and animal species to discover. From the elevated lookout point, enjoy endless views of Praslin, as well as several other Inner Seychelles Islands, including Curieuse, La Digue and Coco Island.

Nid d'Aigle, La Digue

If you're looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, consider climbing to the Nid d'Aigle while in La Digue. This 333-metre 'mountain' (1092 ft) is La Digue's highest peak and is also known as the Eagle's Nest. The trail meanders through soft forest floors, granite boulders, and red earth. The highest point provides a breathtaking view of Praslin, Felicite, and Marianne Island.

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