Silhouette Island – A Tropical Adventure in Seychelles
Planning a trip to a remote island with white sandy beaches and leaning palm trees sounds like a daydream. Start planning your daydream with a visit to Silhouette Island. Relax beachside while sipping on fresh coconut water with the sound of waves crashing in the background.
Surrounded by glistening sand and azure waters, Silhouette Island is a cozy and secluded vacation spot, located 20 km northwest of Mahé. It is the third-largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. Seychelles is made up of over 100 islands and around 42% of the total land area has been declared a protected national park.
The mountainous island is easily accessible from Mahé Island by private boat, ferry, or you may opt for a helicopter transfer.
Local Way of Life
The Creole culture is evident on the island, you can learn more about this unique culture at the Grann Kaz Museum. The museum also doubles as the island’s Creole restaurant. This building was once a plantation house and home to the Dauban family, the former owners of Silhouette Island.
The island is very lush and rich in biodiversity but there are numerous endemic and threatened animals and plant species. Some of the most critically endangered species are the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat, Seychelles giant tortoise, and the Seychelles kestrel. Numerous bats hang from the treetops during the day, before they take flight in the evening.
The island features three hiking trails for hikers of all levels. The Anse Mondon trail takes about three hours to complete and leads to the north bay of Silhouette. This fun hiking adventure will take you through lush rain forests and requires a little bit of climbing but the breath-taking view of the misty forest and is worth the climb.
The Jadin Marron trail is a fairly rigorous hike to around 450m altitude and will lead hikers to the famous Coco de Mer trees. These protected trees produce the world’s largest nut. The coco de mer is an odd-shaped nut weighing around 25kg that is known as the coconut of the sea. Due to its density and weight, it cannot float and when falling into the sea, it sinks straight to the bottom.
The Grande Barbe trail is one of the most beautiful, yet challenging hikes on the island. The trail runs from the La Passe village to the other side of the island. It is 6.5km long and it takes around three hours to complete. This trail leads to the secluded Grande Barbe Beach. Sea turtles can be spotted on the beach from November to February. Explore the beach but avoid swimming and snorkeling here as the water current is high and strong.
Silhouette’s main settlement, La Passe, is home to the Island Conservation Society, Silhouette Museum, Hilton La Briz Resort & Spa, a private lodge for locals, and a small residential area.
If you decide to stay at the Hilton, I suggest taking full advantage of the resort’s restaurants. There are eight dining facilities on the property, offering many cuisine options including international dishes and cocktail bars.
The resort features countless activities including sunset cruises, spa facilities, tennis courts, picnics on the beach and guided hikes. A PADI diving center is open daily where guests can hire diving instructors and rent snorkeling equipment. One of the best experiences I had was riding through the resort on a trendy vintage bike.
The island is ideal for snorkeling enthusiasts. The coast is teeming with colorful tropical fish, stingrays, and you may even spot a turtle if you’re lucky.
The resort’s team works tirelessly to promote sustainable travel on the island. As part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose mission, all guests receive reusable water bottles, which can be refilled at cold filling stations located throughout the resort. Biodegradable straws are available to aid in the reduction of plastic waste on the island. The resort had also planted an organic garden to grow fresh produce that is used in the restaurants on property. The Island Conservation Society has worked with locals and travelers alike to create sustainability efforts and awareness.
When it comes to a remote island holiday surrounded by beautiful beaches, friendly locals and picturesque landscapes, Seychelles is as good as it gets. Start dreaming of good times, tan lines and endless day of sunshine.
- Never sit under a coconut tree. Coconuts fall randomly and can cause injuries.
- Be sure to pack comfortable and functional hiking shoes.
- Invest in an underwater camera. A picture of the tropical fish is worth a thousand words.