Denis Island
© Alexey Kovalev / 123RF
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Denis Island

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
In brief In brief

Our Editorial team's advice

Denis Island is a green oasis and a wonderful coral island at the heart of the Indian Ocean. Its western part is home to the luxury hotel. The island is located 60 miles north of Mahé. Small 800 Twin Otter planes are used for transfers from Mahé airport to the island, which takes 30 minutes. Needless to say, the grass-covered runway makes landing a nerve-racking experience! This coral island shaped like a boomerang has a circumference of around 2 miles and is one of the greenest islands in the Seychelles (445 acres of lush green vegetation), with a tropical rainforest, a village of 90 inhabitants, a farm and 25 luxury guest rooms. Surrounded by magnificent beaches where you can swim with sea turtles, it really is a paradise on earth. The island has been attracting budding Robinson Crusoes in need of a luxurious retreat away from it all since 1977. However, the first tourist was actually Denis de Trobriand, who arrived here in 1773 and gave his first name to the idyllic island!

To see

A village of 90 inhabitants, a farm and giant tortoises. Eighty-year-old Toby is the oldest on the island. The Paradise Flycatcher, a bird endemic to La Digue, is currently being introduced to the island in a bid to boost its dwindling numbers. Put on a mask, a snorkel and a pair of flippers and explore the silent underwater world and its fauna: manta rays, small sharks, groupers, colourful fish and best of all, you can swim with sea turtles, and may even see them laying their eggs if you're lucky.

To do

Swim with sea turtles. The island is not very big and can be explored on foot in an hour and a half. Walk up the Champs Elysées (not the one in Paris; it is also the name of the road through the village where the hotel employees live), take the Avenue des Gens Heureux and admire the small Saint-Denis chapel with its palm-leaf roof. Like the Denis Island hotel, it was opened on the 5th December 1978. Walk barefoot along miles of pristine, untamed beaches and swim in the warm, crystal clear water. The reigning silence is only disturbed by the sound of the rolling waves and the singing birds. A Padi diving centre offers various excursions. An ideal place for snorkelling. A kayak trip on the lagoon protected by the coral reef.


  • +  The beautiful beaches.
  • +  The chance to swim with sea turtles and see giant tortoises.


  • -  The lack of mobile phone networks and Internet connection.
  • -  Prices are expensive.

To think about

Make sure you wear sandals in the lagoon protected by the coral reef on the east coast of the island, at a place called La Belle Etoile. The water is not deep enough for swimming, and you should watch out for coral and sea urchins.
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To avoid

Do not take any coral, as this is forbidden.

To try

Lulled by the sound of singing birds, you can enjoy delicious Creole cuisine, including Creole rice, chicken curry, suckling pig and grilled fish of the day (diners sometimes eat the fish they caught that morning). The food comes from the farm and the island's vegetable garden.

To bring back

White sand.

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