If you’ve searched Google for dreamy island getaways, Seychelles will already be on your radar. Now, if you dig a little further into this island nation, you’ll find Silhouette Island sitting among the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles archipelago. Silhouette Island is a tropical paradise that lies 20km northwest of Mahé, which is the main island where direct flights land from the UAE everyday. To be very honest, you need to add this getaway to your bucket list… right now.
Silhouette is an adventurer’s playground. It boasts a national park, 5 mountain peaks, crystal blue waters, white sand beaches and unparalleled natural beauty. Whether you love to hike, swim, chase sunsets, sip cocktails or roam around the jungle with giant tortoises, you won’t regret a quick visit! We took a trip to Silhouette Island for 3 days and here’s 3 things we loved:
The secluded island resort
If you’ve ever dreamed of chilling on a private island, you should book a stay at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa. This is the only resort on Silhouette Island and we travelled there by boat (… but you can also get there via a helicopter transfer).
You can choose to stay in the garden villas, the pool villas or beachfront villas dotted along the east-face of the island; there’s even an ultra-luxurious private Silhouette Estate! In addition to its multiple island restaurants and bars – including a beachfront Bottega bar – the resort has a hillside spa nestled between rocks and jungle… which we loved! While it’s a must-try wellbeing escape, Hilton Labriz also has a dive centre and an activities centre where you can arrange trips to the barrier reef off the coastline or hikes through the national park.
Jungle treks to white sand beaches
A quick trip to the resort’s activity centre will give you access to all the hiking trails across the mountainous island. There’s a trek for every ability, but the true explorer will want to opt in for the Grande Barbe trail. This trail takes you on a challenging trek through the jungle and across the island to the secluded Grande Barbe Plateau where the giant tortoises hide in the wild.
The Grande Barbe trail is physically demanding; it requires a tour guide plus 10 hours of your day. This trek only runs on specific days of the week, so we decided to do the 18km alone… which was certainly a challenge, but it is doable if you are well-prepared for the day. The stunning Grande Barbe Plateau, the hidden beach and the wildlife were all definite rewards for taking on the trail!
Discovering Aldabra giant tortoises
Silhouette Island was once home to pirates and plantations, but these days it is home to the Aldabra giant tortoises. The giant tortoises roam free on the island, far away from the hotel resort itself; however, that doesn’t mean they will be waiting for you to find them! We trekked across the Grande Barbe trail expecting to find the tortoises at the beach, but they weren’t there. Just as we were heading back to the jungle, we heard a rustling in the trees and discovered 3 tortoises in amongst the fauna. They really are magical… and huge!
…And there’s so much more to love, but we’ll let you discover that for yourselves. For now, it’s time to start planning your trip. Direct flights to the Seychelles take around 4 hours 30 minutes. Here’s your choice of direct routes from the UAE: