Denis Island is a must for any travelers visiting the Seychelles. This natural sanctuary, planted with coconut, takamaka and casuarina trees, and fringed by white sand beaches, has a taste of paradise. Surrounded by pristine waters and vibrant coral reefs, where it’s usual to come across sea turtles, young sharks and eagle rays, Denis Island will bring you wonderful snorkeling adventures.

Eagle ray at Denis Island, Seychelles

How to get there?

Daily 30 minute flights connect Mahé with Denis Island, located 60 kilometers north of the main island and 50 kilometers east of Bird Island. But to visit this out-of-the-world paradise, you have to be guest of the human size luxurious resort located on this private island (Denis Private Island). If you don’t want to spend the unavoidable high range price to stay on the island, you can request the authorization to approach the island by boat and moor in the area.

Water entrance

Enter the water from the sandy beach, in front of the area you want to explore.

Denis Island Seychelles snorkeling map

Exploration

You can do snorkeling all around the island, surrounded by coral reefs, but we particularly recommend you the two following areas, known for the richness of their marine life and their easy access:

In front of Bois Blanc beach, on the west side of the island, you will find coral and seagrass areas. This area is opened on the sea. Encounters with hawksbill sea turtles, which come to feed and rest on the seagrass (all year round) and lay their eggs on the beach (from November to February), are guaranteed. Spotted eagle rays and juvenile blacktip reef sharks can also be seen very easily, but are more difficult to get close to, however. The areas facing the northern (House Reef) and southern (Muraille Bon Dieu) tips of the island can also be explored, but are more rocky.

Snorkeling with skunk clownfish at Denis Island

Belle Etoile beach gives access to the lagoon fringing the east side of the island. The lagoon is protected from the tumult of the Indian Ocean by a coral reef, and its shallow, crystal-clear waters (less than 6ft/2m), sprinkled with coral, are ideal for beginners. You will swim with dozens of species of reef fish, as damselfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, triggerfish… Do not try to cross the barrier and explore the other side of the reef (currents, waves…).

Orbicular batfish at Denis Island

Around the island, the sea is generally calm, with no waves. Denis Island is private, with very limited number of guests. Enjoy the peacefulness of the area, but try not to go snorkeling alone.

Restaurants and accommodation

The only accommodation set on the island is the Denis Private Island hotel. The residents of all have full board.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Denis Island
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata  
Spotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari  
Blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus  
Emperor angelfish Pomacanthus imperator  
Skunk clownfish Amphiprion akallopisos  
Orbicular batfish Platax orbicularis  
Lagoon triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus  
Honeycomb grouper Epinephelus merra  
Whitespotted rockcod Epinephelus caeruleopunctatus  
Powder blue tang Acanthurus leucosternon  
Black-blotched porcupinefish Diodon liturosus  
Raccoon butterflyfish Chaetodon lunula  
Lined surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus  
Palette surgeonfish Paracanthurus hepatus  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth+6m/20ft
  • Water entranceEasy, from sandy beaches
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsPrivate Island
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

Sea turtle watching in Denis Island

snorkeling-turtle

Sea turtles are a very familiar sight in Akumal Bay. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:

  1. Do not attempt to touch or ride sea turtles
  2. Stay at a distance (6 to 10ft) from sea turtles
  3. Do not chase a turtle swimming away
  4. Avoid sudden movement and allow sea turtles plenty of space when they come up to the surface to breathe

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.