The 90 islands that lie in the Indian Ocean, known as the Seychelles, are a tropical paradise and magnet for holidaymakers. The stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and reliable sunny weather continue to draw in those looking for a perfect beach holiday. In fact, the greatest problem you are likely to have here is deciding which beach to spend your day at.
In an effort to attract only those with a bit of dosh, the Seychelles like to turn away anyone who looks like a backpacker. If you do turn up with a rucksake on your shoulders, make sure you have a place to stay booked already. In contrast, those in need of luxury will be well catered for here during their stay. The islands are relatively upmarket and there is little in the way of budget accommodation. And if the high prices leave you with nothing, you could always try picking up coconuts off the beach, although they are mighty hard to get into. If beaches and your holiday companion bore you, ruining your little taste of what-would-be paradise, there’s always the local beer and rum to fall back on.
Why You Should Go
What’s Cool: Stunning beaches on many of the islands, good diving and warm water, abundant wildlife and a birdwatchers paradise, quiet and undeveloped islands and a good range of leisure activities.
What’s Not: Some of the resorts can be expensive, petty thieves on the popular beaches, relatively isolated meaning a long flight to get here and rip currents, overpriced beer at hotels
When to Go
The weather in the Seychelles is defined by the beginning and end of the trade winds.
The dominant southeast trade winds blow from May to October, when the islands are generally dry and temperatures are warm. This is the best time to visit.
The monsoon rains last from November to April and the weather is constantly hot and humid during this period.
Getting There & Away
Seychelles International Airport is six miles southeast from Victoria on Mahé Island. There are many routes to international destinations in Europe and Asia. Air Seychelles has regular flights to Alphonse, Praslin, Bird, Frégate, Desroches and Denis Islands. Helicopters also fly to a limited number of the islands. A high-speed catamaran operates twice daily roundtrips between Mahe and Praslin. Schooner ferries run regularly between Praslin and la Digue. There is an extensive bus network on Mahé and a limited service on Praslin.
Health & Safety
Seychelles is a relatively safe place to visit and most trips will be problem-free. There are no special vaccinations required. Hygiene is good in all of the main hotels; milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. It is advisable to drink bottled water. There are few scams to worry about, but be careful on the beaches as they tend to attract petty thieves.
Four days chilling out on your favorite beach.
A day looking around the small capital city of Victoria.
Two days snorkeling and diving around some of the islands many reefs.
One day visiting Vallée de Mai.
Two days discovering some of the remote and undeveloped islands.
Aldabra Atoll: measuring over 14 miles from east to west and enclosing a massive tidal lagoon, Aldabra is one of the world’s largest coral atolls and a must-see attraction.
Victoria: noted as being one of the smallest capital cities in the world, Victoria is the only major port in the Seychelles. It has a clean and modern look, but not a great deal else.
Cousin Island: a birdwatchers paradise, with over 300,000 birds on an island just 0.6 miles in diameter. Organized tours depart from Praslin, but be prepared to listen to an overenthusiastic bird-spotter rattle on all day.
Anse Lazio: acclaimed as being the best beach in the country, with perfect white sand, warm water and some good snorkeling.
Vallée de Mai: is one of only two places in the world where you can see the coco de mer palm growing in its natural state. However, it may take more to impress your friends back home than claiming to have seen an exotic tree.
La Digue: the least developed of the main islands offering a very laidback lifestyle. Good beaches and some beautiful old plantation houses. If you are lucky, you might get to see the rare black paradise flycatcher.
Beaches: the main attractions for people visiting the Seychelles are the endless tropical beaches. Relax on one of Mahé’s 70 beautiful beaches and enjoy swimming in the warm and clear waters.
Water sports: unsurprisingly, there are plenty of water-based activities on offer. The most popular include waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and fishing.
Diving: plenty of good dive sites to explore with sea cliffs, tunnels, caves and an abundance of marine life. Courses can be arranged at your hotel.
Deep sea fishing: Alphonse and Desroches islands are the best spots for salt water fly fishing, while Bird Island is favored with the locals. Marlin can be caught from October to December.
Underwater photography: if you are a serious photographer, then you won’t find a better place to practice your hobby. The photo options are so good here that they attract experts from around the world for the annual Subios Underwater Festival.
Botanical Gardens: relax in the oasis of green shade at the century-old Botanical Gardens at the south end of Victoria. A wide variety of indigenous and exotic trees grow in this 15 acre site.
Cerf Island Private Mini Spa: pamper yourself at this wonderful spa nestled into the lush vegetation of Cerf Island. The spa boasts a variety of massage, a private steam room, indoor/ outdoor treatment room, outdoor shower, relaxation garden and ‘Rainforest Jacuzzi’.