Boasting iconic landscapes of white sandy beaches, glassy turquoise oceans, and palm trees, it’s little surprise many travellers look for Seychelles holidays as their number one choice for a tropical getaway or honeymoon each year. Located just south of the equator in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is an archipelago made up of 115 islands. It’s home to jungle, rich marine life, and unique granite landscapes formed centuries ago. On Seychelles holidays you’ll find incredible biodiversity – huge coco de mer (the world’s largest seed), and giant tortoises. Add to this the vibrant Creole culture with fabulous people from African, European, and Asian descent, you can feast on delicious cuisine and enjoy a tipple to the sound of popular afrobeats. Enjoy incredible scuba diving and snorkelling, and enjoy the comfort of one of its luxurious resorts. No matter what your budget, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Seychelles – a little slice of paradise.
Where are the Seychelles islands?
The Seychelles (pronounced say-shells) is an archipelago of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean. It’s around 1500km off the east coast of Africa, with the closest surrounding countries being Madagascar, Mauritius, and the Maldives. It’s the least populated country in Africa, with just under 100,000 citizens living in the Seychelles. Until the sixteenth century, the Seychelles as uninhabited until it was discovered by Europeans. Both France and Britain competed for the Seychelles, until it fell under British rule in the late eighteen century. In 1976, the Seychelles gained independence as a republic. Nowadays, it has the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa, making it a high-income country. Seychellois culture is a wonderful blend of African, British, and African influences, and more recently Chinese and Indian too. Languages primarily spoken in the Seychelles include English, French, and Seychellois Creole.
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How do you get to the Seychelles islands?
300 miles from the east coast of mainland Africa, the best way to get to the Seychelles islands is by plane. From the UK, British Airways used to operate a direct flight although this was stopped during the pandemic and hasn’t yet returned. Most connecting flights to the Seychelles pass through Doha in Qatar, Dubai in the UAE, or Nairobi in Kenya. I flew 6 hours to Doha, and then a further 4.5 hours which was relatively simple and straightforward. Most visitors do not need a via for their visit if up to 30 days, although you need to show proof of your return travel and accommodation. Currently, you need to fill out a Travel Declaration before your arrival to show you have relevant medical insurance in place. I learnt this the hard way and had to pay a 75 EUR fee upon arrival, so don’t forget to do yours!
How do you travel between islands in the Seychelles?
Travel between the islands can be done the scenic way via a small plane (operated by Air Seychelles), via helicopter, or via ferry service which is popular and the cheapest way to get around. There is a ferry service operated by Seychellesbookings.com between the three primary islands Mahé, La Digue, and Praslin. I got around via ferry and booked my tickets before my trip – you can also choose to add on a transfer to the airport or your hotel which makes things a little less stressful too.
Which islands in the Seychelles are best to visit?
Seychelles holidays have a little something for everyone, whether you’re after peace, romance, or adventure. While only 4 of the 115 Seychelles islands are inhabited (Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, and Silhouette), there are many more with luxurious private resorts or attractions to visit. Each island has its own character, and you should visit at least a couple during your Seychelles holiday to discover the true beauty of this country. I spent most of my time on Mahé, La Digue, Praslin, and Curieuse and Praslin was the standout for me. Here’s a quick summary of the best that each has to offer.
- The largest island in the Seychelles, here you’ll also find the most going on
- You can drive around the island in just 2.5 hours, making it perfect for exploring
- Visit the colonial capital of Victoria, with its bustling local markets and iconic Hindu temple
- Adorable little villages to explore
- Incredible granite-fringed beaches, including the magnificent Beau Vallon
- Spectacular nature to explore at Morne Seychellois National Park, with hidden walking trails with a view
- The second largest island in the Seychelles, Praslin offers a blend of relaxation and things to do
- Enjoy incredible beaches, including Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette
- Home to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, the only place in the world to see the rare coco de mer palm in its natural habitat (the cheekily shaped world’s largest seed)
- Hop across to neighbouring Curieuse for the home of the world’s largest tortoises on the Aldabra atoll
- Find spectacular wildlife, with forests home to the Seychelles bulbul and the elusive black parrot
- Known as being one of the sleepiest islands in the Seychelles, La Digue is relatively undeveloped
- Virtually no cars here, most people get around by bikes which you can easily rent by the day
- Discover secluded beaches, including the world’s most photographed beach – Anse Source de l’Argent
- Explore old colonial buildings and relaxed, rustic beach bars
- Paddle along the island’s iconic beaches in a clear kayak to view the unique marine life
- Remarkable nature and wildlife, protected by the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles
- Undeveloped and rustic for an authentic Seychelles experience in the heart of nature
- Enjoy scenery dominated by the peak of Mount Dauban
- Explore the tiny village of La Passe
- Relax on the palm fringed beaches, surrounded by a protected coral reef
- Stay at the exclusive Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
- Perfect for adventurers who want to hike, dive, snorkel, or spot wildlife
When is the best time to visit the Seychelles?
The Seychelles benefits from sunshine all year – the temperature remains around 30°C (86°F) throughout the year. I visited in February and the weather was beautiful the entire time, with just one tropical storm during the night. Arguably the best time to visit the Seychelles are its shoulder seasons in April – May, and October – November. These periods are calmest between the trade winds which hit the island twice a year. The northwest trade wind blows between November and March, and the southeast trade wind between May and September. These winds can also lead to an increase in seaweed on beaches, so you may want to consider this when choosing where your hotel is in the Seychelles. Tropical showers can occur throughout the year, as well as sea breezes to break up the humidity.
Visiting the Seychelles in January – March
- Northwest trade wind
- Hot and humid climate
- High rainfall until March
- Best time to see turtles hatching from their nests into the ocean
Visiting the Seychelles in April
- One of the warmest times of the year to visit
- Little breeze
- Little rainfall
- Hot and humid climate
Visiting the Seychelles in May – September
- Hot and humid climate
- Southest trade wind begins, so avoid the west coast of the Seychelles islands
Visiting the Seychelles in October
- Hawksbill turtles start laying their eggs
- Less windy
Visiting the Seychelles in November
- Start of the northwest trade winds, so stay on the east side of the islands
- Hawksbill turtles continue to lay eggs
- Hot and humid climate
Visiting the Seychelles in December
- Northwest trade wind blows
- More rainfall
- Turtles continue to lay eggs
- The Seychelles is usually busier with more visitors for the festive season
Where is best to stay in the Seychelles?
There’s a whole plethora of beautiful hotels in the Seychelles, and with various islands it can be tough to pick where to stay. My advice would be to pick the islands you’re interested in exploring first of all, and then look at the kind of accommodation in the Seychelles that you’d like to stay in. With choice comes something for every budget. Here are some of my suggestions for luxury hotels and resorts in the Seychelles for a special treat, or an exclusive and romantic stay for your honeymoon:
Luxury hotels in the Seychelles
Constance Lemuria, Praslin
Located on the north west of the beautiful, tranquil island of Praslin, Constance Lemuria is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in the Seychelles. An idyllic retreat, the hotel has an open plan design with thatched roofs that help it to camouflage into the surrounding scenery. The luxury hotel has its very own 18-hole golf course, indulgent spa, and world-class dining at its Takamaka beach restaurant. Here, you can enjoy Creole-style seafood and sushi with a Seychellois twist. The hotel has recently undergone an upmarket refurbishment with elegant decor throughout. Spend your days in a luxury village before enjoying a barbecue on the beach and a cocktail with a view over Grand Anse beach. Between October and February, you can observe turtles laying eggs and hatching on the nearby beach.
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, Silhouette
Located within a national marine park, the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is a slice of paradise set on the exclusive island of Silhouette. Nestled on a beach near the pretty village of La Passe, the luxurious hotel is set in one of the most interesting biodiversity hotspots in the Indian Ocean with incredible coral reefs. You’ll find seven restaurants onsite, as well as a luxurious spa – all surrounded by the Seychellois jungle. There’s no better place for a massage with a view than in one of the stilted treatment rooms overlooking the beach. All accommodations at the resort are villas – choose from beachfront, sanctuary pool or garden. The hiking on this island is incredible too – take in some stunning jungle landscapes and some of the most secluded beaches you’ll find in the Seychelles.
Le Domaine de l’Orangeraie, La Digue
Situated on the bohemian island of La Digue, Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie is probably the most luxurious hotel on the island. I remember walking past it in awe on my visit earlier this year. Boasting a spa and wellness centre, two onsite restaurants, and elegant rooms, it offers a relaxing stay in the Seychelles islands. Each room is spacious, offering all the luxurious amenities you’d expect. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, a tropical garden, and three bars to keep you entertained during your stay. If you prefer, you can also spend time snorkelling or swimming in its beachfront location. Arguably La Digue’s most beautiful beach – Anse Patate – is just a short walk away. You can also borrow bikes from the hotel to explore the rest of the island.
Raffles Seychelles, Praslin
A luxurious 5* resort on the Seychelles island of Praslin, Raffles boasts sensational private villas, all located on a beautiful beach. Each of the private villas has its own plunge pool, and the facilities of the resort are impressive. It has a choice of four onsite restaurants – including a sushi restaurant – as well as two bars. There’s also a world-class spa with twelve treatment rooms and a yoga pavilion, making it one of the best hotels in the Seychelles. For parents, there’s an A* kids’ club to keep the whole family busy so you can relax in paradise. You have a choice of pools to enjoy too.
Budget hotels in the Seychelles
Seashell Beach Villa, Praslin
I absolutely loved my stay at Seashell Beach Villa earlier this year. Set in a large colonial style villa, you really can’t beat the location here. The beautiful Grand Anse beach is just a stone’s throw from the villa, and it’s so quiet it could be a private beach. It’s a short drive too from some of the most beautiful beaches on Praslin, and the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve where you can spot the famous coco de mer seeds. Our apartment at Seashell Beach Villa also had literally everything you need – a dining room and a fully equipped kitchen. I loved sitting on the balcony overlooking the garden and playing cards with a local beer in the evening. They will even go the extra mile here and do your laundry for you. I really can’t recommend it enough as a great base for exploring the Seychelles islands.
La Digue Self Catering, La Digue
Close to the hubbub of La Digue, La Digue Self Catering Apartments is a great base for exploring the sleepy Seychelles island of La Digue. Overlooking palm trees and the La Passe harbour, each apartment offers the comfort of home while away. I stayed here while in La Digue earlier this year and would choose this place again. Each apartment has a balcony with a garden view, and a kitchen with everything you need to cook. The staff are super friendly, and you can hire a bike from the hotel – they’ll help you to arrange any excursions and offer advice on the best spots to visit while on the island too.
Treasure Island Retreat, Praslin
Situated beachfront on beautiful Anse Kerlan on the tranquil island of Praslin, Treasure Island Retreat is a wonderful place to stay in the Seychelles. It offers upmarket waterfront apartments for reasonable prices. Each apartment has free WiFi, and all the facilities you could need with a fully equipped kitchen and a living room. Lap up the sea views from your balcony, and try your hand at barbecuing on the beach. Just make sure to have plenty of cold drinks in to enjoy the sunset view from your apartment – it’s one you won’t forget.
Villa Kolibri, Mahé
Located near the Seychelles’ capital city of Victoria, Villa Kolibri is a luxurious apartment complex available for super reasonable prices. Handy for the main airport and near to Seychelles Airport Beach, staying here offers sea views, large family rooms, and everything you need for a comfortable stay. All apartments have air conditioning, a lounge area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a dining area. There’s a lovely garden area and a barbecue too to enjoy. It’s a great base for exploring the tiny city of Victoria and the rest of the beautiful island of Mahé.
What are the best things to do in the Seychelles?
Of course, most of us visit the Seychelles islands for the world-class beaches, and plenty of R&R. But what many people don’t realise about visiting the Seychelles is that there’s so much to see and do. We packed in quite a lot into our holiday in the Seychelles, and here are some of my recommendations on the best things to do on the islands:
Discover the world’s largest seed at the Vallée de Mai
Set on the peaceful island of Praslin, the Vallée de Mai is a UNESCO protected prehistoric jungle. It’s famous for being the only place to find the iconic coco de mer palm. It quite literally looks like a bottom-shaped coconut, and is actually the largest seed in the world. There’s plenty of other wildlife you can spot here too, and very rarely anywhere else. Look out for the black parrot especially. I recommend taking a half day guided tour with a transfer so you don’t need to worry about how to get there. Having a tour guide also ensures you get the most from your visit.
Explore the beautiful beaches
You can’t visit the Seychelles and not explore some of the incredible beaches dotted across the islands. Below, I’ve listed out some of my favourite beaches in the Seychelles. One of the most famous you’ll hear of is Anse Source d’Argent on the sleepy island of La Digue, but there are so many others that are quieter and equally as idyllic. The beaches here are truly breathtaking, and you won’t be disappointed!
Visit one of the smallest capital cities in the world
As the home to just 25,000 people, Victoria – the capital of the Seychelles islands – is a city it’s virtually impossible to get lost in! One of the most popular attractions in Victoria is the beautiful and super colourful Hindu Sri Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple. The clock tower is a nod to the Seychelles’ colonial history, and the Sir Selwyn-Clarke Market is well worth a visit. Here, you can discover stalls packed with incredible fruits – some of which you may have never seen before – as well as fresh seafood and souvenirs.
Taste local rum at the Takamaka Rum Distillery
I’m currently rationing a bottle of Takamaka rum that I brought back with me – it’s so good and I can’t bear to drink it too quickly as I want to cling on to the taste for as long as I can. For this reason, I highly recommend visiting the Takamaka Rum Distillery. Founded twenty years ago by a couple of brothers, the rum distillery produces a range of delicious flavoured rums. I’d definitely advise trying the coconut rum and bringing a bottle or two home with you. By visiting the Takamaka Rum Distillery, you can have a tour of the distillery to learn how the rum is produced, and on weekdays they offer tastings. Definitely check the opening times before you go, as we nearly missed out on visiting. If you’re looking to visit, you can book a tour that includes a visit to the Takamaka Rum Distillery that picks you up from your hotel and drops you back.
Discover the giant Aldabra tortoises
This was without a doubt one of my highlights of visiting the Seychelles. The giant tortoises originate from Aldabra, which is not the easiest place to reach. In fact, you either need to charter a flight to Assumption Island, or sail directly from Mahé for this unique place of biodiversity. If you don’t fancy going to all this trouble, you can spot plenty of giant Aldabra tortoises on the island of Curieuse. I decided to do this instead, as there’s a Tortoise Sanctuary where you can see plenty of them roaming around. We took this tour to Curieuse and it was amazing. Our guide told us all about the intriguing history of the island (it was a former leper colony!) and we even had a barbecue on the beach next to the tortoises. You can even spot a few of them on La Digue island if you’re heading there on your visit to the Seychelles.
Go island-hopping around Curieuse, Cousin, and St Pierre
If you’re staying on the sleepy island of Praslin, it’s really easy to reach the nearby islands of Curieuse, Cousin, and St Pierre. Curieuse has a fascinating history as the former home to a leper colony until the 1960s, and you can still see the ruins today. It’s also home to the Tortoise Sanctuary that houses dozens of Aldabra giant tortoises including some adorable baby ones too. The uninhabited island of St Pierre is a beautiful haven for snorkelling, with its scenic backdrop of granite rocks and fluttering palm trees. I spotted hawksbill turtles here, as well as some of the most spectacular tropical fish I’ve ever seen. The island of Cousin has an important nature reserve and is home to a nesting site of the endangered hawksbill turtle. We used this tour from Praslin which picks you up from your hotel – it was one of the highlights of the trip without a doubt.
Climb Morne Seychellois for the views
The Morne Seychellois National Park on the Seychelles’ most populated island of Mahé takes up a fifth of the island. It’s home to dozens of unique wildlife, and boasts a whole host of incredible trails through nature. If you fancy getting your hiking boots on, you might fancy climbing to the top of Morne Seychellois. With a summit that’s 905 metres high, you can experience some of the most spectacular panoramic views in the Seychelles. I’d recommend leaving early in the morning before it gets too hot – it can take around five hours to climb all the way to the top. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water with you too!
Where are the best beaches in the Seychelles?
There are so many incredible beaches to visit on the Seychelles islands, but here are some of my personal favourites on the archipelago. It’s not hard to find stunning turquoise waters and white sands, but I’d suggest adding these to your list.
Best beaches in Mahé
- Beau Vallon – although popular, Beau Vallon is one of the best beaches in the Seychelles and is aldso the longest. It’s absolutely beautiful and has shallow waters perfect for swimming in. It’s excellent for snorkelling too, and you might even fancy a spot of kite surfing here. There are some cafes on the beach, and a food market each Wednesday where you can grab some delicious Creole food.
- Anse Major – located inside the Morne Seychellois National Park, this little slice of paradise in the Seychelles can only be reached via water taxi or on foot. The reward is a tranquil beach, and an ocean full of the most incredible fish for spotting while snorkelling. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a quiet beach.
Best beaches in Praslin
- Anse Georgette – set in the grounds of the 5* Constance Lemuria hotel, this beach is well preserved and perfect for a picnic. We stayed just down the road and it was such an idyllic beach to visit as it’s relatively untouched. Do note you need to ring the hotel ahead of visiting.
- Anse Lazio – a white stretch of sand for half a mile, Anse Lazio is well known for being the best place to view the sunset in Praslin, and for good reason. Here, you’ll find swaying palm trees and Takamaka trees while you relax. It’s also perfect for snorkelling, so don’t forget your kit.
Best beaches in La Digue
- Anse Source d’Argent – there is a lot of hype about this beach. It definitely wasn’t my favourite when I visited, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Often considered to be one of the most photographed beaches in the world, there’s no mistaking it’s impressive granite boulders and palm trees. I loved snorkelling here – there are coral reefs that are perfect for spotting tropical fish. The downside is that you need to pay an entry fee of €10 to enter the park this beach is located in.
- Anse Patates – I absolutely loved this beach! A short cycle from the main hubbub of La Digue, you can’t miss the bright turquoise waters of Anse Patates. It literally looks like a screensaver, and is only small so it doesn’t really ever get crowded.
What to pack for a Seychelles holiday
The Seychelles has a tropical rainforest climate. It gets pretty hot too, as you’re probably hoping. When I visited in February, it was still very hot and felt quite muggy. That said, you’ll often be treated to a cool ocean breeze. I’d definitely recommend bringing plenty of swimwear, loose clothes, cover ups, and sandals as a large amount of your time will probably be spent on the beach. Do make sure you bring some comfy walking shoes if you’re looking to explore some of the islands on foot. Here are some essentials I took with me that I’d definitely say to pack with you to the Seychelles. It’s not the cheapest place to buy imported goods, and I wish I’d brought some of these with me beforehand:
- Aftersun – this was a prime example of something I wish we’d taken! I could not believe how strong the sun was and on our first day we went out on a boat and both stupidly got quite burnt. This aftersun costs just £5 – I ended up paying £20 from a pharmacy over there!
- SPF 50 – can’t recommend this enough. The African sun is FIERCE, and everyone should be using SPF 50 over there, else you will quite literally turn crispy! This is what I took with me in my suitcase, and plenty of it.
- Snorkel set – when I was researching our trip, I’d read that snorkels are super expensive to buy in the Seychelles, and to be honest I didn’t see loads for sale when out and about. The marine life in the Seychelles is truly incredible, so I’d not leave without packing a snorkel kit with you!
- Plug adaptor – if you’re UK based, conveniently plugs in the Seychelles are exactly the same (plug type G). If you’re based in Europe, this is a handy pair of plug adaptors so you’re fully equipped for your holiday in the Seychelles.
- Multi device charger – I can’t travel without one of these any more. It’s so handy for charging a couple of iPhones at once (ideal when you’re travelling with someone and are limited on time or plugs for charging), as well as a couple of other devices.
- Clear toiletries bag – these are an absolute lifesaver at airport security – no more flimsy sandwich bags for a starter! We travelled about between islands while in the Seychelles, so it was handy just to shove all our toiletries into one of these while moving about.
Here are a few outfit ideas I’d recommend bringing on your visit to the Seychelles islands. Click through for all links to the product details.
What are the people of the Seychelles like?
Most of the population of the Seychelles islands descend from Creole culture. They are often from a French colonial and African slave labourer background, bringing a wonderful blend of multi ethnicity. As a true cultural melting pot, I’ve also not yet a more friendly regional population. Almost everyone we met was friendly, helpful, and welcoming. The Seychelles is also a wealthy country, especially when compared to other African countries. In fact, the GDP per capita is one of the highest on the continent. You can expect a slow and relaxed pace of life while visiting the Seychelles islands which makes it the perfect holiday destination.
What is the population of the Seychelles?
As you might expect, the Seychelles is tiny. It has a population of only 90,000 people. Only eight of the Seychelles islands are occupied out of a whopping 115 islands. Nearly all of the population live on Mahé, followed by Praslin and La Digue.
Which languages do they speak in the Seychelles?
There are three official languages in the Seychelles – Creole, English, and French. Most citizens will speak a Creole variant known as Seychellois Creole which is a mix of various African languages like Swahili, but with French influences.
Is the Seychelles safe?
I found the Seychelles in general very safe. The people are wonderful, helpful, and extremely friendly. As one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, I also didn’t fear for any valuables. Of course, you should take caution as you would anywhere else you travel in case of petty theft. One thing I would be wary of is the current on some of the beaches. When we arrived in La Digue, the hotel staff warned us about swimming in some of the beaches of the south of the island as a guest had gone missing a few months before. There are some signposts where swimming is a risk, so pay attention even if others don’t.
What is Seychelles food like?
Food in the Seychelles islands is influenced by a range of different regions – namely French, African, British, Indian, and Chinese. This is primarily due to its colonial past and location in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Here are a few of the most popular dishes you can expect to find in the Seychelles:
- Grilled fish – barracude is particularly popular, often stuffed with chilli and garlic and barbecued
- Octopus curry – one of the Seychelles’ signature dishes, you’ll find this on most menus. It’s often made with coconut cream and slightly spicy
- Bat curry – if you’re feeling brave, you may want to try the fruitbat curry! It’s prepared using meat from the wings of a fruitbat. Marie Antoinette Restaurant on Mahé is probably one of the most famous restaurants for serving this
- Breadfruit – this fruit is said to have the smell of freshly baked bread, and is used as an ingredient in many classic Seychellois dishes. I tried it in the form of breadfruit chips – it’s a popular snack in bars along with cocktails, and tastes a little like plantain. They say if you try it, you’ll find yourself returning to the Seychelles one day
- Cassava cake – originating from the Philippines, cassave cake is a gelatinous pudding made using cassava (a root vegetable) and milk, sugar, and vanilla. It’s topped with desiccated coconut
- Lentils – you’ll find lentils and daal are a popular staple in the Seychelles, often eaten alongside rice
Eating out in restaurants in the Seychelles can be expensive – around £40 for a main course. There are, however, plenty of ‘takeout places’. These spots offer dishes served in takeaway boxes for around a third of the price, making it a much more affordable way to eat on your holiday. Grab a Creole grilled fish or curry for the beach, and wash it down with a Seybrew beer or a Takamaka rum.
That’s my guide to the Seychelles islands! Let me know if you have any questions about visiting, or if you have any other recommendations you’d share for anyone visiting the Seychelles.