Seemingly remote and unattainable, the Seychelles, a captivating island nation in the Indian Ocean, possesses an exotic allure that often finds its place on many travelers' bucket lists. If you're fortunate enough to be in the midst of planning a visit to the Seychelles, whether it's a port of call on a cruise or a direct flight to Mahe, you're in for a visual feast that will overwhelm your senses with its extraordinary beauty.
For those with a week or more to spare for exploration and relaxation, our recommendation is to explore the main island of Mahe, embark on a short ferry ride to Praslin Island, and perhaps continue your journey to La Digue Island. The Seychelles offers a plethora of luxury resorts and secluded hideaways, making a visit to a private island a tantalizing possibility for that once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation.
La Digue Island: A mere 15-minute fast ferry ride from Praslin, La Digue is well worth a visit due to its incredible beauty and off-the-beaten-path ambiance. Visitors are drawn to La Digue primarily for its pristine white sandy beaches adorned with iconic granite boulders.
North Island: A private island with just 11 villas, North Island offers a luxurious barefoot escape for those seeking an exclusive and tranquil retreat.
Praslin Island: Accessible by speedboat from Mahe, Praslin is the second-largest island and offers a range of activities and uncrowded beaches. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for scuba diving, and there are excellent snorkeling spots along the coast. Ancient forests on the island house endemic flora and fauna, including the rare black parrot.
St. Anne Island: This uninhabited island is home to giant tortoises and an abundance of tropical vegetation. From November to February, you can witness sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach. The island also boasts incredible marine life, making it an ideal spot for snorkelers.
Victoria: Situated on Mahe, the largest island in the Seychelles, Victoria serves as the capital city. Here, you'll find a bustling market, a fantastic new history museum, and stunning botanical gardens.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Seychelles enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, making it a suitable destination for a visit during any season. The average temperature hovers around 27ºC, rarely falling below 24ºC or rising above 32ºC, ensuring consistently great beach weather. However, depending on your purpose for visiting, whether it's diving, fishing, birdwatching, or simply a beach holiday, certain months may be more favorable than others. While there may be occasional tropical showers at any time of the year, the driest months span from May to September, with the wettest weather occurring from November to January.
For bird enthusiasts, the breeding season begins in April, with snooty terns nesting from May through September and bird migrations occurring in October.
Currency: Seychelles Rupee. US Dollars and Euros are also widely accepted.
Language: English, French and Creole
What makes it special: The world's only granite islands in mid-ocean, the world's oldest ocean islands, the world's largest raised coral atoll and a whole host of attractions make up what is surely the world's ultimate tropical paradise. Seychelles is home to the world's largest population of giant tortoises. On the UNESCO-list Aldabra Atoll – the world's second-largest atoll – lives a population of over 150,00 giant tortoises. While this might seem like a lot, the Aldabra tortoise is classified as vulnerable.
Weather: The Seychelles islands are blessed with a warm, tropical climate year-round, making it an excellent destination regardless of when you visit. The temperature typically remains between 24°C and 32°C. Most of the islands are situated outside the cyclone belt, making Seychelles a year-round haven for sun worshippers and beach lovers. Two predominant trade winds influence the weather pattern: the northwesterly trades blow from October to March, with wind speeds averaging 8 to 12 knots; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, featuring winds of 10 to 20 knots, bringing cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing. The periods of calm between the trade winds offer warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and October. For activities like swimming, snorkeling, and especially diving, April/May and October/November provide superb conditions, with water temperatures sometimes reaching 29°C and visibility often exceeding 30 meters.
Social Customs: The Seychellois people are a vibrant mix of various races, cultures, and religions. Throughout its history, individuals of African, European, and Asian descent have come to Seychelles, each bringing their unique traditions and customs, contributing to the Seychellois culture's diversity. These influences are visible in local art, cuisine, music, dance, and architecture. Some of the grand old houses with steep roofs reflect an architectural style adapted for comfortable living in the tropics, influenced by Seychelles' French and British colonial heritage. Modern architecture blends traditional styles with practical features designed to capture the island's breezes. Local artists continue to showcase diverse styles influenced by the multi-ethnic background of the islands. Creole music and dance draw from African, Malagasy, and European cultures, with rhythms traditionally accompanied by simple drums and string instruments. Today, they incorporate newer additions like the violin and guitar. The traditional moutya, an erotic dance with origins in the days of slavery, is still performed, along with the sega featuring colorful lyrics, kanmtole, reminiscent of a country reel, and Kontredanse, an import from the French court.