The breath-taking islands of the Seychelles are as close to heaven on earth as you can get. With paradise beaches, palm-fringed bays and underwater wonderlands of colourful fish – this is what dreams are made of.
With over 100 islands to choose from, it’s not just the beautiful beaches that should tempt you to visit the Seychelles. Hike through lush national parks, taste spicy local food and learn about the history of the Indian Ocean – it’s the perfect combination of exploration and relaxation. Here are our favourite things to do in the Seychelles.
Hike along the lush trails of Morne National Park on the main island of Mahé. From coastal mangrove forests to towering peaks, this natural wonder is cloaked in jungle and feels like another world. It’s the perfect way to have a beach-free day, just soaking up the beauty of the island and learning a little about endemic species of plants and birds.
There are so many spectacular walks here. The Morne Blanc Trails is a steady uphill climb through the misty forests and wild jungle to the top of Morne Blanc, where you’ll be treated to sweeping views across the ocean. The forests are full of jackfruit trees and fluttering sunbirds, as well as the world’s smallest frog – though they might be too small to find, you’re sure to hear their loud chirruping calls.
Thanks to its prime spot in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles offers some of the best diving in the world. Off the sandy beaches of La Digue you’ll find a world of underwater colour, from kaleidoscopic reef fish to snappers and unicorn fish. If you’re lucky you might even spot some sharks. One of the best spots is L’ilot, a tiny island off the northern tip of Mahe. It’s so small that you could swim the whole way around it on one dive. Its waters are full of wildlife – you could see turtles mooching and even whale sharks in the warm waters.
There are four wrecks to dive around Mahe as well as Brissare Rocks, with lots of rays and nurse sharks making their home here. If you are a more experienced diver, then South Marianne Island off the coast of Praslin is the place for you – it’s a deep dive but the topography is incredible. You’ll find jagged peaks and rock formations, as well plenty of sharks.
The main islands of the Seychelles are known as the Granite Islands and are famous for the huge, round boulders found in the jungle and along the coast. However, the Seychelles has plenty of atolls, especially in the outer islands. The far flung Cosmoledo Atoll is closer to Madagascar than the main Seychelles Islands. Cosmoledo is a pristine and untouched ecosystem, boating vast sand flats, beautiful islands of different shapes and sizes, and a wonderful lagoon.
Live like castaways in this secluded island – the Eco Camp has 8 tiny pods fitted out with luxurious furniture and a comfortable bed – and explore the clear waters around you. Known as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’ – you can swim with manta rays and sailfish, as well as a host of other beautiful creatures. Others you can visit include Alphonse Island, Astove Atoll and Aldabra Atoll.
Explore the tiny capital of Victoria on the main island of Mahe. First established as the seat of the British colonial government, this little town is made up of three districts – the English River, Saint Louis and Mont Fleuri. Besides tourism, the main exports of the Seychelles are vanilla, coconuts and fish and the town is buzzing with small businesses and friendly locals.
Visit the lush botanical gardens, full of exotic and tropical plants, as well as plenty of reptiles and amphibians that make their home in the lily pad-covered pools. Browse the colourful fruit and vegetable stalls at the Selwyn Clarke Market before strolling along the road to admire the beautiful Hindu temple – the only one in the Seychelles.
The small island of La Digue is a car-free paradise. Once you arrive, you’ll feel the pace of everyday life slow down - all that matters is the white sand, the turquoise water and picking a ripe passionfruit for breakfast. There’s no airport on this tiny island – you have to catch the catamaran ferry across from Praslin.
It’s not the kind of island with a list of sights to tick off – you should spend your time here wandering along beaches, meeting locals and tasting their creole street food or diving into the ocean to snorkel amongst the colourful fishes. The air is sweet with vanilla as you cycle through around the island - our favourite beach to discover is Anse Source d’Argent. This boulder-strewn beach is breathtakingly lovely – the perfect spot for a late afternoon drink on the sand, watch the sunset into the water.
As an island nation, the Seychelles are famous for seafood – think coconut crab curry, smoked fish salads and barbecued prawns. To really experience a country, you have to taste their food which here is creole street food. It’s all delicious, from pork curry and grilled red snapper to bananas with coconut milk, washed down with a Seybrew beer.
The most famous local dish is ladob, a mixture of plantains, breadfruit and cassava. It can be either a sweet or savoury dish – the sweet version is prepared with coconut milk, nutmeg, vanilla and sugar while the savoury is with salted fish. There is also a lot of Indian influence in the food here – you’ll always be able to find a street stall selling parathas and dhal.
Majestic and wild giant tortoises can be found on the Aldabra atoll, noted by David Attenborough as one of the wonders of the world. Centuries ago, giant tortoises could be found on many Indian Ocean islands but passing ships pushed each of them to eventual extinction.
By 1997, there were only a few thousand Aldabra tortoises left in the Seychelles – this was when conservation efforts were redoubled, and the country worked hard to build up their numbers. You can now find around 100,000, mostly living in the Aldabra atoll, around 700 miles south-west of Mahe. If you can’t journey that far, they can be found in wildlife sanctuaries on other islands.
The Seychelles is world-famous for its sensational beaches – and rightly so. With sugary sand and turquoise waters, Anse Lazio can be found on Praslin Island. Relax on this perfect beach, swim with the sparkling water or snorkel with turtles offshore. The calm waves make it perfect for swimming with children.
Anse Marron on La Digue is another favourite – the boulders over the beach create natural tide pools, perfect for bathing and relaxing on this wild beach. You can only access it on foot, making it even more exclusive. If you visit during the turtle nesting season, you can’t beat a visit to Anse Intendance, right next to the Banyan Tree on Mahe, where daily beach patrols protect the hawksbills laying their eggs.
If there’s one thing the Seychelles is famous for, it’s the luxurious and beautiful hotels. The main islands of Mahe and Praslin have plenty to choose from, including the Raffles Seychelles, where you can dine on the beach under the stars, and the Maia hotel, which has sweeping ocean views and individual villas.
There are also lots of private islands, with just one exclusive hotel or lodge to choose from. Walk along the empty beaches of North Island, relax by your private pool on Fregate Island or snorkel with manta rays in the waters of Alphonse Island. It’ll cost you an arm and leg, but it will be worth every penny.
Whether you’re looking for a family holiday, a peaceful escape or a luxurious honeymoon, this island paradise is sure to fit the bill. If you would like to plan a trip to Seychelles, give us a call on +44 1273320580 or request a quote. We are experts in planning tailor-made holidays and round the world flights, so we can work together with you until we’ve created your perfect trip.