Somewhere in the western Indian Ocean, south of the equator, you will find the Seychelles island cluster (officially the Republic of Seychelles). Consisting of 115 islands filled with emerald green rainforests, clear turquoise water, unique granite rock formations, and beautiful coral reefs, it’s no wonder this island getaway forms a popular romantic getaway destination. Whether you plan to sit back with a good book, swim in warm tropical waters, or take long evening walks, the Seychelles islands offers a myriad of things to do.
Where is the Seychelles
The Seychelles (pronounced Say-Shells) is an archipelago which can be found 1,600km East of Africa. The Seychelles are often considered one of the most beautiful island destinations in the entire world. It covers 116 islands over 1 million kilometers squared. It has a total land area of 444 kilometers squared.
What is the population of the Seychelles
The Seychelles has a population of 98,000 people. The collective inhabitants of the Seychelles are referred to as Seychellois. Seychelles rank 200th in the global list of the largest countries. Just over half of the Seychelles population live in urban environments.
What is the Capital of the Seychelles
Victoria, which is the capital, is located on the North Eastern Coast of Mahé island. It is the only genuine town in the Seychelles, and is therefore home to almost a third of the Seychelles population. The town is most known for its port which is capable of accommodating multiple vessels at one time. It is also home to the largest airports across the islands.
What Language is spoken in the Seychelles
There is one official language of Seychelles, which is creole. It is a largely dictated by the French language, although there are some minor differences. Despite that, the country was part of the British colony for a century and a half, which makes English the main language in government and business.
When is the best time to visit the Seychelles
As a visitor, the best times to visit the Seychelles are April, May, October and November. A visit during these months should offer a more mild conditions, which are ideal for scuba diving, sunbathing and wildlife watching. No matter what time of year you visit, you are likely to enjoy temperatures in the 80s. But, by visiting in these months, you are able to avoid the heavy tourists crowds which arrive in December, July, January and August.
How to get to the Seychelles
Given that it is a cluster of islands some 300 miles off the continent of Africa, the only option you really have, it to reach the Seychelles by plane. Most connecting flights will go through Dubai, Nairobi or Doha, and travel between islands is done by small planes and helicopters. Alternatively ferry services are available throughout the islands, which is useful for island hopping.
How to get around the Seychelles?
One method of getting around in the Seychelles is in fact by air. The only scheduled flights are between Mahé and another island of the Seychelles, Praslin, with approximately 25 flights per day in each direction. Air Seychelles takes care of all interisland flights, but any other route would require you to charter a plane, which is unlikely to be cheap.
Another effective method of getting between all the islands are by boat and ferry. You can get between a few major islands – Mahé, Preslin and La Digue – relatively easily by ferry. You should make sure, however, to book your ticket at least one day in advance through the travel agent or ferry company.
Alternatively, there is a highly sophisticated and modern bus system which operates on all the islands, particularly in Victoria, the capital city. Timetables are available at each terminal. Also, if you want a little bit more control on your journey, then you can rent a car. Most of the roads are in good shape, just make sure to always drive on the left, and be aware of fast cars, particularly when you are going around the bends. There are many car rental stands which have available rentals for good prices throughout the islands too.
Is the Seychelles safe?
Yes, the Seychelles is Safe. Despite the fact that there has been a slight increase in petty and violent crimes over the last number of years, it still remains relatively safe. Just make sure to use common sense, and don’t carry large sums of money around with you. Other than that, you shouldn’t experience any problems on your visit to the Seychelles.
Visit Seychelles or Maldives
So now that we have uncovered the true beauty of his gorgeous collection of islands, I’m sure if you were wondering whether it could live up to the beauty of its Indian Ocean rival, the Maldives. The answer is, it depends. Maldives has its own beautiful image, of one island, and one resort. Whereas alternatively, the Seychelles is more of a collection, but does benefit from a more varied landscape. The truth is that both islands have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Visit Seychelles or Mauritius
Just to make it all more interesting, perhaps you could throw the gorgeous Mauritius islands into the mix. Yet still, the reality is that it all depends on your own personal preferences. Mauritius does have a more varied landscape, with plenty of places to visit and more than just beaches. However, it is difficult to say that it has the same level of beauty as the Seychelles’ white crispy sand and turquoise waters. But either way, it’s up to you.
Best Beaches in the Seychelles
1. Anse Intendance
Anse Intendance is a grievous beach which is located south of Mahé. The fabulous granite structures and the exquisite appearance are what makes it such a favorite for photographers. It’s a hotspot in the region for surfers too, who can’t get enough of the deep waters and rough waves., particularly in the summer months. Having said that, it is also the perfect place to simply relax and sunbathe too.
2. Anse Major
Anse Major is a little bit calmer than some of the other beaches on the island, mainly because it is rather difficult to access. This makes it the perfect spot to indulge in your own slice of heaven on the beautiful Seychelles island. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities on this secluded little bay. You should note that there are no snack bars or restaurants here, so you will need to carry your own food and drink with you.
3. Anse Lazio
Anse Lazio is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about beaches on the entire Seychelles island. The water is a dreamy blue color and is also unbelievably clear. It is a fantastic spot for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. As an added bonus: if you can get yourself out of bed early enough, you will be able to watch the beautiful sun rise from one of the best spots on the entire island. Once you visit this fabulous spot, it will be of no surprise to you why they label this beach as one of the best in the world.
4. Anse Georgette
To describe Anse Georgette in one word, it would be “fabulous”. Thanks to the absence of any reefs or rocks. Once you stand on the edge of the water, you can enjoy the pure white sand which stretches off into the distance. Also, this spot can be found on the Constance Lemuria Hotel, and only allows non-residences to visit. This means that even during the peak season, the beach is never overcrowded. Don’t worry, however, because all you have to do is phone the hotel in advance, and they will make sure you get your spot.
5. Anse Source D’Argent
If you have seen dazzling images of the Seychelles in magazines, advertisements or on social media, you can bet that they were likely taken on this gorgeous beach. Dotted across with boulders along the sparkling gold sand, this beach really has that extra bit of charm. If you’re interested in the Sea life, this beach will be like a playground for you. The shallow waters make it perfect for snorkeling. Yet, what’s more is, even if you didn’t bring your gear along with you, just glancing down through the crystal water will give you the unique chance to appreciate the lovely marine life here.
6. Anse L’îlot
Often considered as the hidden treasure of Mahé, the Anse l’îlot is rather difficult to find. Making it only truly available to those who know their way through the picture perfect island. What makes this island so difficult to find, is that it is partly only available at low tide, as the beach disappears under the Indian Ocean at high tide. The tall, thin palm trees swaying from side to side hovering above the crystal clear water is what makes these islands so incredibly special. This beach is particularly popular for those on a romantic holiday or a honeymoon.
7. Anse Severe
Visitors who enjoy this exclusive beach will get access to the magnificent view of Praslin Island when they are lounging and sunbathing. At sunset, you get the unique opportunity to witness a fabulous sunset over the second largest island on the Seychelles. If you’re traveling with young children or not-so competent swimmers, you can have complete peace of mind, knowing that they are protected from the rock and coral structures, which create a natural barrier to the open ocean.
8. Île Cachée
The name of this area literally translates as “hidden island”. This is partly because it is hidden under cerf island, however, you can walk over here during low tide. According to local legends, there is plenty of pirate treasure options be found amongst these shores. But thankfully, thanks to its mysterious location, you can dig for the treasure in peace and quiet!
9. Beau Vallon
Beau Vallon beach is one of the longest beaches in Mahé, and is also one of the most popular for that matter. Plenty of visitors will flock to this beach more than once during their stay, to relax, and enjoy its beauty. Its thriving marine life attracts plenty of snorkelers, and the waves allow for some fun surfing. What’s more is, other activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing and jet-skiing are valuable. Not to mention the disco and nightclub to end the day with some drinks and dancing.
10. Anse Pasquière
This beautiful beach has unfortunately got rather shallow waters, which makes it unsuitable for swimming. However, if you’re a fan of nature, you can enjoy the diversity of the wildlife, from the range of birds, to the fabulous marine life. This is also a popular spot for fly-fishing too. Just pack up a picnic and munch on the sand while you appreciate the beautiful scenery around you.
11. Baie Lizare
This beach was named after famous French explorer, Lizare Picault, and is characterized by crispy white sand along with intensive turquoise water to create a fabulous beach setting. Windsurfing, swimming and snorkeling are all popular activities here. It’s a fabulous spot to enjoy the sunset after a long day of relaxing. Or, you could follow the local, ancient beliefs and spend your afternoon digging for the golden treasure on the shore.
12. Anse Soleil
Bordered by coconut, pine and almond trees, blessed with the sunshine, this foliage provides sufficient shade, but you should be careful about any falling coconuts. This is another stereotypical Seychelles swimming pool with crispy white sand and dazzling turquoise water. The water is fantastic for swimming, surfing and snorkeling. During the high tide, however, the water can become quite deep, meaning swimmers should take extra care.
13. Anse Cocos
Situated in the East of the Seychelles, Anse Cocos is every photographers dream. It is the epitome of what the Seychelles has to offer. Including dreamy white sand, irresistible turquoise waters and plenty of shade thanks to the palm trees that line the shore. The collection of natural pools mean there is a safe enclosure for all children , which allow you to have peace of mind. And due to the fact that it takes a little extra effort to reach, you may well have the entire shore to yourself!
14. Anse Gouvernement
This serene Bay has beautiful shallow water, which makes it the perfect spot to swim. Or if that’s not quite your thing, you can enjoy fishing, snorkeling or boating. What’s more is, even if you’d rather stay on the shore, you can admire the beautiful views over Côte d’Or, and the islands of St Pierre. If your plan is to visit this enact by land, your best bet is to phone up the local hotels, yet if you are arriving on boat, you should be okay sail up, and enjoy the rest of your day. Also, if you’re here in the evening time, this is a great spot to enjoy the evening sunset.
15. Anse Takamaka
This golden sandy beach is often referred to as one of the most picturesque on the entire Seychelles islands. For outstanding views across the island and the beautifully clear waters in the distance, you can climb the boulders just behind the beach.
Thanks to its coral reef and the wide diversity of animal marine life which is available here, it is a real hotspot for divers. However, always make sure to pack your own stuff, as there are no rental services available on the beach. Not to mention, the shallow, clear waters make it a beautiful spot for children and those who love to swim.
20 Things To Do in Seychelles
1. See The Coco De Mer Palm Trees
The rare Coco De Mer palm tree only grows on Praslin Island. They were once believed to have sprouted from the ocean floor, and produce the world’s heaviest nuts, weighing up to 66 pounds (30 kilograms).
2. Go Hiking
The Seychelles has a great deal of untouched flora and fauna, making hikes a wonderfully jungle-like experience. The Morne Blanc hiking trail is one of the most famous ones among visitors, as it allows you to get the best of the island you’re on as well as surrounding islands. On this trail, you’ll also find tea bushes, ferns, and one of the world’s smallest frogs, known as Sooglossus gardineri.
3. Rent A Car And Drive Around An Island
If you can’t stand the heat (and it can get pretty hot), then rent a car for just $47.80 (40 Euro), drive around the island, and see what you find. Remember, Seychellois locals drive on the left!
4. Go Shopping at Market Street, Victoria
Spend a day at Market Street on Mahe Island, and do some shopping. Here, you’ll find almost anything from bohemian style dresses to sarongs to spices and fresh fruits.
5. Visit a Tea Factory
If you’re a tea lover, then stop by the famous tea factory on Mahe. They offer tours around their plantation, and teach guests about the tea making process. Here, you can also enjoy a cup of freshly brewed highly reputed local Seyte tea.
6. Spend a Day Snorkeling
Snorkeling is possibly one of the best things you can do when on an island with waters as clear as here. With over 115 islands, you can be sure to find snorkel spots almost everywhere. Spend some time snorkeling around the marine parks and explore the beautiful undersea life. Top snorkeling beaches include Curieuse Island, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island, Coco Island, and Vista Bay Rocks on Mahe.
7. Find Little Big Ben
Situated on the main crossroad in the middle of town on Mahe Island is a Little Big Ben statue. It won’t take a lot of time to find, but it is a beautiful replica of Big Ben.
8. Search for Pirates’ Treasure
There is an old legend in the Seychelles that says pirates used the islands as a hideout for their treasure. It is believed that one pirate hid a treasure worth $119,509 (100,000 euros), and it still has not been found to this day. Perhaps a day of living a rustic life like Sam and Jared from Into the Blue (2005) should be in the cards.
9. Catch Your Dinner
One of the great things about the Seychelles is that you book a fishing tour, spend an entire day out on the water, catch some fish, and bring it home to cook for your dinner.
10. Swim With the Dolphins and Manta Rays
Alphonse Island is the perfect place to swim with bottle-nosed dolphins and manta rays in their natural environment.
11. Take a Creole Cooking Class
Learn to make some delicious local food with a cooking class. There are many hotels in the Seychelles that offer creole cooking classes with their top chefs.
12. Explore Eden Island
Eden Island is a man-made marina filled with holiday homes of the rich and famous. Spend some time shopping inside the high end mall within the marina, or have a cocktail alongside the luxury yachts.
13. Look Out for Endangered Species
There is plenty of wildlife to see across the archipelago. Book a bird watching tour or go on a hike to scout out some well-known endangered species. Keep an eye out for the Seychelles paradise – flycatcher, the black parrot, and the Seychelles magpie robin.
14. Find the Granite Rocks
The Seychelles is one of the oldest Indian Ocean island clusters. What makes these islands unique is the geology found here. The islands themselves are not volcanic but are composed primarily of massive granite fragments. Everywhere you go, you will see giant granite boulders reaching upwards toward the sky. On the beach, within the forests, and even scattered through the various cities. Try to spot them as you go along.
15. Visit One of the World’s Smallest Capital Cities
Victoria on Mahé Island is one of the world’s smallest capitals. Spend a few hours here exploring the city center, taking in the sights of the creole-style houses and wandering around the market.
16. National Botanical Gardens
The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve forms a 48-acre wide UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Seychelles. Here you will find around 6,000 coco-de-mer palm trees and an abundance of endangered flora and fauna.
17. Island Hopping
Rent a catamaran or luxury yacht and spend a day on the water. Island hop, find marine spots, and watch the sun set.
18. Try Some Local Delicacies
Seychellois cuisine is a fusion of African, Chinese, European, and Indian flavors. Being an island cluster, seafood is always on the menu. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, then why not try the famous shark chutney or octopus and bat curry. If you’re a little less adventurous, then try the red snapper, king fish, and parrot fish.
19. Go Diving
The Seychelles are said to be one of the top 10 diving locations in the world. With over 70 dive sites that are accessible year round, this is a perfect opportunity to become at one with the ocean.
20. Sip Cocktails and Do Absolutely Nothing
Lay back, grab a good book, order a cocktail, and lounge on one of the giant hammocks. This is the perfect time to get some serious rest and relaxation.