Everyone's heard about the gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Seychelles, but we are here to give you an inside scoop on how to make the most of your holiday there.
This guide is packed with useful information on how to get there, which islands you should visit, and how to make the most of your time while you’re there, including pirate tips on leisure activities and island hopping, as well as ecotourism and adventuring.
And contrary to what one might think, the gorgeous island nation is a destination for all budgets. That’s why we’ve got the hot tips on where to stay if you are looking for budget-friendly options or if you feel like splurging on that once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
Official languages: English, French & Creole
Currency: Seychelles Rupees
Flight time from the UK: 12 hours
The main airport is Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) near Victoria on the island of Mahé. Multiple airlines fly to Mahé from the UK, including Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Qatar Airways.
Luckily, UK citizens do not require a visa, however you will need to apply for travel authorisation to enter the country. Currently, you will also have to submit a negative PCR test that was taken within 72 hours before departure.
The three main islands of the archipelago—Mahè, Praslin and La Digue—are linked to each other by maritime connections, weather permitting. Inexpensive passenger ferries run between the larger islands. The ride from Mahé to Praslin takes an hour and from Praslin to La Digue only 15 minutes.
If you have enough time, we recommend visiting them all as they are quite different from each other! Due to the relatively short connection time between islands, you’ll be able to visit some of the islands as day trips.
Pirate tip: To get around independently and have fun, consider renting bicycles on La Digue (which is the main mode of transport). They will allow you to reach remote beaches.
The Seychelles is also known as the 'Land of perpetual summer' thanks to its warm and sunny climate that is present all year round. Temperatures average between 26 - 32 degrees throughout the year.
In fact, Seychelles is the only island destination in the Indian Ocean to lie outside the cyclone belt, making it a lovely place to holiday any time of the year.
Pirate tip: The equator is about 4 - 10 degrees away, which means that on the hottest days, the sun can be very strong. High protection sun creams are recommended, especially for the first few days of your holiday. No one wants to start their holiday out looking like a lobster! Also please remember to wear coral-safe sun cream while on holiday.
The high season is during the school holidays in July and August as these months are also the driest.
Mid-December to February are the wettest months and therefore this is when accommodation will be the cheapest. However the holidays season, Christmas and New Year is peak season and hotels will reflect that in their pricing.
If you want to avoid the crowds and still have nice weather, we recommend visiting during April, May and September to November, when you'll still have long days full of sunshine.
The Seychelles archipelago is made up of a total of 115 islands (split between what is known as the Inner and Outer Islands), all located off the east coast of Africa.
Tourism in the Seychelles is almost exclusively concentrated in the Inner Islands, the most popular of which are the holiday islands that are concentrated around the main island of Mahé.
Among the Outer Islands, the legendary Aldabra Atoll, which is the world’s largest raised coral atoll and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is of particular interest. It is also home to many rare species of birds and the famous Aldabra giant tortoise.
While they are all worth a visit, which island you should choose depends on your interests.
The main island of Mahé is the largest in the archipelago with 154.7 square kilometres. It is a good choice for a varied holiday in the Seychelles because here you will find lush nature, beautiful beaches and the lively capital, Victoria. You can also climb the 905 meters high Morne Seychellois on Mahé and dive and snorkel in the upstream Sainte Anne Marine National Park. The longest beach with many hotels can be found in Beau Vallon.
Located on the main island of Mahe, Victoria is one of the smallest capitals in the world. If you’re staying elsewhere on the island, then a day trip here is ideal for shopping, sightseeing and learning more about Seychelles culture and history.
Sights in Victoria that shouldn't be missed:
Victoria Clocktower - one the most prominent features of Seychelles’ small capital, which has acted as a focal point for nearly 100 years
Old court on Francis Rachel Street - a perfect example of Creole architecture
The Arulmigu Navasakti Vinayagar Temple - which is the centre of Hinduism on the islands
Botanical gardens - tour around the beautiful garden and learn more about the colorful flora
National Museum of History, which documents the history of the Seychelles. There is an entrance fee of 150 SCR entry fee, which is about £8
Looking for accommodation on Mahé? We recommend checking out the Chalets d'Anse Forbans, which is rated 4.5/5 on Trip Advisor and has great per night rates. Choose between a beachfront bungalow for two from £174 per night or a family bungalow that sleeps four from £250 per night.
Pirate tip: To keep costs even lower, we recommend looking at Airbnbs on Mahé. You can find highly-rated, budget-friendly options from £57 a night. Check out this great Airbnb that sleeps up to 4 and features ocean views.
The second-largest island, Praslin, is the most popular destination for a holiday in the Seychelles. The wonderful sandy beach of Anse Lazio is the perfect postcard motif and invites you to relax and laze around.
You shouldn't miss the Vallée de Mai, one of the only two places where the world’s largest seed, the Coco de Mer, grows. The Vallée de Mai was once thought to be the original site of the Garden of Eden and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes as some of the trails can be steep.
Pirate Tip: The entrance fee costs £20 but we suggest booking your visit with a guided tour so that you can fully appreciate the unique features of the park.
With its granite rocks, the sandy beach Anse Source d'Argent is probably the most famous image of the Seychelles. Accordingly, it is also a popular place to visit and therefore usually quite packed with tourists. Take your pictures and then look for a quieter beach to chill out on. We recommend giving Grand Anse and Petite Anse on the east coast a try.
Pirate Tip: If you are interested in seeing tortoises, we recommend skipping L’Union Estate Park (which is located just before the famous beach Anse Source d’Argent) because the tortoises are kept in enclosures. Instead try your luck at Anse Severe and Anse Banane, where you can find tortoises that are roaming free.
If you want to spend your holiday in paradisiacal seclusion, we suggest choosing one of the smaller islands to visit. Silhouette, North Island, Denis or Bird Island are all great options for those wishing to avoid crowds, especially during high season. However, your accommodation options will be limited as these islands often have just one hotel on them.
The island of Frégate is particularly expensive and exclusive: it is considered a retreat for pop and Hollywood stars. So if you long for a luxury vacation in a class of its own, this is the place for you.
The Seychelles is a great destination for ecotourism as they boast some of the most pristine and uncommercialised islands in the world, and their protected nature reserves and untouched forests show what the island nation used to look like before human settlement.
Another great destination for ecotourism is Aride Island, which doesn’t allow any boats besides those of the reserve. The island is home to one million birds, including the blue pigeon, magpie robins, and brush warblers.
The Seychelles is also home to the world's largest coral atoll, Aldabra Atoll. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise, while tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.
Pirates interested in learning more about ecotourism should head to Bird Island. Home to a nature reserve and bird sanctuary, you'll be able to see hawksbill and green turtles as well as Sooty Terns and White-Tailed Tropicbirds living there in their natural habitat.
If you're lucky you will catch a glimpse of Esmeralda, the oldest giant land tortoise in the world!
Anyone who thinks that you can only laze around on dream beaches all day is mistaken. In the Seychelles there are so many things to do and, if you stay at least a week or more, you certainly won't have time to get bored.
The active vacationers and adventurers among you will be able to let off steam with all different types of activities including diving, fishing, sailing, golf, hiking, and snorkelling in the Seychelles.
When in Victoria, you should definitely check out the colourful downtown market where the locals shop. Here you will find a selection of produce and spices for sale that are all grown locally and 100% authentic.
The lush rainforests in the interior of the islands can be explored on hikes, for example in the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. With a lot of luck, you’ll spot the smallest frog in the world, the Sooglossidae gardineri.
Join in on diving trips to experience the unique underwater world of the Seychelles with colourful, iridescent tropical fish, sea turtles, rays and octopus. In the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, you can even watch the sea creatures relax while snorkelling.
Book a full day snorkelling tour from £82 per person here.
On the beaches of the larger islands you will find an extensive range of sea kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing, water skiing, parasailing and more.
Kayaking is a great way to leisurely explore the scenic coastlines of the islands. Since the water is so clear, you’ll have an almost window-like view to the ocean below which is teeming with sea life!
Victoria is also a good place to learn about Seychelles Creole cuisine. Try delicious curries with seafood, octopus salad and ladob banan, a delicious dessert with bananas, coconut milk and cinnamon.
Pirate Tip: Make a stop in Takamaka Bay on Mahé, where you can tour the most famous rum distillery in the Seychelles. Tasting included, of course!