Seemingly beyond accessible, this dreamy island nation situated in the Indian Ocean has an exotic and far-far-away quality that is on many a bucket list! If you are lucky enough to be planning a visit to the Seychelles either as a stop on a cruise ship, or flying into Mahe you will be overwhelmed by its unique beauty.
If you have a week or more to explore and relax we suggest visiting the main island of Mahe, as well as taking the short ferry journey to Praslin Island and possibly onto La Digue Island. There are plenty of luxury resorts and hideaways, so a visit to a private island is also not out of the question for that once-in-a-lifetime dream holiday.Read More...
Located on Mahe the largest island in the Seychelles, Victoria is the capital city with a bustling market, fantastic new history museum and stunning botanical gardens.
Accessible by speedboat from Mahe, Praslin is the second largest island and offers visitors a variety of activities and crowd free beaches. The clear waters are excellent for scuba diving and there are also excellent snorkelling spots along the coast. Ancient forests on the island are home to endemic flora and fauna including the rare black parrot.
La Digue Island
An easy 15 minute fast ferry trip from Praslin, it is worth spending time on the island due to its incredible beauty and more off the beaten track feel to it. One of the main reason visitors travel to La Digue is for the sparkling soft white sand beaches dotted with granite boulders.
St Anne Island
An unhabited island home to giant tortoises and an abundance of tropical vegetation. Between November and February you can see the sea turtles laying eggs on the beach. The island also has incredible marine life making it ideal for snorkellers.
A private island with just 11 villas, North Island offers a barefoot luxury escape!
Seychelles boasts a warm tropical climate all year round and a visit to the islands is suitable during any season. The average temperature is 27ºC, which rarely falls below 24ºC or rises above 32ºC, so there is always great beach weather. However, depending on your reasons for visiting, be it diving, fishing, birdwatching or simply a beach holiday, there are certain months that may be better than others. There may be tropical showers at any time of the year, but the driest months are between May and September and the wettest weather comes between November to January.
The two main seasons in Seychelles are influenced by the prevailing trade winds.
South east trade winds – May to September
Between May and September steady winds blow from the southeast bringing drier weather and lower humidity. Rough seas can affect some beaches on the south western coast of Mahe, and there can also be a build-up of seaweed on the western coast of Praslin. It’s not the best time for boat crossings between the islands so you may prefer to fly instead. The plus point about the south east is that any rain is usually light and does not last long.
North west – November to March
Light winds blow from the northwest and most beaches have safe swimming spots, but this is also the wetter season in Seychelles, particularly in December and January. Despite locals calling this time of year the ‘north west monsoon’, these are not like the typical rains seen during the monsoon in India or Asia. In Seychelles, showers tend to last for only a few hours, rather than days. In addition, Seychelles lies outside the cyclone belt that affects the southern Indian Ocean in February and March.
Changeover months – October to April
Sea conditions tend to be calm and winds are usually light during the changeover months between the two prevailing winds. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November, with water temperatures reaching 29ºC.
For bird lovers, breeding season hits in April, with snooty terns nesting in May through to September and migration coming in October.
The Seychelles Islands is the perfect destination for those who love the sea, with something for everyone from the very active to the very indulgent! Getting out onto the big blue, experiencing comparable big game fishing to our own and of course, a bit of relaxing at a Spa – a stay in the Seychelles really stacks up as a ‘holiday’. If you can, allow a week for R&R in the Seychelles after a hectic safari in Africa. We’d suggest spending two nights in Mahe, on the main island of Victoria and the rest on the island of Praslin (pronounced prar-lin). On arrival are greeted in ‘island style’ with coconut cocktails and a flower necklace before being zipped away to your first hotel. At the luxurious Banyan Tree Resort you can spend your days beach-combing, taking time for a Spa, maybe some snorkelling and of course enjoy romantic evenings. If you have more time spend longer at the Banyan Tree, and if budget permits, book a Beachfront Pool Spa Villa…utterly decadent! A very quick hop on the Cat Cocos ferry across to the island of Praslin (similar distance as the ferry to Waiheke Island from Auckland) and you can be spoiled once again at L’Archipel Hotel.
Overlooking beautiful Anse Gouvernement (a horseshoe shaped turquoise bay) the hotel is set in luxurious tropical grounds. From this base, you can take trips to other smaller islands, fishing excursions, deep sea diving, snorkeling and much more – or less, as you like. Dinner by the pool by candlelight is stunning, but even more stunning is the set up they have for dinners on the beach! If you have a very special occasion to celebrate or simply want to go to a destination you haven’t even thought of before then you will not be disappointed. It may not be “en route” to anywhere, but it is worth the effort.
Currency Seychelles Rupee. US Dollars and Euros are also widely accepted.
Language English, French and Creole
Weather As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a warm, tropical climate year-round, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests. In this tropical haven the temperature seldom drops below 24°C or rises above 32C. All but the remotest southern islands lie comfortably outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles’ a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers. Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March when wind speeds average from 8 to 12 knots; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September with winds of between 10 to 20 knots, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing. The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29C and visibility is often 30 metres plus. Depending on your interests, World Journeys can assist in recommending the best time to travel.
Social customs & quirks The ‘Seychellois’ are a colourful blend of peoples of different races, cultures and religions. At different times in its history, people of African, European and Asian origin have come to Seychelles, bringing with them their distinct traditions and customs and contributing to the way of life and to the vibrant Seychellois culture. One can see these influences at work throughout the domains of local art, cuisine, music, dance and architecture. The architectural design of some of the grand old houses with their steep roofs are representative of a style adapted for comfortable living in the tropics that displays influences from Seychelles’ French and British colonial heritage. Modern architecture attempts to assimilate traditional styles with practical features designed to capture the island breezes. Local artists continue to exhibit diverse styles that echo the multi-ethnic backdrop of the islands and bear testament to the various influences which have come to bear. Creole music and dance have their roots in African, Malagasy and European cultures with rhythms traditionally accompanied by simple drums and string instruments which, today, include such recent imports as the violin and guitar. The traditional moutya is an erotic dance derived from the days of slavery and still features today, together with the sega with its colourful lyrics; the kanmtole, reminiscent of a country reel, and the Kontredanse, an import from the French court.
Festivals & events Among the many festivals and events held in the Seychelles, there cultural fete’s held throughout the year, Carnaval in March, Seychelles Regatta in May, the Southeast Sailfish Tournament in August, and the Creole Festival in the last week of October.
Health* There are no compulsory health requirements for a visit to the Seychelles, unless visiting from a Yellow Fever endemic zone within 6 days. Please contact your General Practitioner for advice regarding the recommended vaccination programme for travellers.
Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.