Imagine white sandy beaches, clear turquoise water, coconut palms swaying in the breeze, and sunsets second to none. Seychelles has all that and more.
With 155 islands, many uninhabited, Seychelles offers a tropical wonderland of ancient wildlife, indigenous flora, rare birdlife, and spectacular marine life.
From an aircraft window seat, views are outstanding and furthermore prepare you for the beauty once landed. There’s something instantly calming about arriving at this island paradise.
Allow me to present 5 enticing reasons to visit Seychelles!
Seychelles remarkable climate is due to its location, location, location. The islands lie between 4° and 11° south of the equator, northeast of Madagascar and about 1600 kilometres east of Kenya, surrounded by the Indian Ocean.
Average annual temperatures range between 24℃ and 32℃ and water temperatures are similar, 24℃ - 27℃.
May through to September is the perfect time to visit with humidity and rainfall low and daylight so clear you’ll be astounded by the views.
From October to February expect rain, therefore humidity, and from November to March the trade winds tend to discourage visitors. Temperatures remain in the high 20s and low 30s (℃) during these months so if you can handle a little rain and wind, you’ll be rewarded with fewer visitors and attractive vacation packages.
It’s always pleasing to learn of a destination’s commitment to prioritising conserving their environment above raking in the tourist dollar.
As with many destinations feeling the effects of over-tourism, Seychelles has determined capacity and monitors tourist numbers on the islands.
When arranging accommodation, look out for the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label.
Criteria to achieve certification includes waste management, water usage, energy efficiency, local employment, community and conservation involvement, and guest information ensuring everyone working and staying in the hotel is aware of their responsibility to the environment.
Sustainability is a key Seychelles policy. Environmental conservation can be seen hiking the nature paths of Morne Seychellois National Park or snorkelling St Anne Marine Park.
Praslin’s Vallée de Mai was declared a nature reserve back in 1966 and received UNESCO World Heritage status in 1983 for the protection and research of the Coco de Mer palm.
The Aldabra Atoll, one of the largest in the world, received UNESCO World Heritage status in 1982 to not only protect the giant Aldabra Tortoises but to preserve its ecosystem which provides a natural laboratory for the study of evolutionary and ecological processes.
Seychelles government’s edict for all beaches to receive White Flag status is in place with many beaches already proudly flying them.
Seychelles really is paradise and the government and residents are ensuring it stays that way.
3. Water-centric Leisure Activities
Surrounded by the Indian Ocean’s crystal clear waters, the desire to sail on top or dive within is natural. Fortunately, Seychelles has more than enough leisure cruises, island tours, sailing, diving, and snorkelling offers to satisfy everyone’s needs.
Glass bottom boats take tours from Victoria, Mahé out to St Anne Marine Park. Supplying snorkelling gear for those who wish to get in amongst it, the tropical marine life, seagrasses, and coral can be viewed from your seat.
There are a number of glass-bottom boat companies, but we found Island Hopper Glass Bottom Boats to be both the most authentic and great value for money.
Of course, you could charter a boat yourself. Schooners, yachts and motor vessels are all available for self or skippered sailing. Day trips, over-night, and week-long tours can be arranged. Three-hour sunset cruises, fishing charters, special occasion events, are also on offer.
Silhouette Cruises and Seyscapes Yacht Charter both come highly recommended but do your homework. There are numerous companies from Victoria, Eden Island and many other locations on Mahé, choose the one right for you.
Some marine companies offer PADI diving courses and certification can be completed while on vacation.
For time-poor visitors or those on a budget, consider the Inter-Island Ferries between Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue. Not exactly a relaxing cruise but you’re out on the water and visiting Seychelles Islands. 2 birds, 1 stone you might say.
4. Seychellois Cuisine
For those of you who are familiar with my articles in Travel Pass Magazine or follow @paraphernalia.co, you’ll be aware of my foodie obsession. I’m a firm believer in getting to know the local people through their cuisine and Seychelles is no different.
The Seychelles Islands were first claimed by the French, followed by the British, before becoming the Commonwealth Republic of today. The tropical environment determines local produce while African, Indian, and Arabic influences are obvious.
Seychellois cuisine is a mix of Cajun and Creole with heavy reliance on fish and shellfish. Mangoes, papaya, plantain, bananas, and jamalac (an apple-like fruit) grow prevalently on the islands.
Aside from the daily staple of rice, coconuts are the most widely used product of the islands. Every part of the coconut is utilised, water, milk, flesh, and oil. Husks are reused and repurposed.
Cooking methods include steaming in banana leaves, barbecuing over hot coals, and slow-cooked curries with intense flavours.
Begin at Victoria Markets in the centre of Victoria, Mahé, the Seychelles capital city. The smallest capital city in the world for those who frequent a pub quiz.
Liveliest around 06:00, Victoria Market is at the centre of Seychellois cuisine. Restaurant menus are determined by what chefs claim from the market on the day, and locals pick up what they need several times a week.
An outstanding array of morning-caught fish, just-ready fruit and vegetables, and bundles of herbs and spices are crammed into this tiny market.
To enjoy authentic Seychellois cuisine that’s already prepared for you, make a reservation at Marie Antoinette Restaurant in Victoria.
Marie Antoinette Restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored French colonial mansion overlooking Victoria and the outlying islands. Within the grounds, vegetable, herb, spice and flower garden is lovingly tended. Out the back, you’ll meet a couple of docile Aldabra Tortoises living on the premises.
Marie Antoinette offers a set menu to be shared. The menu covers all Seychelles traditional dishes served with rice. Tuna steaks, eggplant fritters, pickled green papaya salad, fish stew, barbecued fish, and curries.
Morne National Park on Mahé, Vallée de Mai and Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve on Praslin, and the Nid d’ Aigle path on La Digue offer dedicated trails in order to be at one with nature.
Varying levels of hiking experience are catered for from short, easy paths to day hikes with steep climbs and descents. What they offer individually is lush indigenous vegetation, spectacular views, waterfalls, ruins, and coconut plantations.
Comfortable shoes are a must, sunscreen and sun hats should go without saying, and some of these nature paths land you at beautiful beaches where you may need your swimwear.
For further information on visiting Seychelles, follow this link to Seychelles: All you need to know before you go! This comprehensive guide expands on dining, boat charters, when to go and how to get there. Frequently asked questions are answered and information on Seychelles rum distilleries, spice gardens, community projects, Seychelles history, economy, and getting around the islands. Basically, as it says, all you need to know before you go!
There are far more than 5 reasons to entice you to visit Seychelles, but these 5 are reason enough. I guarantee you’ll love this island paradise as much as I did.
If there’s any further information you require, or you just want to share your experiences of Seychelles, contact me email@example.com or if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here subscribe to my site and be the first to read my comprehensive guides for first-timers to random global destinations.
Until next time, do the things you love….
Shona’s award winning travel blog shares tips and tricks on where to eat, drink, explore & shop in any given destination. At home ordering street food or perusing a fine dining menu, she seeks out venues with a conscience who promote local produce and sustainability. Find her in markets, museums, art galleries and on walking tours as well as wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. Wherever she is, she’s always looking for something a little different to share with her readers. Follow her travels at paraphernalia.co or subscribe to her newsletter and never miss a thing. firstname.lastname@example.org.