Soothe your soul in the Seychelles, a collection of 115 stunningly beautiful islands located just below the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean and classified as one of the world's greatest natural treasures. Paradise awaits with deserted, pristine, dazzling-white beaches framed by granite boulders, shimmering turquoise lagoons, swaying emerald coconut palms, warm tropical breezes, lush forests and a spectacularly colourful underwater life.
Discover a wealth of once-in-a-lifetime activities and excursions beyond the islands’ blissful beaches, from lush rainforrests and hiking trails to colourful craft studios and local conservation projects. Spot rare marine and bird life, marvel at the majestic flora and fauna, and learn more about the vibrant traditions of the welcoming Seychellois people.
The Seychelles have long been a favourite destination of couples and honeymooners drawn to the beautiful white sandy beaches, luxurious resorts and clear blue waters, however the Seychelles are also a great destination for families and one of the Indian Oceans best kept secret.
Incredible beaches, clear waters and year-round sunshine make a natural adventure playground in the warm, friendly and welcoming Seychelles. With plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained from sailing, swimming, diving and snorkelling to visiting conservation islands, watching turtles hatch, adventuring around marine parks and world heritage sites there are opportunities for kids to learn something new on these beautiful islands.
Made up of 115 stunning islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are a beach lover’s paradise. Every anse (Creole for 'beach') reveals yet another stretch of sugar-white sand, backed by lush tropical jungle and lapped by crystal-clear waters. The most famous is Anse Source d’Argent, on the breathtaking island of La Digue which is the smallest of the three main inhabited islands, and regularly named the most beautiful beach in the world. With its distinct granite boulders and Hollywood looks highlighted by the fact that it is also the ‘star’ in movies like Castaway and Crusoe, Anse Source d’Argent is a beach like no other. If you’re looking to join in with the locals, be sure to visit the beaches south of the airport on Mahé at the weekend when they come alive, with local people picnicking and playing music under takamaka trees, and vendors selling Creole cuisine, drinks and clothing.
The Seychelles offers some of the most diverse diving in the world, ranging from coral gardens just offshore, to wildlife-rich deep-water wrecks, there is something to suit every diver. The main diving islands are Mahé, La Digue and Praslin – part of the inner island group that are remains of a submerged mountain range and rest on a shallow plateau with prolific marine life. The Outer Islands to the south of the archipelago are all coralline or sand cays and mainly uninhabited, giving experienced divers excellent opportunities to explore where few have gone before. Divers can also discover the azure water and explore the corals of Aldabra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest raised coral atoll on earth.
The best time to dive the Seychelles is April, October or November when the seas are calm and you can dive with sharks and manta rays. Monsoon season runs from late May until September, resulting in lower visibility during this time, however the presence of lots of plankton brings whale sharks to add to your diving experience. Snorkellers will love Anse Lazio on Praslin, the Seychelles' second largest island, a coral-rich wonderland sitting just off the eastern end of this stunning white beach.
Wildlife lovers and birdwatchers will adore the Seychelles, especially as the islands are home to the world’s smallest frog at only 11mm long which are found on the Morne Seychellois hiking trail on Mahé, and giant Aldabra tortoises which are much easier to spot and found on the granite island of Curieuse, the North Island, Cousin Island and Aldabra atoll where they originate from and you will also find every hotel, restaurant and distillery on the islands seem to keep them as pets.
The Seychelles are popular with birdwatchers as you will find 12 endemic species of birds and you can seek out the rare Seychelles black parrot, the islands’ national bird, as well as the Seychelles magpie robin and Seychelles warbler – both of which have been saved from extinction. The warbler is most easily spotted on Cousin Island, a former coconut plantation that was turned into a nature reserve when the last of the warblers were discovered there. Visitors are only allowed on the island at certain times so you will need to organise your trip on Praslin. The most northern island in the Seychelles, Bird Island, is a fascinating slice of paradise that is home to populations of tropical birds and an extraordinarily rich marine life, including Hawksbill and Green turtles, dolphins and even the occasional whale - perfect for nature lovers.
A world of adventure awaits in the Seychelles, particularly on the larger islands which are blessed with rugged mountains and verdant jungle, all relatively untouched and ready to be explored. With walks and hikes to suit every level of fitness and ability, there’s something to suit everyone. The Anse Major trail on Mahé is an easy stroll through incredible granite boulders, or explore The Anse Georgette trail on Praslin which is a moderate trek between two beautiful beaches on the island’s north point. Spreading over three different terrains of mangrove swamps, tropical forests and towering mountains, lies the largest nature reserve of Seychelles - the Morne Seychellois National Park. The hike to Morne Seychellois, the highest point on Mahé, is a challenging five-hour hike – but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views across the islands. A circuit of walking trails throughout the expanse connects all the major attractions and totals to 15km. Established in 1979, this national park is located on the northern coast of Mahé and covers about 20% area of the biggest island in the archipelago, providing an unspoilt environment to some of the rarest species of flora and fauna is its prime objective and is what invites the nature enthusiasts from all over to the world to this reserve.
Fusion is not a new concept in Seychellois cuisine. The influence of traders from Africa, China, Europe and India has its legacy in the delicious local Creole dishes and it also helps to have such easy access to the bounty of the sea. You’ll find tuna, bonito, sea bass, red snapper, barracuda, king mackerel, gilt-head bream and lobster, cooked in every imaginable way. A popular delicacy is zourit (octopus), made into a creamy curry and another must-try is tec tec, small mussels collected on the beach and then cooked with pumpkin into delicious soup. Those with more adventurous palates might want to try the local shark chutney or even the bat curry which is available from certain Creole takeaways.
A journey to the Seychelles isn’t complete without a stop at Takamaka Distillery, the only commercial rum producer and exporter in the Seychelles. Located along Mahé Island’s beautiful shoreline and set on a magnificent estate which was originally a tropical spice plantation site, you are guaranteed an amazing experience where you can raise a glass to Seychelles with these native spice-infused rums and even partake in a professional rum-tasting.
Be sure to visit The Seyte Tea Factory located in the western Mahe district, amid the cold mountain air of Morne Blanc in Morne Seychellois National Park, and is dedicated to the cultivation and manufacture of tea, producing the majority of the tea consumed in the Seychelles. This is a fully operational tea factory and provides free guided tours showing tourists the full tea-making process, from picking to drying to packing and shipment and you can purchase one of the many various flavors of aromatic teas available. This magnificent tea factory is situated in a beautiful setting, and visitors may also enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Mahe’s slopes from here, making it one of the most popular visitor attractions on the islands.
The perfect destination to get away from it all, this is a place where natural purity and authenticity are perfectly cocooned from the hustle and bustle of modern life. A place where tranquillity and simplicity can be found and innocence rediscovered. A place like no other, and another world entirely.