Seychelles is a lush tropical paradise located in the Indian Ocean and but mirrors the beauty of the Caribbean. This vacation destination is a distinct jump off from the well-worn backpacker route that runs from New Zealand up to the east coast of Australia into Southeast Asia. It is almost as far away from North America as one can get.
This is not somewhere you’re going to go over a weekend, nor should it be. Seychelles is a trip for when you have at minimum a full week, ideally two. This isn’t just because of distance; it’s because Seychelles is the kind of place your carefully saved vacation days deserve.
It costs nothing to swim in the ocean, and that is at least 70% of what you’re going to want to do because the water is the most absolutely amazing thing you’ll see, anywhere, ever. It starts out as that translucent light green color that coke bottles turn when they’re really old, and then as you move away from the beach gets into all these teal shades we don’t even know how to name.
The other 30% of your modest budget will be food-related, and this is not a place where you have to throw down to get things that taste extraordinary. Getting to Seychelles isn’t cheap or easy, but your higher power will reward you immediately and continuously when you arrive.
Here’s everything you need to know:
When to visit Seychelles, other than right now
Actually, yeah, it’s now. Like, right now. First off, early in 2018, Seychelles became the first nation to broker a deal allowing it to exchange government debt for marine protection over one-third of its waters. It is great news that should be rewarded with tourism. On top of that, British Airways just resumed direct flights to the country after a 14-year hiatus. This is obviously excellent for anyone in a position to fly BA, but it also means that Seychelles, as a vacation destination for the Western world, is about to get more popular.
It’s ideal to make your trip during the off-season, a somewhat meaningless phrase in a place that is very nice year-round. But Seychelles is generally considered at its most nice around April/May and again around October/November; these are also times when you’ll find flight prices nearly half of what they jump to in, say, July/August.
The best islands to visit in Seychelles
Seychelles comprises 115 islands, but we’re going to focus on the three main ones since they’re connected by ferry routes, thus allowing you to visit multiple islands without introducing any complicated getting-around logistics. You are here to relax, after all.
This is the largest island, where the majority of Seychellois live and also where the international airport is located, so unless you have some exciting other forms of transportation in mind this is where you’re going to start and finish. Hike the Copolia Trail (time: about two hours) if you’re outdoorsy, then cool off with a swim at Beau Vallon Beach. If you’re looking to party, Mahe is where you’ll find clubs like Tequila Boom that aren’t a fixture on the smaller, quieter islands.
Praslin is home to Anse Lazio, one of those picturesque beaches in the world. Aside from the color of the sand (extremely white) and the water, both of which are recurring themes throughout the country, a big draw here is that there are zero rocks anywhere on the beach; there’s not even coral, just soft pristine sand that allows wading out into water worry-free. Getting to Anse Lazio can be a bit of a hike/bike ride to get to, and while it’s absolutely worth it if you do make it out there, don’t stress if you don’t; there are a lot of nice beaches.
If you can ride a bike, rent a bike and make that your primary form of transportation around the island. La Digue is a whole is quiet and remote, but you’ll probably still find yourself ducking a few other tourists at Anse Source d’Argent, one of the beaches for which Seychelles is most famous. And guess what! The sand is not blindingly white here too, it’s pink! Though a lot of people visit La Digue just as a day trip from Mahe or Praslin, it’s worth booking a night or two there — that way, in the early mornings before the ferry comes in, you can have Anse Source d’Argent more to yourself.
Dining in Seychelles
Now, here comes the tricky part. Veggies are not actually like the ones you see back home. You’ll find some at restaurants, but on places like La Digue, it’s almost impossible to locate veggies that are still in reasonable shape in a grocery or convenience store; and most of what you will consume is locally grown and sourced from a local market. Topical fruits are abundant and the most popular item for breakfast.
Enjoy trying to figure out how to eat the little halves of passionfruit as gracefully as possible after realizing they are fun to slurp like oysters. Of course, if you’re eating all your meals at restaurants, veggie access is less of an issue.
If you are in the mood for a little frock-up and frivolity why not can pair your dinner with live music at places Boardwalk Bar & Grill on Mahe. And when you want to treat yourself to something a tiny bit more luxurious, watch the sun go down over dinner at PK’s Pasquiere Restaurant and Gastropub. The food is great and the view is sensational!
Seychelles is a terrific tropical destination that is relatively safe, but we recommend using WanderSafe to gather location-based safety tips, real-time safety updates, and where you can share your travel tips with others! Its free to download on Itunes.