The Seychelles are an archipelago of legendary beauty in the Indian Ocean, just south of the Equator and east of Kenya. Its 115 coral and granite islands, which are the peaks of a massive underwater plateau, star in countless tropical island fantasies and represent one of the world’s very last frontiers. Once your aircraft descends into the Seychelles International Airport, you know that you have arrived at a place of awe-inspiring scenery, with granitic mountain ranges clad in virgin jungle cascading down to hauntingly beautiful, palm fringed, with sand beaches. The Seychelles beckon discerning travelers to their shores, by offering adventure, romance and luxury resorts in pristine surrounds still untouched by man.
Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to the Seychelles with my travel guide. Find out more about:
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
- Travel requirements
- Inspiration, highlights, & travel tips
- Suggested itineraries
- Recommended luxury hotels (+ reviews)
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The Seychelles enjoy a tropical, humid climate with constant high temperatures throughout the year. The amount of rainfall is mainly determined by two monsoon seasons in which the trade winds blow from opposite directions:
- From May to October, the strong south-east trade winds (the so-called southeast monsoon) bring a relatively dry period with mostly clear skies and very little precipitation, although seas can be choppy at this time of year with seaweed littering the beaches of Praslin island (cf below).
- From December to March, the weak north-west trade winds (the so-called northwest monsoon) bring very wet weather and cloudy skies to the Seychelles, especially in December and January, though the seas are calmer during this period. The rain mainly falls in the form of short downpours or thunderstorm, often occurring in the evening or at night. In general, the northern island of Mahe (where the capital Victoria is located) sees more precipitation than the other islands, since Mahe is located closer to the Equator and features high hills (up to 900 m or 3000 ft) which tend to capture the clouds.
The transition months April and October are interspersed between the southeast and northwest monsoon and are often considered the best months for a visit to the archipelago: the winds die down as they change direction, the seas are calm, the beaches are free of seaweed, and sunny days are the norm (with a few passing showers).
As mentioned above, the trade winds not only define the wet and dry season in Seychelles, but also determine where the seaweed drifts, a natural phenomenon which – although totally harmless – can detract from the otherwise picture-perfect beauty of the Seychellois beaches and can make swimming unpleasant and impossible. Especially during the dry season, from May to September, the strong south-east trade winds results in seaweed being washed up onto the beaches of Praslin’s southern and western coast. That said, a seaweed-free beach is never far away and many hotels offer a free shuttle service to beaches unaffected by this natural phenomenon.
The weather in the Seychelles is very similar to that other stunning Indian Ocean destination, the Maldives, although it features an inverse pattern. Wet season in the Seychelles coincides with the dry season in the Maldives and vice versa.
HOW TO GET THERE
All visitors arrive in the Seychelles via the sole airport, Seychelles International Airport, which is located on the island of Mahe near the capital city of Victoria. A growing number of airlines is serving the destination and you can click here for an updated list of all carriers that offer direct flights to the Seychelles :
- From/via Asia: Air Seychelles (via Hong Kong, Mumbai), SriLankan Airlines (via Colombo).
- From/via Middle East: Emirates (via Dubai), Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi), Air Seychelles (via Abu Dhabi), Qatar Airways (via Doha).
- From/via Europe: Condor (via Frankfurt), Air Seychelles (via Paris), Austrian Airlines (via Vienna), Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul).
- From/via Africa: Kenya Airways (via Nairobi), Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa), Air Austral (via La Reunion), Air Seychelles (via Johannesburg, Durban and Mauritius).
Resorts on Mahe island are all located within easy reach of the airport (a 30 to 60 min taxi drive). Resorts located on other islands can be reached by high-speed ferry (e.g. Praslin, La Digue, Labriz), light aircraft (e.g. Praslin, Fregate, Desroches Island), and/or helicopter (private island resorts).
Before you buy a plane ticket, consider reading my tips & tricks for buying the cheapest plane ticket.
Requirements for entry into the Seychelles differ from country to country, and are subject to change. Prior to departure, always check with your government and your nearest Seychellois embassy or consulate what documents you need for travel to the Seychelles.
- You need a valid passport. The passport must be valid for the period of the intended stay until arrival back in the holder’s country of origin or residence.
- Seychelles is a visa-free country meaning that there are no visa requirements for any person wishing to travel to this country.
Make sure you read my 10 tips to plan a worry-free trip.
INSPIRATION, HIGHLIGHTS & TRAVEL TIPS
There are several good reasons why you should put the Seychelles on your bucket list:
- Spectacular white-sand beaches that rank among the most beautiful beaches in the world.
- Awe-inspiring natural scenery with jurassic rainforests and ancient boulders.
- Island hopping (cf below)
- Observing giant tortoises
- Scuba diving
- Private island resorts that rank among the world’s most exclusive.
The following articles may also inspire you and help you plan your holiday to the Seychelles:
- Top 10 best things to see & do in the Seychelles
- Top 10 most fabulous luxury resorts in the Seychelles
- Top 10 most astonishing beach retreats in Africa
- Maldives vs Seychelles vs Mauritius: which one is best?
- Tips & tricks for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel
- Tips & tricks for buying the cheapest plane ticket
What sets the Seychelles apart from so many other holiday destinations is its wide variety of islands, each one with its own particular geography, character and history. Experiencing more than one island during your stay is a must and will add a dimension to your holiday experience that you will never forget. Whatever your choice, a regular network of air and sea transport operating out of the principal island of Mahé will cater for most itineraries. Ferry services, domestic flights, and even helicopter transfers are also available on a daily basis to many of the islands.
Mahe, Praslin and La Digue are the main islands that you need to put on your itinerary when traveling to the Seychelles.
- Mahe is the largest island in size and population, with a dramatic mountainous interior, thick Jurassic rainforest, and plenty of bays and coves to explore.
- Ringed with exquisite white-sand beaches and impossibly clear waters, Praslin is the Seychelles’ second largest island, with only a handful of villages scattered around its territory.
- La Digue, where time has stood still and life is blissfully serene, features the archipelago’s most iconic beaches (such as world-famous Anse Source D’Argent) and they can be enjoyed in (relative) tranquility.
I recommend to stay at least on two islands if you don’t have time to visit all three. Mahe is about a one hour high-speed ferry ride from both La Digue and Praslin, with the latter two island are located quite close to one another (20 minutes by boat). Those who are easily seasick should consider the flight from Mahé to Praslin instead, especially during the south-east monsoon season when the ferry can be a little rough.
If you spend one week in the Seychelles and you like to do some island hopping, then I suggest the following itinerary:
- 4 days on Mahe (Four Seasons, Banyan Tree or Maia Luxury Resort).
- 3 days one Praslin (Raffles Praslin or Constance Lemuria Resort)
- 2 days on La Digue (Le Domaine De L’orangeraie resort)
If money is no issue, then I recommend the following one week itinerary, which includes the Seychelles’ top 3 private island resorts:
- 4 days at Six Senses Zil Payson (which is ideally located to explore both Praslin and La Digue island)
- 4 days at either North Island or Fregate Island
RECOMMENDED LUXURY HOTELS (+ REVIEWS)
Please visit my top 10 list of the most fabulous luxury resorts in the Seychelles if you are eager to know how I rank the Seychelles’ top hotels, based my own experience.
Below, you find my reviews of luxury hotels in the Seychelles (with pros, cons, and tips to save money per property).
- Review: PHENOMENAL North Island Seychelles
- Review: Maia Luxury Resort & Spa (Seychelles)
- Hotel review: Six Senses Zil Pasyon Seychelles
- Hotel review: Raffles Praslin (Seychelles)
- Hotel review: Banyan Tree Resort Seychelles
- Hotel review: Four Seasons Resort Seychelles