Updated: May 18, 2020
No matter if you are looking for a perfect honeymoon spot, a scuba diving destination, island hopping or just relaxing on a tropical beach, Seychelles is always a good idea!
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands, located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves.
The majority of the islands in Seychelles are granite - based, which means that they are hilly and rough, with a lot of stones and vegetation. Most of them are also the most popular ones such as Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicite, Coco, Cousin etc. In addition, there are two coral sand cays north of the granitics and two coral islands south of the granitics.
But, if you just decided to go to Seychelles and you just started your research, you won`t be too interested in the geology of the islands, right? 😃
So, here comes the practical info!
There are three main islands which host most of the population and tourist accommodation: Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Mahe is the main one and here is also the international airport and the capital city - Victoria. The second largest is Praslin and after that comes La Digue. You will end up to some or even all of them, anyway!
Apart from these three, there is another one which is more exclusive: Silhouette island. But we have to warn you, this one is way more expensive than the rest.
All the rest are mainly small islands which are super nice for day trips but don`t have any accommodation facilities. The most popular ones are: Curieuse, Felicite, Cocos, Cousin, Cousine and Cerf.
They are all very well connected by private boats and ferries and there is also an Air Seychelles service in between Mahe and Praslin many times a day.
I will come back to all of them with more details later on in the article.
Most likely, you will arrive to Seychelles by air and the main airport is located on Mahe island, close to its capital city - Victoria. Most of the big airlines ( Turkish, Qatar, Emirates etc ) are flying into Mahe and sometimes they also have some good price offers. Always check on Sky Scanner and then double check on their website.
Tip: if you cannot find a decent price out of your home country, try to book from some other hub cities ( such as London, Paris, Milan, Rome etc ) and maybe buy a low cost ticket to one of these airports. To be honest, for us it always works this way and despite the fact that sometimes is not so comfortable, most of the times we buy 2 tickets for the price of one. So it`s worth trying!
Alternatively, there are some cruise ships that go to Seychelles but we have no idea how it works to get there by sea. 😊
Lying 4°-11° south of the Equator, in the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid with strong maritime influences. The temperature is consistently 24-32°C, there is no distinct dry season and there is some humidity at all times.
From May to October the south-east trade winds (Southeast Monsoon) bring a relatively dry period. Reaching its peak in July/August, there is little precipitation and temperatures average 27°C, though seas can be a little choppy.
By November (pre - Northwest Monsoon), the winds start to change, bringing light, warmer winds and the start of the main rainy season. During December to March (Northwest Monsoon), Seychelles gets extremely wet, especially in December and January, though the vegetation is lush, the winds generally light and the sun at its warmest. This is also the cyclone season, though only the most remote southern islands are within the cyclone belt.
This period is followed by the calmest, warmest month, April (pre - Southeast Monsoon), as the winds die down and start to change direction.
So, in summary, the best times to visit Seychelles are pretty much April, May, October and November.
We went there for a week at the end of November and beginning of December and we must say that we had really nice weather, apart from our last day, which was a bit cloudy.
So, from Mahe island, there are two main ways to get around the archipelago: by plane and by ferry.
By plane: Air Seychelles is running many daily flights from Mahe to Praslin, like, almost every hour or every 2 hours. If you are not planning to stay on Mahe at all, this is the best time saving option, as the international terminal and the domestic terminal are next to each other. The flight from Mahe to Praslin is about 15 - 20 minutes.
Tip: we advise planning about 2 hours in between your arrival in Mahe and the next flight to Praslin as sometimes the flights can be delayed. However, if you do the check - in online and get your Air Seychelles boarding pass, sometimes, if there are seats available, Air Seychelles will change your flight for an earlier one for free! But, please, don`t tell them we told you that!!! 😊
By ferry: there is Cat Cocos service in between Mahe and Praslin and then Cat Rose service in between Praslin and La Digue, but, to be honest, we think is the same company. The travel time from Mahe to Praslin is about 1h 30m and in between Praslin and La Digue is about 15 minutes.
You can find the schedule on Cat Cocos website, above.
So, which island(s) to choose?
Now that you`ve got an idea of what is Seychelles all about, you`ll probably be thinking: "ok, Seychelles seems a super nice location and would be nice to see everything, but, unfortunately I don`t have a month to spend there, though I still want to make the most of it!"
Therefore, we will give you some options according to budget and time available.
If you have about 1 week ( like we did ), you can choose in between visiting one or two islands, as it`s going to be impossible to see more. The options are: Praslin and La Digue OR Mahe and La Digue OR Mahe and Praslin OR any of them on its own. If your budget is not that restrictive, you may include Silhouette island in your options, either for spending few nights there or just a day trip. Anyway, Silhouette is one of the most expensive islands in Seychelles and even going for only a day can mean a lot of money. But the advantage is that the number of tourists getting there is considerably less.
If you have about 2 weeks, your time table is going to be more flexible and you will be able to include all three main islands - Mahe, Praslin, La Digue - plus some day trips to the small islands around.
If you have about 3 weeks or more,then you can basically do whatever you want, as there will be plenty of time for everything!
However, no matter how many days you have available or which combination you like most we have few tips for you: spend at least 3 days on each island, visiting La Digue is a must from our point of view and go to Silhouette island at least for a day trip if your budget allows you!
Well, accommodation can be tricky as it is one of the most expensive parts of a trip to Seychelles. For a decent one, the minimum rate is about 100 euros a night.
Also, a lot of them are called self-catering villas which means that you won`t have any kind of meal. Considering the limited range of foods in the supermarkets over there, we would wouldn`t recommend that.
As opposed to other destinations, Booking.com is pretty useless here, but we found some other websites that are useful. We used www.agoda.com and www.airbnb.com for booking and www.seyvillas.com for checking out different accommodations. Also, we found another website which is worth considering www.mauritius-seychelles.com.
Bear in mind that, regardless which website you are using, most of them ask for a full advance payment.
We spent 4 days in La Digue and 3 days in Praslin.
La Digue is a very small island and it doesn`t really matter a lot where you book your stay.
Our accommodation in La Digue was the guesthouse "La Diguoise", which we had found on Seyvillas.com. We choose to book it via Agoda but you could also do it on Seyvillas. Our stay was pretty good, with a very big tropical garden,the room was clean and the breakfast was decent ( eggs, fruits, fresh juice and instant coffee ). There is also possible to rent bikes for about 6-7 Euros per bike per day. They have WiFi but they charge extra per each device, which kind of sucks. Overall, the stay was good and we would recommend this place for future tourists.
Praslin is a little bit of a different story. Being bigger, it matters quite a lot where you stay as you need to be either close to a nice beach or bus station or a popular area where you can get around.
Our accommodation in Praslin was in Baie St. Anne, next to the ferry terminal and to a bus station. Although the resort itself didn`t have an actual beach in front of it, we really enjoyed the accommodation.
The name of the hotel was Colibri Guesthouse and you can either make a direct inquiry on their website, of check them out on Airbnb or Agoda. We personally used Airbnb.
We booked a Superior honeymoon room which was a bit more expensive ( around 220 Euros a night ) but it definitely worth it. We basically had a duplex in a villa with 2 balconies and a very nice view over the water. The room was very clean and had Wifi. Breakfast was buffet type with different egg choices, pastries, pancakes and different kinds of local jams which were super delicious. The downside was that they didn`t provide toiletries unless requested, which was quite annoying,considering the price of the room. But, if you afford it, we guarantee you that you`ll have a nice stay. This is the view we were having from our room:
But now you`re gonna ask: which are other areas that are worth booking an accommodation on Praslin? Of course, this was our question, as well.
Just to make it clear, the areas with the most popular beaches are not really good for staying as they are pretty remote.
This leaves us with pretty much 3 areas worth considering: Cote D`Or , Grand Anse and our area, Baie Saint Anne.
We would say that Cote D`Or is the most popular, being the center of the island. Here you can find pretty much everything: from supermarkets, tour agencies, private boats, diving centers, bus stops etc. So, staying here would make your life a bit easier. The downside of it: it is very crowded.
Grand Anse is exactly on the opposite side and it is near the airport. There are few shops and restaurants over here as well but is not as popular as Cote D`Or.
Baie Saint Anne is nice because it`s close to the ferry, has some supermarkets and cafes withing walking distance but has no nice beach around.
Anyway, regardless which area you are going to choose, bear in mind that none of them is perfect and you`ll need to go around the island anyway. The advantage is that there are plenty of local buses and renting a car is pretty cheap and doesn`t need any deposit.
We`ll get back to each island in particular a bit later.
If, however, you want to try the exquisite Silhouette island, there are only two places where you can stay over there: Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa and La Belle Tortue Lodge. For both of them, the night rate starts from 300 - 400 Euros per night or even more, depending on the season.
WiFi and local SIM cards
We wouldn`t normally have a separate topic for this but ,here, there are some things you should be aware of.
The WiFi is usually pretty expensive here and many guesthouses tend to charge it separately. And it can be 5-7 USD per day per device, which sucks.
We opted for buying a local SIM card, as we always do, because we wanted to have access to Google Maps and all those things. We bought about 3-4 Gigabytes as we normally do, which should have lasted way more than our 1 week stay. However, for some reason, the SIM credit and the bytes drain out very quickly, so we ended up spending 3 Gigabytes in 3 days, without doing anything more than chatting, using Maps and uploading few pictures. So we have our reasons to believe that is something wrong with those local networks.
We ended up spending about 50-60 Euros in one week just on mobile phone credit and internet.
La Digue island
La Digue was our favorite island and it would be such a pity to get to Seychelles and not visit it. It has few of the most popular and beautiful beaches in the archipelago, it`s small and relaxing and everyone is using bikes here!
Whenever we get asked about La Digue, the first feeling that comes to our mind is that relaxed tour on our bikes, wearing comfortable shirts and white hats, surrounding the beautiful island and its turquoise waters. It was simply amazing!
What to do over there? Well, cycling and beaches are the main things over there. And oh, how could I forget the amazing fresh fruit juices?!? So yeah, cycling, beaches and fresh juices! 😀
There are, of course, many beaches over there but our favorite ones were: Anse Cocos, Petite Anse and Grand Anse. In this order!
All of them are located on the eastern side of the island and they are pretty big. The amount of tourists decreases as you approach Anse Cocos. You can get to all of them by bike, passing through a tropical forest and passing by Simon`s fruit shop, a very rudimentary kiosk where you could try those amazing fruit juices I was talking about!
You can get to all of them on the same day, but you won`t have so much time to spend on each one. So, for example, you could go to Grand Anse and Petite Anse in one day, and the following day to Anse Cocos. Bear in mind that getting to Anse Cocos involves a mini-trek of about 30 - 40 minutes during which you will overpass the previous two beaches. From Grand Anse to Petite Anse there is a foot path which starts on the left side and goes through the bushes and up on a hill. Once you descend and get to Petite Anse you just have to keep left again through the bushes ( you`ll see the foot path ) and after a while you`ll have to climb another hill and on the other side there is Anse Cocos.
Don`t worry, there are usually some other people that are going in that direction so you won`t get lost. We suggest wearing something more comfortable for the trek ( such as sneakers ). You`ll thank us for this later! 😀
Something important to bear in mind: despite their stunningly beautiful turquoise water color and amazing white sand,all three beaches have super strong currents and it`s advisable not to go too far out. There are also pretty big waves so we wouldn`t advise to go snorkeling either.
Other beaches are: Anse Source D`Argent, Anse Marron, Anse Severe, Anse Patates, Anse Gaulettes plus other small ones.
Despite the popularity of Anse Source D`Argent, we weren`t too impressed by it. It had a lot of sea weed when we got there and it was also full of people.
Anse Marron is very close to Anse Source D`Argent, but we didn`t really find the way. However, we didn`t ask anybody, either!
Anse Severe, Anse Patates and Anse Gaulettes are all in the same direction, the north-western side of the island. They are not as spectacular as the others but it`s a nice bike ride around the coast to go to all of them.
A very useful guide for all the beaches can be found here.
Boat trips from La Digue:
Honestly, we haven`t done any day trips but the options are: Felicite, Cocos, Sister Islands
( Grande Soeur and Petite Soeur ). For any of them you should talk to your hotel or a approach a tourist agency. There are diving centers that are offering day trips or scuba diving combined with day trips. Trek Divers, just next to the harbour, is one of them.
Well, as you would probably imagine, food is not amazing and pretty expensive here. Apart from the amazing fruits and juices in Simon`s fruit shop, the rest of the places are just average. There is Gregoire`s Pizzeria which has decent pizza at decent prices and, of course, the places where locals eat such as Mi Mum`s Takeaway, just opposite the ferry harbour. In this takeaway, there are also few tables to sit, but they are only serving food in between certain times. You`d better check it out! However, the food is really cheap, on average 5 USD per person.
The rest of the places have an average of 50-70 USD for 2 people.
The supermarkets are not really an alternative as the range of products is pretty limited and some of them are even expired. So, better check out the expiry date!
This is the second biggest island in the archipelago and is one of the most popular as well. However, being larger than La Digue makes the travel around a bit more time wasting.
Regardless of the area you are staying ( preferably Cote D`Or, Baie Saint Anne or Grand Anse ), you will need to move around anyway. Why? Because the most beautiful beaches are not really that close to the most popular areas.
Ways of traveling?
Well, there are two main ways of getting around the island: public bus and car rental. We were considering bike rental or motorbike rental but they are out of the question. The area is a bit hilly, so cycling around in 30 degrees Celsius doesn`t make it very pleasant. And besides that, there are no bike rental centers in Praslin. Also, motorbike rental to foreigners in Seychelles is forbidden by law. So, end of the story.
However, public bus is pretty good and the three routes ( 61, 62, 63 ) cover all the main areas on the island. The downside is that, during weekends, the frequency is quite low. So, you`ll waste a bit of time waiting for it. More info about the bus here.
Car rental is also nice and gives you more independence. The advantage is that the prices are ok ( around 45-50 Euros a day for a small car ) and they usually don`t require any deposit. So you can both pay cash or card. We rented a car through our hotel, Colibri Guesthouse, and they delivered and picked up the car from the hotel itself. Pretty convenient!
We used both public bus and rental car, and, in order not to waste a lot of money but still be efficient, we recommend you to do the same thing. For example, we rented a car only for one day on a Sunday and we tried cover all the beaches that were far from the bus station during that day.
Our feeling was that the beaches were better on La Digue. But even so, there are plenty of nice places to go here as well.
Our favorite one was Anse Georgette and we highly recommend you to go and see it. There is only one small detail you should be aware of. Even though Anse Georgette is a public beach, the main road that gets you there belong to Constance Lemuria Resort. Wtf, right?
So, in order to get access over there, you need to ask your hotel to register you in advance so that you`ll be on their list when you arrive at the gate. It should be possible to be done in the same day.
We had no idea about this procedure, so, obviously we didn`t gain any access inside.
However, we found out that there is an additional path to Anse Georgette. According to the locals, it should have been 20 -30 min hike to get there. In reality, it was about 1 hour trekking under the sun, in heat and rough terrain wearing just slippers. Eventually the slippers broke and I had to walk barefoot. What a pleasure, huh?
Anyway, the trek itself could have been nice provided we had proper gear.
Anse Georgette was a very pleasant surprise but a bit too crowded for our taste. The waves and the currents were the same as on La Digue. So, no venturing too far either.
Anse Lazio, the most famous beach on Praslin, was the most crowded and we didn`t like it AT ALL.
Some other beaches that are ok could be: Grand Anse, Anse La Blague, Anse Cote D`Or,Anse Cimetiere, Anse Kerlan, Anse Bonnet Care. But none of them compares to Anse Georgette.
Anse La Blague is mainly for locals and gives this not too touristy feeling. Having a shallow water, there are all these fish and baby stingrays that are swimming around and is very relaxing just to watch at sunset.
A full useful guide on all Praslin beaches can be found here.
In general, the food is slightly better and slightly cheaper than on La Digue but still nothing special. The main restaurants that are open every day are in Cote D`Or and of, course, in the resorts. On other sides of the island ( such as Grand Anse ), you risk finding them all closed on weekends.
We ate twice in the beach restaurant of Pradise Sun resort and the food was ok.
Boat trips from Praslin:
One of the most popular day trips from Praslin is Curieuse Island. This island is mainly known for being the home of one of the largest populations of giant tortoises. Apart from that, the island hosts unspoiled mangrove forests, granite rock beaches and Coco de Mer palm trees. The surrounding waters are home to a rich array of marine life and are strictly protected.
The starting point to Curieuse is usually Anse Volbert ( Cote D`Or ) and it takes about 20 min by boat. There are plenty of local agencies nearby that offer these trips. There is no need for deposit or any pre-payment and the reservation can even be made on the spot. Be careful, though, there are few people that will try to approach you and make you pay the deposit. Just refuse them politely.
We went to Curieuse and we really enjoyed it, so, if you have enough time, we recommend this trip. There are full day and half day options on this trip. We recommend the half day as 3-4 hours is more than enough to explore the island. The price should be around 20-25 USD per person.
Some other day trip options include Cousin and Cousine islands, on the Western side of Praslin. There are many agencies that offer these trips from Cote D`Or, as well. Sometimes, they are closed to visitors in certain days of the week, so you should check in advance.
Scuba diving is one of the most amazing experiences in Seychelles, so be sure not to miss this out! We opted for diving only from Praslin and we used Whitetip Dive Center which offered a nice experience to us.
We did 2 dives, first one near St. Pierre island, close to Anse Volbert, and the second one a bit further away, in an area called Reef Graden. We managed to see a lot of species including: white tip sharks, some huge stingrays, lion fish, start fish and lots of other colored fish.
So, apart from the flight fares, which always vary, you should take the following into account:
Inter-island transport - by ferry ( 100 Euros Mahe- Praslin return / 120 Euros Mahe- La Digue return / 30 Euros Praslin - La Digue return ) ; by plane ( from 130 Euros to 200 Euros Mahe - Praslin return )
Accommodation - the cheapest and decent offer starts from 80-90 Euros per night, but you should take into consideration about 110 Euros. So minimum 800 Euros for a 2 person room for a week
Food - unless you want to eat in local take away places, take into consideration minimum 50-70 Euros per day for 2 persons. And this, if you have breakfast included and you are not too pretentious about food!
Scuba diving - a single dive "discover scuba" starts from 85 Euros
Additional costs ( SIM card, WiFi, bike rental, park entrance fees, taxi etc ) - minimum 200 Euros ( 50 Euros for SIM card internet, 5-7 Euros/ day for WiFi, 7 Euros /day for bike, 50 Euros for various taxi rides )
So, a total of about 2000 Euros ( for a week ) for 2 persons ( for an average standard trip ) excluding the flight fares, island hopping tours and additional expenses. Yes, Seychelles is expensive, but is definitely worth it!
Next, we invite you to have a look at our photo gallery! Gear used for the photos: mainly our Samsung NX-1 and our drone DJI Mavic Air plus some pics taken with our Olympus OM-D M5.