Seychelles is an island nation that until recently has been forgotten about as a world-class destination. Set in the middle of the Indian Ocean 1000 miles off the east coast of Kenya, the archipelago is formed of 155 islands that hold a world that time has forgotten. Each island has it’s own little story to tell and is home to endemic flora and fauna that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Most of the islands are covered in dense jungle in the middle, surrounded by white sand beaches and warm turquoise waters that are about as inviting as it gets. It’s certainly a place worth spending some time and once you’re there, you should stay for at least a week or two. Here is our idea of how best to spend a week in Seychelles.
First things first, you have to get to these stunning islands. There are direct flights from Europe and all the major middle-eastern hubs into Mahe, which is the main island. If you’re coming from the US then flying via either of these is a good option. It will be a long journey but well worth it.
When To Go?
The great thing about Seychelles is that you can visit it all year round. The temperature rarely drops lower than 25 degrees and it’s rare to go without sunshine for a few days. There are two monsoons that create the weather in Seychelles, the southeast and the northwest monsoons.
From May to October, the southeast monsoon is in full swing and brings with it heavy winds and very little rain. It’s a lovely time to be in Seychelles, the sun is shining and the winds keep you cool. The only drawback is that the seas can be a little bumpy and if you plan to spend some time on a boat you’ll be bounced around.
November to April is the time for the northwest monsoon. The winds are much lighter, the sun is stronger but it’s technically the raining season which peaks in the months of December and January. The rain never lasts long and moves over the islands quite quickly. It is quite unpredictable but it won’t rain so much to affect your holiday. The northwest monsoon brings warmer calmer seas and if you plan on boating, it is a better time to be there.
Getting from place to place is best done via taxi. Your accommodation will help you find a reliable one but they are expensive, so plan your trips well.
This are also public buses that run fairly regularly and are a lot less expensive, just don’t miss the last one without a backup plan.
You can also hire a car for your stay on Mahe but price-wise, you might as well use a taxi.
A Weeks Itinerary
Here is a week in Seychelles. You’ll spend time staying on three different islands exploring all they have to offer.
As your plane comes into land you’ll see the dramatic jungles of the granitic islands fall off mountain tops into the azure blue sea. Flying into Mahe is stunning, to say the least, and you can’t help but get excited about your upcoming island vacation.
Where To Stay
Once you land in Mahe you’ll be met by a taxi and transferred to your accommodation. I would recommend Eden Bleu Hotel which is based on Eden Island and only a ten-minute ride from the airport. It’s a stunning hotel, a local hang out for a lot of ex-pats plus it’s based around a marina with a lot of restaurants and bars for you to explore. It couldn’t be more convenient and is about mid-range when it comes to price. There are a lot of options when it comes to where to stay on Mahe, from guest houses and Airbnb’s to super-luxury hotels, so if Eden Blue isn’t your style, there are lots to chose from.
Relaxing Beach Time – Beau Vallon
Once you have settled in, had a swim and caught up after your long flight, it’s time to hit the beach and pick up a sense of Seychelles culture. Grab a taxi and head on over to Beau Vallon one of the main beaches on the island. The beach is long, covered in white sand with the beautiful blue sea lapping on its shores. Beau Vallon has a fun atmosphere about it and is one of the best places to pick up a sense of Mahe. The sand is dotted with hotels, bars, restaurants, local market stalls and you can hire jet skis, go parasailing and more. It’s the perfect place to chill out, have a swim, lie in the sun, try some local food and have a drink or two. It also faces west and the perfect place to have a cocktail and watch the sun go down.
Now that you’ve had a taste of Mahe, sampled some local rum and had your first Seychelles sunset, hop in a taxi back to your hotel. Enjoy a restful evening catching up from your jetlag to be refreshed for tomorrow’s day out. If you’re staying at Eden Blue, then dine outside by the pool overlooking the marina, or take a stroll dock-side to one of the many restaurants along the strip.
A Historical Morning In Victoria
Wake up to tropical sunshine, have a swim in the pool and load up on a delicious complimentary breakfast full of colorful tropical fruits. Pack a day bag with suncream, towels, hats, sunglasses, water and prepare to spend some time in the capital Victoria to learn a little bit about the history of Seychelles.
Hop in a taxi or on a bus and wind your way around the island to Victoria, home to most of the historical sites in Mahe. There is plenty to see; old catholic churches, colonial homes, museums, Hindu temples, and ancient planter houses. Some things not to miss are;
The ‘Jubilee De Diamand’, a fountain made for Queen Victoria in 1900 and is now a national monument.
The Seychelles Natural History Museum. This is set in an old colonial house and shows you the unique flor and fauna and the history of how Seychelles came to be settled.
The Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden is also a great way to step back into the history of the island. It is actually a museum inside an old planter’s house from the 18th century. The museum teaches you about the lives of slaves and colonists in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Once you have had your cultural fix, it’s time to sample some of the local creole cuisine and head over to Le Bistro for lunch. It’s a beautiful spot where they serve French, Cajun & Creole, and fresh seafood, so if the local delights are not to your taste you’ll have some other options your palet might be used to.
Now that most of the cultural boxes are ticked, take a stroll across the road and through the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens to see some of the amazing plant life and a giant tortoise if you’re lucky. The gardens are very well kept plus there are a few places to sit and have a coffee while you admire them.
Grand Anse Beach
Now, you didn’t come to Seychelles to hang out in town and it’s time to head to the beach again. Just a 20-minute taxi ride will take you through the jungles and mountains to the other side of the island where you’ll find Grand Anse beach. This beach is on the west side of the island but quite a bit further south than Beau Vallon and much less busy. It’s quite a long beach and easy enough to find your own secluded spot on. Spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming and sunbathing. Take a walk into the surrounding village and enjoy the sunset before heading back to your hotel to get ready for dinner.
It’s your last night on Mahe before heading to some other islands so why not dine in style and head on over to either Le Grande Maison or Paris Seychelles for a delicious meal. If you’re feeling a bit tired after your long day you could eat at the hotel or one of the many restaurants at Eden Island.
There is a lot more to do on Mahe, we have just skimmed the surface here and for other great experiences, have a read here.
Wake up however you like and enjoy a lovely breakfast before hopping in a taxi to catch the ferry to Praslin Island.
Ferry to Praslin
The ferry costs 50 euro and takes around an hour to get there. It’s a fun quick ride and tickets are easily booked here. The ferry runs three times a day, usually with two trips in the morning and one in the afternoon. The schedule is available from the booking website but is subject to change. Once you have boarded the ferry, you’ll have a chance to see dolphins and sea birds on the crossing before coming into port at Praslin.
Praslin is the second biggest island in Seychelles after Mahe but a lot quieter in comparison. The island is covered in forest, white sand beaches and generally has a more mellow pace about it than Mahe.
Where To Stay
Once you have arrived, it’s a simple stroll or taxi to your hotel Colibri Guesthouse. Set amongst the trees, the view from the rooms are incredible, the staff are very helpful and will help make your dreams on Praslin a reality. This hotel is mid-range but if it’s not quite what you fancy, there are a lot more options to choose from on Praslin.
Once you have settled in, it’s beach time again, but not any beach. Hop in a taxi to head to Anse Lazio which has been named as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, oh and don’t forget your snorkeling gear. It’s a brief 25-minute drive around the island to get there and once you’ve arrived you’ll see why it’s been voted of the best beaches in the world. The beach is literally something out of a postcard, with white sand, crystal blue seas and palm trees that sway in the wind. Throw your towel down, relax and enjoy picture-perfect paradise. It’s worth putting on your mask and taking a peek under the sea too. Anse Lazio has shoals of colorful fish, stunning coral and resident turtles that call the ocean just from the shore home.
If you get hungry for lunch or a sunset drink, Bonbon Plume is set just back from the beach and serves amazing fish curries and other delicious local favorites. It’s well worth trying.
Once you have enjoyed the beach, enjoy the drive back to your hotel and have a candlelit dinner in the tropical garden before a restful night.
This day is all about nature and once you have had a delicious breakfast, pack a beach bag with extra water and your snorkeling equipment.
It’s time to visit Curieuse Island, just 1.5km from Praslin. It was once a leper colony but is now a nature reserve and is uninhabited except for the rangers that look after it. The island is covered in forest with amazing flora and fauna, but the main reason to visit is to see the Giant Aldabra Tortoises that call the island home. There’s around 120 of them on the island and once you spot them, they’ll come running over to you for a little neck scratch. Once you have seen the tortoises, you are free to explore the island. If you fancy a swim or a snorkel, the waters off Baie Laraie are warm and full of life and if you keep going down the path, you’ll arrive at Anse St Jose where you can visit the Doctors House with a historical museum inside. Your day on the island includes lunch, and you’ll enjoy eating a picnic on the sand with a chance to chat with the rangers. Once the afternoon arrives, it’s time to hop on to the boat back to Praslin and relax by the hotel pool with a cold drink.
Arranging a trip to Curieuse is easy and your hotel will happily arrange an organized tour for you which often includes stops at Cousin Island and St Pierre Islet too. For a smaller price, you can organize your own boat taxi which will take you directly to Curieuse and back.
Out For Dinner
It’s time for dinner again and the choice is yours as to whether to head out or eat at the hotel. One of the best restaurants on Praslin is Les Rochers. It’s set on the beach and has an amazing view of the sunset. The food is out of this world and it has a romantic atmosphere too. It’s a must if you’re looking to sweep someone off their feet.
Sadly, it’s time to leave Praslin but don’t be too sad as you’re heading to La Digue, one of the loveliest islands in Seychelles. Enjoy your last morning at your hotel, maybe have a swim and take it all in before going to catch the ferry to La Digue.
Ferry To La Digue
The ferry leaves from the same place it dropped you off, at the pier at Baie Ste Anne. The ferry runs regularly all day and is only 15 euros and a short 15-minute ride. You can book tickets and find ferry times here.
One of the best things about La Digue is that there are barely any cars on the island and the main mode of transport is by bicycle. This means you are free to explore the island without having to rely on any taxi’s or public transport, what a relief.
La Digue is the fourth largest granitic island of Seychelles after Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette Island. It only covers an area of 10km squared and it is very easy to get around and explore by bicycle. It is the third most populated island in Seychelles with a population of 2800 people. Most of the community lives on the west coast around the villages of La Passe. Historically the industry of La Digue consisted of producing coral lime, vanilla plantations and making okra from coconuts. The farming traditions still continue today.
Where To Stay
Once you have arrived on the ferry, it’s time to check in to your hotel. I’d recommend staying at Le Repaire Boutique Hotel which is found around La Passe, where most of the people on the island live and hang out. The hotel is mid-range and costs around $200 a night. If you’re looking for something different, there are lots to choose from and prices range from $90-500 per night depending on the level of luxury you’re looking for.
Once you have found and settled into your hotel ask them to organize a bicycle for you so that you can begin to explore the island. Your first port of call is lunch, assuming you have arrived in the morning and it’s time to try some cheap and cheerful local food. Grab your bike, snorkel gear and beach bag, and cycle down to Lanbousier. This charming little beachside restaurant is just next to Anse Source d’Argent beach and has a typical kind of desert island hut style to it. They serve delicious local food at an amazing price.
Once you’re done with lunch, hop on your bike and take a ride to L’Union Estate, just around the corner. In the past, the main industry of La Digue was farming coconuts. It was all centered around L’Union Estate coconut plantation which is found just south of La Passe. L’Union Estate is a World Heritage site and one of the most popular places on the island. This is partly due to having to go through the estate to get to the famous beach of Anse Source D’Argent.
The estate is full of history and has a huge amount to offer. It is well worth popping into on your way to the beach. There is an old French colonial-style Plantation House and a traditional Copra Mill, which is one of the only working copra mills in Seychelles. While visiting, you can watch and learn about how coconut oil extracted. Within the estate, there is also a colonial graveyard where a lot of the original settlers of La Digue were buried, vanilla plantations, a boatyard, a pen of giant tortoises and a spacious paddock where you can rent horses.
If you’re not that interested, you can simply wander through to Anse Source D’Argent beach. This beach is listed as one of the best beaches in the world and it is beautiful but it does get very busy and at high tide, there isn’t much sand to see. In fact, quite a lot of the beaches in La Digue have a similar issue of being a little busy. If the tide is high or you’re not feeling it, then it’s lucky you have that bicycle. If you want to find your own slice of paradise then hop on a cycle to the southwest side of the island and spend some time on Petit Anse and Grand Anse. The beaches are covered in white sand, the bluest of seas and palm trees. Remember to take some water and a snack as there isn’t much down there, oh and your snorkel gear. The snorkeling from the beach is excellent.
Enjoy the rest of your afternoon hanging out, relaxing and generally enjoying paradise before heading back to your hotel for a sunset cocktail and to get ready for dinner.
Dinner On La Digue
There are a lot of places to eat out in La Digue and if you’re staying around La Passe, a lot of them are on your doorstep. Le Repaire has a lovely restaurant but if you fancy something else, La Combova is a good choice and is found on the roof of Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie resort. Sit amongst the stars on the beautifully decked roof-terrace lounge and sip on delicious wine while waiting for your meal to be prepared. The menu is a fusion of Mediterranean with an Asian Creole twist and they use the best ingredients. You might need to book in advance as it’s popular.
Today is all about the ocean and you’ll be going snorkeling or diving depending on your preference, so be sure to have a good breakfast.
Snorkeling & Diving
You shouldn’t miss the chance to dive or try to learn while you are in Seychelles. The diving is known to be some of the best in the world and you’ll want to see it. The deep blue ocean around La Digue and the neighboring islands provide a range of interesting dive sites for divers of all levels. There is only one dive operation on La Digue called Azzura Pro Dive. They do daily dive trips for experienced divers and also offer courses for beginners. The dive sites of Ave Maria, Shark Rock and, conditions permitting, South Marianne include huge boulders, swim-throughs, and dramatic granite slopes. You can hope to see a huge amount of fish species, sharks, rays, and turtles.
If you would rather go snorkeling then ask your hotel to organize a trip to The Ile Cocos Marine National Park. The marine park is made up of a group of 3 small coral-fringed islands, including Coco Island that are found around 7km north of La Digue, near the northern tip of Felicite Island. The snorkeling here is some of the best in the area and you can hope to see beautiful coral, huge shoals of fish, hawksbill turtles, parrotfish, batfish, triggerfish, surgeonfish, Moorish idols, and angelfish. The marine park is popular with guests from both La Digue and Praslin, and it can get a little crowded. Try to head out early in the morning to avoid them. You can organize visits through your hotel or by booking with a local taxi boat at the jetty. It costs R200 to enter the marine park and do not lose your ticket as rangers often check.
Once you have had your underwater fun, grab some lunch at one of the many restaurants and then spend your afternoon as you wish, it’s your last one in Seychelles after all.
Hike in Veuve Natural Reserve
If you’re still feeling active then a hike around the Veuve Natural Reserve is a lovely way to spend the cooler hours of the afternoon. Hidden away in the middle of the island, the forested national park is home to the Black Paradise Flycatcher, known as veuve, or widow, to the locals. The forest is the last refuge of the endemic Black Paradise Flycatcher and if you’re lucky enough, you might see this shy creature flying through the Indian almond and takamaka trees.
It’s free to get into the park and there are well-marked walking trails that will take you through the forest. You can try and convince a ranger to come with you and they will happily show you around and teach you about the flora and fauna. Fruit bats, moorhens, and some rare terrapin species also call the national reserve home. At the gate is a small Information Centre and it’s worth poking your head inside. It is the only environmental office on La Digue and has a huge amount of information about the island’s unique flora and fauna.
Veuve Nature Reserve is also home to La Digue’s tallest peak, Belle Vue (Eagle’s Nest Mountain) with a summit of more than 300 m (980 ft) above sea level. If you’re feeling active, then a great thing to do is to hike to the summit where you can look over the whole island and watch the sun slowly dip into the ocean. Don’t leave it too late or you’ll be walking down in the dark.
After a quick cycle back to the hotel, it’s dinner time and where better to spend it than Le Nautique Waterfront Restaurant. Set right on the water you can dine under the stars and get your final taste of super fresh seafood and Creole cuisine. The restaurant serves delicious food and cocktails and one of the best things to order is the banana fish or octopus curry.
Back to Mahe and Home
It’s sad to think it’s your last day on the islands but what a trip it has been. Enjoy your last moments with a swim and a cycle around the island. Maybe go back to your favorite beach to take it all in or have a last creole meal before hopping on your ferry to Mahe.
Ferry to Mahe
The ferry runs a morning and lunchtime trip to Mahe, be sure not to miss the lunchtime one as you’ll most probably end up missing your international flight. To look at the schedule and buy tickets, click here. The ferry costs 65 euros and will take around 1 hour and 30-minutes to get you there. Once you have arrived, hop in a taxi to the airport or if you have a night flight, go and chill at Eden Blue for lunch and a swim before your flight.
There you have it, a week in Seychelles and what a week you have had. This itinerary takes you to the most accessible islands of Seychelles, throws in a bit of nature, culture and the best beaches in the world. It can easily be done DIY without a tour operator, all the connections and bookings are simple, plus the locals will help you out as you go. This itinerary only just skims the surface though. There is a lot more to see and do in Seychelles, from visiting exclusive remote islands a few hours plane ride away to island-hopping on private yachts. If you love the ocean and nature, there is no end of fun things to explore here. It’s well worth the long plane ride to discover this land that time almost forgot about.