Seychelles Travel Guide

Explore Seychelles

Mention Seychelles and one would instantly conjure images of spearmint blue lagoons, pearlescent sand, and big grey boulders. An archipelago of 115 islands rising from the indigo waters of the Indian Ocean, this island nation is paradisiacal in nature.Beaches here are some of the best in the world, sprawling across kilometers of pure white sand, without a single person in sight.

As the least inhabited country in Africa, Seychelles is home to more wildlife than humans with sea turtles nesting on its beaches, rare bird species flying overhead and giant Aldabra tortoises roaming its interior. Underwater, its warm and clear water is teeming with marine life, including large manta rays and whale sharks.


Top Things to Do

La Digue

By far the most famous spot in the country, La Digue has appeared in every other photo and postcard from the Seychelles. The third largest inhabited island of Seychelles has gained worldwide fame for the iconic boulders on the beaches of Anse Source d’Argent and Grand Anse. The isle is also home to the rare black paradise flycatcher bird, of which there are only about 100 remaining today.

Aldabra

Closer to the African coast than Mahé, this is the world’s second largest coral atoll, at 34km long and 13km wide. Extremely isolated, Aldabra is almost untouched by humans and is highly protected by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF). It is one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Seychelles. Tourism to Aldabra is controlled and introduction of invasive species is restricted. To get there, you’ll need to go on expedition tours on cruises or dive boats with a guided tour.

Morne Seychelles National Park

Sprawling across the mountainous interior of Seychelle’s main island, Mahé, this national reserve is well worth a visit even if you can’t tear yourself away from the pristine coastline. It plays host to a wide variety of habitats, from coastal mangrove forests to wet highlands. It’s also home to the highest peak in Seychelles, Morne Seychelles, which measures at 905m above sea level.

Victoria

As the capital city of the Seychelles, this major town stands on the north-eastern side of Mahé island. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government and has since become the most important city in the archipelago. Victoria’s most interesting sights include a clock tower modelled on that of Vauxhall Clock Tower in London, the Courthouse, the Victoria Botanical Gardens, the Victoria National Museum of History, and the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market which spots a colorful display of local produce and fish.

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa Mosque

Tucked away from the main drag of Victoria city is this attractive mosque, back dropped by the Trois Freres (three brothers) peaks. As the country’s main mosque, this religious spot serves Victoria’s small Muslim community.
It was renovated in 2012 and now spots a shiny beige exterior, a minaret and a golden dome.

Where to Eat and Drink

Because of colonialism and historical roots, Seychellois food has been influenced by African, British, French, Indian and Chinese flavors. The use of spices such as ginger, lemongrass, coriander and tamarind are a significant component of Seychellois cuisine; while fresh fish and fruits are predominant in the local diet. There’s no shortage of authentic flavors all over the major towns and in resorts, though you might have some difficulty finding local diners in smaller towns.


RECOMMENDED PLACES TO EAT

Au Jardin d'Epices

Perched on the beach at Banyan Tree Seychelles, this seaside restaurant has a casual upbeat setting and an easy African vibe. Watch the ocean glimmer during the day or the sun set at dusk, as you tuck into Creole dishes prepared by internationally acclaimed chefs. The menu also includes halal local dishes.

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Helios

Looking for some fresh comfort food? This casual chic restaurant at Constance Ephelia resort offers a full-range Mediterranean buffet with influences from the south of France, Italy, Spain, Morocco and Lebanon. Choose from the tapas, mezzes, antipasti or thin crust handmade pizza prepared in the big wood-burning oven.

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The Pond

Overlooking the eclectic water garden in Dhevatara Beach Hotel, this atmospheric restaurant serves up a mash of Mediterranean, Asian, and Creole flavors. The fusion cuisine is bound together with the perfumes of home grown spices, local herbs, and flowers all handpicked from the in-house spice garden. Most people come here to sample the work of multi award-winning local Executive Chef, Pat Monthy.

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Chez Batista

The in-house restaurant at Villa Chez Batista is a popular budget option in the south of Mahé island. With its thatched roofing and sand covered flooring, the setting here is rustic and unpretentious. Under the moonlight, you can feast on fresh grilled fish and lobsters and various other traditional delicacies — all at a reasonable price.

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Recommended Places to Stay

Fregate Island

For the most exclusive Seychelles experience, spoil yourself at this unique private island resort. Besides being home to beautifully crafted private pool residences, the island is also inhabited by 2,200 free-roaming Giant Aldabra Tortoises

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Constance Lémuria

The luxury resort prides itself for personalized service, intimate size, extremely elegant wooden interior, spacious villas, Creole style restaurants and the only 18-hole golf course in Seychelles.

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Chez Lorna

Located two kilometers from downtown Victoria, the capital city on Mahé island, this mid-range hotel offers home style accommodation in large apartments perched on the hilltop overlooking the harbor.

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Reef Holiday Apartments

Another excellent budget option, this modern hotel provides great value for money, with spanking new self-catering apartments just eight minutes from the airport and 25 meters from the beach.

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Best Time to Go

The Seychelles is blessed with a warm and humid tropical perfect climate with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C all year round. You’re almost always guaranteed sunshine and beautiful clear skies regardless of when you travel.

The seasons on the Seychelles islands are defined by trade winds that blow from the northwest (between October and April), bringing warm and sometimes wet weather. The southeast trade winds (between May and September) on the other hand brings in cooler, drier but also windier weather. There is some rain during both seasons: January is the wettest month, but rain tends to come in short bursts even during this time of the year. July and August are the driest months.

The best times to visit Seychelles are during the trade winds transition times in April, May, October and November. For divers, these months are also perfect for marine life watching with visibility of the water at 30+ meters. These are also the shoulder months, when tourist crowds are absent and hotel rates are at their lowest.


Getting There

Many airlines fly from Saudi Arabia to Seychelles, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Air Seychelles. Direct flights are not available at this time, and most flights to Seychelles include one or two connections. Riyadh offers the most flights, with a minimum journey time of 7.5 hours.

Getting from Airport to City
  • By Rented Car

    The Seychelles International Airport on Mahé island is just a 10-minute drive from Victoria, the capital city of the island nation, and an hour from the southern part of the island. Most visitors use car hire to get around the island. Car hire operators are located at the terminal near the arrival lounge; book your car hire here.

  • By Taxi

    Public taxis are readily available near the main concourse of the airport. A one-way journey to the resort areas or ferry terminal on Mahé island costs around 300 to 500 SCR. It’s best to arrange for private transfers through your hotel for the best deal.

  • By Ferry

    To travel from the airport to other islands, the best way is by boat. A speed ferry runs between Mahé and Praline (which takes 50-60 minutes each way), with onward connections to La Digue (another 15 minutes). Refer to this page for more ferry information.



Extra tips
  • The official languages of Seychelles are English, French, and Seychellois Creole. The majority of the population (about 95%) speaks Seychellois Creole as their first language.

  • The currency in Seychelles is the Seychellois Rupee (SCR). The current exchange rate is 1 SAR to 3.59 SCR.

  • Seychelles uses 220-240 volts at 50 hertz.

  • The plug in Seychelles uses the British standard square three-pin plug.