If you yearn for rest and relaxation on an idyllic island then the Seychelles could be just the ticket. Said to be a thousand miles from anywhere, this enchanting archipelago with its dazzling white sand, crystal blue ocean and a little French flair provides a real barefoot luxury experience. Whether you opt to stay on a private island or or one of the main islands, accommodation has a knack of being effortlessly chic. You may find yourself sharing your slice of paradise with the giant Aldabra Land Tortoise - these can be seen not only on Aldabra Atoll but also in the islands around St Anne Marine National Park including La Digue, Silhouette, North and Fregate Islands. Marine and bird life abounds throughout the islands, while for the active, exploring the islands, especially by bicycle or hiking, is a real joy, if you can tear yourself away from your sun lounger...
La Digue is the Seychelles fourth largest granitic island after Mahe, Praslin and Silhouette.There is no airport here so La Digue can only be reached by boat, usually from Praslin.Continue Reading...
Mahe is the largest island in the Seychelles and where all international visitors arrive. 80% of the population live in Mahe, and most of these around the north east where the capital Victoria is. However the south of the island is rugged, largely untouched and has beautiful beaches.Continue Reading...
Glorious Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles, just 27 miles north east of Mahe.Continue Reading...
Escape to paradise and stay on a private island in the Seychelles - chose from exclusive North or Fregate Island, simple Bird Island, far flung Denis Island or stylish Felicite Island.Continue Reading...
Silhouette is the third largest island in the Seychelles and easily reached by boat transfer in 35 minutes from Mahe's Bel Ombre jetty. It's green and mountainous with stunning white beaches.Continue Reading...
You can visit the Seychelles year-round and when you visit is really governed by what you wish to see with regards to wildlife. The peak months with regards to number of visitors tend to be from December to April and July-August but please note the weather conditions outlined below.
There are two monsoons. The period between October and May is called the Northwest Monsoon in the Seychelles. This is our preferred season, and is characterized by the lack of wind. Calm to moderate sea conditions normally prevail although there is a lot of rainfall around Christmas and New Year. The period between end of May and September is called the Southeast Monsoon. This season is characterized by the daily, steady Southeast Trade Winds which usually cause rough sea conditions. Overall March and April tend to be the calmest months and December and January are the wettest ones.
Sea conditions are effected greatly by 1.Season 2.Tide. A beach which looks picture perfect at high tide may become completely drained and unswimmable in low tide while snorkelling from the beaches is generally limited to the hours either side of high tide when the best of the reef is accessible safely. Even during the Northeast Monsoon some beaches still had red flags and strong currents / large waves. With so many beaches there are usually alternatives to suit the season and sea conditions but it is well worth asking for advice before setting your heart on one particular property.
Turtles come up the beaches to lay their eggs from October to December time with hatchlings emerging from December to February/March as a general rule. Green turtles are rare in the Seychelles but hawksbill turtles are quite easily seen grazing the seagrass meadows.
Whale sharks pass through later in the year around September/October time.
Manta rays appear in large numbers April - December due to high levels of plankton. Rays are abundant throughout the islands - look out for the lovely spotted Eagle rays and bluespotted stingrays.
For many people the Seychelles offers a glorious week on the beach - you have many choices depending on how long you have and your budget.
The main island of Mahe is incredibly lush and the southern half of the island is very beautiful, less developed and has some stunning beaches including Anse Intendance and Anse Louis. We loved the south in particular. The island has a lot of character and is very easy to explore on your own. There are superb walking trails around San Souci, up in the mountains - you will be rewarded with incredible views - try the Copolia Trail for instance. We think Mahe really beckons to be explored with a hire car. The southern loop can be explored in one full day although 2 days car hire will give you a chance to visit the northern beaches like Beau Vallon as well. There are some good beachfront cafes and restaurants like our favourite, the cool Del Place at Port Glaud, perfect for a lesiurely lunch overlooking the water. There is lots of choice when it comes to accommodation on Mahe - you can opt for a simple 3 star guesthouse and a hire car or you can go for a resort like the Constance Ephelia or if you're after five star luxury then go for an upscale hotel like Four Seasons, Banyan Tree or Maia - all of which have superb locations on the best beaches in Mahe. Personally we wrestle with spending this sort of money on Mahe - we would rather sacrifice some of the luxury and go for a private island experience - Dennis Island if you're interested in wildlife or Six Senses Zil Payson on Felicite Island as a more luxurious option. Whatever you decide, we can arrange everything for you from transfers to day trips which include guided tours of the island, car hire, snorkelling boat trips - please ask for details.
Praslin and La Digue
Praslin can be accessed by a 20 minute domestic flight or a ferry journey of 90 minutes. Anse Lazio and neighbouring Anse Georgette are the island's star beaches and the Vallee De Mai is well worth a visit - you can see the famous Coco de Mer nut and walk in the deep shade. One of our favourite excursions was to nearby Curieuse - the snorkelling was absolutely superb and the water crystal clear. We also snorkelled around the islet of St Pierre just off Anse Volbert. The snorkelling was notably better here than in Mahe and there were plenty of water taxis to take you out. You can also book boat trips which go out for the day and include a BBQ lunch. The charming smaller island of La Digue does not have an airstrip so is best accessed by boat from Praslin. Everyone gets around on ox carts and bicycles - there's a lovely cycle across the island to the wild Grand Anse and no visit to La Digue is complete without walking the sands of Anse Source D'Argent and seeing the land tortoises.
Silhouette and Cerf
Cerf island is just off Mahe within the St Anne Marine Park which was established in 1973 and includes six islands, coral gardens and sea grass meadows - all just 5km from the capital Victoria. The park is accessed by boat transfer to one of the island resorts or a day trip - there are half day and full day excursions. A full day with lunch costs in the region of £100-£120. Wilbur Smith lives on Cerf. Silhouette is an incredibly beautiful island with dense forested slopes, stunning white sand beaches, huge Seychelles boulders on the beaches and is reached by a 35 minute boat transfer from Bel Ombre jetty on the north of Mahe - a half hour transfer from the airport. The resort on the island, though quite large by our standards, is run very well by Hilton. It is well worth opting for a half board deal as food tends to be rather expensive in the Seychelles! These islands don't have anything like the price tag of the private islands, and they offer more affordable transfers too making them a good half way house between staying on Mahe or opting for a more far flung island.
For a real barefoot experience try a stay on a private island - we offer North, Fregate, Felicite, Denis and Bird Island.
Many of the private islands are accessed by helicopter or boat, while some are linked by flights (Denis and Bird). Timings are key - some flights do not connect which means in most cases people will combine nights on Mahe with another island which we think would work really well.
We absolutely love the Seychelles. Every time we go back we are reminded how incredibly expensive everything is (pizza at a simple beach bar with a beer or soft drink for 4 people costs around 100/120 euro). However it really is a tropical paradise with stacks of character. It's a very romantic destination with its wild beaches but there are also plenty of activities with hiking and cycling, sailing and diving. The wildlife is also a huge draw for us.
Wildlife abounds with some 30 endemic species of reptiles and amphibians and a dozen birds. The world's largest population of Giant tortoises live on Aldabra Atoll, and 2 species of sea turtles nest on the islands. You can see the giant tortoises on Silhouette Island and La Digue as well as some of the private islands. There's lots to do from touring the islands with a car, on foot, by boat or by bicycle to all the water sports on offer. The private islands really excel when it comes to their commitment to conservation and in many cases you can see conservation in action first-hand, for example on Denis Island. We love the Seychelles and think it's the perfect exotic escape for families during half term or Easter, or for friends and couples after an exclusive break or a trip to celebrate a special occasion.