Best Things To Do in Seychelles
Seychelles's claim to fame is its beaches. The islands' soft, white shorelines — peppered with immense boulders and framed by the warm, clear Indian Ocean — are often seen gracing the fronts of postcards and the covers of magazines. And the best part about Seychellois beaches is that even the most popular stretches of sand (like Anse Intendance and Anse Source d'Argent) are never crowded. If you don't mind the company of critters, make your way to Curieuse Island to soak up the sun alongside giant tortoises, or dip below the waves off the Beau Vallon coast for a fishy encounter. Once you tire of the sand, the sea and the sun, cool down in the shade at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé, or stretch your legs in Praslin's Vallée de Mai.
- #1View all Photos#1 in SeychellesBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
Also known as the Côte d'Or ("Golden Coast"), Anse Volbert earns rave reviews from sun-seekers, swimmers and snorkelers for its sugary white sand and crystal clear water. Although it's one of the island's most popular beaches, Anse Volbert's size (approximately 1½ miles long) means it never feels crowded. "It's not a busy beach but for a good experience, try to go to the right to get away from all the boats," one TripAdvisor user suggested.
Although they admit that Anse Volbert isn't the prettiest of Seychelles' beaches, travelers say that the soft sand and shallow water are ideal conditions for those traveling with children. And the abundance of restaurants and bars close by means you can plan to spend the day there without worrying about going hungry or finding a restroom.
- #2View all Photos#2 in SeychellesBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
Sitting opposite Victoria on Mahé's northwest coast, Beau Vallon is one of the island's most popular beach areas. And for a good reason: The wide shoreline and calm seas make Beau Vallon a great place for both swimming and water sports, including snorkeling, boating, fishing and scuba diving. The area is also surrounded by a wide array of restaurants, hotels and shops, making it a great home base for travelers looking to soak up the rays. Although Beau Vallon exudes a slight resort-area feel, travel experts and recent visitors agree that the beach is worth checking out — especially if you're visiting with kids as there are no strong currents or sharp bits of coral lurking beneath the waves
You won't have to pay to lounge on the sand or hit the waves, but each water sports company features its own rates for equipment rentals and dive excursions. If you're looking to explore beneath the waves, recent visitors recommend diving with Ocean Dream Divers. "I wish to proclaim my deepest gratitude to the fantastic and professional team at Ocean Dream Divers," wrote one TripAdvisor user. "I would define my experience here as VIP diving." The company offers dives that range from around 735 SCR to 1,228 SCR (approximately $60 USD to $100 USD) per person. Equipment rentals will tag an extra few rupees onto your bill.
- #3View all Photos#3 in SeychellesBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
Lying along Chevalier Bay on Praslin's north coast, Anse Lazio beach wins visitors over with its ivory sands, cobalt water, giant boulders and restaurants conveniently located nearby. Lazio routinely earns a place among experts' top 10 lists because it feels like a secluded tropical paradise, while the calm waters and abundance of underwater life earn praise from avid snorkelers. Because word has gotten out about Anse Lazio's merits, some recent visitors recommend arrving earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds.
Even though Lazio's reputation may have stolen its aura of privacy, travelers still say that this beach is a must-see. "If I would have known about this place in advance, we would have just booked our hotel near this place and wouldn't have need[ed] anything else," said one TripAdvisor user.
- #4View all Photos#4 in SeychellesBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
Despite Seychelles' growing popularity as a tourist destination, Anse Georgette has maintained its sense of seclusion, making it an ideal place for lovebirds seeking some alone time. The beach's white sands are ideal for sunbathing while the calm, clear water draws swimmers and snorkelers alike. But for many visitors, it's Anse Georgette's stunning views that deserve the most admiration. "Anse Georgette is one of the few things in life that left me speechless," wrote one TripAdvisor user. "From my point of view, this is the best beach on the island. It is a must."
To reach Anse Georgette, you'll need to pass through the adjacent Constance Lémuria Resort — an easy feat. Both the resort and the beach can be found on Praslin's northwest coast (about 3 miles north of the Praslin Airport); you can access the beach using the resort's well-maintained path, which also leads to the resort's golf course. You can access the beach at any time, day or night, for no fee, as long as you obtain permission from the resort in advance (only 30 non-guests are allowed on the beach at any given time). For more information, visit the Seychelles Tourism Board's Anse Georgette page or the Constance Lémuria Resort's website.
- #5View all Photos#5 in SeychellesBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
Mahé's famous Anse Intendance sprawls across half a mile of the island's southern coast — approximately 20 miles south of Victoria — luring beach bums with the promise of sparkling sands, swaying palms and beautiful views. Though it's one of Seychelles' most popular beaches, Anse Intendance isn't the best place for a dip. The lack of a reef makes for larger, stronger waves that draw surfers in droves. If you'd prefer to swim, head to Beau Vallon (on Mahé's northwest coast) instead.
Although swimming isn't advised, recent visitors highly recommend paying a visit to Anse Intendance all the same. "There are neat granite boulder formations that kids enjoy climbing on and lovely trees everywhere," one TripAdvisor user said. "The water is the color you see on postcards — absolutely perfect." When you tire of lounging shore side, you can grab a drink or a snack at the nearby Banyan Tree Seychelles Resort.
- #6View all Photos#6 in SeychellesBeachesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeachesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
If you're looking to spend the day on one of Seychelles' most famous beaches, complete with rustling palms and gigantic boulders, make your way to Anse Source d'Argent. If you feel like you've seen this sandy stretch before, you probably have: Anse Source d'Argent has been used as the backdrop for numerous advertising campaigns for Bacardi Rum, Campari and Bounty Chocolate. You'll find this picturesque strip of shoreline along the southwest coast of La Digue. However, unlike other Seychelles beaches, you'll have to pay to play here. If you're looking to sprawl along Anse Source d'Argent's white sand you'll need to fork over 100 SCR (approximately $8 USD) to L'Union Estate, the plantation that sits adjacent to the beach.
Despite it being one of the only beaches requiring admission, recent visitors say that Anse Source d'Argent is well worth the trip if you're on La Digue. "Anse Source d'Argent is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited," one TripAdvisor user claimed. "I can see why commercials are shot in this location!"
- #7View all Photos#7 in SeychellesParks and Gardens, SightseeingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, SightseeingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
Today, people flock to Seychelles for the soft white sands, but back in the 18th century, the islands were a hub for the spice trade. For a taste of the islands' history, spend some time touring Le Jardin du Roi. Sitting on the hilly terrain above Anse Royale beach on Mahé's southeast coast, this old spice garden is still steeped in the aromas of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and a variety of other spices. You can enjoy the scents and scenery as you wander the gardens, learn about Seychelles' spice trade at the small onsite museum, get up close to giant tortoises, participate in a guided hike (as long as you notify the garden 24 hours in advance) or enjoy a flavorful lunch at the restaurant. And before you leave, you can pick up some spices to take with you from the spice shop.
Le Jardin du Roi welcomes visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Though some visitors note that the admission price has increased in recent years (to 110 SCR, which is around $9 USD per person), others say it's worth the money. "If you want to see some history, tropical plants, and giant tortoises, this is well worth the time and money," said one TripAdvisor user.
- #8View all PhotosfreeVictoria (Mahé)#8 in SeychellesFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
There's really no avoiding Victoria. Seychelles' tiny capital acts as the transportation hub for all of Mahé — the airport sits a mere 6 miles southwest of town, while many bus and ferry services originate in Victoria. Plus, the city's numerous transport services make it a convenient layover point for those en route to Praslin or La Digue, as well as to other points of interest on Mahé. But recent visitors and travel experts alike recommend taking a day or two to experience the city. Home to one third of the nation's population, Victoria has an air of hustle and bustle, but not enough to break the city of its provincial ambiance. You can join in the action at the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market where vendors have been selling fish and fruit since 1840; or you can brush up on the history and culture of the islands at the National Museum of History (entry is 15 SCR — approximately $1.25 USD — for adults). But for many, the highlight of a visit to Victoria is the time spent at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens.
You won't need anything but your own two feet to get a feel for Victoria. In fact, you can walk from the western edge of the city through downtown to the harbor (a distance of less than a mile) in roughly 15 minutes. While you're wandering, keep your camera handy so you can snap photos of the town's old colonial buildings and beloved clock tower (a replica of a clock that once stood on Victoria Street in London, which former Seychelles governor Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott admired). You'll also find a smattering of local mom and pop restaurants serving up fresh seafood and Creole cuisine.
- #9View all Photos#9 in SeychellesNatural Wonders, Parks and GardensTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, Parks and GardensTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
The 48-acre Vallée de Mai earned UNESCO World Heritage status for its roughly 6,000 coco-de-mer trees. These beautiful trees — once believed to have sprouted from the ocean floor — haven't evolved much since prehistoric times. In fact, Vallée de Mai is so beautiful that it was once rumored to be the site of the Garden of Eden. Today, you can follow the nature reserve's path through the expansive forest to admire the coco-de-mers and the abundance of wildlife (including chameleons and black parrots) they shelter.
Botanists and bird-lovers could spend hours exploring Vallée de Mai, but recent visitors say that the average traveler won't need more than a couple of hours. "[T]here isn't much to see if you are walking around without a guide," one TripAdvisor user attested. "It would be good to do some reading about everything before you get there so that you can appreciate it more."
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Planted more than 100 years ago, the vibrant flora housed within the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens provides a pop of color to a vacation mostly spent on white sand. Stretching out along 5 acres of Mont Fleuri — on the southern outskirts of Victoria — the botanical gardens offer visitors an up-close look at Seychellois wildlife. In addition to the towering palm, spice and fruit trees found here (not to mention the aromatic blooms found in the orchid house), you're bound to come across animals like giant tortoises and members of the garden's fruit bat colonies.
One previous visitor offers some advice on how to make the most of your visit: "[E]njoy the uniqueness of the place but for goodness sake put loads of bug spray on […] we all got bitten badly."
- #11View all Photos#11 in SeychellesNatural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, ToursTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, ToursTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
If you have some time to spare, previous visitors recommend spending a few hours roaming Curieuse Island, home to the Curieuse Marine National Park. Sitting just off the northern coast of Praslin, this nearly 2-square-mile island acts as a giant free-range zoo dominated by the national heavyweight — the Seychellois tortoise. As one of the largest types of tortoise on the planet, these giants clock in at 300 to 600 pounds. While visiting Curieuse, you can stroll alongside these mammoth animals as they meander through the park's coco-de-mer trees. Curieuse Marine National Park also features some worthwhile strips of sand, numerous hiking trails and the remains of a former leper colony that now acts as a museum and historic site.
According to one TripAdvisor user, "We loved playing with the giant tortoises and [it] was definitely an experience of a lifetime!" However, not all visitors were as over-the-moon about their experience, noting that the must-see tortoises can be found on more accessible islands, including Praslin and La Digue.
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