The island nation of Seychelles is known as a tourist paradise in the Indian Ocean with its stunning granite beaches and famous sites as the Gardens of Eden. The Seychelles is one of the most beautiful tropical islands with primeval forests, coral reefs and nature reserves recognized by UNESCO. Here, you can enjoy hiking trails on the mountains, immerse yourself in beautiful unspoiled beaches, rock climbing, take part in world-class snorkeling and diving spots or experience traditional delicious cuisine of Creole region. These are the reasons why you should set foot in the Seychelles once in your lifetime, especially for honeymooners. So, what to do and how to plan a budget perfect trip to Seychelles for the first-time? Let’s check out our Seychelles travel blog (Seychelles blog) with the fullest Seychelles travel guide (Seychelles guide, Seychelles tourist guide, Seychelles honeymoon blog) from how to get, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do to find out the answer!
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Once known for being the hideout of pirates since ancient times, the Seychelles is not an easily accessible place. It takes 7 hours of flight time from Vietnam to Dubai and four and a half hours to reach the Seychelles. Located in the Eastern Africa, the Seychelles is a group of big and small islands with beautiful tropical idyllic beaches, adorned with red granite boulders rocks.
Seychelles travel blog: Overview of Seychelles
The Republic of Seychelles is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean. Geographically, the Seychelles belongs to Africa, is an archipelago located in northern Madagascar with an area of only 459 km2 and a population of nearly 100,000 people. Coming to Seychelles is coming to Africa. However, do not expect to see zebras or giraffes in Seychelles. The island nation is another corner of Africa although not too far from the Black Continent (Dark Continent) and the island nation of Madagascar. Due to its isolated location in the middle of the ocean, so in the old days, Seychelles was a refuge for pirates. With 115 islands, the Seychelles not own typical characteristics of Africa but it is a dreamy tropical island nation.
Through a long history of ups and downs, the Seychelles is not only the home of Africans but also other races from Europe and Asia. That is why when you come here you will see both indigenous people with “blue eyes, long nosed” or people with Asian physical characteristics. In the “tiny” capital of Victoria, it is not difficult to find a few Chinese stores.
Seychelles is changing every day. The little Victoria capital is not much developed but in another part of Mahé Island, the artificial island of Eden, built over the years, has emerged as a new rich residential area with beachfront villas and luxury marinas. Visiting Eden and enjoying the luxurious atmosphere here is also a must thing to do when coming to the Seychelles.
Seychelles blog: A brief history of the Seychelles
Surely many people will wonder, where and when did the Seychelles come from? The history of Seychelles is closely related to the appearance of the Portuguese. In the early sixteenth century, France occupied these islands. In 1974, together with France, Britain also invaded some islands of the Seychelles. Here happened disputes and negotiations, in the end the Seychelles was a territory owned by Britain. Finally, after years of struggle, the Seychelles gained independence in 1976 and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, then officially known as the Republic of Seychelles.
Seychelles travel blog: When to go?
Located in the middle of the sea and has a tropical climate but the Seychelles is never too cold or too hot. Temperatures all year round ranging from 24 to 32 degrees Celsius. But sometimes the hot and humid weather will make you a little uncomfortable. From December to April, the climate in the Seychelles has quite high humidity, sometimes up to 80%, it is hot. From May to October, the climate is cool and dry. The best time to travel to Seychelles are April, May, October and November. In these months are the transition times between the hot and humid northwest trade winds (November to March) and the cooler southeast trade winds (from April to October).
Seychelles travel blog: Some things you need to know before visiting Seychelles
Tourists regardless of nationality can enter the Seychelles within 30 days without applying for a visa. This means that you only need to buy round trip airline tickets, book a hotel, hold a valid passport for more than 6 months to go to the Seychelles. Although the Seychelles waives a visa for tourists, the immigration officer will ask you to present a round-trip flight ticket, even a hotel reservation. Immigration stamps will be stamped on your passport with the date on which you will leave the Seychelles that shown on your flight ticket.
Note: You remember to print air tickets and hotel booking documents to present when immigration staff request.
The currency of Seychelles is Rupee (Seychellois Rupee) (code: SCR). 1 USD = 21.21 (exchange rate is not fixed, for reference only).
The main language of the Seychelles is Creole but French and English are also widely used, many people can speak English. In the Seychelles people drive on the left.
- Airtel Telecom: SIM card can be purchased at counters at the airport. A SIM cost 25 SCR. Internet has many packages, prices vary depending on package. The highest package is 499 SCR for 2.5 GB. Support telephone number: +248 4 600 600
- Using APN to access the internet by 3G (in case of after purchasing a sim, finished activating the internet but still cannot access 3G): https://www.airtel.sc/
- In Seychelles, you should use the Airtel network to access the internet for cheap. iSurf WiFi network is everywhere, but the fee is very expensive. 100 SCR for 1 hour access its WiFi.
Seychelles travel guide: How to get to Seychelles?
From Vietnam or other Southeast Asian countries, there are currently two fastest and most convenient ways to get to the Seychelles: Fly with Emirates (transit via Dubai) and Etihad (transit via Abu Dhabi) both belong to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but their air fare is very expensive. These two airlines have direct flights from Vietnam to the UAE and from there connect flights will take you to the main island of Mahé of Seychelles. Emirates and Etihad fares are subject to change from time to time. You should go to their websites to check the tickets.
Note: If you choose to transit in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you can take the opportunity to visit these two city. Applying for a visa is easy and only costs a small amount. Contact Emirates or Etihad for more information.
Kenya Airways also has a flight route from Bangkok to Mahé (transit in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi). However, Kenya Airways tickets are quite expensive, plus the fare from Vietnam to Bangkok is even more expensive.
You can also fly from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur to Mahé with SriLankan Airlines and its subsidiary Mihin Lanka (transit in Colombo, Sri Lanka). If flying with SriLankan Airlines, you should note that if transit time in Sri Lanka is more than 8 hours, you must apply for a visa, but it is very easy to apply on the website (see details on the SriLankan Airlines website). As for the flights from Vietnam to Sri Lanka, you can fly with many airlines. This way is suitable for those who want to combine both Sri Lanka and the Seychelles in one travel intinerary.
Seychelles travel blog: Getting around Seychelles
Traveling around Mahe and Praslin, you should use public buses. In La Digue, the island is quite small so it is possible to rent a bicycle.
The taxis on the main island of Mahe can help take you around the island to visit the beaches, parks, the capital with prices ranging from 100 euros (for half a day) to 120, 150 euros (all day) for a taxi.
Traveling between Mahe Island and Praslin: Air Seychelles’ daily flights with DHC Twin Otter small aircrafts. Ticket price is approximately 120 USD for a round-trip. The flight time is about 15 minutes.
Traveling between islands you can also take the Cat Cocos ferry of InterIsland. Tickets can be bought at the port.
Seychelles travel blog: What to do and where to go?
Seychelles is a tropical country, located in the equator, famous for its beautiful fine sand beaches with red-yellow granite boulders rocks scattered across the beaches with beautiful shapes creating a romantic natural landscape as well as quite weird. This is also the “specialty” of the Seychelles. Many beaches in the Seychelles are ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Mahe Island and the capital of Victoria
Mahé has an area of 155km2, located in the northeastern part of the island nation of Seychelles. Mahé has many rare plants and trees and very eye-catching colorful fish in its waters. Mahé is home to the capital of Victoria with a population of over 70,000 people (accounting for nearly 90% of the total national population), named to honor the Queen of England after her coronation. It is the largest city and also the capital of the Seychelles. It is also the only seaport of the country. This island still retains its idyllic beauty with high mountains and countless stunning beaches. Many rare plants are unique only found on the Mahe coast including Jellyfish tree (Medusagyne oppositifolia) and some rare orchids.
The National Museum of History, the Victoria Botanical Gardens and the Codevar Craft Centre are all Victoria tourist attractions that visitors not to be miss. You also can visit the famous Victoria Clock Tower in the capital, Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market…
Mahe also owns many beautiful beaches: Grand Anse Beach, Anse à la Mouche, Anse aux Pins, Port Launay North Beach and Port Launay South Beach, Petite Anse, Anse Forbans, Anse Beau Vallon, Baie Lazare, Anse Royale, man-made island Eden (a new rich residential area with luxury yachts, marinas, shopping malls, restaurants…).
Praslin Island is the second largest island of the Seychelles with a population of around 10,000 people. This island is famous all over the world for its white sand beaches, cool and blue sea water, airy space, mild climate … This is one of the ideal tourist destinations for travelers who like to swim and dive, explore the ocean life. Praslin Island is surrounded by dense tropical forests, large granite rocks scattered along the coast and many nature reserves with rich and diverse fauna and flora … All of which make Praslin Island a natural charming beauty. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience interesting tourist activities such as scenic hiking, boat tours, swimming, diving, sunbathing, watching the sunset …
On this island has Anse Lazio – one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve with waterfalls, giant coconut trees only in the Seychelles.
Explore the weird tree of Seychelles on Praslin Island: Coco de Mer (Lodoicea, Sea Coconut, or Double Coconut)
This type of coconut takes 25-30 years to mature and 7-10 years to 100% ripe fruit. Coco de mer clearly divided male and female tree. The male tree is shaped like the male genitals and has no fruit, the female tree will have fruit and when its fruit grows up, it will look like a female hips (women’s circle 3) that is depicted in the most honest way by nature. The fruit of this type of coconut usually weighs 10kg, the heaviest fruit is up to 30kg. This fruit, according to the conception of locals helps people distinguish good from evil or symbolize eternal love. You can see the Coco de mer image right on the Seychelles’ visa stamp (as shown above).
These coconut trees only mate on rain and thunderstorm nights, so people often say that the dating days of these coconut trees are stormy days, the rustling of those branches and leaves is their intimate sound and if anyone sees this, it is very unlucky, so no one wants to see these 2 trees having intimate. Legend has it that this place in the past was the garden of Eden and the coco de mer fruit was the forbidden fruit that Adam ate. Around Coco de mer trees there is also a species of black parrot, also one of the birds in need of protection and can only be seen in the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, so it is said that this is the reincarnation of Adam, only flying around the garden of Eden. Currently in the Seychelles no one eats this fruit anymore because this coconut species is being preserved.
This Coco de mer fruit has no water but it is still called sea coconut because in the old days before Seychelles was found, this fruit was submerged under water for a long time and followed the water flow to the Maldives, for a long time the coconut emerged on water, the Maldives caught it and thought that this tree grows in the water, so it is called sea coconut.
La Digue Island
A 15-minute ferry ride from Praslin to La Digue, the smallest inhabited island and it still retains the pristine nature. Come here, you are like back to nature. There is no airport on La Digue island, there are only a few roads that seem unprecedented by cars with a few light-painted oxcarts to transport tourists around. Bike is the best way to travel along the sandy roads around the island.
Cycling through small villages and watching children play, men with fish in their hands, roadside fruit stalls, wandering around the L’Union Estate Farm to enjoy fresh, cool coconut fruits or follow the palm-lined road to visit the world’s most photographed beach Anse Source D’Argent are the great experiences on La Digue island.
Anse Source D’Argent is very famous for its red granite boulders rocks, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet and has been the setting for movies like Castaway and Robinson Crusoe.
You can also go up to the highest point of the island, Nid d’Aigle for panoramic views.
Note: Interestingly, all of the beaches in the Seychelles are public property. Even if a hotel or resort is built next to a beach, it also cannot completely monopolize the beach. Visitors are completely free to enter these beaches, as long as you do not access the private areas of the resorts. If the beach is too difficult to access in the usual way that you have to go through the resort, these resorts are forced to open to welcome guests. It is a regulation in the Seychelles so that everyone can enjoy the beauty here because nature is not unique to anyone.
Curieuse in French means “curious”. This small granitic island 1.13 sq mi (2.9 km2) emerging from the Indian Ocean at a height of 172 meters above sea level is a national marine park for the protection of special Aldabra giant tortoises. The highlight tourist attraction here is more than 300 giant Aldabra tortoises, some has been living over 200 years old and living freely under the protection of protected area staff. Visitors can also relax while hiking on the trail between mangrove forests, observing the care of small turtles raised in a separate area.
The nature reserve is managed by The Seychelles BirdLife is also known for its seabirds and other rare birds, including bright red sparrows (red fody), Seychelles scops owl are the two rarest birds in the world only found in Seychelles. The temperate climate here has woven beautiful vegetation along with rare Coco de mer (sea coconuts) fruits that can only be found on Curieuse and Praslin islands.
Located on Mahe island, during the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century this was once an area where timber and cinnamon were harvested, but today most of area of Morne Seychellois is dedicated to wildlife. Despite its steep and rugged terrain, Morne Seychellois still has dense secondary forests, overcrowded plants and vegetation and giant granite boulders. It is also the only place in the world that owns the jellyfish tree (Medusagyne oppositifolia) – an extremely endangered wood species, once thought to be extinct before 1970 or the endemic pitcher plant Nepenthes pervillei and many other rare and precious plants. Along the trekking trails of Morne Seychellois, visitors will be able to admire the many unique and rare birds to show off their looks and voices.
Hiking on Anse Major Nature Trail
You can hike on the Anse Major trail on Mahé island through the incredible granite boulders, nestled between two beautiful beaches in the island’s north. Or take a hike to Morne Seychellois, the Mahé’s highest point is a challenging five-hour hike – but in return, you’ll get the chance to see breathtaking views over the Seychelles islands. That is why the Seychelles is known as a tropical island paradise that is worth coming to experience.
The world’s top biodiverse diving spots
It can be said that the Seychelles offers some of the most diverse diving zones in the world. From coral reefs just off the coast to shipwrecks in deep waters with a variety of marine life, you can either snorkeling or scuba diving. The main diving islands are Mahé, La Digue and Praslin. April, October and November are the best time to go to Seychelles for divers.
Discover unique wildlife
Coming to the Seychelles, you also have the opportunity to watch closer to birds and animals. Turtles are considered the iconic animal of this island nation. Seychelles turtles are found throughout the islands and are very close to humans. In the past, each newlyweds would be given a turtle as food. Now, no one does that anymore. Local people and visitors together to protect turtles, even help them breed and take care of them. Visit Le Curieuse island next to Praslin, visitors can touch the giant turtles and feed them.
Birds also appeared everywhere. On deserted islands like Praslin or Le Curieuse you can see swarms of black sparrows and red sparrows. Bright red sparrows perched in groups on the branches of trees that looking far away like small flowers adorn the natural picture on the island.
Seychelles travel blog: What to eat?
In addition to the beautiful natural landscape, cuisine is also a tourist attraction to Seychelles. Seychelles offers unique local dishes made from tuna, sea bass, snapper, shellfish… which is prepared in many special ways, bringing delicious and attractive flavors. Especially among them is Kari koko zourit including octopus cooked in coconut milk. It typically comprises of fresh octopus cut into small pieces, then first boiled, and then cooked with coconut milk. The concoction is flavored with various herbs and spices. It is loved by Seychelles people as well as tourists.
Another dish not to be missed when referring Seychelles cuisine is Soupe de tectec (Tectec Soup) which is a type of soup made with shellfish (an essential ingredient of traditional Seychellois cuisine). The tectec shellfish along with pumpkin are the key ingredients of this dish. It’s creamy and packed with flavors, tectec soup is love by local people and tourists alike, and commonly served as an appetizer and you cand find it at any restaurant in Seychelles.
Other attractive dishes you should try in Seychelles are:
- Octopus and smoked fish salads (salad zourit and pwason fimen)
- Grilled fish (pwason griye) – red snapper (bourzwa) of the rabbit fish
- Fish curry (bonito)
- Shark chutney (satini reken)
- Banana in coconut milk (ladob banann)
Seychelles blog: Suggested Seychelles itinerary 7 days
- Day 1: Take a flight from Saigon (HCMC) and transit in Dubai or Abu Dhabi early the next morning.
- Day 2: Arrive in Mahé, take a domestic flight of Air Seychelles from Mahé to Praslin Island (flight time about 30 minutes). Arrive in Praslin and check-in the hotel. Visit around Praslin Island and its surrounding beaches in the afternoon.
- Day 3: Take a ferry to Le Curieuse Island, swimming and sightseeing, playing with turtles, watching red sparrows on the island. Visit the natural forest and also the nature reserve in the afternoon.
- Day 4: Visiting La Digue Island, cycling around this beautiful island, relaxing on the deserted and pristine beaches.
- Day 5: In the morning, visit the most beautiful beach in Seychelles which is Anse Lazio, swimming and sightseeing. Early afternoon, check-out the hotel, getting to Praslin airport to fly back to Mahé. Visit Victoria capital and the ancient clock tower in the capital, visit the botanical garden with many unique local plants. Go to the local market and observe the lives of the people here.
- Day 6: Freely exploring the beautiful beaches on Mahé Island, swimming and visiting Eden artificial island, a new rich residential area in the Seychelles with luxury yachts anchored. Nearly midnight left the hotel to go to the airport.
- Day 7: Take a midnight flight to Saigon, Vietnam.
(The itinerary can last 9-10 days if you want to visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi to explore more)
Seychelles travel blog: Where to stay?
Located in the middle of the ocean, the Seychelles economy is mainly based on tourism. The open travel policy and 30-day visa exemption for any citizen has attracted many tourists here. However, because it is located too far from the rest of the world, there are not many flights to this island nation like the Maldives. The living cost in the Seychelles is so expensive that you find the trip there unreasonably luxurious. Be prepared because everything in the Seychelles is very expensive, there are even places like on Praslin Island more expensive than in the Maldives. The resorts are super expensive, but sometimes the quality is not meet up the standards.
Hostels or guesthouse will be cheaper but it will also be expensive compared to many other countries. Regarding eating, you should go to local restaurants to eat for cheap.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Le Repaire Boutique Hotel, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $270/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel L’Archipel, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $500/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Le Domaine de La Reserve, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $442/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Coco De Mer Hotel And Black Parrot, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $385/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $476/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Seychelles you can refer to
- Seychelles: Private Airport Transfer to/from Mahe
- Explore Mahe Island Shared Day Tour
- Mahé: Customizable Private Tour of Island with Driver
- Mahe : Reef Safari at St Anne Marine National Park
- Seychelles: 5-Beach Adventure Tour
- From Praslin: Cocos, Felicite & La Digue Islands Tour
- From Praslin: Sister & St Pierre Island Tour with Lunch
- Praslin: Vallée de Mai and Anse Lazio Beach Full-day Tour
- Praslin: Curieuse and St. Pierre Island Excursion
- Curieuse St Pierre & Anse La Farine Snorkeling Trip
Are you looking for more top things to do in Seychelles: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.