The Seychelles Islands are pure paradise. For many, a visit to The Seychelles is a dream come true and a bucket list holiday destination.
When people think of this island haven, they think of soft, pure white sand, swaying palm trees, and crystal clear water, but there are so many more things to do in The Seychelles besides beaches.
The Seychelles Islands are a string of islands in a sparkling Indian Ocean, a thousand miles from anywhere and a stones throw south of the equator.
Most famous for being a honeymooners paradise, with world-class resorts and ample chances to spend quality time with loved ones, those wondering what to do in The Seychelles will find plenty of options.
In this guide, I share my tips on the absolute ‘must see’s’ for your visit.
- Things to Do in the Seychelles
- 1. Hit Seychelles Beaches
- 2. Go Seychelles Island Hopping
- 3. Visit Victoria Market (Sir Selwyn Clarke Market)
- 4. Explore the Vallee de Mai
- 5. Check Out Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden
- 6. Go Scuba Diving
- 7. Go Hiking in Morne Seychellois National Park
- 8. Visit Coconut Plantation House and L'Union Estate Park
- 9. Visit Aride Island Nature Reserve
- 10. See Giant Tortoises at Aldabra Atoll
- Where to stay in Seychelles
- Final Thoughts
- Popular Tours of the Seychelles Islands
Things to Do in the Seychelles
From exploring the popular beaches to sailing out to the other islands in the archipelago, make sure you don’t miss these top attractions in the Seychelles!
1. Hit Seychelles Beaches
Ok, this was probably not a tremendous surprise. Seychelles has some of the finest beaches in the world.
Palm tree sway in the breeze and white sands lead to a turquoise ocean. But even here, there are beaches that stand out.
My two favourites are Anse (meaning bay in the local language, Kreole) Intendance, and Anse Lazio, which regularly features in surveys of the worlds best beaches.
Anse Intendance, is located on the Southern end of the main and largest island, Mahe Island, whilst Anse Lazio is located on the second largest island, Praslin Island (prah-len).
Another stunning beach on Praslin Island is Anse Georgette Beach, which is considered the second most beautiful beach on Praslin after Lazio.
These beaches should be on the itineraries of any beach connoisseurs trip to the Seychelles, although care should be taken at Anse Intendance as the sea can be a mite rough at certain times of year.
An honourable mention should also go to Anse Source D’Argent on the island of La Digue, where incredible granitic rock formations meet sea in an inspiring display of natural art.
If you’ve ever seen an advert set on a beach with beautiful rocks in the background, the chances are it would have been filmed here.
Arguably the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles are the Beau Vallon Beaches, on the Island of Mahe, with the most popular beach being Beau Vallon Beach. This is widely considered the most beautiful beach in The Seychelles, though who can really compare when they all look like heaven?
Anse Coco Beach is another notable beach worth checking out. It’s located on the east side of La Digue Island, and is famous for its granite boulders which create protective pools for swimming.
Whenever you visit the beaches, don’t forget your snorkels and fins as there is always an abundance of marine life to see beneath the azure waters surface. Except for Anse Lazio, which is the only beach that doesn’t have a coral reef.
2. Go Seychelles Island Hopping
The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, and whilst many of these are uninhabited, getting on a plane or a boat and taking some time to visit them is really worth doing.
Each island has its own vibe, from the relative hustle and bustle of the main island, Mahe, to the peace and tranquility that you would find on the most Northerly island, Bird.
The smaller islands, such as Bird and Denis, are classical flat desert island, just a ring of white sandy beach, a few palm trees, some birds, you, and a cocktail.
The larger islands, such as Mahé and Prasline Island, are granitic and more lush, with deep rainforest interiors for exploring and towering peaks for the hardier hikers. There is something here for everyone, from lying on the beach, to exploring the peaks, to trying to spot any of the unique to Seychelles birds.
3. Visit Victoria Market (Sir Selwyn Clarke Market)
If lying on the beach all day has taken it’s toll upon your soul, and you want to do something a little more active, a visit to the capital city of Victoria (Africa’s smallest capital) is in order.
As well as taking a look at the towns central feature, a miniature clock tower built in 1903, I would recommend taking a stroll around the market, a vibrantly colourful affair where local traders will happily sell you all manner of goods, from locally picked fruit and vegetables to souvenirs to the catch of the day.
The heady aroma of spice tables will assault your nose as you wander around the tables, imparting a real flavour of the Kreole foods. Mounds of chillies, a key ingredient to all Seychelles cooking, will tempt you.
The fish, fresh off the boats that day, is world class and, by Western standards, remarkably cheap. You just can’t beat a freshly caught whole snapper, smothered in Kreole spices and popped on the BBQ, accompanied by some hot off the coals breadfruit. Seychelles cuisine at its best.
4. Explore the Vallee de Mai
A trip to the Vallée de Mai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Praslin, is an absolute must. This was thought to be the Garden of Eden when discovered by early explorers, and it’s not hard to see why.
The main attraction is the endemic Coco de Mer (although five other endemic palm trees also exist in this tiny valley), a giant palm tree, famed for having the largest nut in the world. The nut, which only grows on the female of the plant, has a striking resemblance to a human females nether regions.
They take seven years to germinate, and countless more to turn into the giants which line the valley, the only place in the world where they can be found. Wandering around these giant palms, with a side project of attempting to spot the Seychelles Black Parrot (another endemic species), is tonic for the soul.
Curieuse Island is a small island in the group, only 1.13 square miles in size. It’s located north of Praslin Island, and is known for its endemic coco de mer palms and red earth. These palms can only be seen on this island and in Vallée de Mai National Park.
5. Check Out Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden
One of the top attractions in The Seychelles is to go on a sensory journey at Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden, where history and nature harmoniously blend.
This hidden gem invites you to explore its aromatic grounds filled with a rich tapestry of herbs and flora, spices, and medicinal plants, such as Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Vanilla.
Here you can learn about the Seychellois spice trade that once thrived in the 18th century, or just enjoy the enchanting garden and its resident endemic giant tortoises.
If you have an interest in local spices, plants and fauna, this is one destination not to miss.
6. Go Scuba Diving
Another top thing to do in The Seychelles it to explore the underwater paradise by going scuba diving in the Seychelles.
With its crystal-clear waters boasting visibility of up to 30 meters, you’ll be treated to a mesmerizing world of vibrant coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life.
From encountering majestic sharks and manta rays or even friendly sea turtles, to trying your hand at drift dives and exploring dramatic drop-offs in the Outer Islands, there’s a whole world underwater to be discovered.
The Seychelles’ protected marine areas ensure that wildlife thrives and coral reefs can prosper, creating a tranquil and undisturbed ambiance.
7. Go Hiking in Morne Seychellois National Park
For those who prefer to get active on their vacation, embark on a hiking trip through the untamed beauty of Morne Seychellois National Park, on the Island of Mahe.
This lush park allows you to traverse along rugged trails, check out cascading waterfalls, and see breathtaking vistas that stretch out to the turquoise Indian Ocean.
You may even spot some rare endemic plants such as the Seychelles palm and the Seychelles bulbul, allowing you to discover the island’s remarkable biodiversity.
One trail worth doing is the enchanting Copolia Trail, which is a moderate hike that passes through the untamed wilderness before opening up to rewarding, panoramic views of the island and Indian Ocean.
The trail takes you through tropical forests, over river crossings, and past mangrove trees, and is an activity any nature enthusiast will enjoy.
8. Visit Coconut Plantation House and L’Union Estate Park
If you want to learn about The Seychelles cultural heritage, then a visit to the Coconut Plantation House in L’Union Estate Park is the ideal place.
At the Coconut Plantation House, you can explore the former vanilla and coconut plantation, surrounded by lush gardens and towering coconut trees.
Learn about the traditional copra production and glimpse into La Digue’s colonial past.
9. Visit Aride Island Nature Reserve
Another piece of untouched paradise in The Seychelles is Aride Island Nature Reserve, which is teeming with abundant biodiversity.
This secluded granitic island is full of natural wonders. It’s one of the best places to spot breeding seabirds, including endemic species, such as roseate tern, shearwater, and lesser noddy birds. In fact, it has the world’s largest colonies of these birds.
Aride Island Nature Reserve, managed by the Island Conservation Society, offers a sanctuary for both wildlife and visitors seeking solace in nature.
10. See Giant Tortoises at Aldabra Atoll
One of the best places to see giant tortoises is on Aldabra Atoll on Mahe Island, the largest atoll in the world.
As you explore the island, you’ll encounter these gentle giants roaming freely.
The Aldabra Atoll has the world largest population of giant tortoises.
Where to stay in Seychelles
There is no doubt luxury style accommodation is high on the mind of travelers visiting the Seychelles.
Here are a few highly rated lux style accommodations. You can then use the map below to find other places to stay to suit your budget and desired location.
- L’Escale Resort Marina & Spa: located on the waterfront in Mahé Island. Lux hotel with full spa. See rates and availability
- JA Enchanted Island Resort Seychelles; Beachfront with full service spa in Round Island See rates and availability
- Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa: private beach in Mahé Island. See rates and availability
So there you have it, those are the top things to do in the Seychelles.
They are far from a cheap destination, but the reward of having staggering beaches almost to yourself as you watch the sun set through an evening cocktail may be entirely worth it.
If you do visit, try to avoid the rainy season, between around November and February and take plenty of sun cream, because these islands get hot!
The best time of year to visit is April and October, as it’s just outside the rainy season and when the weather is not too hot (and there’s fewer crowds).
Bio: Laurence Norah is the author of Finding the Universe, a website dedicated to sharing travel experiences, musings on life and photography. A passionate traveler whose journeys thus far have taken him across five continents, Laurence is currently on the road with no fixed abode. He can also be found on Facebook.
Popular Tours of the Seychelles Islands
Can you add anything else to the list of things to do in the Seychelles Islands? Let us know in the comments.