The Seychelles is an archipelago island nation made up of 115 granitic and coral islands in the Indian Ocean. Located 1000 miles off the east coast of Africa, the Seychelles is a veritable tropical island paradise with palm-lined beaches, crystal-clear oceans and imposing granite rock formations that form wish-you-were-here scenes befitting of postcards and high-end travel brochures. Famed for its beaches and celebrity honeymoon clientele (the likes of Prince William, George Clooney and Sir Paul McCartney all famously honeymooned on the islands), the Seychelles has more to offer adventurous travellers than just a romantic respite.
Here are ten reasons why the Seychelles is the perfect destination for your next island escape:
The hassle and inconvenience of visa applications can get your holiday off to a stressful start. Fortunately, travellers do not require a visa to enter the Seychelles. Read more about the Seychelles’ entry requirements here.
With more and more international airlines flying to the Seychelles, it is easier than ever to reach this remote island destination. Added to this, connections between the inner islands by ferry and plane are easily arranged, allowing for unique island-hopping experiences that you’re unlikely to experience elsewhere in the world. While other Indian Ocean destinations, such as the Maldives and Mauritius, are certainly very beautiful, they do not offer the opportunity to easily visit other islands – each with its own character, culture and attractions.
The Seychelles’ tropical climate makes it a year-round destination for sun worshipers and beach lovers. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C / 75.2°F or rises above 32°C / 89.6°F. The Seychelles does not have any conventional seasons; however, the weather does vary depending on the predominant trade winds.
The Seychelles is politically stable and safe for tourists to visit. The Seychelles has one of the lowest crime rates in Africa, and violent crimes are extremely rare. However, opportunistic misdemeanours, such as bag snatching and petty theft, do sometimes occur and travellers are advised to take the usual precautions with regard to their personal possessions when exploring outside of the resort. Despite this, the Seychelles is considered safe for all tourists, including honeymooners, families and solo travellers.
Mahé, the Seychelles’ main island, was first discovered by French explorers in 1742. Prior to that, reports of sightings of the islands had been documented by various explorers and merchant ships, but the islands remained a mystery for centuries. Legends and myths abound about pirate activity in the area, with some of history’s most notorious pirates said to have hidden in Mahé’s coves and bays. To this day, many people believe that there is still pirate treasure of considerable worth hidden on the island.
French explorer Captain Lazare Picault was the first to conduct a formal exploration of Mahé and initially landed in the very bay where our hotel is situated. A French settlement soon followed as the Seychelles became an important refreshment station on the trade routes between Africa and the East. In 1756 the Seychelles was claimed by the French – a claim which was to remain contentious between French and British superpowers for over 50 years. In 1811 the British were victorious in their disputes over the Indian Ocean territory, and the Seychelles became an official colony of the Empire.
In 1976 the Seychelles gained independence from the Crown and became a member of the British Commonwealth.
To learn more about the Seychelles’ rich history, visit the Seychelles Natural History Museum in the heart of Victoria.
Vibrant Creole Spirit:
Given the Seychelles’ history, it should come as no surprise that Seychellois culture is a unique blend of English, French, African and Indian influences, strongly flavoured by island life and vibrant Creole spirit. This is evidenced by the nation’s language (Creole, or Seselwa), food, architecture, art and music. Many travellers who visit the islands remark on the friendly and down-to-earth reception they receive from local residents, and enjoy adjusting to a slower, more relaxed pace of island life.
World’s Best Beaches:
The Seychelles is famous for its spectacular and secluded beaches. Even though all beaches in the Seychelles are public, they remain relatively uncrowded and are, for the most part, easily accessible. Read our list of the Seychelles’ best beaches, here, and be sure to remember to pack the correct beach gear. For travellers who are sceptical about a holiday spent entirely at the beach, the Seychelles has a wide range of activities and attractions to entice travellers in search of island-culture and adventure.
The Seychelles has so much more to offer than just beautiful beaches. More than half of the Seychelles archipelago is made up of designated national parks and marine reserves, so you’re never far away from stunning natural landscapes and exotic creatures. The Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Praslin, was once thought of as the original Garden of Eden, while Mahé’s mountainous landscape makes it a great destination for travellers who enjoy hiking and for nature lovers that will appreciate the island’s verdant tropical jungle. The same applies beneath the waves, where divers and snorkellers can still encounter hundreds of species of vibrant tropical fish and can enjoy remarkable sightings of marine megafauna that is critically endangered elsewhere in the world.
The Seychelles’ remote location has made it home to several species of plants, animals and birds that can be found nowhere else in the world. The most famous among these are arguably the coco de mer, with its suggestively shaped nuts, and the Aldabra giant tortoise – a true relic of the dinosaur age. Both can be encountered on Mahé at the National Botanical Gardens in Victoria. Countless other species of endemic Seychelles wildlife exists in this unique and isolated ecosystem, and is sure to be a real drawcard for avid naturalists and nature lovers.
Romance and Relaxation:
While the demographic of travellers to the Seychelles is certainly changing (it is becoming more and more popular with adventure travellers and families), the islands’ strong association with being a honeymoon destination means that the Seychelles are well set up for romantic travel and special celebrations. Many hotel packages, tours and experiences have been created with couples in mind and are perfectly complemented by the islands’ naturally beautiful scenery, slow pace of life and a sense of privacy and seclusion that is hard to find elsewhere in the world.
Now that you know why the Seychelles is the perfect destination for your next island escape, it is time to start planning your trip. Read on for more information about what to do, when to visit and what to pack.
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