Heading to Seychelles? Lucky! Let’s start with a little background info and dive into a complete Seychelles itinerary that will cover what to do, where to stay, and which beaches to spend your hours relaxing upon.
The island nation of Seychelles is tiny in land size only – the 115 granite and coral islands that make up the archipelago total only 117 square miles of land, but the African country also controls 3.5 million square miles of ocean. Located 930 miles east of Kenya in the Indian Ocean, the Republic of Seychelles is a beach lovers paradise, with the three major islands of Mahé, Praslin, and Le Digue playing host to several of the world’s most magnificent coasts, including Anse Lazio, named the most beautiful beach in the world on numerous top ten lists year after year.
If you can afford to travel like Brad and Angie or George and Amal then rent one of Seychelles 15 privately owned islands, which you can get to only by helicopter, but for the rest of us, here is a Seychelles itinerary that breaks down how to spend your retreat on the jewel of the vanilla islands.
Read on for your complete Seychelles itinerary…
You’ve probably traveled very far to get here, so let’s start with some chilling out and work our way around Mahe, then on to Praslin and Le Digue.
Check into your hotel on the main island of Mahé. You’ll want to spend 1 or 2 full days on Mahé before heading for total beach relaxation on Praslin or Le Digue. We suggest the Avani for it’s beautiful sunrise views,
the Banyan Tree for it’s peaceful wide beach backed up against a lush jungle,
A Day in Victoria
You’ll start your Seychelles itinerary on the main island of Mahé, the capital of which is Victoria. This is the smallest capital in the world and won’t take much of your time, but is worth an afternoon. You can rent a car, but keep in mind that Seychellois drive on the right side, not easy if you are from the US. So take a taxi to town, then walk about. See Victoria’s mini Big Ben right by the taxi stand,
then visit the colorful Hindu temple,
the Victoria market (pick up some local vanilla, saffron, and other spices to take home as gifts),
and have an authentic creole prix fixe meal in a beautiful colonial home upon a hill at Marie Antoinette.
The Best Meal on Mahé
Here is a dinner worth leaving your resort for. Make your way to Del Place and plan to arrive about 30 minutes before sunset. Order from the French-leaning creole menu and soak in the view, where it feels the water and the sky become one magical painting that changes second by second. Truly a once–in-a-lifetime experience.
Make your way to Cap Lazare for a Seychellois creole feast. This hidden turquoise lagoon on the south of Mahé covers 75 acres with a Creole-style village of palm leaf thatched huts. Arrange your visit when local dancers are present and feel you have been transported through time to the old Seychellois era.
Hire a local guide to take you on a drive around the island. This can take as little as two hours or longer if you want to linger on one of the many beautiful beaches.
Don’t miss the lovely 100-year-old St Francois Catholic Church. 97% of Seychellois are Roman Catholic and this church is lovingly maintained.
You will also see the oldest house on Mahé, home to the Bougainville family of Britain for 160 years. If the residents are home, they will be happy to say hello and treat you to some tales of their history of pig farming on the island.
Which isn’t too far from the University of Seychelles [http://www.unisey.ac.sc], especially known for its medical program.
Stop at one of the many overlooks for a bird’s eye view of Eden Island [http://www.edenisland.sc/Seychelles/], the man-made islands playing host to wealthy vacationers from the eastern hemisphere. It’s quite a site to behold this marvel of engineering from the top of a tiny island hill.
Just a few minutes in either direction, you can pick up some fresh catches to bring back to your hotel’s chef. Ever tried ray?
The Best Sunset on Mahe
Mahé features beaches with many different personalities. One adored by locals is not ideal for swimming, but perfect for sunset viewing. Bring a meal and a blanket and watch the sunset at Grand Polis in Takamaka, just don’t head into the water as the current is too strong.
Next up on your Seychelles itinerary is a trip to the neighboring island of Praslin (pronounced prah-lynn). To get there, head to the Inter Island Quay to grab the Cat Cocos fast catamaran transfer.
Praslin is home to the world-renowned most beautiful beach, Anse Lazio.
Praslin is also home to a population of giant tortoises, visit some of them being cared for at the beach.
While on Praslin, take a morning to hike through the Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to see the Coco-de-Mer, the world’s heaviest nut that grows high up on ancient palms in this medieval forest known to many as the true Garden of Eden. If you are lucky you may see the endangered Black Parrot, which, like the nut, is only found here on Praslin. You’ll notice the shape of this nut is a symbol of Seychelles, as it resembles a curvaceous booty and its likeness is found on the Seychelles Dirham as well as most tourist souvenirs.
For the most luxurious honeymoon, stay for a night or two at Raffles Praslin, high up on the cliffs above the beach. Don’t worry; you will have a private cart to drive you up and down the hill as well as a private pool on your stunning balcony.
Take the cat rose transfer to the tiny, beautiful island of La Digue for the final stop on your Seychelles itinerary. Watch Praslin fade behind you as your ferry approaches La Digue.
La Digue’s stunning beaches are made even more beautiful and unusual by the presence of red granite rock formations jutting out from the sand.
On La Digue you will mostly want to soak up the sunsets
but you can also hire a guide for a tour of this tiny island. You’ll visit L’Union Estate to see a traditional copra mill and kiln, and stroll around the majestic Plantation House, vanilla crops,
and the colorful old cemetery.
On La Digue you will want to spend time at Anse Source d’Argent, one of the most photographed beaches on earth. Have a drink at the quiet restaurant on the sand.
If you are feeling adventurous, take off for a 40 minute walk along the beach from here to Anse Coco beach, which is even more unspoiled due to it’s remote location only accessible to the truly motivated. If you plan to stay a night, the Orangerie is the most luxurious hotel on this tiny island.
When it’s time to go, grab the Cat Cocos fast catamaran back to Mahé and have the most immediate sunset of your life, where it feels the sky is so low that the purple is just sitting on top of your head. A truly magical experience and a perfect goodbye to your African island retreat.
I hope this Seychelles itinerary is helpful for you! Enjoy your journey to paradise.