Tips For Visiting Seychelles Islands Paradise

Living like locals on Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles, for an entire month, I can give you an insight how to travel the Seychelles beyond holiday resorts.

Seychelles in a nutshell. The paradise islands are known for it's luxury holiday resorts speckled on various islands in the Indian Ocean.

Ever thought of visiting a tropical paradise? Well,  we were lucky enough to get a house sitting assignment for a month in the Seychelles.

Visiting Seychelles On A Budget

We have been house sitting for the past four years which has allowed us to be able to visit places which, on our meager budget, would not be otherwise possible. So we jumped at the opportunity when this assignment came up, applied and here we are. (Our Tips how to find house sitting assignments or house swaps you find here),

 

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Mahé, the largest island of the Seychelles

Seychelles, a group of Islands in the Western Indian Ocean comprises of a marine zone of about 1.4 million square km. Divided into two zones, 43 inner islands of coral and granite formations located within 90 km of the main island of Mahé with its capital Victoria.

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Victoria Clocktower, Mahé

Transport between the Seychelles islands

Mahé is the largest of the islands and home to 90,000 people out of a total population of around 100,000. Praslin and La Digue, about an hours ferry ride from Mahé, are home to the other 10,000 or so citizens with a scattering of people inhabiting the smaller Islands.

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View on Eden island, Isle au Cerf and Isle Cachée

The outer islands spread to the southwest and are largely coral which are flat and almost at sea level. It is on these islands that have been developed for tourism with exclusive resorts.

Weather in the Seychelles

Although the weather can vary from island to island and from season to season, generally the hottest and wettest time is between November to April. From May to October it’s a little cooler and not as much rain and humidity. Average temperatures range from 24°C – 31°C in the summer months to slightly lower temperatures in the “winter” months. Average sea temperature around 27°C, so even for those wimps who are afraid to get wet you cant get much better than that.

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Beautiful white beaches

Entry Requirements to the Seychelles

No visa required but a valid passport, return ticket, proof of accommodation and sufficient funds will be checked at port of entry. There are no tropical diseases and no special vaccinations needed. English and French are widely spoken as is Creole (a strange mix of English, French and African languages).

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Anse Boileau

What to take with on your travels to the Seychelles

In the Seychelles English electrical plugs are used, so be sure to bring along adapters. Tap water is to European standard. The currency is Seychelles Rupees and stands at 15 SR to 1 US $ (at time of writing). Light clothing, swimming gear, diving and snorkeling equipment and if you like hiking (70% of Mahé is covered in forest with some wonderful hikes), a pair of sturdy shoes, hat and maybe a light raincoat is all one needs. Sunglasses and lots of sunscreen. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

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Various walks in the tropical forest on Mahé

Tourist and safety concerns on the Seychelles

Although it is safe, petty crime is a problem so don’t leave personal belongings unattended. Make sure to ask for the price before purchasing items or taking taxis, boat rides etc.

Transport on Mahé

Buses cost five rupees and pretty much cover the entire island of Mahé so its easy and cheap to get around. Buses are noisy, can be crowded at times and bus drivers drive like crazy on the narrow roads but not to worry as all other traffic gives way to them.

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Central bus station in Victoria

 

Best places on Mahé, Seychelles

Mahé has approximately 70 white sandy beaches although access to some is difficult, but these prove to be less crowded. Swimming on some beaches can be dangerous, so be sure to check out in advance before diving in.

Mahé covers about 150 square kilometers and most of the population is centered in and around the capital Victoria. Victoria lies on the coast and at the foot of its highest peak ‘Morne Seychelles’ at 905m.

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Bon Vallon Beach

A bustling little town with too many cars and a little chaotic, but nevertheless interesting enough to walk around. From here ferries and various boat tours, helicopter flights can be had.

Seychelles are expensive

A warning: Seychelles are expensive, for example a one hour ferry ride to the island of Praslin will set you back 150 US$. A half days snorkeling trip (with lunch) about 100 US$. Car hire about 50 US$ a day.

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Stunning beach only accessible by boat or 1 1/2h walk

Food in the supermarkets, ridiculously expensive, best to go to the market in Victoria where fish, fruit and vegetables can be purchased at a reasonable price. Don’t even think of buying meat as everything has to be imported.

Chicken from Brazil, lettuce from Spain and so on. Beer on the other hand will set you back at 5 US$ a pop at a bar. Surprisingly for a population of around 100,000 Seychellians, who consume no less than 30 millions bottles of the local beer Seybrew annually. Now, that’s a lot of beer!

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Food for 65 US$

Environmental concerns on Seychelles

Unfortunately due to the effects of rising sea temperatures (the effects of El Niño a couple of years ago and global warming), most of the coral has been decimated around Mahé. Although there is an abundance of fish, it’s a sad sight when snorkeling to see so little coral is left and estimated to take up to 50 years to recover fully. But with warm, crystal clear waters it is still a pleasure to swim, snorkel or dive around Mahé and its surrounding islands.

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Author: George Mostert

Since 2013 I travel together with Marcelle around the world. Finding hidden treasures at the unbeaten trails is where we aim for. We are still discovering best ways to travel cheaply to be able to live our dream. It’s working out quite well up to now. We share our experiences as house sitters and travelers on our websites and hope for a lively exchange with other travelers.

32 thoughts on “Tips For Visiting Seychelles Islands Paradise”

  1. Seychelles is so beautiful and your pictures do full justice to its beauty:) glad to see you have documented every detail so well, including the unsafe beaches and the pricey bit! 🙂 those blue waters look so so tempting!!! Wish something is done for the corals soon!

    1. Locally there are initiatives to re-grow coral at a small scale. Unfortunately coral bleaching is a global problem, because of warmer temperatures of the sea (global warming).

  2. The Seychelles sound amazing. Your pictures made us dream. We found your article full of useful informations! Sounds like it is expensive though but the landscape looks so good! It’s a shame that the coral isn’t in a good state though.
    Keep up the good work.
    Patrick and Cécile

    1. Hi Patrick and Cécile, it is not difficult to take awesome pictures on the Seychelles. Snorkeling was great too, as the fish variety is amazing. The Seychelles authorities and environmental NGO’s work hard on projects to protect the islands. The coral bleaching is a world wide phenomenon which is very well visible in the Seychelles. The coral can recover but it takes 15 to 20 years. Hopefully people take action worldwide to stop global warming.

    1. Paradise it certainly is, the only drawback is its expensive. Check out for self catering and eat at local take aways which will help to keep costs down

  3. I’d love to house sit in the Seychelles, it really seems to be the perfect way to get to know the Islands. Victoria on the island of Mahé looks like the perfect base, I’d love to do something like this one day.

    1. We certainly lucked out with our houesit here withonly one cat to care for allows us time to visit the surrounding Islands

  4. I envy you living like locals on Mahé in the Seychelles. For a month no less! Sounds like paradise except for some of those prices. Since you have been house-sitting here and there for 4 years, I’m surprised you aren’t doing a blog just on that.

    1. We stay at Le Niol in a pretty roundhouse at the edge of the Morne Seychelles National Park overlooking Beau Vallon. We have been on La Digue and will go to Praslin next week. Where did you stay?

        1. Port Launay is very beautiful, too. I’m sure you had a great time there! We also would have liked more days on Praslin and La Digue. I think most people hop over from Mahé just for a few days.

  5. The Seychelles looks absolutely beautiful, but it’s such a terrible shame that the corals are in such bad shape. And, I assume, bad for their tourism industry too.

  6. The Seychelles look like a place I would love to visit. So sad to hear about the destruction of the coral due to global warming and storms. Sounds very expensive. Great photos! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel

    1. It’s a real shame about the coral but on the positive side the Seychelles are putting in a lot of effort to rehabilitate and restoring the coral, but as we know it does take a long time

  7. If I have a choice I prefer Seychelles than Maldives. I think they have better beaches and is just more interesting. I would love to visit that part of the world. I think that sometimes it’s important to relax at the beach than just visiting big cities 🙂 Thank you for all your tips.

    best,
    Kasia

    1. Every place has its own beauty and for a place where one can visit a different beach every day the Seychelles is a good place to start.

  8. Both the Seychelles and Mauritius are places I’d love to explore. Reading through, a lot of this reminded me of Belize, except the food situation. Very informative, thanks for sharing.

    1. Definitely worth a visit and typical of Island life everything is done at a slow pace

  9. Seychelles is definitely on my bucket list! I need more post like this one on how to visit them on a budget! Great pictures by the way!

  10. Wow, enjoyed reading this as I would love to visit the Seychelles one day! It really does look like paradise, good read you don’t need jabs etc, but shame it all sounds very expensive, the way you’ve done it is genius. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Here is an example. We ate at a restaurant, basic meal no trimmings and cost 55euros. We then had a meal at a local take away and cost less than 10 euros. Not quite the same food but you cant beat the price. So basicallythe rule would, eat where the locals do and shop at the markets or street vendors

    2. The good thing about the Seychelles is that there are lots of self carering run by the locals and not just high end hotels.

What do you think? Your comment is most appreciated.