With its white sand, boulder-strewn beaches, impossibly clear waters, and jungle-draped interiors, the Seychelles have an almost mythical beauty.

Made up of 115 islands strewn across the glittering Indian Ocean like pearls, the Seychelles islands combine an otherworldly beach experience with warm Creole culture and spectacular endemic wildlife and biodiversity. The fact that they’re so remote and exclusive only adds to their mystique. There are so many islands to explore, and this Seychelles Travel Guide is here, alongside our destination specialists, to help you navigate.

Split your days between tropical beaches and life-changing experiences. Disappear beneath the waves, searching for tropical fish, whale shark, and sea turtle. Hike through pristine jungle and protected nature reserves. Unwind in world-class spas or spend hours gazing out at never-ending sea views. The ultimate in tranquil relaxation, there’s a reason the locals call it “paradise”—find out for yourself on an unforgettable journey with this Seychelles travel guide.

Which island should I stay on?

Where you stay in the Seychelles depends on what sort of experience you’re looking for and how much time you have. The archipelago is split up into two groups, the Inner Islands and the Outer Islands. The larger islands, such as Mahe and Praslin (Inner Islands) are the easiest to get to, and they offer a wide range of activities. Naturally, the Outer Islands require more travel, but their remoteness adds another layer of exclusivity.


After learning how to choose the best Seychelles island, a hiker enjoys panoramic views in Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahe.

A hiker enjoys panoramic views in Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahe.

On Mahe, a cascade of dense green tumbles towards a thousand shades of blue. The largest island of the Seychelles, Mahe offers a mix of beautiful beaches, rainforest hikes, and local culture. So varied are Mahe’s delights that many travelers opt to venture no further, which means less travel time and more adventure. A large chunk of the island comprises the protected Morne Seychellois National Park, a green oasis traced with 15 km of hiking trails and home to Morne Seychellois, the highest point in the Seychelles. Beau Vallon, a mile-wide curve of pale sand, is the island’s pin-up beach, but there are plenty more to discover dotted around the coast. Spend an afternoon at Victoria Market, bantering with fruit vendors and shopping for souvenirs.

Where to stay on Mahe: Four Season Seychelles, Anantara Maia, and Mango House


Granite boulders and clear waters at Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, a top destination in our Seychelles travel guide.

Granite boulders and clear waters at Anse Lazio beach on Praslin.

A twenty-minute flight or hour boat journey from Mahe, Praslin ups the Seychellois drama a notch. The beaches here are sublime, particularly Anse Lazio, famed for its enormous granite boulders, and Anse Georgette, a secluded little bay backed by rainforest. The island’s interior is an explosion of life, with dense palm forests blanketing undulating mountain peaks. Visit UNESCO-listed Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, one of only two UNESCO sites in the Seychelles, to see the coco de mer palm—towering trees that grow the world’s largest seed and a chance to spot the rare Seychelles black parrot. If you’re interested in island-hopping but short on time, take a day trip from Praslin to nearby La Digue. Ferries are regular and take just twenty minutes.

Where to stay on Praslin: Raffles and Constance Lemuria

La Digue

Visitor cycling past verdant palms on La Digue, a serene highlight in our Seychelles island travel guide, perfect for secluded beach adventures.

Visitor cycling past verdant palms on La Digue, a serene highlight perfect for secluded beach adventures.

La Digue has a much more laid-back, local flavor. Mostly car-free, the best way to get around is by bicycle. Spend the day cycling between secluded beaches in search of world-class snorkeling spots. Almost every beach on La Digue is a show stopper, but Anse Cocos, Anse Source d´Argent, and Grand Anse deserve special mention. Each one has pure white sand and blissfully clear water. There’s much less development here than on other islands, which gives it a relaxed feel. We recommend visiting as a day trip from nearby Praslin.

The private islands of the Seychelles

Luxury resort on Denis Island featured in our guide as a tranquil Seychelles beach getaway with unparalleled privacy and natural beauty.

Besides the three main islands, you can stay on a handful of exclusive private islands. Each one comprises luxury accommodation and a transfer, either by plane, helicopter, or boat. Prices tend to be higher, but so is the level of experience. Here are some of our favorites:

Denis Island:  For a true escape, Denis Island is tough to beat. There’s no WiFi in the rooms and no cellphone signal anywhere on the island, leaving you to enjoy 375 acres of pure paradise with zero distractions. Denis’ proximity to a continental ocean drop-off makes for world-class sport fishing and diving. The transfer from Mahe takes around thirty minutes by plane.

North Island: This rugged little outpost has just 11 villas spaced out to ensure total privacy. The island’s remote location makes for exemplary diving, with the team of resident environmentalists working to establish a marine reserve in the surrounding waters. Other conservation efforts in the North Island include sea turtles, giant tortoises, and magpie robins.

Desroches: drifting in the Seychelles outer islands, Desroches is a coralline island (as opposed to granite, which gives many of the other islands, such as Praslin and La Digue, their unique boulders) with endless white beaches and a Four Seasons property made up of private villas and suites. The flight from Mahe takes around 40 minutes.

Private beach resort on Fregate Island, offering exclusive fishing and spa experiences, a prime Seychelles beach resort destination set to welcome guests in 2025.

Relax overlooking the clear blue ocean from your private pool area on Fregate Island—considered by many to be the world’s most beautiful private island.

Félicité Island: a satellite of La Digue, you can reach Félicité by boat transfer Praslin. The Six Senses Zil Pasyon is the only resort on the island, made up of 28 one-room villas and a handful of multi-room villas. The island itself sits within a protected national park with impeccable reef snorkeling.

Silhouette Island: Make use of the on-island dive center and explore the Silhouette Marine Park, a ring of pristine reef surrounding Silhouette Island, a UNESCO heritage site. The Hilton here is a mid-range option for the Seychelles, with a mix of garden, jungle, or ocean-view villas.

Fregate Island: World-class fishing, diving, spa treatments, and beaches (one of which you can reserve completely to yourself) await on Fregate, the easternmost of the Seychelles granite islands. Currently closed to guests, the island will reopen in 2025.

Idyllic Amirantes beach scene, a hidden gem in our Seychelles travel guide, inviting tranquil exploration and world-class marine adventures.

An idyllic Amirantes beach scene—a hidden gem in our Seychelles travel guide—inviting tranquil exploration and world-class marine adventures.

The Amirantes: An hour’s flight from Mahe, the Amirantes (Alphonse, Cosmoledo, and Astove) are bastions of untouched biodiversity and idyllic beauty. With an unspoiled marine ecosystem to discover, the diving, snorkeling, and fishing here are among the best in the world. Alphonse has the largest resort feel, with a mix of accommodation types, three bars, a spa, a dive center, and a fishing center. On Cosmeldo, the eight eco pods offer a down-to-earth luxury with a sustainable focus. There are just six rooms available on Astove, making it one of the most exclusive options in the Indian Ocean.

What’s the best way to visit the Seychelles?

The distance between the U.S. and the Seychelles means that most people add an idyllic beach break onto the end of a safari. It’s a world-class beach option with ultra-high-quality resorts and service that goes above and beyond the other similar options in the region. From Africa, the fastest direct flights are from Nairobi (three hours) and Johannesburg (five hours), which opens up East (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) and Southern Africa for a safari.

All flights land in Mahe, the main island. From here, you can either choose to stay on Mahe or take another flight or a ferry to one of the other islands. Because the Seychelles is so remote, it has an exclusive feeling that’s difficult to rival; to truly make the most of this special place, it’s worth spending at least four days here. We recommend using one island as a base, with potential day trips and excursions added on. If you want to split your stay between multiple islands, you’ll need to spend more days here—something no one ever regrets when it comes to Seychelles.

When is the best time to visit the Seychelles?

Underwater view of a sea turtle in Seychelles, symbolizing the pristine natural beauty awaiting travelers who have just learned the best time to visit Seychelles.

Underwater view of a sea turtle in Seychelles, symbolizing the pristine natural beauty awaiting travelers.

The Seychelles are a year-round beach destination, but some months are slightly better in terms of weather. April, May, October, and November fall over the transitional period between the Northwest (November-March) and Southeast trade winds (April-October), which means the days are warm and sunny, and the water is calmer. The dry weather also means better visibility for snorkeling and diving, which is some of the best in the world. Sea turtles flock to the islands between October and December to nest, while October to November is whale shark season.

Because the archipelago covers such a huge area, weather conditions differ depending on the time of year. We can advise you on the best time to visit each island based on your interests. Generally, from May to September, the southern islands are more affected by rough seas and seaweed; from October to April, the northern side of the islands are more affected.

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