Dream about the Seychelles and you imagine picture perfect beaches. Head to the archipelago in the Indian Ocean and you’ll discover plenty of those, along with a host of other delights.
Here are our 13 ideas for things to do in the Seychelles.
1. Take a hike through the Morne Seychellois National Park
Whichever island you are staying on you will find the verdant interior criss-crossed with trails for walkers where you can trek through stunning Jurassic forests and spot tropical birds and wildlife. One of the most spectacular is through the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. A 45 minute walk will take you to the summit of Morne Blanc with stunning views across the island and the Indian Ocean.
2. Visit a local Seychellois market
Immerse yourself in Seychellois life at one of its vibrant, bustling markets. Visit the famous daily food market in Victoria and see colourful fish of all shapes and sizes, a fragrant array of local herbs and spices, and luscious fresh fruit and vegetables. Experience the laid back local vibe at the beach market at Beau Vallon every Wednesday. Part market, part social gathering you’ll find live bands and dancing along side street food and local craft stalls.
3. Ride a horse down one of the world’s most photographed beaches
Visit the traditional plantation house L’Union Estate on La Digue which doubles as a riding centre and you get the unique opportunity of riding down the stunning beach of Source d’Argent. Ride on powder white sand and splash in perfect clear waters as you pass the stunning granite boulders that are such a feature of this beach.
4. Eat traditional Creole food in a national monument
The restaurant Marie-Antoinette is not only one of the best places to savour traditional Creole food on Mahé, it is also located in a colonial mansion declared a national monument in 2011. The colonial architecture, dating back to the 1800s remains unchanged, but while the building may be colonial the vibe in the restaurant is entirely Creole.
5. Birdwatching on Aride Island
One of the finest tropical island nature reserves in the world, a trip to Aride is like stepping back in time to the Seychelles before human habitation. A mecca for bird watchers, Aride is the breeding place for 18 different species of native birds, including five that are only found in the Seychelles.
6. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai
This stunning palm forest at the heart of Praslin Island survives in its original state from prehistoric times, virtually untouched by human influence. Its most famous palm is the endemic coco-de-mer with its distinctive shaped seeds. Visitors will find easily accessible trails through the forest with guides on hand to help and advise. More on Vallée de Mai.
7. Play golf on the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles
Play golf on the stunning 18-hole golf course at Constance Lémuria with views over three of Praslin’s most beautiful beaches. The terraced landscape of greens spanning the breathtaking scenery of Praslin’s hills and forests make this one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. Celebrate your round with a glass of chilled champagne and views across the island to the beach below.
8. Explore the wildlife of Cousin Island Nature Reserve
Just 2km off the shores of Praslin lies this idyllic island nature reserve. With a rich variety of endemic wildlife and seabirds it is also considered the most important breeding site for the endangered Hawksbill turtle in the Western Indian Ocean. As well as the island itself the reef around it is also protected and boast rich marine life including nurse sharks, lion fish and redbanded grouper. More on Cousin Island Nature Reserve.
9. Visit the beautiful Anse Lazio beach
Regularly featured in lists of the world’s top beaches Anse Lazio on Praslin is a stretch of perfect sugar-white sand shaded by takamaka trees and enclosed at each end by striking granite boulders. Great for swimming and snorkelling.
10. Connect with Creole culture at the Domaine de Val de Près
This pretty recreation of a Creole village on Mahé is set in the grounds of the Gran Kaz Plantation House and provides a fascinating insight into Creole history and culture. Its 12 craft workshops sell traditional arts and crafts while the quirky ‘Maison de Coco’ is a house built entirely of coconut products. More on Domain de Val de Près.
11. Snorkel around Ile Cocos Marine National Park
This collection of 3 small islets off the coast of Praslin may look like classic ‘desert islands’ but in the waters off their shores is some of the best snorkelling in the Seychelles archipelago. A shallow reef, protected from fishing and tourism, has provided a haven for the rare marine life that thrives in these waters. More on Ile Cocos Marine National Park.
12. Breathe in the fragrant air of Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden
Perched above the beautiful beach of Anse Royale on Mahé is this renovated plantation growing spices such as vanilla, citronella, cinnamon and nutmeg. Visitors can buy fresh produce at the plantation shop or eat at the stunning outdoor restaurant with views over the plantation and the beach below. Find out more about Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden.
13. Meet the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island
Meet and feed the giant tortoises who wander free on this island nature reserve (it is estimated there are more than 500), walk through the stunning mangrove forest and keep your eyes open for the hawksbill and green turtles which come here to breed. Visitors to the island are usually greeted off-shore by the hundreds of giant hump-head parrotfish which live in its waters and can grow up to 1.2 meters long. More about Curieuse Island.
Find out more
For more ideas of things to do in the Seychelles visit Virtual Seychelles