White dream beaches with granite rocks, palm trees and a turquoise sea – these are the images that one inevitably has in mind when thinking of the Seychelles. They are also true, but the islands in the Indian Ocean have much more to offer than this postcard idyll. High mountains with impressive hiking trails, for example, the oldest giant tortoise in the world and a prehistoric jungle with unique plants and animals. Why else it is worth visiting the Seychelles, we will tell you here.
With the first misconception, which is probably attached by some people, the landing approach to the Seychelles clears up: The islands are not all flat like the Maldives, which are also located in the Indian Ocean, but have some quite remarkable mountains. The Morne Seychellois, the highest mountain of the archipelago, even reaches up to almost 1000 metres and impresses with wild nature and spectacular rock faces.
And also otherwise the Seychelles surprise in several respects. We have had a look around and found nine good reasons why the islands should be at the top of the holiday bucket list – and not only among honeymooners and luxury travellers:
The best travel time for the Seychelles? Always!
You can travel to Seychelles all year round. Due to the proximity to the equator, the climate is always tropical and mild, temperatures during the day are almost constant at around 30 degrees, at night they rarely fall below 25 degrees. Between December and February most precipitation falls, whereby it is mostly only short violent rains that pass quickly. The months of November to March are good for diving and snorkelling, as the wind is weak and visibility underwater is particularly good. Sailing, surfing and/or hiking in the Seychelles is better between May and October, when a pleasant wind blows and it is drier overall.
The Seychelles can also be cheap
Anyone who thinks there are only luxury hotels in the Seychelles is wrong. Although you can stay in a number of exquisite hostels here, which will continue to be interesting for honeymooners, it’s also much cheaper. On almost every island there are so-called guesthouses, which are mostly run by locals. These are sometimes built like a hotel, sometimes you live in your own small villas, and the beach is either right in front of the door or never far away. The prices start from 55 Euro per night.
Almost without jetlag to paradise
The Seychelles are located in the Indian Ocean, approximately between Madagascar and the Maldives. There are direct flights to the Seychelles from Frankfurt/Main with Condor, the flight takes about 10 hours. And with only one hour (two hours in European summer time) time difference, you don’t even have to fight jet lag.
Every Seychelles island is different
Mahé, the main island, on which one also lands, is mountainous. Most of the 80.000 inhabitants live here, there are many hotels of all categories, restaurants, bars and shopping facilities. And many cars.
The main means of transport there is the bicycle, and you can only reach it by ferry. It is considered by many as the most beautiful island for a holiday, also because one can explore it comfortably by bike and thus also reach hidden bays. Many accommodations on La Digue offer bicycle rental.
At Praslin, the arrival is already an experience: several times a day, a propeller plane flies from Mahé to the second largest inhabited island of Seychelles, the flight lasts approximately 20 minutes, that allows fantastic views and is less wobbly than some surely fear.
On Praslin itself, in addition to long sandy beaches and small bays, there is a unique attraction to marvel at: the Vallée de Mai National Park, a densely overgrown valley with remains of a prehistoric forest. In the Unesco World Heritage-listed valley, visitors can also admire a large number of the Seychelles’ landmark: the Coco de Mer, the largest nut in the world.
Silhouette offers almost untouched nature with only a guesthouse and a Hilton resort. If you are planning a day trip, you should contact the hotel in advance and ask if you can book places on the hotel’s own ferry. It is worth it: Silhouette does not only have a long dream beach, but also spectacular hiking trails along the coast, on which one can recognize the volcanic origin of the island well. There is also a breeding station for Seychelles giant turtles, which were considered extinct until the early 1990s. There are currently two kittens in the breeding station, a total of 150 in the meantime.
The probably oldest giant tortoise in the world can be admired on the tiny island of Bird Island. “Esmeralda” was supposedly born as early as 1771 and would thus be over 240 years old. Otherwise, Bird Island is, as the name suggests, a nesting place for thousands of seabirds, including the rare Fairy Tern.
Of course, there is much more than the islands mentioned, 115 in total. But many of them are difficult to reach, are privately owned, or there are only a few luxury hotels on them. Those who want to see more of the island world of the Seychelles should book a boat tour. This is worth it anyway in order to reach the most beautiful diving and snorkeling spots.
You have lots of beaches to yourself
All islands have fantastic beaches, with Anse Source D’Argent beach on La Digue with its granite rocks being considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and Anse Lazio on Praslin also regularly appears in best-of rankings. Experience has shown, however: What is already too well known is often quite overcrowded. In the Seychelles, there are countless dream beaches, less known or not known at all, that one often has all to oneself. Or they are so wide that the distance to the neighbour is always big enough.
Environmental protection is written in capital letters
The Seychelles government is committed to environmental protection, as are numerous independent organizations. Hotels and other accommodation must meet certain environmental standards, such as electricity and water supply, restaurants must serve only local fish and fruit, and import as little as possible. Almost 60 percent of the Seychelles are protected, plants and animals that only exist in the Seychelles are strictly protected. And even if the tourism ministry wants to attract more tourists to the country – the islands should not become a destination for mass tourism under any circumstances, strict building regulations will ensure that they do not become too narrow or too high. Those who travel to the Seychelles can do so with a clear conscience, apart from aircraft kerosene.
The friendly people
The paradisiacal environment seems to provide a general satisfaction, because you often see smiling people in the Seychelles. As a holidaymaker you will be welcomed everywhere friendly, the people are very helpful. A particularly beautiful sight: On Sunday afternoons, the beaches are full of local families who barbecue, play and enjoy being together until sunset.
Today’s Seychellois, as the locals are called, are mainly descendants of the former French settlers and their African slave labourers. The language, the Seychelles Creole, is a funny sounding language mix, but also English and the classical French are official languages, so that one can communicate well as a visitor. By the way, another surprising fact: in the Seychelles there is left-hand traffic. The reason: after the colonization by the French, the islands were British crown colonies for a long time.
The local cuisine
Freshly caught fish and seafood are on the menu of almost every restaurant and the preparation is delicious. You should definitely try a fish curry. Especially recommended: the variant with octopus and vegetables. Also the starter salad with smoked marlin and fresh mango should inspire fish fans. And don’t worry: Those who don’t like fish or vegetarian food will also find what they are looking for.
It is safe
There is hardly any crime in the Seychelles, and the Seychelles have also been spared terrorist attacks so far. There are mosquitoes, but none that transmit tropical diseases such as malaria. Poisonous snakes and other dangerous animals are also not to be feared on the islands. However, the Federal Foreign Office warns against going too far out to sea, as “there is a risk of pirate attacks and capitations”. Shark attacks are rare, but the Federal Foreign Office still advises you to check out the current situation at the hotel. It is best to stay close to the coast in shallower water, then the risk of encountering a shark or getting caught in currents is low.