Africa & Middle East

Our travel crush: The Seychelles

An unspoiled and discreetly luxurious island archipelago 1,600km off the coast of Kenya, the Seychelles is a castaway paradise of mountainous jungle, exotic wildlife, underwater coral gardens and laid-back Creole charm. We’re crushing, big time. Here’s why.

 

The weather

The Seychelles has a year-round tropical climate. Peak season is May-Oct when it is cooler and drier. The rest of the year the northwest monsoon brings hotter and more humid weather, peaking in Jan-Feb.

However, the Seychelles is famous for its sailing and diving, and although the trade and monsoon winds may upset some sunbathers, they can help marine conditions. The Seychelles Sailing Cup is held each January, and divers will find some of the best visibility in November, which conveniently coincides with the annual Underwater Film Festival.

The diving

The Seychelles has some of the world’s most interesting underwater topography with pinnacles, wall dives, drop offs, wrecks and canyons. Plus, a Disney-esq lineup of marine creatures including parrotfish, lionfish, manta rays, reef sharks, green and hawksbill turtles, whale sharks and the occasional hammerhead. You can dive year-round, although Mar-May or Sep-Nov can have calmer waters and increased visibility (up to a staggering 30 metres).

Anse Georgette, Praslin

Sugary white sands, swaying palms and distinctive granite boulders… Anse Georgette is routinely regarded as the Seychelles’ most beautiful beach. And trust us, there’s heavy competition.

Victoria, Mahé

One of the world’s smallest capitals, Victoria has the Seychelles’ only Hindu temple, colourful markets, bags of Creole charm, and bizarrely, a replica of London’s Big Ben.

La Digue coconut plantation

Coconuts make everything better. Hair, water, hipsters… rum. There’s an outdoor museum, plus the estate also guards the entrance to Anse Source D’Argent, another corker of a beach.

Vallée de Mai, Praslin

Walk through primeval forest, thousands of Coco de Mer palms, exotic wildlife and try to spot the rare black parrot. (Actually brown, but no one tells him that).

Curieuse Island

Feed your natural curieusity. North of Praslin, this pint-sized island is a protected marine park. With no hotels or restaurants on the island, it’s only possible to do as a day trip. Follow walking trails through mangrove forests, see giant tortoises and depending on the time of year, hawksbill and baby green turtles.