With its golden beaches, warm sunny climate and exotic flora and fauna, the Republic of Seychelles is often seen as the archetypal island paradise destination. The archipelago of 115 islands, the vast majority of which are uninhabited, make a tempting proposition for anyone who loves to explore while on holiday – although the year-round scorching temperatures, clear waters and pristine sands make it just as popular with beach bums.
Most travellers use the central island of Mahé as their base of operations, as this is where the best services can be found: boat hire companies, scuba diving operators and high-end resorts like the Kempinski Seychelles as well as the top bars and nightclubs. Here are just a few of the activities available to travellers:
The best months for diving are April, May, October and November, as this is when the seas are calmest and the visibility is best – although the Seychelles offers good diving conditions all year round. Popular spots include the Cap Ternay Marine National Park, where you can spot beautiful lion fish, whale sharks and even dolphins, and the Brissare Rocks which are also home to many species of fish. There are also a few shipwrecks around the islands – some purpose-sunk, some not – for more advanced divers to explore.
Lush tropical landscapes and an abundance of National Parks make the Seychelles heaven for anyone who loves a good walk. For a long, vigorous day out, the Mare Aux Cochons nature trails on Mahé is a great choice, taking you through an upland valley of freshwater marshes, former plantations and the occasional waterfall. The Glacis Trois Freres is a less demanding trail, but guarantees wonderful views over the capital city of Victoria and the islands beyond. If you want to get away from Mahé, the Glacis Noire trail on Praslin is a great place to spot rare birds, butterflies and plant life.
It’s not all sun, sea, and sand in the Seychelles – there’s also a lively nightlife! While you’re unlikely to get the same kind of all-night parties you might see in Bali or Phuket, you’ll find plenty of bars serving excellent cocktails in Victoria, and a handful of discos like Tequila Boom and Club Lovenut where you can get your shake on ’til the early hours. If the bars aren’t for you, see if you can get involved in a more relaxed local tradition – long evening barbecues, the perfect way to see out a sunset!