by Amy Nielson,
Off the coast of Africa, in the heart of the Indian Ocean, lies an archipelago of 115 islands made up of towering cliffs, white sand beaches, thick rain forests, and amazing coral reefs. These are the Seychelles, an incredible paradise that will impress even the most well-traveled visitor. The Seychelles stands out from many other tropical destinations because it’s equally appealing to tourists who are looking for adventure.
If you prefer to do more with your island holiday than just lie on a beach, this could be the trip for you. The Seychelles is great for sailing, surfing, rock-climbing, scuba diving, and zip lining. You can ride horses on the beach or hike to a hidden waterfall, through a forest inhabited by 300,000 birds. If this sounds like the vacation for you, here’s what you need to know about traveling to this exotic location.
1. How to Plan for a Trip to the Seychelles
The Seychelle Islands have an international airport in Victoria, the capital city, on the island of Mahe. They offer direct flights to and from London, Paris, and Dubai, and they welcome many connecting flights from different points on the African continent every day. There’s no visa requirement for foreign visitors. Those with valid passports are simply issued a visitor’s permit, good for one month with free extensions up to three months. Before your visit, you might want to research your options for accommodations. They can be much more varied in the Seychelles than other island destinations. Only 16 of the islands have hotels, but it’s become more common to find a healthy mix of luxury resorts and villas with more affordable small hotels and guesthouses.
2. Weather in the Seychelles
The best time to visit the Seychelles Islands may completely depend on what you like to do. The Seychelles are warm and tropical all year round, but they’re particularly rainy in December and January. The trade winds shift twice a year, and April and October are the calm months between the shift, when weather conditions are particularly beautiful and there’s no wind. This makes the water incredibly warm and clear – amazing conditions for scuba divers. Between April and October, conditions are also great for bird-watching, hiking, and surfing, while other activities like sailing and snorkeling are great all year round. As you might expect, the off-season can be more affordable, and you’ll still get the full Seychelles experience.
3. Things to Do
Besides the various exciting water and land activities that the Seychelles Islands are perfect for, most visitors spend at least some of their vacation island hopping. The different islands in the Seychelles each have their own character and landscape, and they can be reached by ferry or even by helicopter. From the aptly-named Bird Island, with its 700,000 seabirds, to the coral island of Denis, with its chalets and coconut palms, everywhere you go in Seychelles will show you something new. The Seychelles is also packed with yearly events. Carnivals, parades, and multicultural festivals, as well as international sailing and fishing competitions, draw tourists to the islands every month. It’s worth checking out what’s going on locally while you’re in the country.
4. Seychelles on a Budget
Of course, if you plan to visit the Seychelles, you are planning on a luxury vacation. But there are still plenty of ways to save money. Choosing a smaller hotel or guesthouse will save you on costs, as well as traveling during the rainy season, where the beaches can be pleasantly less crowded. Restaurants in the Seychelles are relatively reasonable if they’re not inside a large hotel or resort. And if you’re up for it, traveling by bicycle can be a good way to save on transportation. Most importantly, the beauty of nature in the Seychelles is absolutely free. Lying on the beach, feeding giant tortoises, and swimming in lagoons are activities free of charge. Most tourists spend the most money by splurging at their resorts or taking those amazing day trips.
The Seychelles is a country of amazing character and diversity, situated on coral and granite islands of breathtaking beauty. For such a small location, it manages to have something for everyone, including travelers that don’t want to empty their bank account on a luxury holiday. Most of all, it’s a place of adventure, where you can experience things you’ve never done before in an island paradise that’s truly one of a kind.
Amy Nielson is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.