Only four of the Seychelles’ 115 islands are inhabited, and the bulk of them are so small that you have to zoom in on Google Maps to see them. However, these archipelagos dotting the Indian Ocean are utterly enthralling: hundreds of millions of years of volcanic rock, deep, lush rain forest, jagged cliffs, granitic boulders, and unbelievably exquisite beaches with rolling waves and a salty tang in the air.
The laid-back and ultra-friendly natives, as well as the untamed, jagged coasts, and Seychelles honeymoon resorts will captivate you.
Mahé is the largest (and busiest) island and home to the best beach resorts in Seychelles, and it’s an excellent place to start if you want to visit the other, quieter islands and beaches. Although each island has its own microclimate, there is never a poor time to visit because it stays about to 86 degrees all year.
Rain clouds wrap the summits, producing misty halos; they’ll occasionally descend for a quick rainfall and if you’re lucky, a spectacular lightning display.
Over 90% of the land on the four islands that are inhabited by humans is still reserved for vegetation and wildlife. Crabs the size of your forearm scurry around at night, grey herons fish, rare birds soar through the skies, and friendly Aldabra giant tortoises and hawksbill turtles explore the forests and beaches (seeing these turtles hatch is a once-in-a-lifetime experience).
While the inhabited islands are everything you’d expect from a paradise island and location of the best wedding venues in Seychelles, it’s the country’s strong conservation efforts that are truly fascinating and amazing – the government of Seychelles has chosen to prioritize sustainability and conservation over tourism.
Many resorts in Seychelles bottle their own water, use renewable energy and are dedicated to wildlife conservation throughout the country. In fact, natural conservation covers almost half of the total land area (a world record), so you can be confident that your money is going to a good cause, helping to preserve this really gorgeous paradise.
Authentic Creole Cuisine
Because the Seychelles is a vibrant fusion of different cultures — African, British, French, Indian, and Chinese — the cuisine is a distinct Creole combination with flavors from each location. Naturally, the seafood is as fresh as it gets, and it’s seasoned with spices produced on the island.
A popular local delicacy is salted fish, also known as pwason sale. Locals and tourists alike flock to Marie Antoinette on Mahé, which has been designated as a national monument.
This is as classic as it gets: the restaurant first opened in 1972 and the menu has remained unchanged since then. With some crispy eggplant fritters, order the fish stew or chicken curry. Also on Mahé, La Grande Maison delivers delectable cuisine while surrounded by gorgeous flora, fauna, and live music. Because it is located on a 230-year-old sugar plantation within the Takamaka Rum Distillery, rum is frequently employed in the cuisine: juicy prawns in rum sauce and yellowfin tuna in white rum. Order the fruit bat curry if you want something truly authentic.
The Hills are calling.
The rolling landscapes beckon exploration. There are varying degrees of difficulty depending on where you climb, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas no matter where you go. Set off on an excursion with your hiking boots and plenty of bug spray, catching the early sunrise or seeing the sky turn various colors of pink at sunset.
Silhouette Island is one of the larger islands, with rainforest and animal covering nearly all of it. It boasts five peaks that rise beyond 1,600 feet, but the island also boasts a very modest one-hour climb. Explore the island’s greenery and stand on the Seychelles’ lone volcanic rock with your experienced guide from the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, all while learning about the island’s history.
Both of the paths to hit on Mahé where Story Seychelles Resorts is located are in Victoria, the little city. The Copolia Trail takes around two hours to reach the peak and is moderately difficult. You’ll feel as if you’re on top of the world with this perspective. The Morne Blanc track is more difficult: it starts at a tea mill and climbs to a peak, where you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a breathtaking panoramic view.
Keen on the beach
The Seychelles’ gorgeous beaches are perhaps its most appealing feature, yet every photograph you’ve seen doesn’t do them justice. Anse Source d’Argent, on the island of La Digue, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The imposing boulders, lush palm palms, and sparkling waterways will make you feel like Robinson Crusoe, which is not unexpected given that the 1988 film Crusoe was shot here. If you’re looking for something more active, head to Anse Intendance on Mahé Island, where the water isn’t safe to swim in but the surf is fantastic.
Take a 60-minute seaplane flight from Mahé to Alphonse Island, an isolated refuge in the Outer Islands that is a fishing hotspot for the country. The Alphonse Group atolls are a fly fisherman’s dream come true: 10,000 acres of firm white sand flats make for easy wading and outstanding sight-fishing.
The atolls are home to some of the world’s largest bone fisheries, as well as triggerfish, barracuda, snapper, grouper, permit, parrotfish, eight trevally species (including the enormous trevally), and milkfish. There are eight full-time fly fishing guides on Alphonse Island, each with an unrivaled depth of knowledge.
You can also go game fishing for sailfish, wahoo, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, and dorado, with the chef preparing your catch for dinner if you are successful.
Hopping from one island to the next
Fregate Island has a sterling reputation for a reason: it is credited with saving the Seychelles magpie-robin from extinction and preserving the natural environment for the Aldabra giant tortoises, who number in the thousands on the island. With its 16 homes, the entire island is available for exclusive use; the Banyan Hill Estate is our recommendation.
On a private peninsula, it consists of three one-bedroom homes, each with its own private veranda. The estate’s total square footage is 11,840 square feet, which includes a large, open-plan living area as well as a private infinity pool.
Desroches Island, part of the Outer Islands, is a short seaplane journey from Mahé. Except for the conservation center, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is the only structure on the island, and it is the definition of paradise.
The Seven-bedroom Presidential Villa, which features seven bedrooms distributed across three villas, seven complete bathrooms and separate outdoor showers, a private gym, three swimming pools, and soul-soothing views of the ocean, is offered for full buyouts while the resort is available for full buyouts.
North Island, a private granitic island comprising just under 500 acres, is a 45-minute boat ride or a 20-minute helicopter journey from Mahé. It has the magic formula for the most perfect vacation: a paradisical setting with a passionate conservation ethic, extremely attentive service that never becomes overbearing, gorgeous natural design, plate-licking-good cuisine — so bespoke that your menu literally has your name on it — and complete privacy. Prince William and Kate Middleton chose the island for their honeymoon because it is so private.
There are 11 beautifully fitted suites, all built with locally available natural materials such as thick-log construction, granite walls, palm-leaf thatched roofs, and seashell wind chimes. There’s a large lawn, and you might see a few of the 100 Aldabra giant tortoises who live there meandering over it (feed them apples and plums).
Every villa has a host who will take care of all of your needs (arranging in-villa dining, movie nights with popcorn and macaroons, or whipping up an in-villa breakfast with iced coffee). Whether it’s a fishing expedition to catch a red snapper or a private picnic on the appropriately called Honeymoon Beach, the team goes above and beyond to make sure you have a wonderful stay.