"Warm, crystal waters; abundant marine life; jungled hills that climb back from pretty bays and fine-sand beaches – the island nation of Seychelles truly is a tropical paradise. Life on these islands, which are clustered in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar, is laid back and easy. While holidays here tend to be focussed on the beach and ocean, these islands also offer exceptional birding opportunities and encounters with rare and endemic flora and fauna. ”

- Narina Exelby

The Seychelles

The Seychelles’ islands are quite sublime. Their bays are so wildly pretty you’d almost think they’d been manicured; verdant jungle scrambles down hills and palm trees hang lazily over beaches of fine, almost-white sand. The warm Indian Ocean grades gently from a transparent turquoise into deeper and deeper shades of blue; and boulders trail down through the jungled hills onto the beaches, creating little bays and coves of privacy. These islands truly are paradise.

Seychelles is a collection of 115 granite and coral islands that are situated east of MombasaKenya and north of Madagascar. Mahé, Praslin and La Digue are the three “main” islands that are peppered with hotels and resorts, while other islands such as North, Denis and Bird are privately owned, offering more exclusive holiday experiences.

While many consider Seychelles to be the ultimate year-round beach destination, it is also a nature-lover’s paradise. The islands are sometimes referred to as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean as on many there are unique endemic species such as the Seychelles paradise flycatcher, the Seychelles warbler, Seychelles fruit bat (which has a wingspan of up to one metre) and the coco de mer, a tall palm tree that produces the largest seed in the world. On these isolated islands, which were uninhabited before the 1800s, fauna and flora thrive: there are 220 bird species (including 17 endemic land bird species), 13 species of amphibians and 30 species of reptiles.

Almost 50 percent of Seychelles’ land area is set aside as a national park and many islands fall within protected marine areas, so the snorkelling and diving here is spectacular. Almost every island offers something different: La Digue, which claims to have the most photographed beach in the world, is best explored by bicycle; Silhouette is good for hiking; Curieuse is a breeding island for giant Aldabra tortoises; Cousin is great for birdwatching; Felicite, Coco and Marianne are spectacular snorkelling spots.

The island nation boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the prehistoric Vallee de Mai palm forest on Praslin and the Aldabra Atoll, 1000km southwest of Mahé, which is one of the largest raised coral atolls in the world.

When to go

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As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

La Digue Island

La Digue Island

Little La Digue would certainly top most lists of favourite islands. This Indian Ocean jewel is reached by a 90-minute ferry and the pace of life here is wonderfully slow. It's an island of isolated bays and coves, crystal clear water and forests thick with almond trees, tamarind, and vanilla vines.

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Mahé Island

Mahé Island

Mahé, the largest of Seychelles’ islands, offers hotels spilling out onto beautiful bays. a string of white-sand beaches and the Morne Seychelles National Park, offering hiking trails and viewpoints across the island. Mahé is a superb tropical destination, and a convenient base for island hopping.

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Praslin Island

Praslin Island

Praslin was once the haunt of pirates. Its real treasure these days, however lovely the beaches, is the island’s rich natural habitat. There is also many hotels on Praslin, both budget-friendly and ultra-luxury. Praslin is a fantastic base from which to explore surrounding islands.

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Private Seychelles Islands

Private Seychelles Islands

The Seychelles archipelago is revered for its sublime beaches. Many are privately owned, offering a level of luxury and privacy that is rare elsewhere on the planet. For those looking for peace and solitude in an idyllic tropical setting, Seychelles’ private islands could exceed all expectations.

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