Island getaways are one of my favorites because it means some serious down time. You can sit back in a picturesque place with a good book, swim in warm tropical waters and take long evening walks all by yourself. Somewhere in the western Indian Ocean, south of the equator you will find the Seychelles island cluster. Filled with emerald green rain forests, crystal clear turquoise waters, beautiful granite rock formations and coral reefs, the Seychelles offers a myriad of things to do. If you’re planning a vacation here and have read my quick guide to the Seychelles but are still unsure of what you can do within these islands, here are 25 must do things when visiting the Seychelles.
- CYCLE AROUND AN ISLAND
If you enjoy exploring by yourself, then rent a bike and cycle around the island you’re on. You’ll find many places around to rent a bike for a small price of just 10 euros (150 ZAR). La Digue and Praslin are great islands to explore by bike. If you’re a beginner, then La Digue is a great way to start cycling as there are fewer hills and vehicles on these roads. Bear in mind that there are no cycling lanes so you will need to be mindful of your surroundings.
- SEE THE COCO DE MER PALM TREES
The rare Coco De Mer palm tree is one of the most iconic symbols of The Seychelles. They even stamp your passport with a stamp of the nut upon arrival at border control. The CoCo Der Mer palm trees only grows on Praslin Island and were once believed to have sprouted from the ocean floor. The fruit of the trees form worlds heaviest nuts with some weighing up to 30 kg.
- GO HIKING
The Seychelles has a great deal of untouched flora and fauna making hikes a wonderful jungle-like experience. The Morne Blanc hiking trail is one of the most famous trails among visitors as it allows you to get the best view of the island you’re on as well as some of the surrounding islands. On this trail you’ll also find tea bushes, ferns and one of the world’s smallest frogs, Sooglossus gardineri.
- RENT A CAR AND EXPLORE
If you can’t stand the heat (and it can get pretty hot) then rent a car for just 40 Euro (ZAR600), drive around the island and see what you find. Remember Seychellois locals drive on the left!
- GO SHOPPING AT MARKET STREET, VICTORIA
Spend a day at Market Street on Mahe Island and do some shopping. Here you’ll find almost anything from bohemian style dresses to sarongs to spices and fresh fruits.
- VISIT A TEA FACTORY
If you’re a tea lover then stop by the famous tea factory on Mahe. They offer tours around their plantation and teach guests about the tea making process. Here you can also enjoy a cup of freshly brewed, highly reputed local Seyte tea.
- SPEND A DAY SNORKELING
Snorkeling is possibly one of the best things you can do when on an island with waters as clear as The Seychelles. With over 115 islands, you will find snorkel spots almost everywhere. The best snorkeling beaches include Curieuse Island, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island, Coco Island and Vista Bay Rocks on Mahe.
- FIND LITTLE BIG BEN
Situated on the main crossroad in the middle of town on Mahe Island is a Little Big Ben statue. It won’t take a lot of time to find but it is a beautiful replica of Big Ben.
- SEARCH FOR PIRATES TREASURE
There is an old legend in the Seychelles that says pirates used the islands a hideout for their treasure. It is believed that one pirate hid a treasure worth 100 000 euros and to this day, it still has not been found. Perhaps a day of living a rustic life like Sam and Jared from In to the Blue (2005) should be on the cards.
- CATCH YOUR DINNER
One of the great things about the Seychelles is that you book a fishing tour, spend an entire day out on the water, catch some fish and bring it home to cook for your dinner.
- MASSAGES ON THE BEACH
Have sunrise massages on the beach. Just because you can.
- SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS AND MANTA RAYS
Alphonse Island is the perfect place to swim with bottle nosed dolphins and manta rays in their natural environment.
- TAKE A CREOLE COOKING CLASS
Learn to make some delicious local food with a cooking class. Many hotels offer creole cooking classes with their top chefs.
- EXPLORE EDEN ISLAND
Eden Island is a man-made marina filled with holiday homes of the rich and famous. Spend some time shopping inside the high end mall within the marina or have a cocktail alongside the luxury yachts.
Further Reading: Exploring Eden Island
- LOOK OUT FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES
There is plenty of wildlife to be seen across the archipelago. Book a bird watching tour or go on a hike to scout out some of the well-known endangered species. Keep an eye out for the Seychelles paradise – flycatcher, the black parrot and the Seychelles magpie robin.
- FIND THE GRANITE ROCKS
The Seychelles is one of the oldest Indian Ocean island clusters. What makes these islands unique is their geology. The islands themselves are not volcanic but composed primarily of massive granite fragments. Everywhere you go, you will see giant granite boulders reaching upwards toward the sky. On the beach, within the forests and even scattered through the various cities. Try and spot them as you go along.
- VISIT THE ARULMIGU NAVASAKTI VINAYAGAR TEMPLE
This is a Hindu temple in Victoria, Mahe that is open not just for Hindu devotees but the entire public as well. Be mindful of religious rules and dress codes when entering the temple. You should never enter with shoes and women should not wear shorts or pants when entering.
- VISIT ONE OF THE WORLDS SMALLEST CAPITAL CITIES
Victoria on Mahe Island is one of the world’s smallest capitals. Spend a few hours here exploring the city center and taking in the sights of the creole-style houses.
- THE NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve forms a 48 acre wide UNESCO World Heritage site in the Seychelles. Here you will find around 6 000 Coco De Mer palm trees and an abundance of endangered flora and fauna.
- ROCK CLIMB THE GRANITE ROCKS
Ephelia Resort provides you with the unique opportunity to rock climb up some of the granite rocks and then abseil down again. They provide you with full rock climbing gear and have different climbing routes classified according to difficulty.
- ISLAND HOPPING
Rent a catamaran or luxury yacht and spend a day on the water. Island hop, snorkel through marine spots and watch the sun set on the horizon.
- TRY SOME LOCAL DELICACIES
Seychellois cuisine is a fusion of African, Chinese, European and Indian flavors. Being an island cluster, seafood is always on the menu. If you’re feeling a little adventurous then why not try the famous shark chutney or octopus and bat curry.
- WATER SPORTS AROUND THE ISLANDS
Many hotels offer a range of water sporting activities from paddle boarding, kayaking, wind surfing and boating. Spend a day on the water and go crazy.
The Seychelles are said to form one of the top 10 diving locations in the world. With over 70 dive sites that are accessible year round, this is a perfect opportunity to become at one with ocean.
Further Reading: 14 Best dive spots in The Seychelles
- DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
Lay back, grab a good book, order a cocktail and lounge on one of the giant hammocks. This is the perfect time to get some serious rest and relaxation.