Without a doubt, Seychelles ranks as one of the most sought-after vacation options for travellers in 2022 as an eco-destination of Choice
Seychelles’ natural beauty has fascinated travellers for centuries, with its many islands, numerous of which still slumber in their original, pristine state, which offer unique travel options for the eco-savvy traveller and great diversity besides.
Look no further for why Seychelles should be the dream destination in which to commune naturally with nature and have an ultimate reconnection with self in a luxurious sanctuary of solitude. Out of the 115-island archipelago, no two islands are the same. Every island has its own hidden gem, must-see attractions, beautiful beaches and not-to-miss experiences.
The growing number of elegant hotels, comfortable apartments, luxurious resorts and authentic guest-houses can cater to whatever your taste or budget. With modern infrastructure, amenities and great entertainment, whether you are a solo traveller, a couple, or a family, the Seychelles islands welcome and indulge every traveller’s passion.
Seychelles is one of the world’s most stunning travel destinations within reach of more and more holidaymakers. It is not easy to single out the best, as signature properties of new and refurbished, self-catering, Creole guest-houses are joining the ranks of existing five-star hotels and exclusive, charming retreats to offer memorable stays among welcoming local people and stunning natural surroundings. The rapidly changing face of Seychelles’ accommodation scene has something for everyone and every budget.
Natural crafts and local artists
The most valuable thing Seychelles has to offer is its culture, the jewel in its crown, which is a major attraction most people worldwide undeniably want to experience. Visitors travelling to the Seychelles travel to experience the places, artefacts and activities that truly represent the stories and people of the past and present.
Its heritage is very much coloured by the languages, customs and practices enriched from many continents; Seychelles has always been referred to as a melting pot of cultures that have not only brought with them their own customs and values but also their faiths and beliefs.
Being of mixed ethnicities from all over the world, from its national heritage monuments, bustling markets, colonial-style mansions, museums and natural wonders, to the diversity of its arts and other cultural activities, Seychelles offers an Aladdin’s cave of rich experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Conservation initiatives at reserves, parks and heritage sites
In the Seychelles, tourism and biodiversity are already natural partners, with each one in need of the other. Seychelles’ immaculate environment is the reason it is considered one of the best destinations around the world, which has proudly mandated one-third of its ocean to be a marine protected area.
Today, the islands suitably form a part of the Western Indian Ocean Biodiversity Hotspot.
Seychelles boasts two UNESCO World Heritage sites, one of which is the extraordinary prehistoric valley known as the Vallée de Mai, which cultivates the coconut, the coco-de-mer, the best souvenir of the Seychelles you could possibly take home. With tales told as tall as its endangered palm, the famous coco de mer is truly the pride of Seychelles, with great lengths being taken regarding its conservation from nut poachers. The magnificent Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll with its population of some 150 000 giant land tortoises and many other treasures besides, is UNESCO’S second World Heritage site.
There are many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other conservation bodies registered as associations working very hard in Seychelles’ conservation sectors, helping to integrate sustainability practices to help safeguard the biodiversity and culture of Seychelles, using collaborative approaches between public, private sector, academia and NGOs.
Eco-adventures, walks and trails
Lush, dramatic landscapes, unspoilt nature, powder-soft white sand and crystal-clear turquoise water are what Seychelles is: Wild, rustic and unapologetically raw in its natural charm.
With coastal mangrove forests, splendid parks, nature reserves and a reincarnated Eden that is home to more than 50 endemic plants and trees, including the rare coco-de-mer palm, the Seychelles islands offer so much to explore. The many nature sanctuaries, with their tropical forest surrounds, exhibit the richness and wealth of the islands, which also provide once-in-a-lifetime activities to experience, such as zip-lining.
Seychelles is also proudly host to some of the most amazing nature walks and trails in the Indian Ocean, with some islands walkable in just over an hour – and others in much less time – and where it is easy to discover the exceptional biodiversity, castaway beaches and unspoilt marine national parks.
Hikes remain one of the most fun, spectacular and affordable ways to enjoy Seychelles’ unique environment that is home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, featuring some of the rarest species on the planet.
Not to be missed are the beautifully kept Botanical Gardens, a spot where you could spend a couple of hours exploring endemic plants and trees of the Seychelles, including the coco-de-mer. For a more in-depth discovery of the coco-de-mer and other indigenous palms and plants, you could visit the Vallée de Mia, a great place for cool family walks under almost complete canopy coverage from the sun and rain. The paths are well maintained, making it a rain forest experience even the youngest of family members can enjoy.
When it comes to beaches, every island has its signature shores, ranging from the liveliest to the most secluded, romantic coves protected from prevailing winds. Some stretch long, deserted and bordered with wild coconut trees, while others are picture-perfect, small half-moon strands with massive smooth boulders and navy-blue lagoons.
Particularly, the spectacular famous Beau Vallon beach is home to a number of water sports, which makes for a perfect activity-packed day by the sea; a wonderful way to enjoy the ocean and explore the hidden nooks and crannies of the coastline. Early mornings and evenings are the best times to avoid the heat of the day as many beaches here get natural shade from foliage at this time of the day. The sea is calm most of the year, making it great to swim or splash around in shallow tides. Otherwise more exciting water sports are on offer, as most hotels offer the option to renting out paddle boards, kayaks or canoes. This is a great way to explore and exercise out on the water so, if you have one, take a waterproof camera and your mask and see what marine life you can spot along the way.
In an archipelago of 115 islands, endowed with so many beaches, you will never miss the chance to find your idea of the perfect beach.
Resorts and spas
Even in the Seychelles, you will never be too far from an authentic signature spa treatment, as Seychelles is home to some of the most world-renowned spas and will always remain a destination that creates a special place to relax and rejuvenate mind, body and soul.
Health and wellness centres, spas and retreats continue to spring up all over the islands, making for a remarkable portfolio of local spas, some attached to major resorts and hotels, while others are stand-alones speckled about the islands. The locally-inspired, customised treatments, divine massages and everything in-between are a simple extension of the natural Seychelles ambience, where local, scented herbal oils, scrubs, detox baths, wraps and revitalising wet-treatments are a faithful reflection of the islands’ rejuvenating powers.
Unlike anywhere else in the world, this is the place to be to have the ultimate, genuine spa experience. Wherever you may choose, Nature is never too remote to enjoy, whether atop majestic cliffs or nestled in untouched surrounds far from life’s stresses and strains. In dreamy, mountain-side pavilions overlooking dappled, sapphire seas with the sound of ocean waves lapping or, perhaps, cocooned in a lush forest niche, confidently, leave it all to therapists and their in-depth knowledge and experience of their art, whether traditional or modern.
From infinity pools overlooking the ocean to oceanfront spa sanctuary villas with steam rooms, the Seychelles islands have the spa and wellness seal of approval for all the right reasons.
Island hopping is one of the biggest activities of Seychelles and not many people realise that private boats can be hired to create the perfect getaway experience.
As a haven for world-class activities, Seychelles is exclusively a playground for lovers of the ocean and also a treasure trove for every sailor, diver and fisherman. Sailing within the Inner Islands is fairly safe, making for the best possible way of enjoying the many natural wonders of Seychelles; a memorable yacht cruising vacation. So whether you wish to take the opportunity to rent a yacht on your own or sail your very own boat, taking to the ocean for several days and fishing for your own meals, with or without the option of a guide or crew, is an opportunity that should not be missed. The most beautiful bays, the best diving spots, reefs and other highlights will leave you with plenty of tales to tell, long after leaving this archipelago.
And last but not least, there are precious few places in the world that allow you to play golf in such sublime natural surrounds as in the Seychelles Islands, home to impressive state-of-the art golf courses. Surrounded by stunning mountainside and ocean vistas, golf becomes a near-surreal experience as you perfect your swing into a world of cobalt skies, swaying coconut palms and shimmering sapphire waters.
Do not forget to do what every tourist does, shop! Take an afternoon trip to the craft village, which is a lovely spot to pick up authentic souvenirs as well as get some Seychelles culture and history. The original plantation house, The Grann Kaz, is open to explore and there is also a replica servants’ quarters called Lakaz Rosa. Both of these houses give a fantastic insight into life in Seychelles in times gone by.
The newly-restructured Tourism Department comprises all the agencies of the Seychelles Islands’ tourism industry under one roof. Here you will find those sections responsible for monitoring and regulating Seychelles’ tourism inventory through regular inspection and instruction, while other sections are responsible for monitoring and evaluating Seychelles external tourism markets, producing the arsenal of collateral materials such as brochures, videos, the www.seychelles.com tourism website and various tourism-related apps, while liaising with Seychelles tourism offices abroad and coordinating activities to promote Seychelles profile as an aspirational tourism destination for the discerning traveller in search of other-worldly, authentic experiences.