Seychelles is an island country made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean on the eastern edge of the Somali Sea. The capital and largest city, Victoria, is 1,500 kilometers (800 nautical miles) east of mainland Africa.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Medium Group
Nearby island nations and territories include Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and the French overseas regions of Mayotte and Réunion to the south; and the Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago (administered by the United Kingdom as British Indian Ocean Territory) to the east. It is the least populated African sovereign country with an estimated 2020 population of 98,462.
Today, Seychelles has the highest nominal GDP per capita of any African nation. It has the second-highest Human Development Index of any African country after Mauritius. It is one of only two African countries classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (the other being Mauritius).
Seychelles culture and society are an eclectic mix of French, British and African influences with more recent influences of Chinese and Indian elements. The country is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the Commonwealth of Nations.
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Arrival at Location
Start and end on the island of Mahé! With Island Hopping Seychelles Island Hopping Tour you have a 6 days tour package that takes you around Mahé Island, Seychelles, and 2 other destinations in Seychelles. Seychelles island-hopping includes hotel accommodations plus an expert guide, meals, transport, and more.
Relax on the beautiful islands of Seychelles. Explore the palm-fringed beaches of Praslin, hike the forest trails of Mahe, and cycle around the island paradise of La Digue. Get off the beaten path at this iconic destination and discover a different side to these tropical islands.
Mahe Island – Explore the island’s lush rainforest and granite cliffs
Praslin Island – Hike through the primeval rainforest and take a catamaran cruise to discover exotic marine life
La Digue Island – Discover the tropical charm of this small island on two wheels
Trip to Mahé Island
Arrive on Mahe, the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, and feel its laid-back charm as soon as you step out of the airport. Mahe, home to the Seychelles’ capital, Victoria, is the most developed island and the most populous, yet it’s only a short journey in any direction to find a peaceful and beautiful spot on the Indian Ocean. For those who arrive on time today, our guide plans to meet you at 18:00 for the welcome meeting at the hotel reception and to take us to the nearby night market which is a short walk along the beach. Visiting the night market is a great opportunity to sample popular Creole street food and browse the handicraft stalls. Choose from delicious seafood barbecues and coconut curries to share with fellow travelers and locals by the sea. If you want a free airport transfer today, you need to arrive at Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), which is about a 30-minute drive from the airport, depending on traffic. Please note that if you want to visit the night market today, you must arrive at the hotel by 18:00. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend allowing at least 1 hour to get out of the airport. It takes about 30 minutes by car from the airport to the hotel, so your flight may arrive at 4:30 p.m. at the latest. If you miss the welcome meeting, your leader will provide you with all the important information once you catch up.
Excursion to Victoria and the Botanical Gardens
Although more of a capital city than a capital city, Victoria is definitely worth a visit. Avenida Independência, the modern business district, is as charming and full of life as the old colonial quarter. The heart of the city is centered around the Cathedral and the famous Clock Tower, which is a perfect (smaller) replica of London’s Big Ben. We visit the market with its abundance of colorful fruit, vegetables, and fresh fish before heading to the tranquil Botanical Gardens. Here we see the famous coconut, giant tortoises, and a collection of rare exotic plants. Colonies of fruit bats regularly nest and fly above the huge palm trees. We return to our hotel around midday and the afternoon is free to enjoy the facilities and simply relax. The beaches in Seychelles are incredibly clean and litter-free, they’re all open to the public too, so there are no closed beaches – you can put your towel wherever you like.
Full Day Tour of Mahe Island
Mahe is the Seychelle’s largest island and the political and economic center. Some 27km long and 8km wide, it has beautiful beaches with powder white sand, graceful palms, and clear turquoise waters. The incredible diversity of the islands’ scenery and vegetation is due in part to its mountainous interior which reaches a height of 905m. Roads on Mahe are well maintained and provide good access to the many hidden coves and villages. Today we take a trip that takes in all of the island’s highlights. Traveling by bus and on foot we follow the short Glacis Trois Freres Trail, passing through lush rainforest and a tea plantation, ending at the factory where you may take a short guided tour or simply sit with a brew and take in the magnificent Indian Ocean views. We will also visit the Mission, a place of historic importance after the slave trade. Arriving at Baie Ternay Beach around lunch time there will be opportunities for swimming and snorkeling before taking a stunning coastal drive right around the southern peninsula, stopping to take photographs and admiring the incredible scenery and vivid island colors.
Optional boat trip to the St. Anne Marine National Park
An optional full-day boat trip is available today for those who want to take to the water and explore other islands and the wonderful marine life. The boat is glass-bottomed and sails from Victoria to the St Anne Marine National Park, a cluster of islands off the northeast coast. The calm crystal waters are perfect for snorkeling and sightings of turtles are very common. We land on one of the protected reserves and say hello to the giant tortoises who reside here. We enjoy a barbecue lunch before taking to the waters once more, swimming as we anchor alongside a beautiful beach. For those who do not participate in this activity, our hotel has a lovely pool and access straight to the beach. On many of the Seychelles beaches it is possible to wade out and snorkel straight from the shoreline, this in part is due to the enormous granite boulders which dramatically rise out of the sea and appear to bookmark the ends of each beach. These imposing rocks shelter the waters and are what differentiate the Seychelles beaches from those found elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Catamaran to Praslin Island. Visit Vallee de Mai National Park
This morning we leave Mahe and take the one-hour crossing to Baie Saint Anne, Praslin, the second-largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. Keep a look out for dolphins on the journey as they are regularly spotted in these waters. Praslin is home to one of the Seychelles World Heritage Sites – the Vallee de Mai. It is a primeval rainforest containing the famous coco de Mer palms that have the largest and heaviest coconuts in the world. Vanilla orchids, a variety of lizards, frogs, and some of Earth’s rarest birds also reside here. The walk follows a designated pathway and is shaded almost throughout as the trees provide an enormous rainforest canopy offering welcome relief from the hot sun. Our entrance ticket is valid all day so we can spend as long as we wish here before taking the simple downhill walk back to our hotel. This evening there are several restaurants close by to try out, plus there are also takeaway options. Whilst seafood and aromatic curries may dominate the menus in this part of the world, there is plenty of choice with pizzerias and Italian restaurants popular too.
Return to Mahe where the trip ends
This morning after breakfast we take a ferry from La Digue to Mahe. We take the early ferry from La Digue to Mahe, via Praslin, however, the ferries are subject to delay. Therefore, the official end of the trip is 11.30 am in Mahe. If you’re arranging your own international flights your trip officially ends on arrival at the port of Mahe. To receive a complimentary transfer to the airport you must depart from Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), and the earliest your flight can depart is 3 pm, allowing travel time from the port to the airport and the recommended three-hour check-in.