This post has been updated with additional information
Next on the list for Best Beach Vacations for Families is Seychelles and if there was ever a heaven on earth, then this 115 island-country is it! A former British colony that has been part of the African Union since 1976 lies east of mainland Africa and enjoys a tropical climate all- year round making it a destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers.
When to go? Good Question
Seychelles’ temperature rarely drops below 24C or rises above 32C with July being the coolest month with an average temperature of 27C. The months of May to October bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas – particularly on south-eastern coasts
If you are looking to go between December and February be prepared to wear a raincoat as the average number of rainy days is 11-18. Having said that, dry spells of two weeks or more are fairly common, so all is not lost!
Even though it rains more than frequently throughout the islands; resulting in high humidity up to 80% percent, the light winds that course among the region tend to keep the climate at a more pleasant level.
The Cost Factor
Seychellois Rupee is sub-divided into 100 cents. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 and 5 Rupee denominations. Notes come in 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupee denominations. Visitors to the islands are now entitled to make payments for services/products in Seychelles rupees.
A daily budget of USD 150, it will cover;
- Double room in a guesthouse: USD 60 = 90
- Takeaway meal or self-catering lunch: USD 5
- Dinner in a mid-range restaurant: USD 20
- Bus ticket on Mah or Praslin: USD 0.50
If your budget is USD150-300, it should cover;
- Double room in a mid-range hotel: USD 150 – 250
- Lunch in a mid-range restaurant: USD 25
- Car hire per day: from USD 40
- Occasional excursions: USD 55 – 100
A budget of USD300 or more will cover;
- Luxury hotel room: USD 350 and above
- Dinner in top-end restaurant: from USd50
- Helicopter transfer: from USD400
Tipping is not generally practiced in Seychelles and is never an obligation. Top-end hotels and restaurants sometimes add a service charge of about 10% to 15% to the bill.
ATMs on Mah, Praslin and La Digue. Credit cards widely accepted.
Lodgings – take your pick!
Seychelles’ accommodation scene is rapidly changing, in which new and renovated establishments are coming online regularly, and providing visitors with wider choice and greater options in their selected accommodation.
16 of Seychelles’ 115 islands currently offer accommodation varying from Budget and Self-catering to Island Resorts and Large Hotels, from Spa Hotels to Small Hotels or Guesthouses offering memorable stays among welcoming Creole people and stunning natural surroundings.
Most tourists tend to stay in Mah, Praslin, La Digue and the capital Victoria, however, if you have slightly older children you may want to consider the other Inner islands of Bird, North, Silhouette, Fregate and Denis Islands. These islands all run as exclusive island retreats and give you that stranded-on-a-deserted-island fantasy.
Click here if you want to look at some options.
Getting Around Seychelles
With relatively short traveling times between the islands and/or places of interest, different modes of transportation and with a regular network of air and sea transportation operating out of the principal island, Mah?, moving around in Seychelles is easy and hassle-free.
There are 4 main forms of transportation within the islands:
- Buses – If you have time you do not really need to rent a car to visit the islands. This is the primary means of public transport throughout the principal islands of Mah and Praslin. There is a flat rate of Rs 5 and 7 respectively. Destinations and routes are usually marked on the front of the buses. You can also pick up photocopied timetables for Rs 5 at the SPTC office.
- Domestic Flights – There are 3 airlines to pick from – Air Seychelles, Zil Air, Islands Development Company (IDC). Note that Mah is the only hub for flights within Seychelles.
- Ferries – Travel by boat is very easy between Mah, Praslin and La Digue with regular and efficient ferry services. In high season it’s advisable to book your ticket at least a day in advance with the ferry company or through a travel agent. Children under 12 pay half price.
- Car Hire – Most of the road network on Mah? and Praslin is sealed and in good shape. On La Digue and all other islands, there aren’t any car-rental companies all tourists get around on foot or by bike. Drivers must be over 23 years old and have held a driving license for at least a year. Most companies accept a national license. You can book through your hotel or guesthouse. Most apartment and guesthouse owners have negotiated discounts with car-rental outlets for their clients. A number of companies also have offices at the airport.
Top Things to do in Seychelles
Seychelles is a very child- and family-friendly place. Most hotels cater to all age groups, offering babysitting services, kids’ clubs and activities especially for teenagers. While children will happily spend all day splashing around in the lagoon, boat trips around the islands should also appeal. Communing with giant tortoises is a sure-fire hit and visiting some of the nature reserves can be fun. Finding special foods and other baby products can be difficult, especially outside Victoria, so you might want to bring your
Specialized Multi Adventure Company (SMAC Adventures) office is based in the Constance Ephelia Resort, Port Launay. Their main attraction is a Zip Line route on Ephelia ‘s Mountain which allows you to glide through the forest canopy and experience the beauty up close. It is open to all ages can participate. Rock Climbing is also offered on site at Constance Ephelia Resort as well as Four Season Resort with all equipment supplied and facility is suitable for ages 4 and up.
No trip to Victoria would be complete without a wander through the covered market. It’s small by African standards, but it’s a bustling, colorful place nonetheless. Alongside fresh fruit and vegetables, stalls sell souvenirs such as local spices and herbs, as well as the usual assortment of pareos (sarongs) and shirts. Early morning is the best time to come, when fishmongers display an astonishing variety of seafood, from parrotfish to barracuda. It’s at its liveliest on Saturday.
The famous Intendance beach in southern Mah? offers half a mile of powder white sand and huge breakers. There is no reef so the waves are much larger than most of the other beaches around the island, making it more suitable for surfing rather than swimming at most times.
This breathtaking beach, which is also a Marine National Park, is on the north-western coast of Mah? and can be reached by taking the road past Port Glaud. Swimming and especially snorkeling here is excellent, with a wide variety of colorful fish that can be seen in and around the edges of the impressive bay. The beach itself is large and wide with white sand and plenty of shady trees. It is popular with picnickers at weekends but during the week tends to be much quieter. There are often beautiful shells and corals to be found along the shoreline, but please remember this is National Park property and it is strictly prohibited to take coral and shells away.
Valle de Mai
The legendary Valle de Mai is one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Seychelles and was once believed to be the original Garden of Eden. This hauntingly beautiful primeval forest is home to some 6,000 Coco de Mer trees.
A visit to this island is good value for money as it has so much to offer. The island was once a leper colony and a visit to the Doctors’ House, a colonial-style building is a must as it has an extensive display on the island history and related topics. You can still make out the ruins of leper dwellings along the shore.
The main attraction is the walk from the Doctors’ House over to the tortoise sanctuary. It’s not a long walk, but long enough to give a flavor of the island as it passes through jungle, mangrove swamps and over rocky outcrops. Along the way, there are many fascinating animals, large spiders with huge webs, a plethora of crabs, lizards, and birds.
Once at the end of the walk you can wander around feeding and taking pictures of the giant tortoises. They make good photographic subjects as they don’t move very fast!
Seychelles Islands Beach Vacation
Seychelles historically has been advertised as a honeymoon or lovers’ destination, but this is not the case. There are enough activities for older children to experience like trails, diving, fishing, and sailing. For smaller kids, most of their activity will be limited to on the beach which in a way is good for the parents as they finally get some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Flights to Seychelles: I recommend searching through KAYAK. They are the world’s leading travel search engine. It searches other travel sites to give travelers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels, rental cars, and vacation rentals. The website and apps also offer tools to help plan and manage your trip, including Price Alerts, Price Forecast, and free itinerary management.
Rental Cars in Seychelles: Rentalcars.com is the world’s biggest online car rental service. Working with leading suppliers, they offer great prices on all car groups, including luxury cars, people carriers, minivans
Travel Insurance: As someone who spent close to 20 years working in insurance, I strongly recommend buying travel insurance if you are going on holiday. It costs a fraction of your holiday but covers the potential risk of the entire holiday. You can read my post on why you need travel insurance.
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