Whatever your diving ability you’re sure to find a dive site to suit you and the majority of our featured hotels have their own qualified dive centres such as Frégate Island Private and North Island. In general the best diving conditions are between March and May and between October and November. Divers can expect to see an array of fish species including Angel Fish, Butterfly Fish and Sweepers in the shallow inshore reefs, as well as Octopus and Spiny Lobsters. Soft corals and gorgonian fan corals can be seen at dive sites such as the Canyon whilst the larger fish species such as Giant Groupers and Ribbon-tailed Stingrays can be found at the more remote sites. The Inner islands are home to the spectacular Whale Shark with peak viewing times in August and October.
For many men and women, a spa treatment is a vital ingredient in the creation of their perfect holiday; it can soothe and calm, as well as heal and relax. Recognising this, resorts and even tiny island boutique hotels, all feature a large pleasure dome or bijou spa, thus providing calming surrounds and a place to lie still and mentally review our lives for a calming hour or day. Treatments can range in duration from short hourly therapies to all-day rituals, many incorporating the healing properties of plants, flowers and the ocean into the products used. At North Island you can enjoy the Barefoot Ritual a symbolic introduction to the island’s barefoot living; this is a traditional welcome in which the dust of past travels is washed from your feet, refreshing them for the journey ahead. At MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, guests can enjoy regimes to calm the mind and spirit with guided yoga and meditation sessions, whilst a comprehensive menu of wraps, scrubs, therapies and massages incorporate traditional ingredients such as coconut creams, essence of frangipani, white turmeric, sea mint and salt. The Raffles Amrita Spa has taken the pearl as both a symbolic and literal element; iridescent mother-of-pearl shell décor is featured throughout the spa, whilst crushed pearls are used to exfoliate in the signature treatment Pure Pearl.
The Constance Lemuria golf course overlooks not one but three glorious beaches and a stunning expanse of the Indian Ocean. An 18-hole Par 70 championship course, it presents a challenge to both amateurs and professionals alike. Covering 6,105 yards, the first twelve holes are on the lower levels but from the thirteenth hole, the course stretches to the higher levels and ocean views. Hotel guests enjoy complimentary green fees, whilst equipment hire, lessons and club cars (required due to the course’s terrain) are all available for hire.
Soft sandy beaches, warm waters and an idyllic climate make the Seychelles the perfect playground for children. Many of our featured hotels offer two and three-bedroom villas, some with private pools, whilst children’s clubs and babysitting services, as well as children’s menus, can be the decision-makers for parents. The Castaway Kids' Clubhouse at Fregate Island Private aims to educate and teach children (and parents) about the local environment, including conservation of the island's natural heritage. In addition, a host of games, DVDs, craft materials and books are available to amuse children aged from 5 to 12 years old. The Sugar Palm Club at Raffles Praslin caters for toddlers, children and even teenagers presenting a range of lively, educational and age appropriate activities.
The one-hundred-and-fifteen islands of the Seychelles fall into two distinct groups; the tall granite, Inner Islands and the low-lying coralline cays, atolls and reef islands of the Outer Islands, which are themselves divided into five groups. The Amirantes group situated two-hundred and thirty kilometres from Mahé, the Southern Coral Group, Alphonse Group, Farquhar Group and the Aldabra Group. Because the islands are so different to each other, we recommend that you visit more than one – our Travel Consultants can advise and assist with everything from simple two island combinations to more complicated multi-island itineraries.
Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve
The Seychelles is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, a primeval palm forest once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden and home to a collection of rare plants which flourish nowhere else on Earth. Take a walk through this amazing palm forest and discover the endemic coco-de-mer (sea coconut) – these trees can grow up to thirty-four metres tall with leaves spanning up to ten metres in length, but more importantly they are the bearers of the largest nut in the world often referred to as ‘love nuts’ or the ‘double coconut’ due to their appearance – they look like two coconuts stuck together. The forest is also home to the black parrot, the national bird of Seychelles, which owes its existence to the palm forest.
Victoria might be one of the smallest capital cities in the world but it has plenty to offer visitors including some beautiful beaches. The tiny city can be explored in about two hours either on foot or bicycle; head to the Natural History Museum for a complete account of the islands’ past; stroll through the Victoria Botanical Gardens where amongst the spice and fruit trees, most of which can only be seen in this garden, you’ll find a population of giant tortoises, fruit bat colonies and an orchid house. Alongside the souvenir shops in the city centre there are many markets selling local handicrafts or the outdoor market where the day’s catch is colourfully displayed.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
Whilst the Seychelles boast year-round sunshine and a temperate climate there are certain times of the year that are better suited to some of the activities available:
Snorkelling – good all year round.
Diving – good all year, but visibility is better between April and October.
Surfing & Windsurfing – best between May and September.
Sailing – good all year round.
Fishing – best between October and April.
Bird-watching – best around April/May for the breeding season and September/October for migration.
Walking & Hiking – best from May to September.
Turtles – October to February (with peak viewing in December) to watch turtles laying eggs and from mid January to April (with peak viewing in February/March) to watch the hatchlings emerge from their eggs and make their precarious way to the ocean.
Via Dubai with Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester.
Via Doha with Qatar Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester.
From London Heathrow to Dubai and Abu Dhabi: 7 hours. London Heathrow to Doha: 6 hours, 45 minutes.
Onward connecting flights from Dubai to Mahé: 4 hours, 40 minutes.
From Abu Dhabi to Mahé: 4 hours, 30 minutes.
From Doha to Mahé: 4 hours, 55 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.