Seychelles Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Seychelles, SC, Africa)

Paradise Beach photographFinding things to do in the Seychelles really isn't a problem. As well as a plethora of sporting activities on offer, both on and off the beach, the archipelago boasts a number of popular tourist attractions. Understandably, it is the beaches of the Seychelles that draw the biggest crowds, although there really is much more to these islands than just sunbathing.

Tourists who can drag themselves away from the sunny Seychelles beaches will be able to see many interesting and appealing attractions. These range from exotic gardens to historic houses, with the majority being located on the island of Mahé, often being within the capital of Victoria. Walking is by far the best way to explore the islands, if you have the time, and Mahé has many noteworthy trails, as well as La Digue and Praslin, while on Cousin Island, it is the huge concentration of bird life that serves as the principal tourist magnet.

Picture of popular beachfront on Mahe

Walking Trails

Address: Seychelles, SC, Africa
Walking holidays on the Seychelles are always popular with lovers of the 'great outdoors' and with such a wealth of national parks spread around the land mass, you're never far from a hiking trail or two. Mahé, La Digue and Praslin offer some scenic trails, allowing tourists to explore the attractions of their forest-clad mountains and lush coastline. On Mahé, guided walks will take you to some places not often seen by the average holidaymaker, while a stroll along the Val Riche Copolia Trail takes hikers through the Morne Seychellois National Park, lasting approximately five hours. Also on Mahé and slightly longer is the Mare Aux Cochon Trail, which leads visitors along a historic Holy Week Pilgrimage route. Those on La Digue can choose between numerous walking paths, such as Grande Anse to Anse Cocos, Grande Anse to Anse Marron, and the highest point on the island, Nid d'Aigle (the Eagle's Nest).
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Image of cruise boats / yachts in the Seychelles

Cruises and Boat Excursions

Address: Seychelles, SC, Africa
All kinds of cruises and boat trips are available from the different islands of the Seychelles, being in good supply around Mahé and in particular, the bay of Beau Vallon, where boats regularly sail to Baie Ternay. Glass-bottom boat tours are also available around the Beau Vallon area and generally last about half a day. You may also like to consider boat trips to Cousin, Curieuse and St. Pierre Islet, organised by private tour operators and hotels. Visitors to the tiny island of La Passe can explore the coastline via a boat excursion, while those on La Digue can enjoy a cruise to Felicite, Grande Soeur and Ile Cocos.
Open hours: charge, hours vary according to operator
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Picture of yachts moored at Praslin harbour

Recreational Activities

Address: Seychelles, SC, Africa
This nation of islands lends itself to all manner of outdoor recreational activities and sports. Visitors are able to hire bikes and cycle along the designated trails, as well as play tennis and badminton, or go horseback riding on a secluded beach. Keen golfers frequently head to the challenging nine-hole Seychelles Golf Club on the island of Mahé, which resides on the south-easterly coast and enjoys a dramatic mountainous backdrop, trolleys, pro lessons and a popular clubhouse.
Open hours: hours vary according to activity
Admission: free, charge for some activities and sports

Image showing the lush tropical foliage at the Victoria Botanical Gardens attraction

Victoria Botanical Gardens

Address: Chemin Mont Fleuri, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles, SC, Africa
Tel: +248 04 67 05 00
The highlight of Victoria's Botanical Gardens are undoubtedly the rare Coco de Mer palm trees, which add to the garden's tropical ambience and are famous for their unusual female-buttock shaped fruit. Wildlife in the gardens adds another dimension and includes its resident giant tortoises and fruit bats. The gardens aren't particularly big, but are well worth a visit if you have an hour or two to spare, especially if you happen to be in Victoria between June and August, when the garden is in full bloom. Lying just a ten-minute walk from the south of central Victoria, the gardens are also home to a fragrant spice grove, small chunks of rainforest and a cafe serving tasty refreshments.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Domaine de Val Des Près

Address: Au Cap, Mahé, Seychelles, SC, Africa
Tel: +248 04 37 61 00
The Domaine de Val des Près comprises a number of visitor attractions, including the main Gran Kaz Plantation House, which is thought to date back to the 1870s. This craft village has become a National Heritage Site and also features a more modest working-class home known as La Kaz Rosa, as well as the Maison de Coco house, which sells all things coconut-related, and a series of individual craft workshops, where visitors can admire and purchase handmade gifts.
Open hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 - 16:00
Admission: free

Photograph of plants and flowers at the Jardin du Roi attraction

Le Jardin du Roi

Address: Anse Royale, Mahé, Seychelles, SC, Africa
Tel: +248 04 37 13 13
Visitors who are interested in spices and medicinal plants will be delighted to discover Le Jardin du Roi. Its location is ideal for growing everything from citronelle and cinnamon to nutmeg and vanilla. A spice shop sells many of the plants that can be found in the garden and a small museum on the site offers a glimpse into spice growing in times gone by. Guided hikes are also available for the more adventurous.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge

Kot Man-Ya Exotic Flower Garden

Address: Les Canelles, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles, SC, Africa
Tel: +248 04 32 33 74
Located in Victoria, the Kot Man-Ya Exotic Flower Garden opened in 2008 and has quickly established itself as an important attraction for visiting nature lovers. Against a verdant backdrop of exotic plants live 200-odd varieties of animals, including frogs, geckos, tortoises and a friendly group of guinea pigs. The gardens are managed by The Ecotourism Society of Seychelles (TESS) and are filled with brightly coloured flowers and mature tropical fruit trees, such as banana, mango and yam trees.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 17:00 (groups by advance reservation)
Admission: charge

Photograph of scuba diver with whale shark

Whale Shark Spotting

Address: Mahé, Seychelles, SC, Africa
Tel: +248 04 24 71 65 (Underwater Centre)
Tel: +248 04 54 28 77 (Dive Seychelles)
During August, September and October, it is often possible to spot huge whale sharks swimming off the coast of Mahé, particularly around the northern and western shoreline. These harmless filter-feeding sharks are actually the biggest living species of fish in existence and can grow to more than 12 metres / 39 feet in length. Your best chance of spotting one of these slow-moving sharks is to join an organised tour providing seasonal whale shark spotting trips, where you may even be able to swim and snorkel with these graceful creatures.
Open hours: September and October - hours vary
Admission: charge for cruise trips

Image of the L'Union Estate attraction on La Digue

L'Union Estate

Address: La Digue, Seychelles, SC, Africa
L'Union is a sizeable estate located on the island of La Digue and resides just under 2 km / 1.2 miles south of La Passe Jetty. Formerly a huge coconut plantation occupying roughly one third of the entire island, L'Union Estate now functions as something of a theme park, with many of the principal attractions relating to coconuts. Tourists are able to watch demonstrations of oil extraction from the dried flesh of coconuts, visit a historic boatyard and see an old well-kept graveyard dating back to colonial times. There is also the attractive Old Plantation House to see, along with a group of giant tortoises and some landscaped gardens.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Photo of giant tortoise at Aldabra Atoll

Aldabra Atoll

Address: Seychelles, SC, Africa
Now listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Aldabra Atoll is part of the remote Aldabra Group (Groupe d'Aldabra) and is actually the second-largest atoll (coral island) on the planet. This island is located a little over 1,000 km / 621 miles to the south-west of Mahé and is called home by more than 100,000 giant tortoises, who can regularly be seen grazing on the grassy plains. Administered by the Seychelles Island Foundation, Aldabra is gaining popularity, with many people coming to snorkel, go scuba diving with manta rays, watch wild tiger sharks, and enjoy the rich assortment of migrating birds flocking here every year.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free