Are you dreaming of fluffy white sand under your toes, vibrant blue waters, and absolutely nothing to disrupt your peace except the song of tropical birds drifting your way? Then you’ve come to the right place. Seychelles or Mauritius are guaranteed to relax your mind, body, and soul and provide the ultimate beach getaway.
However, deciding between these two idyllic countries is no easy task. Seychelles is world-renowned for its romantic vibe, with 115 small islands lying just east of the African coast and more private beaches than one could spend a lifetime exploring. Mauritius is one big island with a perfect mix of beaches, volcanic mountains, and virgin forests.
We put these two paradises side by side, comparing everything from food and accommodation to weather to help you decide where your next dream vacation will take you. Seychelles or Mauritius, here we come!
Seychelles or Mauritius: Beaches
We’ll start with the most important comparison, beaches. Likely the reason you’re visiting Seychelles or Mauritius is to spend days on end basking in the sun on some of the best beaches in the world. And we’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret – both countries are overflowing with stunning coastlines, crystal clear water, and sand so soft it’s hard to fathom it’s all natural.
As you can imagine, comparing the two isn’t easy, but there are some key differences to keep in mind. Mauritius is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs, making it an ideal place to swim and snorkel without worrying about ocean currents and large waves crashing in. However, if you’re looking to surf, Mauritius is not the place for you. Gris Gris is one of the few unprotected beaches, but its strong currents and potential for dangerous Mauritius animals make being in the water unsafe.
On the other hand, Seychelles has a mix between calm beaches and surfing paradises. The inner islands are surrounded by coral reefs, whereas the outer islands of Mahé and La Digue get more consistent surfable waves – you just need to know where to look.
Surfing aside, you won’t find much difference between Seychelles or Mauritius. You can head to popular beaches for water sports, beach chairs, and plenty of nearby bars and restaurants in either country. Or, venture to a lesser-known beach, and you may have it all to yourself.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Things to do
When you’ve done the impossible and wandered enough palm-fringed beaches for the day, you’ll wonder what else to do in Seychelles or Mauritius. If you’re looking for large shopping malls and amusement parks, you might be better off elsewhere. However, if you’re into hiking, biking, and watersports, both countries have their fair share to offer.
Given that Mauritius is one large island with the Chamarel Mountains housed in the middle, surrounded by subtropical forests, it’s easy to see why it edges above Seychelles when it comes to hiking. Head to Black River Gorge for waterfalls cascading down sheer rock cliffs, Le Puce summit for jaw-dropping views, or for something less strenuous, a walk around Pamplemousse Botanical Gardens is sure to please, just keep watch for these Mauritius spiders. It’s also possible to zipline, wander colorful villages, mountain bike, and take to the ocean for scuba and snorkeling.
When it comes to things to do in Seychelles, well, it’s more famous for the lack of things to do. With beaches being the main drawcard, most things to do revolve around simply relaxing with uninterrupted views of the ocean. Think world-class spas, fine dining, and absolute tranquillity. If you must get off the beach, the larger island of Mahé provides short (but often steep) hiking trails that offer panoramic views.
All in all, you’re probably not going to either destination for its endless list of tourist attractions. So sit back, relax, and let the gentle ocean breeze sweep away any desire to leave the beach chair.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Accommodation
As we’ll discover later, visits to both Seychelles and Mauritius come with a decent price tag, and the same is true for accommodation. You can expect your accommodation to take the majority of your travel budget, but not to worry, as you’ll be getting way more than just a bed to sleep in.
Seychelles is expensive and known for its luxury accommodation. Intimate, small hotels make up the vast majority of choices and offer personalized service that’ll no doubt make it impossible to want to return home. At most hotels, you’ll also have access to a private beach, sunbeds, and delicious dining options. Of course, such intimate settings come with a cost, and you can expect to pay between $300 to $400 (all prices in USD) a night for a 4-star hotel. If you have a smaller budget, you can find less swanky guesthouses and 3-star hotels for $100 to $200 a night, but options are limited. On the other hand, if you have more money to spare, options seem endless for ultimate luxury travel in Seychelles.
Compared to Seychelles, most accommodations on Mauritius will feel busier and have more of a resort atmosphere – but with an adult twist. Mauritius is the place for you if you enjoy settling into your accommodation and having everything at your fingertips. Sugar Beach, for example, has multiple bars and restaurants right on sight, a swimming pool, nearby golf courses, a spa and fitness center, and even childcare. Prices for all-inclusive resorts will run you from $400 to $600 per night. However, if you want to travel on a budget, finding hostels and guesthouses in Mauritius is much easier than in Seychelles.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Food
It probably doesn’t come with much of a surprise that seafood is a huge part of cuisine in Seychelles and Mauritius. The morning catch is usually cooked for lunch and certainly cooked no later than dinner, and any leftovers are turned into delicious curries, salads, and soups. Both Seychelles and Mauritius are also proud of their Creole heritage, and influences can be seen throughout each country’s cuisine.
For being similar in heritage, it is surprising that Seychelles and Mauritius each have quite different and distinct cuisine. While dishes in Seychelles are simple yet packed with flavor, meals in Mauritius tend to be complicated with more cooking involved. For example, fish in Seychelles is usually served baked with chili and a side of breadfruit chips. On the other hand, curries, stew, fritters, and other exotic rice dishes are a large part of Mauritius culture.
Cuisine aside, the next question is what restaurants are like in Seychelles and Mauritius. On Seychelles, choices can feel somewhat limited once you leave Mahé Island. Remote hotels tend to offer on-sight dining, and for a good reason. Once you leave your accommodation, there aren’t many options unless you head to another hotel. On the other hand, Mauritius has a much more robust mix of local restaurants, beachside bars, and fine dining. If you’re in the mood for something other than fish and curry, you’ll also find restaurants serving western food.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Nightlife
You may be curious as to why nightlife appears on this list of Seychelles or Mauritius. How could tropical islands, seemingly made for ultimate relaxation, boast enough nightlife to compare? Get ready to be surprised, for one of the countries anyway.
As the sun sinks beneath the horizon, Mauritius comes to life. Beach clubs, nightclubs, casinos, pubs, and sophisticated lounges are found around the island, especially in Grand Baie. If you’ve packed your fancy dancing shoes, head to Fifty Five Lounge Club or Les Enfants Terribles for a classy and fun night out. Or, if you prefer a more quirky atmosphere, Banana Beach Club is a favorite amongst both locals and tourists. Flic en Flac is another town filled with unique nightlife spots. Here you can enjoy the likes of Kenzi Bar, complete with a sand floor. Or, if you’ve had enough beach for one day, try your luck at Flic en Flac Casino. You won’t have to worry about late night shenanigans, as Mauritus is far from being on the list of dangerous places in Africa.
Moving on to Seychelles, the list of happening nightlife spots becomes much shorter. Similar to Seychelles’ lack of big resorts, you’ll also find clubs and bars are sparse on the islands. That’s not to say you’re completely out of luck, and if you know where to look, you’ll find the fun. Katiolo, on Mahé Island, boasts an open-air nightclub and plays a great range of music. There are a few other lively nightclubs on Mahé, but once you leave the island, your best bet is to head to your hotel bar in hopes other guests will be up for a few drinks.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Price
As we’ve mentioned, a bucket list vacation in Seychelles or Mauritius won’t come cheap. Even getting to either country will take up a decent chunk of your travel budget, no matter where you’re coming from. Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2000 for a one-way ticket, and that’s just to get you to the airport. Once you’ve landed, not many things fall on the ‘cheap list.’
Accommodation is right up there with flights in taking up a large amount of your travel budget. In both countries, expect to pay between $150 and $300 a night for a nice but not overly fancy hotel. You’ll also find that the further you travel from the busier tourist spots, the more expensive accommodation will become. This is especially true in Seychelles, where you’ll also have to consider the cost of island hopping. Ferries range in price from $14 to $50 or more and are the easiest way to travel between islands. It’s also possible to helicopter from island to island, which will cost you a minimum of $100 per person per flight. In Mauritius, you won’t have to worry about these added expenses, and if you don’t mind traveling by bus, the public transport system in Mauritius is cheap and will get you to most places on the island.
All in all, prices don’t vary drastically between Seychelles and Mauritius if you’re looking for a mid to high-range vacation. Mauritius provides more options for cheap food and accommodation for those on a budget. And for those looking to dip their toes in luxury, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Seychelles.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Weather
Last but not least, the all-important weather. It’s hard to imagine either Seychelles or Mauritius in anything other than sunny days and hot temperatures, and while that’s true much of the year, both countries see their fair share of rain, wind, and tropical storms. Also surprising is that Seychelles and Mauritius have different weather patterns, and this alone could determine which country is the best pick if you have set dates.
As Seychelles is much closer to the equator than Mauritius, the temperatures stay around 30 °C (86 °F) all year round. On the other hand, November through February are the hottest months in Mauritius, with average temperatures around 26 °C (79 °F), while in May through July temperatures average 21 °C (70 °F). It’s best to avoid heading to Mauritius altogether in January and February, as it’s common for cyclones to come in off the Indian Ocean and cause prolonged periods of rain.
Seychelles doesn’t have a distinct wet and dry season, but it does have a windy season. July and August almost guarantee strong winds, delaying ferries and making lying on the beach rather unpleasant. If you have open-ended dates, the best time to travel to Seychelles is April, May, October, or November and October, November, and December for Mauritius.
Seychelles or Mauritius: Final Verdict
The decision of Seychelles or Mauritius is a tough one. If you want ultimate luxury, have a healthy budget, and want a romantic getaway, nothing beats Seychelles. However, our final verdict goes to Mauritius for its endless things to do, range of food and accommodation, good transport options, and wonderful vibe!