Welcome to our ultimate Seychelles 5 days itinerary. It’s a plan that will whisk you off to one of the world’s most celebrated island chains. Set out in the far depths of the Indian Ocean, they rise like pearls decorated with granite flecks, offering visions of reef-ringed beaches and lush rainforests packed with unusual bugs and lizards and birds.
It’s not hard to see why anyone would be tempted by the Seychelles. The country is now firmly established as one of the beach meccas of the globe and draws a monied crowd of A-listers, honeymooners, and holidaymakers, but also plenty of adventure travelers to boot.
Our ultimate Seychelles 5 days itinerary focuses on packing in all the must-see sights of the most famous group of islands in the country. They’re known as the Granitic Seychelles, and they include the postcard-worthy likes of Praslin and La Digue to name just two. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed…
Day 1: Victoria and Beau Vallon
You’ll almost certainly jet into the Seychelles International Airport just down the road from Victoria, the capital of Mahé island, the largest and most populous of the Seychelles (more than 90% of the population live here!). The obvious first place to go is the capital of the country, but not just yet. We think a taste of the Indian Ocean waves is in order, and we actually prefer the idea of recovering from jet lag on the beach, don’t you?
So, head north to the beach at Beau Vallon. It might not be the secluded cove dotted with granite rocks that you’ve seen in the brochures since it’s arguably the single most popular stretch of sand in the whole country. What it is great for is R&R. Hotels like the fantastically luxurious Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa ($$$) are a top choice for de-hazing after the red eye, while boutique hotel fans might prefer the STORY Seychelles ($$$).
Once the bags are dropped, head straight for Beau Vallon beach. I know we’ve said it’s not the BEST here, but it’s still darn fantastic. An arc of sugar-white sand that’s framed by the misty mountains of Mahé island, it’s perfect for splashing around in the Indian Ocean and refreshing after airport stopovers. For lunch, head to the north end of the bay where The Boat House Restaurant (something of a legend on the Seychelles lunchtime gastronomy scene) serves up panini sandwich lunches and coffee.
Afternoon is for exploring Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. It’s sightseeing time. Start at the clocktower – London locals might notice that it’s almost a copy of the one in Vauxhall (niche, we know!) – and then head to the colonial-era courthouse. The Victoria Botanical Gardens should cap it all off, with visions of endless palm groves filled with strange birds like the tourtrel koko or the sunbird. Head back to the beach to stay the night.
Day 2: Praslin
Day 2 of our ultimate Seychelles 5 days itinerary starts with a trip from the hotel on the beach at Beau Vallon to the port in Victoria. The reason? You’re hoping islands today; trading Mahé – the main isle – for Praslin – a much quieter affair. But before we can wax lyrical, hit the boat. The Cat Cocos fast boat is the best option. It runs the trip in about and hour and leaves from the main pier in Victoria. Book in advance!
Now: Praslin itself. Yowzaa! A ridge of granite that’s clad in primeval forests that cascade away to shimmering stretches of coastline that are so white you won’t believe they’re real, this is the Seychelles most people dream about. It’s actually the second-largest isle in the country and has lots of resorts. However, we like the mainstay area around Cote D’Or Beach for its wide range of hotels – especially the Les Lauriers Eco Hotel ($$$), a boho-chic islander lodging with thatched roofs and tropical jungle gardens.
Talking of jungles…get into the backcountry of Praslin as soon as you can. One of the highlights here is the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a symphony of stilt palms and coco-de-mer trees that hosts a jaw-dropping medley of wildlife, so keep the eyes peeled for the strange tiger chameleons and black parrots, folks! It takes around two hours to visit the forest in all, which should leave some time to hit Praslin’s amazing…
Coastline. Yep, the shores here are something else. Turquoise lagoons rimmed by coral gardens creep in here and there, while wave-battered capes poke out at other points. If you’re pushed for time, we’d say Anse Lazio (a shallow spot that’s great for all levels of swimmer), Anse Georgette (a more secluded beach that has some excellent snorkeling), and Cote d’Or (where the hotel is, known for its boulder-topped coves and little swimming pools) are the best around.
Day 3: Curieuse Marine National Park
Day 3 is totally given over to a trip out to the Curieuse Marine National Park. The good news is that means you can stay in the hotel on Praslin because this one’s typically done on a tour from that larger island. Trips can take a whole day and it’s a good idea to organize one that includes pick-up and drop-off at your lobby for convenience. It’s also possible to book boat-only tickets. The connection is about 20 minutes from Cote d’Or in Praslin and you’ll need to pay 200 SCR (around $17) entry to the reserve per person.
This is all, honestly, worth the effort. The marine national park is a breath taker awayer. Designated as a national reserve way back in 1979, it’s one of the oldest parks in the country and it shows. There’s basically zero development and you’re often more likely to see an Aldabra giant tortoise than a sunbather. In fact, it’s those pre-historic beasts that often bring the crowds, as they can be seen galumphing on the beaches and through the coast forests here thanks to huge conservation efforts that have upped their numbers to nearly 300+.
The main island of Curieuse is ripe for exploration. There are a couple of marked trails weaving through the central woods. Look out for the high coco-de-mer trees (they are an icon of the Seychelles, the national tree) and the black parrots (a bird that ONLY exists here and on next-door Praslin). Finish down on the sands by Turtle Pond, which are dotted with incredible fluted boulders that look like something off of another planet.
The Curieuse Marine National Park closes at 5pm every day, so you’ll have to head back to Praslin on the tour boat or by water taxi for the evening by then.
Day 4: La Digue (probably the highlight of our Seychelles 5 days itinerary!)
Some people choose to do La Digue as a day trip from Praslin but we think staying here adds a certain Robinson Crusoe feel to proceedings. So, head across on the 20-minute ferry and choose one of the hotels that sit in La Reunion, the only built-up part of the isle. Honeymooners are sure to love the exquisite Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie Resort and Spa ($$$), what with its indoor-outdoor bathrooms, but travelers after something more low-key are bound to be enchanted by the cabanas of the Secret Garden Villa ($$).
Checked in? Good. What you have before you is one of the most incredible, most eye-wateringly wonderful tropical islands on planet Earth. It might only be three miles from top to bottom by two miles from side to side, but La Digue encompasses some seriously spectacular coastline and jungle. The best part is that the whole place is walkable in a single day, so you can explore as much or as little as you feel like, although we recommend the first!
We don’t really know where to begin with the beaches, so we’ll just throw out a few suggestions and let you knit them together as you wander between the coco-de-mer trees:
- Anse Source d’Argent – Just south of La Reunion, this beach is accessible and downright stunning. You’ve probably seen it on Seychelles postcards before – think clusters of water-splashed boulders peaking out from lush mangroves.
- Pointe Anse Cocos – Walk the jungle trails through the heart of the island to reward yourself with this truly jaw-dropping photo spot. The waves are rougher on the eastern coast, but the sands are talcum white and the boulders are more whittled away.
- Anse Marron – There’s a well-protected natural swimming pool behind a wall of jagged rocks at Anse Marron on the south coast.
Day 5: A return to Mahé
You know what they say – all good things come to an end, including our ultimate Seychelles 5 days itinerary. Mhmm…it’s time to wrap things up. But there’s still some Indian Ocean wonder to be had, don’t worry. First, though, you need to make the return to the main island in the chain, Mahé. To do that from La Digue, you’ll have to hop the 20-minute ferry to Praslin and then catch the main commercial ferry back to Victoria. Time it right and you should be able to do it all in a single morning.
The finale that we’ve kept for you on Mahé comes courtesy of the Morne Seychelles National Park, a vast cut-out of the isle that has mountain peaks, rainforests, and gorgeous beaches. We recommend heading via car or taxi to Bel Ombre and then swapping wheels for trails. The entry point there lets you join right up with the epic Anse Major Trail. It’s one of the best paths in the whole reserve, weaving through thick pockets of mangrove before taking you along a dramatic section of shoreline.
Your day can be spent navigating the challenging walk that goes all the way to the top of Morne Seychellois Peak if you’re feeling up to it. However, there are three or four other fantastic routes that crisscross the whole area. Some prioritize visions of the lush interiors of the woods where you’ll encounter cinnamon trees and vanilla plantations. Others link to long-lost beaches like Anse Du Riz.
Once you’re done, head back to Victoria to catch a plane or return to Beau Vallon for one last evening on the white-sanded beaches to finish our Seychelles 5 days itinerary off with the Indian Ocean at your feet.