Just the name ‘Seychelles’ evokes a sense of picture-perfect exotic island locale: beachy Indian Ocean stretches dotted with perfectly placed palms, turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and those ever-famous boulderscapes that feel prehistoric. Welcome to the Seychelles, where the destination actually delivers on what it proposes. This island chain is perfect for a post-safari experience – just a quick flight from major East African hubs – but is also amazing as a trip in and of itself. If a beach trip is on your radar, this is a great one to put on your list. If you’re looking to splurge on a special occasion trip (honeymoon, babymoon, anniversary), you have plenty of opportunities for stunning luxury stays on the islands that will wow you from start to finish. Below, I’m sharing some insight on how to spend one week in the Seychelles for a first-time visit, with three different approaches. There are many other renditions of a Seychelles trip that could be brought to life (let’s discuss if you’re planning a trip!) but below I’m sharing some inspiration to get started.
Option 1: The Chilled Out R&R
For my honeymooners out there, this is probably the option for you! If you’re in need of just simple R&R, head to a stunning resort in Mahé where you can unwind, enjoy good food, get some spa days in, and do some boating and water sports. You’ll have the option for day trips to Praslin and/or La Digue if you feel like you’re getting stir crazy!
Days 1 – 7 ✧ Four Seasons Seychelles (Mahé)
If we had to choose one resort to return to in the Seychelles for an extended stay, this would be it: Four Seasons Seychelles. Believe me, I sussed out other options as well in search of cool boutique properties or alternate options in the area but FS was a standout, as everyone told us it would be. The beach is the best we encountered in the Seychelles (La Digue’s rock-strewn beaches are more dramatic but this was more restful and pristine), the villas are beautifully designed to meld into nature, and the services are everything you’d want from a luxury resort. The property is big enough to offer a range of amenities, an amazing bar, and great restaurants, but it’s small enough to feel intimate and service-oriented. And the service — absolutely top-notch.
If you’re really here to just disconnect, plan on a few days simply marinating at the beach, enjoying a toes-in-the-sand lunch with a tropical cocktail and enjoying the water. Water sports are available and are a great way to mix in some activity into your day! For sunset, ask the team about heading up to the rooftop at the spa for stunning views of the island from above. Speaking of the spa, pencil that in, too — the spa facility is lovely and services range from massages to facials to packaged treatments. Dining on site was great all around — don’t miss live music at the bar!
Optional Day Trips ✧ Praslin or La Digue
If the idea of being at one resort for the entire week in the Seychelles has you feeling like you may go a little stir crazy, remember that La Digue and Praslin aren’t far! You can reach Praslin by boat in about an hour’s time, and La Digue can be reached by an onward ferry or by helicopter. La Digue was one of my favorite islands so I’d definitely recommend a day there if you can swing it! More on La Digue below.
Option 2: The On-the-Go Explorer
For those that are hellbent on seeing everything on offer, it’s best to focus on the three main islands as they’re somewhat easily connected. I’d start by saying that doing three islands in one week isn’t exactly the most relaxing approach but for those out there that are more focused on taking everything in over simple R&R, this approach may appeal to your inner jetsetter. Buckle up – you’ll have flights and ferries ahead!
Days 1 – 3 ✧ Praslin
Day 1: Head to Praslin
Pre-book your tickets on Air Seychelles to fly from Mahé to Praslin directly (about $120 per person). A ferry transits as well but is more limited in timing, generally offering ferry services twice per day. For ease, you’ll be whisked through upon arrival and put on your tiny flight to Praslin, just a 15-minute journey. Take the first evening to settle into Praslin. Pre-book dinner at your resort for a relaxing first evening that sets the tone for your stay to come. If you haven’t already booked activities, dinners, and other experiences, this is a great day to chat with your concierge team about options for boat trips, Moke rentals, and more if you’re in the mood to explore (booking activities well in advance is always encouraged).
Day 2: Explore the Island — Or Just Hang at the Hotel
Your level of exploration depends on you: your travel personality plus where you’re at in life. You’ve just arrived so this may be a day to just chill at the hotel, enjoy the water, dive into a spa service, or enjoy a local rum cocktail in your plunge pool. There’s no shame in that! Hang at your property (Raffles Seychelles was our choice) and make your only mission figuring out what you’re keen on ordering for lunch. Alternatively, if you’re a next-level explorer, consider renting a car to explore the nooks and crannies of Praslin. At about 15 square miles, it’s simple to explore though not as easily done on foot or by bike given the longer distances. Cars are available for around $55/day and Mini Mokes – the ultimate island dream car – are available for about twice that. If you’d rather mix some physical activity into your exploration, talk to your hotel about bicycle rentals. We chose to dine in Cote d’Or, one of the areas with the highest concentration of dining on the island.
Day 3: Boat Day to Curieuse Island and Coco Island
A visit to an island nation means a boat day is practically required for the full experience. In Anguilla, I always list boating as one of my must-have experiences to understand the scope and layout of the island and I’d recommend the same in the Seychelles. Curieuse Island, just off of Praslin, is famous for its giant tortoise population and is worth a visit to explore an island that feels locked in time. Water taxis transit this in about twenty minute for a simple trip over, or you can work with your hotel (or travel advisor – say hello!) to pre-arrange a private experience for a half-day to Curieuse and Coco Island. Coco will bring more water-based snorkeling offerings as a complement to your time walking with tortoises on Curieuse (this is more weather dependent – if seas are rough or stirred up it may be a no-go). For private boats through your resort, expect around €450 – 500 for a half day. Full-day options are also available which include time in La Digue (less relevant with this itinerary given La Digue is accounted for independently).
Days 4 – 5 ✧ La Digue
If you can, look to spend one or two nights in La Digue during your week. At under 4 square miles and home to just 2000 people, this teeny island is home to L’Source d’Argent, one of the world’s most photographed beaches. La Digue feels like a desert island outpost compared with the larger island of Mahé and even compared with Praslin. If you’d rather, a day trip to La Digue is simple from Praslin, too – just 15 minutes by ferry – and easily explored by bike.
Speaking of bikes, upon arriving in La Digue whether for a night or just a day trip, consider renting bicycles to discover what this petite enclave has to offer. If you’re spending the night like we did, enjoy a full day upon arrival and then spend the next morning on island time before departing for Mahé. I adored the simplicity and barefoot nature of La Digue, zipping around by bike, stopping for fresh coconuts, and enjoying lunch on the beach. It has a casual spirit with more dining and beach bars than Praslin. I’d definitely recommend one night (or two if you wanted to cut a night from Praslin).
Days 5 – 7 ✧ Mahé
Day 5: Depart Praslin to Mahé
On Day 5, transit from Praslin back to Mahé. The Cat Rose ferry departs throughout the day for around $100pp. Take the morning at leisure in Praslin and make your way to Mahé for your afternoon hotel check-in. Mahé is a much larger island so offers more in terms of a main town and other cultural activities. For folks keen on visiting local markets, doing cooking classes, etc. you’ll have access to these activities in Mahé more so than on neighboring islands given the larger population and larger number of hotels. That said, if you stay at Four Seasons like we did, you’ll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from the beach, which was the most stunning stretch we saw in the Seychelles.
Day 6: Mahé
Continue your R&R focus by enjoying your hotel for the day or instead if you’re feeling active, consider making it a day on the water! If you’re a boat lover, head to smaller islands nearby that you may not typically visit. Spend the day on the water with a seafood lunch and soak up the sun in the sea. Scope out islets, sandbars, and explore the underwater scene, one of the aspects that makes the islands so beloved. The Seychelles are famous for their stunning snorkeling and water-based options and make an amazing destination for divers and water lovers. If you’d rather just enjoy water sports, ask your hotel beach team about zipping out on a small sailboat or kayak to explore!
Day 7: Depart
It’s time for the long goodbye! International flights depart from Mahé which makes it a good final stop in your itinerary, and. ours didn’t depart until late in the day (5PM) which means you may have the day to enjoy! You’ll be a quick drive from the airport without concern for ferries or flight logisitcs. Enjoy your final morning in paradise and begin scheming on your return.
Note that we had slightly longer than one week in the Seychelles and I made it a mission to see more islands and scope out hotel options while there for Compass & Vine travelers! We chose to do 3 nights Praslin, 1 night La Digue, 2 nights Mahé and 2 nights Desroches. This is a great explorer combo for longer stays though very on the go.
Option 3: Four Seasons Island Classic + Castaway Chic Combo
If you’re looking for a bit of a Goldilocks itinerary that pairs two islands without feeling too rushed, consider packaging the Four Seasons properties together: FS Seychelles (on the main island) and FS Desroches, the ultimate castaway chic vibes. The properties are very different in terms of vibe, aesthetic and offerings so are a beautiful pairing. The flights from Mahé to Desroches depart three times per week (Thurs, Sat, Sun generally) and are $400 R/T per person. Which days you spend in Desroches depends largely on your travel schedule though the FS team will smartly advise that you plan to spend a night or two on the main island prior to your international departure just to be safe. If weathear acts up (wind in particular) flights can be delayed or canceled causing issues for onward international flights.
4 Days in Mahé
If your schedule and timing allows, I’d do 2 – 3 nights on the front end in Mahé and then 1 – 2 on the back end. As I shared above, the FS Mahé was a standout with a superb beach and amazing facilities.
3 Days Desroches
By contrast, Desroches feels like the most thoughtful desert island escape; like you’re somewhere super private and exclusive without it being pretentious; a hard line to toe. In Desroches, you’ll zip around the property (and the island at large) by bicycle and can visit the Castaway Center for snorkeling, diving or boating options. For brief context, Desroches is a 40-minute flight from Mahé – not close! – so it really is a world away. It’s also a much bigger island than you may think at the outset. It’s not merely an island for Four Seasons; the island’s land extends far beyond the compound so you can bike to beaches that may take an hour to reach. Four Seasons seems to largely administer the island (e.g. even these beaches that are a bit more far-flung have FS towels, water, etc. for guest use). Unlike Mahé, the island is your base (not just the resort) which is a fun contrast. Keep in mind that the flight involves a small plane so if you’re not keen on small aircraft for transiting distances like this, keep this in mind when planning!
One week in the Seychelles could include a different combination for Option #3 as well, such as Mahé combined with a different island like Six Senses Zil Payson, North Island, or Denis Island. Some of how to plan your week depends on your focus: are you there to explore (hello Option #2!) or are you there to simply unwind after an African safari? We met people doing all three of the above – some spending a week on Mahé unwinding and others that were on the go. Know that there’s far too much to explore in a single trip so leave room for future trips for more discovery!
Have you been to the Seychelles? Which island was your favorite?