The Seychelles – we can think of worse places to visit. This archipelago of over a hundred islands is pretty much a paradise. With uncountable beaches to discover, a cocktail of different cultures to experience, and some awesome marine life to see, it’s a must-visit destination.
Knowing when the best time to visit the Seychelles is the trick. Humidity, breezes, seaweed-strewn beaches, and torrential monsoon rains mean your slice of sunshine paradise might not be all it’s made out to be. Don’t worry though; with our month-by-month rundown of the best time to visit the Seychelles, you’ll know exactly when is the best time for you (and your budget).
The Best Time to Visit The Seychelles
Weather in Seychelles in January
If you were wondering whether January was the best time to visit the Seychelles – it’s not. It’s deep into monsoon season and one of the wettest months of the year. However, this doesn’t mean that tourists don’t visit at this time of year. The start of January is still the holiday season, and average temperatures are 27°C. So it’s not that bad. It just tends to rain a lot. Even then, the rain consists of short, sharp, heavy downpours which don’t last for too long, leaving you at least a little bit of sunshine to enjoy. Expect cloudy skies.
Weather in Seychelles in February
Temperatures in February remain pretty high, with averages of 28°C. It only gets slightly cooler at night, with after-dark temperatures of around 25°C. Daytime highs reach 31°C. There’s less rain in February than in January, with 250mm expected over just 14 rainy days. Again, it’s mainly about short showers of heavy rainfall than prolonged storms. Skies tend to be clearer in February than the previous month; only about half of the month is affected by cloudy skies. After the holiday season, prices are a little lower, making it a good time to go to the Seychelles for a bargain.
Weather in Seychelles in March
Seychelles’ weather in March is a time of change for the island nation. The northwest monsoons start to recede, and winds from the southeast begin to blow – but not quite yet. It’s a small period of heat and relatively clear skies that results in one of the hottest months in the Seychelles. The daily temperature is about 28°C, but with the breeze dropping (and that 75% humidity), it can feel pretty damn hot. Water temperatures are also 29°C, making swimming here feel like getting into a bathtub. There’s a bit of rain going on, sure, but nothing that’s going to affect your days at all, really. The sweet spot of March is one of the best times to visit the Seychelles.
Weather in Seychelles in April
Still very warm, and much calmer than other times of the year, April is still in that nice little spot between Seychelles’ northwesterly and southeasterly winds. The humidity is a little lower than in March, which gives you at least some relief from the heat. You can expect relatively long dry spells and long hours of sunshine. Possible the best time to visit the Seychelles – but, of course, everyone thinks that. Thanks to Easter vacation all around the world, it’s high season. Visitor numbers are at their highest since Christmas and New Year, and prices are back to normal.
Weather in Seychelles in May
The wind starts to pick up in May, this time from the southeast (instead of the northwest). This means temperatures of around 28°C, and at least some form of breeze to keep you (a little) cooler. A lot of seaweed starts washing up on beaches, especially on Grand Anse Beach on the island of Praslin. That rougher wind also makes boat crossings between islands a little more choppy, which isn’t that fun. Beach days can be pretty affected by wind and a little rain, but that also means it’s a good time of year to visit the Seychelles if you plan on getting involved in some water sports, i.e., sailing and windsurfing.
Weather in Seychelles in June
There’s some awesome weather happening in the Seychelles in June. With mostly clear skies, you’ll get only about four days of heavy rain. That means more time to enjoy the 150 islands and all their lovely, lovely beaches to explore (washed-up seaweed, however, can be a bit of an annoyance). One of the best times to visit the Seychelles, mainly because of the weather, it’s the perfect time to go if you plan on hiking or just sunning yourself on a beach. Mahe, the main island, is a good idea in June. Temperatures? The daytime average is 29°C, the night average is 25°C, and the water is a balmy 27°C.
Weather in Seychelles in July
July is an ideal time to visit the Seychelles and discover all these islands have to offer. It’s the coolest and driest month of the year, thanks to the southeast winds; the temperature stays at a steady 27°C, there’s a decent breeze to keep you fresh, and there’s barely any rain or clouds. It’s great. You can expect a lot of sunshine, so don’t forget your sunscreen. Thanks to the weather, you’ll find it a great time of year to visit for everything from hiking and lazing around to hitting the surf (thanks to the choppy sea). The best beaches in the Seychelles in July are Beau Vallon on Mahe, and Cote d’Or on Praslin, both protected from the wind.
Weather in Seychelles in August
Again, August is a relatively cool month to visit the Seychelles, with temperatures not all that different from those of July. It’s pretty humid though – 79%! The southeast winds get up to around 30mph, which can make beach days problematic (that sand gets everywhere). Head to Beau Vallon for great snorkeling. For a calm swimming spot in August, the Bel Ombre area on Mahe is a great choice. Surfing is still great this time of year, and, strangely, birdwatching too; it’s nesting season for many of the archipelago’s bird species. Being the summer vacation, many tourists arrive during August, so accommodation prices remain high.
Weather in Seychelles in September
With temperatures of around 27°C (no surprises there), September is still pretty dry, too, although, towards the end of the month, rainfall does start to increase. Accommodation is usually cheaper at this time of year, making it one of the best times to visit the Seychelles if you’re looking for a bargain. For most of the month, there’s around 12 hours of sunlight a day, so you won’t have to worry about overcast days; the islands will be looking their best for you in all that sunshine! Again, it’s a great time to be in the archipelago for outdoor activities like hiking or just exploring what the islands’ natural world has to offer.
Weather in Seychelles in October
Though rainfall has started to increase a bit, October is still nice and dry, and a great time to visit. The rain, when it does appear, rarely lasts longer than an hour, and makes things feel much fresher after a downpour. It’s kind of a welcome thing. Temperatures range between 24 and 28°C, making it quite a varied time of year. Thankfully, it never feels too hot at all. The water is pretty clear – great visibility for snorkeling or diving, making it the best time of year to visit the Seychelles for either of those activities, thanks to the rain that clears the water. Praslin is good for swimming in October, so is La Digue.
Weather in Seychelles in November
Finally, the monsoon arrives. It’s still a good time to visit, because as you know by now, the rain never lasts for very long, but man is it hot and humid! Around half the month gets rain, there’s only about seven hours of sunlight a day, but even then it’s still around 30, 31°C. Not exactly what we’d call pleasant. Then again, if you’re looking to visit the Seychelles when there is a definite lack of tourists and the idea of witnessing a real tropical downpour is actually pretty cool to you (they can be pretty dramatic), then you’ll love the Seychelles in November.
Weather in Seychelles in December
It’s still rainy season in the Seychelles. There’s an average of 250mm of rain, so definitely do expect rain if you’re arriving during December. There are still plenty of warm, sunny spells for beachgoers, and the heavy rains don’t last forever, so your outdoor activities won’t be that affected by the monsoon. This isn’t the best month to visit the Seychelles, but the water is pretty calm this time of year, and the coast of Praslin doesn’t have the same issues with seaweed as it did back in the summer. Note that prices can be high, because of Christmas and all.
Festivals in The Seychelles
Spring Festivals in The Seychelles
In March, part of Seychelles heritage is celebrated in the form of French Week – also called the Semaine de la Francophonie. It celebrates French culture with movies, music, and food all over Mahe.
Carnaval International de Victoria is a big, bold, colorful event that takes place over a weekend in the capital, Victoria. Everyone is out in full force to either participate in the parades, wacky floats, and dance shows, or simply watch and cheer them on. It shows the patchwork of cultures at work in the Seychelles.
Now merged with the Festival Kreole, the Carnaval – previously occurring in April – currently takes place in October. We don’t know why.
Fet Afrik takes place in May and aims to celebrate the Seychelles’ African origins. A pretty wild extravaganza, if you’re in attendance, you can expect a lot of dancing, a lot of music and a lot of good food across the weekend.
Also in May is the Seychelles Art Festival, when local artists and chefs come together in a bonanza of food, folklore, and some interesting art. It’s a veritable dream for foodies and art aficionados.
Summer Festivals in The Seychelles
Seychelles celebrates its Independence Day on June 29. This day commemorates the day back in 1976 when the Seychelles got their independence from the UK. Expect parades, flag-waving, and national pride.
Fans of classical music should make their way to Mahe in June for the Festival of Classical Music. We can’t think of a much better setting than a tropical beach as a backdrop to some of the most beautiful music ever.
The Festival of Assumption takes place in August. Part of the Christian calendar, this is best seen on La Digue. You’ll be treated to live music and activities, including coconut peeling competitions and beauty pageants.
Beau Vallon, on Mahe, plays host to the Beau Vallon Regatta. This is all about yacht races, water sports, beach games, and swimming competitions – all an excuse (we think) to get wet and get some relief from the sunny days this time of year! It takes place in August.
Fall Festivals in The Seychelles
September means it’s time for the Praslin Culinary & Arts Festival – a three day festival of art, cooking, and dancing on Praslin. It’s a little bit like Seychelles Art Festival back in May, but with better weather and a (slightly) less urban setting.
Also in September, Vinayagar Chaturthi is a celebration for the Hindu population of the Seychelles. Crowds can see processions of an illuminated chariot with Lord Vinayagar riding it, carried on a looping journey from the Hindu Temple in Victoria. It’s a big celebration and definitely an interesting slice of the Seychelles.
Festival Kreole (which the Carnaval International de Victoria seems to have been subsumed by) is the biggest event on the islands. Taking place on Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue, this is the event to attend to learn more about the Creole culture of the Seychelles. This takes place in October.
The week-long Ocean Festival takes place in November (sometimes December); expect movie screenings, exhibitions, and other events held at venues across Mahe. Recently, it’s been more about focusing on the health of the reefs around the archipelago and the threats to the Seychelles nature.
Winter Festivals in The Seychelles
Christmas is a big deal in the Seychelles. The festive season brings celebrations, church-going, and big family dinners. You know the drill. Hotels will put on a bunch of events for tourists who come to enjoy Christmas with their loved ones.
On January 1 and 2, it’s New Year. Expect big street parties, colorful outfits, strings of lights, and all-round fun vibes. It’s also a public holiday where people go home to enjoy feasts with their family, so don’t expect many businesses to be open.
At the end of January, there’s the Seychelles Sailing Cup. Attend and you’ll get to see yachts, catamarans, and traditional pirogues (a dugout canoe with a sail) racing and sailing. It’s quite a spectacle to see on the tropical, azure seas of these islands.
February means the Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon. Crazy sports enthusiasts tackle the humidity and high temperatures on a route around the northern peninsula of Mahe. It’s been going since 2008 and is steadily gaining in popularity.
Either in late January or early February, Seychelles China Day celebrates Chinese New Year in all its festive madness. Expect good food.
General Advice for Visiting Seychelles
- Don’t arrive without a place booked or without proof of onward travel. You will be asked for both of these things at customs.
- We read on Wikitravel that you must carry a large sum of cash on you to prove to customs you could afford your stay. We were not asked for this, nor was anyone else that we saw dealing with immigration.
- A car is highly recommended if you want to travel around Mahe and don’t feel like dealing with the bus. We paid €35 a day for a pleasant compact car from Maki Car Rentals. Petrol is very affordable in Seychelles as well. Driving at night is not for the faint of heart here. Crime isn’t really a problem, but no streetlights, mountainous roads, and people walking everywhere are. The whole island of Mahe is driveable in a couple of hours.
- Is Seychelles safe? A valid question as they lie right off the coast of East Africa. There is very little crime in Seychelles and we felt safer traveling here than many places in the US, Europe, and even parts of Australia.
- The Euro is a widely accepted form of currency, although the Seychellois rupee is the national currency.
- There are plenty of small supermarkets on Mahe. We also found everything we could possibly need at a jumbo hypermarket to the south of Victoria.
- The main airport is tiny and we found security to be a breeze. However, we arrived 55 minutes before our scheduled flight out and got grilled and threatened of missing our flight since we were not there one hour ahead. So don’t do that…
- Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue are the three main islands for people to visit. Cat Coco’s ferries run between all of them.
- Tap water in Seychelles is safe to drink, but we went the extra mile and made sure we only drank the water from our Lifestraw Go bottles to be completely safe.
- US Citizens can travel to the Seychelles visa-free up to 30 days. After that, visitors can apply for a visa extension of up to three months.
Plan and Pack for the Seychelles
Travel Water Bottle
Plastic pollution is a problem around the world so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps here is perfectly safe to drink. We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well.
However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.
A cover-up is one of those beach vacation clothes you should always travel within your luggage. When packing for a day at the beach, make sure you don’t forget one. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays.
Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit, so this is where the cover-up is essential. Most of my cover-ups come from Pitusa.
If you’re wondering what travel necessities to bring to the Seychelles then good walking shoes should be your top concern.
No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a tote is unnecessary.
However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet is a great option for those on short trips or live close to the beach. They also travel well as they can fold flat and lie in your luggage. For family beach goers I recommend a large yet durable beach tote like this one.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around the Seychelles. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
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