The Best Time to Visit Seychelles
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Part of an archipelago consisting of 115 small islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles islands are a vision of tropical paradise. The weather is excellent all year round, making Seychelles the perfect destination to find sun, sea and sand. Here, you will find everything from blissful relaxation to active adventures.
The climate of the Seychelles islands can generally be divided between a wet and dry season, depending on the trade winds that cross the ocean at different times of the year. With both seasons offering fabulous weather, choosing when to visit depends on your preferred style of holiday. The wet season, which falls between December and February, brings higher temperatures with peak humidity, broken up by rain showers across the islands. Although these showers can be heavy in nature, they are frequently short-lived and generally cover small areas, so you can avoid them fairly easily in many cases. By comparison, temperatures during the dry season, which peaks between June and August, are lower than in the summer months. The dry season also compensates with clear skies and favourable winds, which are ideal conditions for participating in a variety of water sports.
Escape winter in other parts of the world and find glorious weather and high temperatures in Seychelles. These tropical islands are the perfect destination for relaxing on beaches or unwinding beneath the palm forests that occupy the hinterland. December and January are among the most popular months to experience the Seychelles islands. These summer months are simultaneously the hottest and rainiest, although the rain does little to detract from the paradise feel of these islands. North-westerly trade winds bring high humidity and frequent rain showers from November. However, these showers are rarely long-lasting. Glorious sunshine soon returns to bathe the beaches in warmth.
March and April are ideal if you are looking to make the best of the weather while avoiding the humidity. During these months, the winds drop to a pleasant breeze that takes the edge off the heat, creating perfect conditions to fully enjoy the beaches. This is a good time to top up your tan or take a dip in the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean. For a fascinating underwater experience, be sure to pack your snorkel, as the seas are teeming with life. Witness glimmering shoals of fish among coral reefs, or chance upon the turtles and rays that move through the clear waters surrounding Praslin and many of the smaller islands.
To fully experience the plethora of wildlife found on land, arrange your trip to coincide with one of Seychelles’ most spectacular natural phenomena. Each February, beaches come alive with the hatching of thousands of baby hawksbill turtles. You can watch the little turtles emerge from their eggs from a respectful distance, although several beaches close for this period to maximise the hatchlings’ chances of survival. This is also one of the best times to put on your hiking boots and explore the fascinating jungles and national parks of Mahe and Silhouette, where protected species abound.
Winter in the Seychelles islands is unlike many other countries. The weather here remains pleasant, with temperatures dropping to a balmy mid-20s Celsius. At this time of year, the wind shifts direction, coming from the southeast. It is a good idea to avoid beaches that face these winds head-on, as this can cause an annual wash-up of seaweed and some challenging swimming conditions. But by mid-September, the winds tend to calm, making these regions accessible once more.
To the north of the islands, winter weather conditions are ideal for water sports. Take to the azure water and try your hand at surfing, sailing, and windsurfing for the best experience during this windier time of year. La Digue offers the best surfing conditions, with both tourists and locals taking advantage of the big waves in numerous spots around the island.
For more solid footing, head to the forests of Mahe and Praslin. Hiking here is an excellent opportunity to explore the jungles and wildlife of the national parks. Look out for the UNESCO-listed Vallée de Mai on Praslin for captivating walks through the palm forests, which offer a real sense of the natural beauty of these islands.
Seychelles' calendar is packed with festivities, so it is worth planning ahead to join in on the celebrations. Here are some of the most popular events:
- Festival Kreol: Taking place during the final week of October, this is one of the islands' biggest cultural festivals. Mahe, Praslin and La Digue come alive with a celebration of Creole art, cuisine and culture for a truly unique experience.
- Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria: Each February, the streets of Victoria come alive to celebrate Carnival. Much like other Carnival celebrations around the world, the islands celebrate the diverse cultures that have influenced their history with vibrant parades, street food, and lively music.
- Semaine de la Francophonie: Seychelles’ colonial history means that a large proportion of the population descended from the French. French cultural influence is still prominent today and is displayed proudly each year at the Semaine de la Francophonie – a week-long festival in March. For a unique Seychelles twist on some French classics, Mahe is the place to be as it exhibits French-inspired music, literature, cuisine, and cultural activities throughout the week.
- Seychelles Ocean Festival: This occurs each December and is dedicated to protecting and raising awareness of Seychelles’ environment. Enjoy films, photography, and events before stepping out to experience these natural wonders for yourself. The Seychelles Ocean Festival is perfect if you are after an eco-friendly travelling experience.
Here are our top packing tips to make the most of your trip to the Seychelles islands:
- Sun protection, including reef-friendly sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
- Your swimwear and snorkel
- A light jacket for wind protection
- A lightweight raincoat or poncho
- Versatile footwear