Seychelles travel guide
Clichéd or not, the islands of Seychelles are about as close to paradise as you can get: once you have felt the sand between your toes and paddled in the crystal clear waters here, beach holidays will never be the same again.
Made up of 115 topical islands in all, the Seychelles archipelago is a destination where white, sandy beaches are as pure as the driven snow; where frothy turquoise waters harbour colourful coral reefs and bountiful marine life; where secret coves allow you to have your very own Robinson Crusoe moment with only birds and tortoises for company.
Mahé may be the biggest and the busiest of all the islands, but it has its fair share of secluded bays, which are accessible only by yacht, motorboat or on foot. Together with its sisters Praslin and La Digue, it attracts a constant surge of tourists.
More adventurous travellers, on the other hand, may prefer to take a flying boat to more remote islands such as Fregate or Bird Island and enjoy secluded beaches all to themselves. These islands are especially popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers due to their abundance of wildlife.
The absence of people on many of the islands means that rare plant life has thrived throughout this Indian Ocean archipelago. Tropical life abounds below the waves too, and is best viewed by going scuba diving or snorkelling, experiences which are made all the more memorable here thanks to the crystalline seas.
Seychelles is more than just a natural sanctuary, though. The country is a veritable melting pot of cultures: its inhabitants descend from African, Asian and European immigrants, who have brought their customs and traditions with them to the islands. This heady mix is particularly pleasing on the palate thanks to the archipelago's fabulous fusion food.
Seychelles is an extraordinarily alluring destination, and one that's guaranteed to whet your appetite for a return trip – assuming your bank balance can handle it.
452 sq km (175 sq miles).
95,850 (UN estimate 2019).
208 per sq km.
President Wavel Ramkalawan since 2020.
President Wavel Ramkalawan since 2020.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Seychelles’ current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Inter-island public transport is operating daily. If you intend to travel between islands, you should consult the relevant ferry and airline service schedules. See Coronavirus page
Most visits to Seychelles are trouble-free.
You should exercise caution when swimming, especially with children. Currents can be strong and drownings occur. Beaches which are safer at certain times of the year can be dangerous for swimming at other times. See Swimming
There is a problem with drugs in Seychelles, in particular heroin. Crime levels have risen as a result; there has been an increase in break-ins, robberies, burglaries and opportunist thefts against residents, expatriates and tourists. There were robberies and attacks at, and around, Cote D’Or beach on the island of Praslin in late 2017. Police responded with increased foot patrols and lighting. They advise visitors to take care when walking in this area, particularly at night. You should take sensible precautions to safeguard yourself and your possessions. See Crime
Piracy remains a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel
Some UK networks do not allow roaming in Seychelles. You can buy local SIM cards in Victoria. You should check with your UK service provider to make sure that you can use a different SIM card in your phone before you travel.
Terrorist attacks in Seychelles cannot be ruled out. See Terrorism
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Seychelles on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Seychelles.
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
If you test positive for COVID-19 before returning to the UK
The Government of Seychelles does not routinely require travellers to take a PCR test before departure. Airlines or final destinations, however, may require it, and you should check the requirements if necessary. Visitors who develop symptoms of a possible respiratory infection will be referred to health services for further assessment and testing. You can expect to be contacted by the authorities in Seychelles if you test positive for COVID-19. If you display severe symptoms, particularly if you are in an at-risk category, then you may be cared for at a government-run facility.
All visitors arriving in Seychelles are advised to report any symptoms they develop, that may be associated with COVID-19 to their nearest health centre. They may be subject to testing, isolation, care and/or quarantine, as per national protocols in-effect.
People who are asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic must undergo self-isolation at their accommodation establishment at their own cost. They can expect to self-isolate for 7 days. Guests may not change accommodation during a period of self-isolation without the permission of the Public Health Authority.
If parents are required to self-isolate, then minors will be expected to stay with them or with other family members. Unaccompanied minors (i.e. under 18 years of age) will normally be treated as adults.
If you are travelling with children, you should contact the Seychelles Ministry of Health before you travel to confirm you are satisfied with the procedures in place should you be required to self-isolate during your stay.
Travel in Seychelles
Seychelles borders are open. From 1 December 2022, entry in Seychelles has resumed to pre-covid protocols. Travellers are no longer required to be vaccinated, or present a negative COVID-19 test to enter Seychelles. You should follow the advice of the local authorities. See the Seychelles Islands Another World website for further details.
Visitors are encouraged to stay at a licensed tourism accommodation.
Public spaces and services
The Government of Seychelles has lifted its COVID-19 restrictions. Wearing of face mask is optional in public places.
Restrictions are enforceable by law and can change at short notice. You should consult the Ministry of Health in Seychelles for further information and monitor local media for the latest developments.
Healthcare in Seychelles
For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you are advised to contact the Seychelles Department of Health hotline immediately by dialling 141 or report to your nearest health centre.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.
View Health for further details on healthcare in Seychelles.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
Further advice on coronavirus is available from the NHS and on the TravelHealthPro website.
Most visits to Seychelles are trouble free. However, there have been instances of break-ins, robberies, burglaries and opportunist thefts against residents, expatriates and tourists. Crime is generally non-violent, but bags have been snatched, cars broken into and tourists robbed while walking at night. You should take sensible precautions to safeguard yourself and your possessions.
Parked cars, residential accommodation including guest houses and hotels, beaches, and marked and unmarked walking trails may be targeted. Do not take valuables, and walk with organised groups.
You should maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your living accommodation is secure. Use a hotel safe to store valuables, money and passports. Do not leave valuables in cars or anywhere on display, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing eye-catching jewellery.
Accommodation, particularly in isolated areas, should have adequate security, including external security lighting, grilles and overnight security guards.
Be vigilant and when outside hotel grounds, carry a mobile phone with roaming capability for use in an emergency. It’s worth checking roaming rates with your mobile phone service provider as they can be extremely high.
Take care in isolated areas and also in more popular places like Beau Vallon and the back streets of Victoria, especially after dark.
Call the Seychelles Police on +438 428 8000 to report any incident.
For any emergencies, please call 999.
Mahé is mountainous, and roads are narrow and winding, often with sheer drops and hairpin bends. Not all such roads are equipped with safety barriers. Deep, uncovered storm drains flank many roads. Take care when driving. Drink-driving is a problem, so be aware of other road users who may behave erratically. Sudden heavy downpours can reduce visibility and road surface conditions quickly. Potholes can appear in the road suddenly after heavy rains - drivers sometimes veer sharply across lanes to avoid them.
When returning hired vehicles, obtain an acknowledgement that the vehicle has not been damaged during the period of hire. Third party insurance is compulsory, and comprehensive insurance is also available locally. UK driving licences are valid for stays of up to three months.
Buses are cheap but infrequent on some routes (a timetable is available from the bus station in Victoria or on the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation website). Most public bus routes do not operate after 8pm.
Taxis are generally of a good standard. Taxi meters are increasingly common but if a taxi is not equipped with one, you should agree a fare before starting your journey.
Recent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, highlight that the threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue.
The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom.
For more information and advice, see our Piracy and armed robbery at sea page.
Most of the inner island resorts are accessible by ferry. You should pay attention to safety briefings when taking any boat trips and make sure life jackets are provided, especially on smaller excursion boats.
Take care when swimming or snorkelling, even on organised excursions, and particularly with children or the elderly; drowning does occur.
Seychelles experiences 2 seasonal changes during the year. The start and end of the seasons are less predictable than in previous years, but generally the northwest monsoon season runs from December to March and the southeast trade winds make for a drier and slightly cooler season from May to September. Currents and waves are affected by this.
Beaches which are safer at certain times of the year can be dangerous for swimming at other times. In general, the west coast is affected during the northwest monsoon and the east coast is affected during the southeast winds. Beaches at the southern tip are not recommended for swimming at any time. You should exercise caution when swimming, especially with children. Currents can be strong and drownings occur. Seek local advice about the conditions before you visit the beaches in Seychelles. Heed signage on beaches and stay within your depth.
Dangerous rip currents can occur off the popular Beau Vallon beach (and some other beaches) when the sea is rough.
Beaches do not always show safety information and you shouldn’t assume they’re safe. Lifeguards are not numerous, though some are stationed on popular beaches. Ask hotel staff about conditions and safety on nearby beaches.
It is generally safe to hike in Seychelles; however, there have been instances of visitors getting lost while on nature walks or hiking on trails. It is therefore important for you to plan well and follow appropriate safety measures when hiking. For advice and safety tips, please see guidance from the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority
The Presidential election in October 2020 resulted in the first change of government in Seychelles for 43 years. The first democratic transition of power followed, with a peaceful handover from the United Seychelles Party, led by Danny Faure, to Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, led by the new President, Wavel Ramkalawan.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Seychelles, attacks can’t be ruled out.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.
You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those visited by foreigners.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Drug taking and smuggling are serious offences in Seychelles.
Topless sunbathing is uncommon and not tolerated on some beaches. Nudism is not acceptable.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Seychelles. However, local attitudes vary, so public displays of affection may be best avoided or at least discreet. Same-sex marriage is not currently permitted by law. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist are available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
Local medical services
Medical services in Seychelles are provided free of charge for Seychellois. Residents in Seychelles from overseas may be expected to pay for some treatment, including medication and prescriptions. Tourists are expected to pay for treatment. The main hospital is in Victoria on Mahe and local health centres are situated in most of the residential areas.
Victoria Hospital on Mahe has an A&E department, MRI, ICU and CT facilities and is located at Mont Fleuri (telephone +248 4388000 or in an emergency 999). There are many private clinics which operate in Seychelles, mostly offering GP services. Patients with serious illnesses or requiring emergency treatment or surgery will be treated at the main hospital in Victoria.
In cases of emergency, residents and tourists are admitted to the state-run hospital in Victoria. There are also a number of private clinics in Seychelles which offer GP services.
See our list of medical practitioners and facilities in Seychelles.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Bring sun protection cream and insect repellents with you; local supplies can be expensive.
This page has information on travelling to Seychelles.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Seychelles set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Seychelles’ entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.
From 1 December 2022, Seychelles will no longer require COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from visitors. However, all visitors must complete a digital Travel Authorisation. The Travel Authorisation serves to determine visitors’ travel eligibility to Seychelles prior to the start of travel. This digital form also replaces the paper disembarkation form that was previously completed pre-arrival. There is a fee associated with the application for a Travel Authorisation, which can done be from 10 days before arrival. In case of an emergency or unplanned departure to the Seychelles, an express application is available for an additional fee.
Visitors must also have a valid Travel and Health Insurance to cover for potential COVID-19 related costs.
Proof of vaccination status
Proof of vaccination is no longer required.
If you’re transiting through Seychelles
Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.
Check with your airline before departing.
There are no exemptions to the entry requirements for Seychelles.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
If you’re visiting Seychelles, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
British passport holders do not need a visa for tourist visits. However, it is mandatory for visitors to apply for a digital Travel Authorisation, which determines a person’s travel eligibility to Seychelles. On arrival, you’ll be issued with a visitor’s permit provided that you meet the entry requirements of Seychelles authority. To fulfil the requirements you should:
- not be a prohibited immigrant;
- not be the holder of a valid permit which entitles you to reside in Seychelles;
- hold a valid return or onward ticket for the duration of your visit;
- show proof of confirmed accommodation;
- have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay.
The visitor’s permit may be granted for a period of visit of up to 3 months. You may apply for an extension for successive periods not exceeding 3 months at a time to a maximum period of 12 months, granted that you fulfil the local authority’s criteria for extension. You can extend at any time before your current visitor’s permit expires.
The visitor’s permit is issued free of charge for the first 3 months but there is a fee for extension covering each period of 3 months or any part thereof.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Seychelles.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Goods and services are paid for in Seychelles rupees (SCR). It isn’t common to buy goods or pay for services in any other currency, although some guesthouses and hotels may accept euros or US dollars. You should check before travelling.
Exchanging money can be done at travel agents, banks and bureau de changes. ATMs are common in Seychelles, most are found in Victoria but it can be difficult to find them in more remote areas. Most shops and restaurants accept credit and debit card payments. You should check with your hotel or guesthouse if you will be able to pay using your card.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or cannot offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FDCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you cannot find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.