Seychelles Travel Guide

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Snorkelling in the Seychelles

Snorkelling in the Seychelles is an unforgettable experience which allows you to explore the underwater world with minimal equipment and planning. Just wear your mask and snorkel and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Seychelles to see the fabulous underwater world of fish, corals, manta rays, turtles, many other sea creatures and fascinating marine landscapes. Keep reading to find out the best time for snorkelling in the Seychelles, the best snorkelling spots, and much more!

Image: Snorkelling around Alphonse Island

The best time for snorkelling in the Seychelles

The best months for snorkelling are April and November, as the wind does not blow during these months and therefore underwater visibility is optimal. If snorkelling is the main activity of your holiday, you should go to the Seychelles in those months. Snorkelling is also possible during the other months of the year, but the underwater visibility will be slightly reduced.


What can you see when snorkelling in the Seychelles?

Snorkelling in the Seychelles allows you to see a wide variety of colourful fish from very close up. Butterflyfish, surgeonfish, pufferfish, parrot fish and angel fish are just some of the species that you can easily spot. It is also quite common to see the beautiful sea turtles, especially the hawksbill turtle, and manta rays. If it is your lucky day you may also see a dolphin or a peaceful little shark.

Coral bleaching in the Seychelles
A large portion of Indian Ocean coral was bleached by the natural phenomenon known as El Niño in 1998, and by a general increase in water temperature. In the Seychelles too, you will often find bleached corals, but in some places you can still see healthy and colourful coral gardens. Despite the bleaching phenomenon, snorkelling in the Seychelles remains a spectacular experience.

What do I need for snorkelling in the Seychelles?

If you wish to snorkel frequently in the Seychelles, we recommend that you bring your own mask, snorkel, and flippers from home. This way you’ll always have your snorkelling gear with you every time you go to the beach or on a boat trip – and you’ll be sure to have the right size and good quality equipment.
In the Seychelles you can rent snorkelling equipment in diving centres and at some hotels. This applies only to large hotels and resorts; smaller facilities such as apartments and guesthouses do not offer this type of service. Normally, during an organised snorkelling excursion, the operator provides the equipment. To be sure, ask for confirmation before departure.


Where to snorkel in the Seychelles

Where can you snorkel in the Seychelles?

In the Seychelles you can snorkel directly from the beach, or during a boat excursion to an offshore snorkelling site. Keep reading to discover the best snorkelling spots in the Seychelles.


Snorkelling excursions in the Seychelles

Some of the best snorkelling spots in the Seychelles are not by the shore, but a few kilometres off the coast. You can reach these points with a boat trip from one of the main islands. Such an excursion usually stops in several places and allows participants to explore the surrounding waters. Skippers are well acquainted with the waters surrounding the islands and can therefore stop at the places with the most underwater life; a member of the on-board staff may join customers in the water and help them spot fishes and other creatures. Excursion providers usually offer masks, snorkels and flippers, but by bringing your own you will avoid wrong sizes or equipment of unsatisfactory quality.

▸ Excursion in the Ste Anne Marine Park (Mahé)
The Sainte Anne Marine Park is a marine protected area off the east coast of Mahé. Its specially protected waters are home to magnificent coral gardens, reef sharks and colourful tropical fish. With an excursion from Mahé you can snorkel in the waters of the marine park and also visit its islands, such as Ile Moyenne.

▸ Curieuse Island & St. Pierre Island (Praslin)
On the small, uninhabited island of Curieuse, off the coast of Praslin, you can admire many giant turtles, enjoy a barbeque on the beach, hike through the inland and swim in bright blue waters. Then your guide will take you to the nearby St. Pierre, a tiny, rocky islet surrounded by an incredible marine life. Here you can do some excellent snorkelling.

▸ Sister Islands (Grande Soeur & Petite Soeur), Félicité, Ile Cocos (La Digue)
These four islets around La Digue are usually visited in a single boat trip. Their waters are home to a surprising variety of underwater life, so it's worth snorkelling by each of them. In addition to excellent snorkelling conditions, you can also relax on the spectacular beach of Grande Soeur and enjoy a delicious barbecue at Félicité.


Snorkelling from the beach

What are the best beaches in the Seychelles for snorkelling?
On many Seychelles beaches, a few steps into the clear waters are enough to find yourself surrounded by many colourful fish. When you leave your accommodation in the morning, don't forget to put your snorkelling equipment in your backpack, so you can explore the underwater world from each of the beaches you visit. Keep reading to find out the best Seychelles beaches for snorkelling!

Snorkelling beaches on Mahé
  • Baie Lazare: In this large bay in the southwest of Mahé, with beautiful turquoise waters and many palm trees, you can relax on the beach, or go swimming or snorkelling. The north-west end (near the car park) is the best for snorkelling, as it is protected by coral reef.
  • Port Launay: At Port Launay you can snorkel on two beaches, Port Launay North, and Port Launay South (Anse Islette). Both bays have calm, flat waters, perfect for a relaxed snorkelling session near the shore. Between them is the Constance Ephelia resort.
  • Beau Vallon: At this famous beach in Mahé you can enjoy many different activities, including snorkelling, for which the southwest end of the beach is best suited. SeyVillas recommends the guided snorkelling excursion offered by WiseOceans.
  • Anse Royale / Fairyland Beach: These two beautiful beaches in the southeast of Mahé are protected by the coral reef and have shallow, calm waters, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. A great spot to watch fish and coral is near the small Fairyland Beach.
  • Sunset Beach: This bay in the north of Mahé offers beautiful scenery and good conditions for swimming and snorkelling in April and November, when underwater visibility is at its highest. In the other months waves and currents reduce visibility and make swimming more difficult.
  • Anse Soleil: This picturesque beach in the southwest of Mahé is not protected by the coral reef and has deep waters; snorkelling is only recommended in April and November, when a very lively underwater world, especially at the southern end, near the rocks, can be seen.
Image: Baie Lazare, Mahé
Image: Fairyland Beach, Mahé
Snorkelling beaches on Praslin
  • Anse Lazio: Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Anse Lazio’s magnificent shades of blue and light blue make its landscape unmistakable. At both ends of the beach, near the rocks, there are excellent snorkelling spots.
  • Anse Petite Cour: This small bay’s calm waters, rich in fish and corals, are part of the Curieuse Marine Park, a protected marine area characterized by a high biodiversity. To access the beach, please contact the hotel "Le Domaine de La Reserve" in advance.
  • Cote d’Or / Anse Volbert: This famous Praslin beach is an almost obligatory stop for those staying on the island. Although not one of the best locations for snorkelling, here you can still observe a wide variety of fish and sea creatures, e.g. in front of the islet of Chauve Souris.
  • Anse La Blague: While it is difficult to swim in Anse La Blague at high tide, low tide creates ideal conditions for swimming and snorkelling. The road to reach it is quite winding, but you are rewarded with a lonely bay with breathtaking scenery and a rich underwater world.
Image: The Chauve Souris Islet by Coted d'Or
Image: Anse La Blague, Praslin
Snorkelling beaches on La Digue
  • Anse Severe: One of the most beautiful beaches on La Digue, at high tide Anse Severe also becomes one of the best snorkelling spots on the island. The whole bay is protected by coral reefs, and you can enter the water from any point of the beach to observe the fascinating underwater world.
  • Anse Source d’Argent: What is considered the most beautiful beach in the world not only offers a stunning landscape, but also crystal-clear waters rich in fish. The coral reef in front of the beach creates a lagoon with calm, shallow waters where beautifully-coloured fish swim.
  • Anse Caiman: Reachable via a complicated route and with rather deep and shallow waters, Anse Caiman is recommended only for experienced swimmers accompanied by a local guide. The granite boulders form some protected pools, whose crystal clear waters are perfect for snorkelling.
Image: Anse Severe, La Digue
Image: Anse Source d'Argent

Special islands for a snorkelling holiday in the Seychelles

Image: Snorkelling around Alphonse is an experience like no other

Alphonse Island
The waters surrounding the coral island of Alphonse are teeming with a variety of marine life that is difficult to find around any other inhabited island in the Seychelles. Warm, crystal clear water, pristine corals, great visibility and a wide variety of fish species make snorkelling in Alphonse a truly unique experience. Stay on Alphonse Island

Cerf Island
The small, roadless Cerf Island, just 10 minutes from Mahé, offers great snorkelling conditions and an atmosphere of pure relaxation. It’s located within the Ste Anne Marine Park, a protected marine area with a rich underwater life. You can also use a kayak or a boat to reach the other parts of the marine park that are ideal for snorkelling. Stay on Cerf Island

Denis Island
Denis Island is a tiny, flat coral island. Rather far from the main islands, it has only one luxury resort and is bordered by beautiful beaches along its entire perimeter. Snorkelling is possible from anywhere on the coast; the waters around the island are home to truly amazing underwater life, rich in all kinds of fish, turtles, manta rays and small sharks. Stay on Denis Island

Bird Island
Bird Island has several aspects in common with Denis: it is also coral (therefore flat), far from the main islands, and has only one accommodation, the Bird Island Lodge. In the transparent shallow waters you can admire a wide variety of fish, corals and turtles. Stay on Bird Island

Snorkelling tips
Choose the right equipment:
  • Make sure that your mask is the right size and adheres well to your face: if the mask is not "sealed" well on the face, water will enter.
  • Although flippers are not essential for snorkelling, they will help you swim without too much effort. If you don’t wear them, you should wear water shoes to avoid stepping on shells or coral debris.
  • You can also choose to wear a snorkelling vest, designed to reduce fatigue and help you stay snorkeling longer without reducing your mobility. However, if you can’t swim, you should wear a life jacket and NOT a snorkelling vest.
Keep an eye on your location and don't snorkel alone:
Whether you're snorkelling from the beach or from the boat, make sure you're always with someone. Don't forget to look up from time to time to see where you are and where the point you need to return to is.

Know your limits:
Don't push yourself to places where you wouldn't feel comfortable and don't exhaust all your energy before returning to the boat or to the shore. Keep your gait calm and your breathing relaxed; take regular breaks from swimming. Watch out for sea currents, especially when you’re near rocks.

Protect yourself from the sun:
To avoid sunburn, apply sunscreen before going in the water, especially on your back and the back of your legs, the parts most exposed to the sun during snorkelling. Remember to choose a sunscreen that does not damage the corals. Alternatively, you can wear a UV shirt. Don't forget to drink water to avoid the risk of dehydration.

Respect nature and animals:
Although sea creatures and corals can be very fascinating, you should never touch them or step on them, as this could harm both them and you.

▶ Travel Journals about snorkelling in the Seychelles

▶ Holiday package - Snorkelling in the Seychelles

▶ Diving in the Seychelles