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Top Holidays

Holiday showdown: The Seychelles versus the Maldives

  • Inspiration
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published
  • Revised

Holiday showdown: The Seychelles versus the Maldives

  • Inspiration
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published
  • Revised

Holiday showdown: The Seychelles versus the Maldives

  • Inspiration
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published
  • Revised

"The Seychelles and the Maldives are two top beach destinations that showcase just how perfect the Indian Ocean is. But which is best? Find out more with our holiday showdown"

If you’ve gone to either the Maldives or the Seychelles then you'll know just how beautiful both destinations are. If you haven’t then a stay in either should definitely be on your bucket list. These Indian Ocean gems offer plenty of R&R for all travellers from honeymooning couples to larger families wanting some fun in the sun. Add to this a healthy dose of scuba-diving, island-hopping and sun-bathing and you have a luxury holiday from start to finish. Endless golden-sands, cerulean waters and swaying palm trees come as standard in both, but what makes these idyllic destinations different? Is it the Creole cuisine and the wildlife of the Seychelles or the overwater villas and the diving opportunities of the Maldives? Let us take away the hard work out of holiday planning as we pit them against each other. Who wins? You decide...

SUNBATHE THE DAYS AWAY

The picturesque beaches of the Seychelles need no introduction. The silky soft sands and azure waves are one of the main reasons why visitors book their ticket to this archipelago so make sure to pack your bucket, spade and your finest swimwear. With 115 islands to choose from, the hardest decision will be where to head to first. Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most popular beaches thanks to its breathtaking scenery. Think coral reefs, golden sands and crystal-clear waters which are ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Alternatively, Anse Takamaka, to the south-west of Mahé, is equally as beautiful and is perfect for those seeking some seclusion yet ample sun-bathing opportunities.
 
Similar scenes are on offer in the Maldives. Here, you’re even more spoilt for choice as there is a beach on almost every one of the country’s 1,200 islands. More than a million-people grace the Maldives’ shores every year, with the simply stunning beaches being one of the main attractions. Whether you want to sunbathe for a few hours or take a dip in the sea, there are seemingly limitless opportunities to relax. Many of the hotels boast their own private stretch of sands to luxuriate on too. Dusit Thani Maldives even has its own glow-in-the-dark beach thanks to the presence of ostracod crustaceans that, when in contact with the water, emit a fluorescent blue light for up to a minute. It certainly makes for unforgettable views once the sun has set.

EXPLORE THE DEEP

Those with a thirst of adrenaline as well as picture-perfect beaches need look no further than the Seychelles. What with diving and snorkelling just two of the most popular activities, you’ll be exploring the deep as well as the sands in no time. You’ll have the chance to snorkel through shipwrecks and coral gardens as well as greet various marine life such as whale sharks along the way at a multitude of locations. L’ilot in Mahé is just one of these. Small in stature but grand in terms of experiences you’ll be able to spot turtles in the shallows and whale sharks once you reach further out. Alternatively, you can witness the fire coral of Brissaire Rocks. Make sure not to touch though as it will give you quite a sting.
 
Even more wildlife can be found if you choose to snorkel and dive in the Maldives. Everything from stingrays and turtles to barracudas and hammerhead sharks call this place home. Ari Atoll is one of the best diving locations year-round, but especially between December and May when the waters are at their calmest. The Maldives is also a fantastic spot for surfing. June to August is the most popular time to ride the waves, with The North Male Atolls being the top choice for many tourists. For more secluded swells the Central Atolls are ideal with little to no crowds and plenty of waves to suit intermediate and advanced surfers.
 

REST YOUR HEAD

It seems that every traveller is catered for in terms of four and five-star hotels in the Indian Ocean, and the Seychelles and the Maldives are no exception. The Seychelles offers guests the chance to stay on the mainland with Constance Lémuria in Praslin being a top choice. Boasting being the only Seychelles resort that has its own 18-hole golf course, you’re able to tee off against backdrops of swaying palm trees and tranquil beaches. You can also enjoy a more secluded stay by booking one of the hotels found on any of the private islands. Zil Pasyon, Denis Island and North Island all have their own five-star resort, with all three featuring secluded villas, a wealth of watersports and plenty of panoramic beach views.
 
However, if it’s a private island getaway that you’re after nothing can beat the Maldives. With every hotel being on its own stretch of sands, a haven of paradise awaits all who come here. One&Only Reethi Rah is one of the most iconic. With six-kilometres of beach to wander along, here you can fill your days with sunbathing and taking a dip in the cerulean waters before heading back to either your beach or overwater villa. If you have an eye for design and fancy immersing yourself with some ultra-luxury you’ll simply adore Cheval Blanc Randheli. Minimalist interiors frame the ocean views beautifully making a stay here nothing short of magical. The Maldives also accommodates fantastically for families and none more so than Niyama Private Island. Thanks to the kids’ club, the multi-bedroomed accommodation and nine on-site restaurants, every member of the party is guaranteed a getaway of unforgettable island adventures. Still stuck on where to go? There’s a whole host of other hotels that we simply couldn’t fit in but you can discover more by clicking here.

SAVOUR THE TASTE

With influences from France, Africa, India and China, the cuisine options in the Seychelles are almost limitless. Expect seafood to be top of the menu with grilled fish being an absolute must for dinner at least once during your stay. Chillies, ginger, garlic and lemon juice are used to add a little kick. If you’re looking for a quick snack in between sunbathing and snorkelling, head to one of the local stores and get some breadfruit chips. After being cut into thin slices and deep fried in oil, chilli or pepper powder is added to the breadfruit for a flavour explosion that is like no other. Similar feelings can be found at Marie Antoinette, which is one of the most famous restaurants in the Seychelles. Declared as a national monument in 2011, the century-old building has plenty of traditional Creole dishes on offer such as bat curry, battered parrot fish and aubergine fritters to name a few.
 
Seafood is also in abundance in the Maldives but this time with Arabic, Indian and Oriental touches. Due to the area being awash with palm trees, coconut in some form is often added to food, giving the dish even more island flavour. Regional delicacies are also a staple in the traditional Maldivian diet with Garudhiya being one of the best. This fish broth served with rice, lime, chilli, onions and sometimes grated coconut is sure to please the palate. Mas Huni is another option. A typical breakfast dish comprised of tuna, onion, coconut and chilli, you can consider your taste buds tantalised.

EXPERIENCE PARADISE

With the popular islands of Mahé, Praslin or La Digue to explore, you won’t be stuck for things to do in the Seychelles. Consisting of more than 115 islands you’ll be adventuring to your heart’s content. As well as boat charters and beaches to discover there’s also exotic wildlife to get up close and personal with. Black parrots can be found at Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve in Praslin while the Seychelles’ Scops Owl are one of the top attractions at Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. However, the Aldabra Giant Tortoise is easily what brings animal-enthusiasts to this collection of islands. You can expect to see these native gentle-giants across many of the islands with North Island, Cousin Island and Curieuse Island just a few of the places where you can catch a glimpse.
 
While you can also scuba dive and go on various nature walks in the Maldives, it’s very easy to come here and not do much at all. With many of the activities on offer being water-based and the land mainly made up of picturesque beaches, this choice is fantastic if you’ve come on holiday to unwind. Many of the hotels offer phenomenal spas to relax in, and the overwater villas found in many of the resorts are simply out-of-this-world. Alternatively, if you do want to explore, why not book yourself a lavish yacht experience and take in the panoramic ocean views?

STILL STUCK? WE’VE ANSWERED YOUR MOST BURNING QUESTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO SEYCHELLES VERSUS THE MALDIVES:

Both the Maldives and the Seychelles are perfect for every traveller wanting an unwind on the beach and plenty of island adventures

I’m after a beach getaway with the whole family. Which out of The Maldives or The Seychelles do you recommend?
The Seychelles is incredibly flexible with plenty of things to do for the whole party, mainly due to the fact you can island hop easily. There’s also UNESCO heritage sites to explore and various day trips and excursions across the archipelago that are easily bookable through your hotel’s concierge service.
 
How long are the flights to the Maldives and the Seychelles?
With both the Seychelles and the Maldives its best to fly to the UAE, stopping over either via Dubai with Emirates or Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways. From there it’s then a further four hours to the Maldives and the Seychelles, making it an 11-hour flight-time in total. There’s also an 11-hour direct flight to the Seychelles and the Maldives via BA which flies on selected days.
 
For the ultimate honeymoon experience, no expense spared, what hotel and packages do you recommend?
This one’s a tough one as both are fantastic destinations! Both the Maldives and the Seychelles offer awesome hotels and have great honeymoon packages. Call us up on 0203 816 0985 so we can tailor your perfect romantic getaway to you and your other half.
 
I want to see the most of the Seychelles. How do I go about doing this?
Apart from booking with us, island hopping will be the key to your success here. Most people combine at least two different hotels on separate islands. For example, you can stay for four nights on one of the main islands – Mahé or Praslin - and see all it has to offer before opting for a private island where you can relax and luxuriate in utter seclusion. If you’re a keen diver, island hopping is fundamental as you can go to a whole multitude of diving sites and see all that the Seychelles has to offer, both on land and under the sea.

THE RESULTS ARE IN...

On paper the Seychelles and the Maldives are very similar. Picturesque beaches, amazing diving experiences and a host of five-star resorts makes both destinations just as perfect as each other. But what is it that makes them different? From the coconut delicacies of the Maldives to the nature parks teeming with wildlife in the Seychelles, it really does come down to what type of holiday you’re after. For travellers looking to relax, the beaches and hotel spas of the Maldives are perfect. Alternatively, adrenaline junkies will be in their element with the Seychelles which is home to world-class diving and unforgettable tours through the lush island greenery. All in all, both should be on your bucket list and if you simply can’t decide how about booking a week in each and deciding for yourself?
 
Beautiful beaches are just a mere click or phone call away. To enquire about your next trip to either the Maldives or the Seychelles, click here or call one of our personal travel managers on 0203 816 0985

Tagged: Maldives, Seychelles, Constance Lémuria, Denis Private Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli, Unspoiled Seychelles - a natural paradise, The Ultimate Island Escape, 14-night One&Only multi-centre holiday in Dubai and Maldives, Check the Corals of the Seychelles with a Reef Safari, Embark on a romantic getaway sunset cruise at Constance Halaveli , Embark on a seaplane excursion at One&Only Reethi Rah, Indulge in a private picnic on a deserted island , Venture to La Digue, Visit the stunning Vallée de Mai
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