Seychelles, Maldives or Mauritius?

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Travel & Adventures

Are you indecisive about where to go for your holiday or honeymoon?


What' are the main differences between Seychelles, Maldives and Mauritius?

 

All 3 countries are located in the Indian Ocean and are famous for their white coral sand beaches, clear turquoise blue waters, excellent diving and deep sea fishing, as well as for their top class hotels and spas.  But what are the differences?

“I have lived and worked in the Maldives for 6 months and in Mauritius for 1 year (with longer visits before and after that period) and I have been to the Seychelles a few times. Frequently I am being asked for advice on which country to choose, which one is my favourite and what the differences are.”

This might help you get some clarity if you are thinking about a trip to the Indian Ocean:

 

 

Seychelles

La Digue, Seychelles Photo (snapshot): Ami Elsius

 

 

La Digue, the 4th largest inhabited island in the Seychelles (115 islands in total) and the least inhabited of the main islands, concur with my internal image of paradise. With lush vegetation, smooth granite boulders and beaches to die for. It’s hard to find a more postcard picturesque place than that.

 

It’s a paradise also for birdwatchers and nature lovers with many rare plants and birds and the giant tortoises.

 

 

The most secluded and beautiful beaches on the island; Grand Anse och Petit Anse are dangerous with strong underwater currents and rips…so be careful.

Paradise...what more to say

 

I would recommend a round trip if you are thinking of visiting the Seychelles and La Digue is a must, but staying there for a few weeks would be boring for most people; it’s small, quiet and very laid back…with high prices.

 

 

 

One of many granit rock island in the Seychelles

Seychelles has been a bit behind with the development of top end resorts and services but has made a big progress in resent years and has a well-deserved reputation as a role model for ecotourism. Hospitality and service is not occurring as naturally and generously as in Mauritius…although you can expect to find good service in the 5 star resorts. It used to be said the Seychelles has 5 star islands and 4 star service and that Mauritius is a 4 star island with 5 star service.

 

Small secluded beaches or big long ones, all are white and none crowded with tourists.

 

 

People speak Seychellois Creole, French and English. Culture wise it is not as rich and varied as in Mauritius but a lot more vibrant than in the Maldives. In the Seychelles it’s easy to find secluded beaches as it does not attract huge crowds of tourists, even though you can find cheaper accommodations these days. Great food by the way!

 

 

 

Seychelles is a role model for ecotourism

 

 

Maldives

Ariel view of Ari Atoll, Maldives Photo: Ami Elsius

 

Maldives, the lowest country on the planet, with its highest point of only 2.3 meters, consists of 1192 islands spread out in 26 atolls. The rule is that there’s not more than one resort per island.

Most people stay on one or maybe two different islands during a holiday or honeymoon there. More than that can be a bit tiring as it takes time to get around; the islands are spread out over 90.000 square kilometres.

Unless you really like diving, canoeing, fishing, windsurfing, sailing and going to the spa and reading books…there’s not so many other things to do in the Maldives.

You can forget about nightlife, even in the capital it’s dead at night. Being a Sunni Muslim country, alcohol, pork, pornography and Christian literature is forbidden; foreigners and resorts are exceptions to alcohol.

 

 

I have heard many stories about couples getting bored after a while and getting on each other’s nerves. Restless people that don’t know how to do nothing or that are not big fans of water sports, should really consider another alternative.

 

Dhonimighili, Maldives Photo: Ami Elsius

 

If you are looking to back pack, looking for a self catering apartment or to make up your mind on arrival….you are not going to be very lucky. People are generally friendly and service minded. Work here is a lifestyle, not a 9-5 job: Most people that work on the resorts also live there.

 

Traditional Maldivian Dhoni Photo: Ami Elsius

 

 

Unless you stay in 5 star luxury, you will likely be served a lot of “long shelf life” food: Something to keep in mind if nice food is important to you.

This is because hardly anything grows in the Maldives…just about everything apart from fish, bananas and coconuts and sweet potatoes, is imported…mainly from India, Sri Lanka and Italy.

Long local sea transports adds to the costs and makes it hard to get fresh ingredients.

 

 

 

Maldives is best seen from high up in the air or in the water Photo: Ami Elsius

 

 

Something really great about the Maldives is that you can see booth the sunset and sunrise every day over the ocean…thanks to the flat small islands….and the night sky is fantastic.

 

Most islands have beautiful beaches, some more than others. What most tourists don’t know is that early every morning, and throughout the day there are people working with picking up garbage from the beaches that’s floated ashore. If left untouched, you would have very dirty beaches.

 

The choice of resort is extra important in the Maldives; I suggest that you take your time to choose carefully as you will stay on the resort grounds just about all the time.

 

Do take the amphibian plane at least once…Maldives has to be seen from the air, it’s absolutely amazing!

 

 

 

 

Coral beaches full of beautiful shells, Maldives Photo: Ami Elsius

 

 

 

 

Mauritius


Photo: Ami Elsius

 

People and culture wise Mauritius is my favourite, with inhabitants originating form many parts of the world: India, Sri Lanka, Africa, China, Muslim countries and France. Mauritian Creole is the main language, followed by  French Creole, French and English. At school it’s compulsory to study an oriental language which can be an Indian language, Arab, a Chinese language or an African language. People that work with tourism often knows how to speak a bit of Italian, Spanish, German and /or Italian as well.

 

 

 

Mauritius is one big island of 2040 square kilometres, with 4 smaller islands belonging to the country as well: Rodrigues being the most visited of them. Even thought it is densely populated you will find big natural parks and with untouched nature. Beach life, night life, city life, nature walks, religious festivals and cultural shows and exhibitions…plus a lot more: You don’t have to be bored in Mauritius.

 

Le Mourne, Mauritius Photo: Ami Elsius

 

It’s easy to get around; with a rented car, taxi and public transport or on a guided tour.

Even though Mauritius is famous for it’s 5 star hotels, you can find all types and levels of accommodation here.

People are very friendly and helpful; I would even go as far as saying that it’s almost hard to find bad service in Mauritius.

 

 

You can find great beaches on Mauritius but in general, Seychelles and Maldives have nicer ones…. according to me.

 

Good quality food is easy to come across in all price levels, with a mix of Indian, Chinese, Creole and French cuisines. Even if you are happy and comfortable with your resort, it’s worthwhile exploring a bit of the island.

Arial view Mauritius

 

 

If you have time and money I would recommend a trip to La Reunion, the neighbour country: A beautiful volcanic Island (still active) with high mountains and lush vegetations.

 

La Reunion

 

In the end, it’s only slight variations of Paradise!

 

 

 

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Comments

59 Responses to “Seychelles, Maldives or Mauritius?”
  1. aelsius says:

    Dear Kunal Sorry for the late reply. I would only recommend Barefoot Resort on Havelock Island, as a destination for honeymooners, in the Andaman island. Check their website, prices and availability during January, and decide from there. You have probably made some plans already…but just incase.
    Good luck

  2. aelsius says:

    To be honest I haven´t been there. Check comments on Tripadviser.com and Booking.com

  3. aelsius says:

    In general Seychelles are the most expensive( it´s usually the most expensive of the places to fly to) then Maldives and last Mauritius…but it totally depends on which hotel you choose. http://www.booking.com shows you the hotel prices for each destination. The prices vary a lot depending on the season. You can travel to each of the places on your budget…it just depends on which hotel and in what period.

    Good luck!

  4. aelsius says:

    The north, north west and west of Mauritius has a dry plesant climate in August (their with temperatures ranging from 16 (at night)-26 degrees. Other parts of the island has a cooler and windier climate in August. It´s less humid and sticky and perfect for exploring the island…instead of just hanging on the beach, by the pool or stay in the water or on a boat (on in airconditioning) which you tend to do in the hot season.

    Same goes for the Seychelles: look for north, north west facing beaches (unless you enjoy the strong wind for kite or windsurfing) average temperatures rage from 24 (at night) till 28,5 during the day.

    Hope that helps you

  5. aelsius says:

    In November you can find quiet beaches in booth countries. Mauritius offers more diversity in things to do, better service and is a bit more equipped for families with young children.

    Even though you can find great quitet beaches on Maldives I personally think they are more beautiful on the Seychelles..lined with the sculpted granite rocks (specially on La digue) but it´s all a matter of choice.

    I think I would go to the Maldives with a newborn and wait with the Seychells till it gets a bit older. Mauritius is well equipped with great clinics and hospitals if need to be and it´s easier to find products, food and proffessional help for the little one than in the Seychelles. In Mauritius you have everything on one island and you don´t have to go travelling from one island to another with boats.

    Hope this is of any help

  6. Agustin says:

    Hello im agustin im from argentina and had intended to travel to Seychelles in February is a good time to travel? or there are many waves on the beach? thanks

  7. Dipti says:

    thanks for this – i think i clearly know where i want to go now… :)

  8. d n dabke says:

    is there a conveyance between maldives and mauritius around say 8/11/2013 by air or cruise? pl inform.

  9. Ashish says:

    Thanks for this information. Just one query.. which place will be best suited weather wise in end february? clearly all three options have a lot to offer..

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