If you demand more from your tropical island breaks than a few well-timed cocktails and a nice view, you’ll have been deliberating over the merits of a Seychelles or Mauritius break for a while now. On Instagram, they both look like tropical havens. But can we trust a few influencers with some dreamy filters to choose our trip of a lifetime? Perhaps. But just to be sure, we’ve had a delve into the details on your behalf.
The Seychelles’ beach game is strong. 115 islands that all come with sand that begs to be lazed upon. Mauritius is looking a little less idyllic. It’s just one island, with a couple of outlying islets, but they have tailored that one space to cater to your holiday dreams. Still too close to call, let’s dive a little deeper into the Seychelles vs Mauritius debate.
Your Seychelles or Mauritius deliberations could be solved in this category alone. If you’re looking to spend as little time in the air as possible, the Seychelles pips Mauritius to the flight time post. Coming in at 10 hours and 10 minutes (from Heathrow), it’s still a long–haul epic. But to get to Mauritius, you’re looking at 11 hours 55 minutes. We’re not too bothered by the extra time. Another film, perhaps chance to finish the closing chapters of your airport bestseller … or just nap. So cost will also play a part. Flights to the Seychelles are often cheaper, though it’s a different story when you land.
It’s all well and good saving a couple of hours in the air. But what about when you land? In the Seychelles, you’re mostly looking at resort life. Where, in theory, everything you need is on one island – or within your resort. But Mauritius is an island which has pointed itself firmly in the tourist direction. You can gad about, flit from restaurant to attraction with ease – and generally explore, drive or hike wherever you fancy. In the Seychelles, you’re looking at island life – with a boat trip to take you further afield. Each come with their own benefits. It just depends on your holiday style.
Without wanting to overstate things, the Seychelles is a bit of a sand superstar. Holiday brochures will wax lyrical about how soft those grains are – but that’s just wasting word space. The real draw is the number, variety and quality of the beaches overall. Yes, Mauritius has nice beaches – but many have been snaffled up by resorts who keep their coastal frontage private for guests. For pure, lazing on the sands in the tropical space of your dreams it’s hard to beat the Seychelles. But Mauritius has an ace up its island sleeves when it comes to beach activities…
So what’s Mauritius got that the Seychelles can’t deliver on a beach? Motorised watersports. Yes, it’s a bit of a niche, but some aren’t happy on their holidays unless they’re jet skiing, water skiing or parasailing. The Seychelles have banned them all to keep conservation of their waters in check. When it comes to other activities, Mauritius is your island if you like a lot of options. Golf in Mauritius is big business. Hike-wise, the two are fairly matched. If you’re purely looking for wildlife activities, the Seychelles will win you over. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can dive with whale sharks.
To island hop ... or not?
An archipelago of options, the Seychelles isn’t short on places to sail to, explore and generally scamper about in paradise. With 115 islands in its back pocket, the Seychelles vs Mauritius bout looks a little one sided. Mauritius may be just one island, but it does have some twee neighbours to visit. That is of course if you want to hop on a catamaran for a few hours. Perhaps you’d rather keep your feet firmly on solid ground? If so, Mauritius has plenty of in land spots to explore that don’t require a seasickness pill and an affinity for knots and deck wear.
For plant based travellers, diligent restaurant intel is a holiday lifesaver. It can also be a time vortex that reels you in for days as you desperately search for the merest hint of a plant based curry. So let’s break down your Seychelles vs Mauritius options. The Seychelles has yet to embrace veganism with open arms. You’ll need to flag your dietary needs with your resort and plan any trips well in advance. No vegan restaurants – or even a veggie outlet to pin your hopes on. In Mauritius, there’s a vegan cafe in the north of the island which is a solid option for a stay. A veggie restaurant, plus plenty of vegan street food nibbles makes the island a safer bet.
Nature lovers, pack your binoculars and ready yourself for a wildlife bonanza. It’s tough to call whether the Seychelles or Mauritius is the better option here. Mauritius has some endemic birds that twitchers will be keen to spy. From the fairly urban looking pink pigeon to the tropical green cateau – there’s a chance to spot some extremely rare species. The Seychelles goes perhaps a step further with the Seychelles paradise flycatcher – a bird only found on the island of La Digue. You’ll also want to look out for endemic geckos on Mauritius – and the Aldabra Tortoise. Originally from the Seychelles, it’s been introduced to an island off Mauritius to keep the species going.
Winner: Both – though the Seychelles is going the extra mile in conservation terms.
We’ll start by saying both locations have family friendly spots – particularly resorts. But several things combine to make Mauritius a better bet for families. We’ve talked about activities already, but this is one area that really can make or break a family stay. Boredom is not an option when there are little ones in tow. Budget, convenience, easy access and safer beaches in Mauritius make it almost the outright winner. That said, older children – especially those that love wildlife, will adore the Seychelles.
Financial waters can be murky at best. Some traveller’s wallets are bigger and bolder – others less so. We’re all travelling for different reasons and looking for different things. And, when we’re spending – no matter our budget – priorities are eclectic. Disclaimers done with, what’s the fiscal situation on these islands?
It won’t surprise anyone to learn that the Seychelles aren’t cheap. And, this isn’t an archipelago we’d recommend scrimping on. Not because we’re being in any way snooty. It’s simply that, if you’re on a budget, your money will go further and buy you a better experience on Mauritius. Low cost accommodation is easily found and there’s plenty to do. The Seychelles is perhaps a spot best reserved for a big deal. Honeymoons, anniversaries or a well-deserved long–haul treat.
Winner: Mauritius for budget breaks. Seychelles for luxury holidays.
Mauritius vs the Seychelles: our verdict
Island life is up for grabs in both destinations. It just depends how you like your tropical vibes served. We’d love to spend more time in both destinations, but if we had to choose one, it’s Mauritius. The easy access to so many activities – with a little island hopping thrown in – clinched it for us.
Has that sorted your Seychelles or Mauritius dilemma? With the Orbzii app you can easily plan and book your way to either destination. Or both…