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It’s undeniable. The Maldives and Seychelles are the most stunning tropical island destinations in the world. Both offer luxury vacations on islands that have white sand beaches and are surrounded by incredible aquamarine waters. You can find private islands in both countries that will have you feeling like Robinson Crusoe on deserted islands. While both Seychelles and the Maldives are Indian Ocean Islands, there are, however, quite a lot of differences between the islands and it can be hard choosing which country to visit. So if you’re struggling to pick between Seychelles vs Maldives, here’s the lowdown.
1000 Islands To Choose From
The Maldives is home to over 1000 tropical islands and it’s the most geographically dispersed country in the world. This means that you’ll have almost too many options to choose from! The islands are home to dreamy beaches, with sugar-white sand, vivid turquoise waters, and excellent snorkeling opportunities. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world as it’s so incredibly picturesque.
The main airport that services the islands is Malé International airport. Once visitors have arrived in Malé, they transfer to their island of choice by either boat or seaplane, depending on where their vacation island is located in the Maldives.
Most people visit the Maldives and stay on one private island the whole time, doing water sports, snorkeling, swimming, spending time with their significant other, and eating incredible seafood — why would you ever want to leave?
The Maldives and Seychelles may seem similar on the surface if you look at photos of their beaches, however, their islands are very different. The Maldives are flat, coral islands that sit just two meters above the sea. Many of the islands are surrounded by their own reefs offering excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.
The Maldives is home to some of the most picturesque accommodation in the world — the sea bungalow, which is a classic wooden bungalow on stilts, suspended over the tropical sea. You won’t find many sea bungalow options in Seychelles, so if you want to live the dream, the Maldives is the right spot for you. You can also find tons of luxury land-based accommodation too if you prefer to have your feet firmly on the ground.
The Maldives is home to some of the best, world-class resorts that offer unparalleled luxury. From exquisite hotels, through to 24-hour butler service, it’s the perfect place to unwind on a honeymoon or to celebrate a special occasion.
As the Maldives are coral reef islands, the main activities are underwater. There are dive sites everywhere, and the snorkeling and scuba diving offers excellent visibility. You can spot tropical marine life such as angelfish and clownfish, through to bigger creatures such as whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and turtles.
Other top activities include sunbathing, relaxing in hammocks, and eating delicious seafood.
Seychelles is an archipelago made up of 115 islands and it’s home to equally breath-taking beaches, alongside tropical nature reserves, and tons of wildlife-spotting opportunities.
If you’re the sort of person that might start to feel itchy staying in on one island in the Maldives for your whole vacation, Seychelles is a better option for you as there is a lot more to do. The islands in Seychelles are close together, and many people enjoy island hopping for added variety.
Most travelers head to one of the main islands, such as Mahé, Praslin, or La Digue, which each have their own distinct flavor. Seychelles was a former French colony in the late 18th and early 19th century and its history has had a lasting influence to this day. On the main islands, you can explore French culture through cuisine, architecture, and markets, plus some of the islands have their own French-style cafe culture too. After exploring the main islands, if you want some privacy and downtime, you can easily do some island hopping by boat or seaplane and head to one of the private island resorts. For many, Seychelles has the perfect mixture of interesting towns and large islands, combined with private slices of tropical paradise.
Seychelles are granite islands, and its main, large islands are home to rocky cliffs and white-sand beaches. If you visit one of the smaller private islands in Seychelles, you’ll find islands that are visually very similar to the Maldives, with coral reefs and flat, white sand beaches.
Private Islands and Bungalows
Seychelles is home to tons of private islands, many of which are very small and only home to a handful of bungalows. As it has a different geological composition to the Maldives you won’t really be able to find the classic sea bungalows that the Maldives is renown for.
Seychelles is a more family-friendly destination thanks to the islands’ wider diversity and the range of vacation activities on offer. There’s more accommodation variety in Seychelles, from guest houses and Airbnbs, through to high-end luxury accommodation. Seychelles can also be a lot more budget-friendly than the Maldives.
Seychelles is the perfect destination for the active traveler that likes exploring on vacation. Alongside its excellent underwater activities, such as snorkeling and scuba diving, the islands are also home to tropical rainforests and national parks, where you can hike, go rock climbing, or mangrove kayaking. As there are plenty of land-based activities, plus the fact there are main islands with plenty to do, Seychelles definitely wins in terms of variety of activities on offer.
Alongside marine life, Seychelles is home to excellent wildlife spotting opportunities. Seychelles was uninhabited until the 18th century, which means that it has had unique conditions for rare animal and plant species to flourish. The most sought-after wildlife to spot is the enormous Aldabra Giant Tortoise. There’s also an estimated 220 different species of birds, plus fruit bats and rare tree frogs.