Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Which Paradise Island is Better?

Mauritius Vs Seychelles
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Mauritius vs Seychelles – These stunning islands are two of the first places people think of when discussing their idea of a tropical paradise and the pinnacle of luxury, but before committing your hard earned savings to one or the other, it is worth doing some research to establish which paradise island is better?

Situated in the Indian Ocean, each island and the competing Maldives offer glorious white sand beaches, world class hotels, coral reefs bustling with exotic marine life and a host of activities. Whether you want to sip cocktails on the beach, see Giant Tortoises wander on by, or go swimming with Whale Sharks, both can guarantee plenty of once in a lifetime experiences, complete with year-round sun.

Boasting 5-star, exclusive resorts just a stone’s throw away from some of the best beaches in the world, deciding which island is the perfect one for you will be no easy task. This article will talk you through the key factors when choosing where to go for your dream holiday, making comparisons between; accommodation, pricing, food, beaches, attractions and nightlife to give you a comprehensive overview of each island.

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Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Accommodation

On the surface there is little to choose between the two in terms of accommodation but with a little bit if digging, you will find that most review sites suggest the best hotels can be found in Mauritius…

beach bar resort in Mauritius
Photo by Xavier Coiffic @xaviercoiffic

Mauritius features two resorts in the Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice – Top 25 All-Inclusive Resorts in the World list, whereas Seychelles was not represented at all

At number 15 in the list, is the Tamassa Resort in Bel Ombre, while the LUX Belle Mare ranks at an impressive 4th. Reviews from LUX Belle Mare comment on the Michelin Star restaurant, fantastic spa and attentive staff, while Tamassa Resort also receives praise for its food offerings and friendly staff.

Based on Trip Advisor’s review system, Seychelles has three 5* hotels to choose from, in comparison to Mauritius’ 39, however, this is significantly skewed by the fact Mauritius dwarfs the Seychelles’ 115 islands in terms of size and population and has a larger number of different resorts.

The highest rated hotel in Seychelles is the Hilton, Northolme Resort & Spa which is in touching distance of a white sand beach & the Indian Ocean, close to botanical gardens and even inspired James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.

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Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Prices

Although most people travelling to a paradise island will generally opt for an all-inclusive resort, particularly couples on their honeymoon, it is always good to know what sort of prices you can expect should you decide to venture away from the hotel and private beaches. Based on our research, costs in the Seychelles are considerably higher than its rival holiday destination, Mauritius.

The following figures (in USD) are from cost aggregator, Numbeo and are up-to-date as of October 2020.

Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant.

Mauritius ($37.44) – Seychelles ($74.15)

Domestic Beer (0.5Ltrs)

Mauritius ($1.88) – Seychelles ($5.15)

Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)

Mauritius ($3.74) – Seychelles ($7.31)

These are just three potential costs a tourist may consider but as you can see, costs in the Seychelles are more than double for the Mauritian equivalent. This can be accounted to the exclusivity of the island which welcomes far fewer tourists than its rival. The islands also offer free education and healthcare which raises import taxes considerably, compared to it’s Indian Ocean counterpart.

brown and white boat on brown sand during daytime
Photo by Rafael Forseck @rafafors

If you just plan on relaxing on the beach and making use of the facilities provided by your luxury hotel then the difference in costs isn’t much of an issue. On the other hand, if you would like to see and do as much as possible then this may be an important consideration.

In terms of the cost of actually staying on the islands, the price per night in a hotel is quite similar, although as you would expect, an equivalent 5* resort would cost more in the Seychelles than it would on the island of Mauritius which also offers a large number of budget options which you would not find in Seychelles.

Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Food

Both islands have a creole heritage which is clear to see and taste, however there are distinct differences between the two which shape their culture and cuisine. High quality seafood can be found easily in both destinations but Mauritius certainly displays a more Asian element in its cooking, while in the Seychelles you can see a subtle European influence.

48% of people in Mauritius are Hindu and Indian style cuisine is easy to find, particularly with the Mauritian take on a seafood Vindaloo called Fish Vindaye. Chinese Dim sum is also a favourite on the island, while more simple, European dishes can also be found, having been ruled by the French, British and Dutch over the centuries.

vacant chairs in front of counter
Photo by Xavier Coiffic @xaviercoiffic

The French have had a large say in the food found in Seychelles with many of the island’s best dishes originating from the country. A tropical, African feel can also be found in the country’s desserts, making use of banana, breadfruit and lime.

There is a definite similarity between the food on each island but your curry is more likely to have a spicier kick on Mauritius, as the flavours in Seychelles are a touch more delicate.

Rum is the spirit of choice in Mauritius, with its signature cocktail, the Ti Rum Punch, while Seychelles is famous for its palm wine, Calu.

Three dishes to try in Mauritius:

Boulettes – AKA Mauritian Dim Sum originating from the island’s Cantonese inhabitants.

Vindaye – The island’s take on a Vindaloo, usually made with fish or octopus.

Gateau Piment – A common street snack of yellow split peas, seasoned with spring onion and green chillies.

food in Mauritius
Image by Yash Gooly from Pixabay

Three dishes to try in Seychelles:

Civet de chauve souris – A curry made of fruit bat (yes, bat!) pieces which have been marinated in vinegar & red wine, then cooked with a range of herbs & spices.

Pwason sale – A traditional salted fish from a preserving recipe that dates back centuries.

Kat-kat Banana – Green bananas and fish cooked in coconut milk, served with mashed plantains.

Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Beaches

Although both islands are equipped with beautiful beaches, Seychelles comes out on top in this category, regularly topping lists for the best beaches in the world. There is also a rule on the island that no beach can be privatised, meaning you do not have to stay at an exclusive resort to enjoy the natural surroundings.

The jewel in the Seychelles crown is Beach Anse Source d’ Argent, one of the most picturesque beaches on the planet and a regular competition winner. The oddly-shaped formations of granite boulders and clear, shallow water make it one of the most postcard-worthy coastlines imaginable.

boulders on seashore in Seychelles
Photo by Maksim Shutov @maksimshutov

If you intend on doing a bit of island hopping then La Digue is a popular island for its beaches and is more laid back than some of the larger islands, with many visitors also making the trip for the diverse Veuve Nature Reserve.

In Seychelles motorised sports are banned, such as jet skis and banana boats, ensuring a more relaxing and tranquil time for beach goers. Whereas certain sections of beach in Mauritius can be quite noisy due to the amount of motorised activity in the water, so if peace and quiet is paramount, one island certainly offers more guarantees than the other.

Beaches in Mauritius are often over-populated with hotels, somewhat spoiling the overall atmosphere and views. Many are also privatised on the island by big resorts and access is restricted unless you are a resident, or willing to pay a fee.

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A filter water bottle is an effective way of purifying water to remove any impurities or contaminants.

Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Attractions

Both destinations offer fantastic activities, whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a solo traveller but while Mauritius provides a more action-packed holiday, Seychelles focuses on preserving its natural wonders.

water reflection of coconut palm trees
Photo by Dan Freeman @danfreemanphoto

Nature

Though Mauritius has lots to offer in terms of natural beauty, it cannot rival the Seychelles as development is strictly controlled on the island to protect flora and fauna. Around 40% of its land area is designated as a national park, in addition to four national marine parks. Its tropical weather throughout the year provides a great habitat to a host of exotic wildlife and plants. A unique experience for nature lovers and commonly referred to Indian Ocean’s best destination for wildlife, with some islands left virtually untouched.

For example, Cousine Island has dedicated twenty-seven hectares to bird and turtle conservation (with an estimated 100,000 Giant Tortoises), while the Aldabra Atoll has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for its stunning, undisturbed coral gardens. The Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve  on Praslin has also been recognised by UNESCO for its palm trees which date back to prehistoric times!

That is not to say Mauritius is without beautiful, natural landscapes and diverse wildlife but its higher population and urban sprawls means some if its impressive forests have been lost and the government has less measures in place to protect its environment.

Coral Reefs

Scuba diving instantly springs to mind when you think about a holiday in the Indian Ocean and these two islands offer some of the best in the world.

The best coral reef and snorkelling on Mauritius can be found at the Blue Bay Marine Park, near Mahébourg, a large protected area , home to colourful reef fish and the occasional sea turtle.

As i’m sure you guessed from reading the previous section, Seychelles is a world class scuba diving destination and its coral gardens rank amongst the best of anywhere on the planet. Its marine life is one of the main reasons motorised water sports are completely prohibited, as such the island caters for all levels, offering easy-to-access shallow reefs for beginners, while experienced divers can tackle the little-explored outer islands.

island on body of water in Seychelles
Photo by Tommaso Nervegna @nervegna

Sports and Adventure

Water sports are a popular past time for holiday makers in Mauritius, making it a bit more attractive for families who want to bring the kids along. The country’s tourism board tries to appeal to a wide range of holiday makers and its coastline is home to a number of jet ski and parasailing providers.

In addition, to the aquatic fun, Mauritius also features eighteen hole golf courses and you can even hire a 4×4 to create your own safari, so your trip can be as adventurous or relaxing as you like.

Although, Seychelles promotes a sleepier way of life and its charm lies within its beauty and natural surroundings, you will still find that many non-motorised sports will be provided in resorts. Fishing enthusiasts will also find their paradise with unbeatable salt-water fly fishing.

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Mauritius Vs Seychelles: Nightlife

Although many people tend to stay in their hotels and resorts at night, both islands cater for revellers looking for a party atmosphere when the sun goes down. Mauritius tends to be more relaxed in terms of nightlife with its beach bars and nightclubs, while Seychelles provides a more exclusive experience with strict dress codes and more lavish clubs.

Seychelles’ 115 islands welcome around 300,000 holiday makers, attracting a younger crowd over the last decade which has seen a boom in its night-time offerings. However, the archipelago’s exclusivity also transfers to its night clubs and anyone casually dressed will be swiftly turned away.

The top clubs can be found in Mahé (in the capital of Victoria) and Praslin Island.

Mahé offers a higher end experience, with top DJs and expensive nightclubs which would not look out of place in Ibiza. Praslin Island in contrast, is more relaxed in terms of its bars & clubs, although venues still enforce a strict dress code.

Top nightclubs in Mahé include: Lovenut Nightclub, Bar & Café, Ozone, Tequilla Boom, Upgrade 9T Club & Barrel Nightclub.

Praslin Island’s popular venues are: Level 3 Bar, Silhouette Bar, Plantation Club Resort & Casino, Jungle, Oxygen and Katiolo Discotheque.

pool surrounded with trees and gazebos
Photo by Jörg Angeli @joerga

The main night spot in Mauritius is Grand Baie, with beach parties, live music venues and sports bars, with a less formal dress code. Grand Baie offers a varied selection of bars, so if dancing to top DJs till the early hours sounds like too much effort, you can still enjoy a few beers in a more relaxed and casual setting.

Some of Mauritius’ best night spots include: Banana Beach Club, C Beach Club, Big Willy’s, Lakaz Cascavelle, Lambic & Moustache Bistro.

Mauritius or Seychelles : Where is better?

It is hard to choose one single island as ‘the best’ without knowing a person’s criteria or ‘must haves’, therefore it is wise to break down the main qualities of each island.

Mauritius

  • A wide range of sports & activities
  • A more casual, relaxed nightlife
  • Very affordable to eat out, drink and get around
  • World-leading resorts

Best for: families, party-goers and thrill seekers.

Seychelles 

  • Guaranteed peace & quiet
  • Home to some of the best nature spots on the planet
  • Unbeatable scuba diving experiences
  • Stunning, untouched beaches

Best for: honeymoon couples, nature enthusiasts and people looking to get away from it all.

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