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Seychelles vs Maldives: Which One Is Best in 2023?

Seychelles vs Maldives: Which One Is Best in 2023?
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What’s the difference between Seychelles vs Maldives? Dive into our complete comparison of these 2 dreamy destinations to see which one’s perfect for your trip! 

Seychelles vs Maldives: Which One is Best?

  • Seychelles and Maldives are both in the Indian Ocean
  • Archipelagos suited for different types of travelers and trips
  • Different cost ranges and activities for each island

Both islands (technically archipelagos, or groups of small islands) on the Indian Ocean, Seychelles and Maldives are likely to come up as possible trip destinations when you’re itching to go somewhere remote and tropical. 

Comparing Seychelles vs Maldives is the best way to narrow down your choices and see which island destination is the best fit for your upcoming trip! 

These archipelagos in the Indian Ocean are each suited for different types of travelers and trips, each one offering something slightly different for visitors. 

Both are very popular honeymoon destinations due to their secluded beaches and the laid-back culture with plenty of activities to do. 

Located off the African coast, Seychelles is made up of 115 islands and home to amazing beaches, rain forests, thriving nature reserves, and towering mountains. 

Off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Maldives is made up of 1,192 coral islands spread over a large area and home to luxurious resorts, stunning beaches, and sprawling coral reefs. 

When you start comparing Seychelles vs Maldives, the little differences between these 2 remote island destinations becomes a little more obvious. 

Seychelles is known for more areas to explore, slightly cheaper stays, and a more authentic, off-the-beaten-path island vibe.

Maldives is a favorite spot for those who want the convenience and total comfort of resort beach vacations with all activities and perks located onsite or very nearby. 

Let’s Compare: Seychelles vs Maldives

Take a look below as we compare Seychelles vs Maldives in terms of accommodations, food, adventure, relaxation, and cost.

You’ll quickly see which island chain is the missing link for your upcoming trip! 

Accommodations

Overwater luxury villas at sunset shows the accommodations in Seychelles vs Maldives for a visual comparison

Siraphob Werakijpanich/Shutterstock

Maldives offers more luxury resort accommodations with one-resort islands that are often all-inclusive. Seychelles offers a wider range of accommodations from average to luxury. 

Seychelles is bigger than Maldives, offering more options for accommodations for solo travelers to large families and groups. 

You’ll also find the smaller, one-resort islands here, just like in the Maldives. With the large area, even bigger resorts here can offer that secluded, private feel as the grounds span acres. 

Accommodations in Seychelles range from average to luxury in comfort and amenities, so you’ll be able to choose where to stay based on how much you want to spend. 

Choose from all-inclusive resorts with every amenity you can imagine, beachfront hotels, quaint chalets on natural hillsides, or rustic villas built on stilts over the Indian Ocean. 

In the Maldives, resort accommodations are very private and secluded with one resort on each of the small islands. Talk about feeling like you’ve got the place to yourself!

From family-oriented and dive resorts to romantic, tucked-away retreats for couples, the Maldives offers a range of accommodations for travelers of all types. 

Accommodations in the Maldives are typically focused on being all-inclusive with shops, restaurants, pools, bars, spas, and more located right on the grounds. 

As you’d expect, this is a destination that makes a natural fit for honeymooners who want privacy and a romantic, tropical setting. 

Choose from accommodations like modern villas, private rooms, beachfront bungalows, and overwater villas for an added touch of luxury in the Maldives. 

Food

Waterfront luxury dining experience with table set for breakfast to show how Seychelles vs Maldives food options compare

Maridav/Shutterstock

You’ll find a wider range of cuisine types in the Maldives, but Seychelles is the spot for local fare infused with spices and techniques from various cultures. 

Seychelles dishes up lots of dining options for travelers, ranging from fusion cuisine with African, Indian, Chinese, and French influences to amazing seafood and steakhouses. 

Traditional Seychellois cuisine (including tropical fish and curry dishes) is easily found across the islands here if you want a taste of what’s local. 

You’ll find memorable dining spots, like the floating Japanese restaurant Seyshima and creole cuisine favorite Marie Antoinette, dotted across the islands. 

Since Maldives is home to so many luxury resorts, it’s easy to find cuisine from all over the world here. On Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, you’ll even find a world-famous underwater restaurant, Ithaa! 

Expect lots of high-end dining options at any resort in the Maldives, with food options ranging from seafood and steaks to pasta, imaginative burgers, and traditional Dhivehi (or Maldavian) cuisine. 

Since your dining options will be limited by the resort you choose in the Maldives, it’s worth considering this aspect heavily in your choice. 

Both Seychelles and Maldives offer a wide range of dining options, but Seychelles may give you more opportunities to eat like a local.

Maldives offers more upscale dining options with inspiration taken from all over the world. 

Adventure

A female traveler stands on a cliff overlooking the island rain forest and ocean for a piece comparing adventure in Seychelles vs Maldives

Aleksandra Tokarz/Shutterstock

You’ll find the most activity and adventure options in Seychelles. For smaller-scale exploration that won’t take you too far from your room, the Maldives is perfect. 

Comparing Seychelles vs Maldives, Seychelles is better for true adventurers and explorers who want to get out and see the islands’ natural beauty and features. 

Seychelles is home to lush rain forests, majestic mountains, hiking trails, and stunning tropical scenery that really makes your vacation comfortable with a touch of the wild. 

If you love to get out and explore, the sprawling acres and natural features of Seychelles are absolutely ideal.

You can swim at the beach, go snorkeling or diving, hop on a bike to pedal around, shop and eat in town, check out galleries and museums, and more. 

You won’t feel “trapped” at your resort in Seychelles and it’s easy to broaden your horizons by checking out areas further from your room here. 

The Maldives offer their own brand of adventure for travelers.

Less focused on adventures and more geared toward activities offered by different resorts, you’re on the fast track to fun without the “work” in the Maldives. 

In the Maldives, beach activities are the focus with diving, snorkeling, water sports, island hopping, and dolphin cruises giving you tempting options for things to do. 

To explore further than the confines of your resort in the Maldives, you can catch a boat to other islands (some uninhabited), dive on a nearby coral reef, and take a sunset cruise to see the ocean wildlife. 

Since the Maldives islands are smaller, you’ll be able to walk any island in the archipelago from end to end in less than an hour.

That shrinks your number of possible activities and room for adventures, but it certainly makes getting out and doing something easy! 

Relaxation

Spa tables in a waterfront open air hut with curtains to show relaxation options in Seychelles vs Maldives

karamysh/Shutterstock

If relaxation is the name of the game for you, both Seychelles and the Maldives offer excellent spas, secluded beaches, and private options for dining, jacuzzis, and more. 

Seychelles makes a prime spot for relaxation, but it’s also seen as a great spot to come for adventure and activities. This makes it the “best of both worlds” for most travelers. 

You’ll find luxury and traditional Seychellois/Asian spas at the resorts in Seychelles. Each one offers relaxing and soothing treatments that make any trip that much more enjoyable. 

Check out Kempinski the Spa, Island Stress Relief Spa, and Silhouette Spa for 5-star spa experiences in Seychelles. 

With secluded white-sand beaches dotted with big boulders and towering palm trees, it’s easy to relax on the shores in Seychelles. Beauty, mountains, and rain forests surround you to calm your mind and let worries drift away. 

A range of private, romantic dining options can help you carry the relaxation through mealtimes for the perfect, laid-back visit. 

Maldives, on the other hand, is more geared toward luxury relaxation with its resort-type accommodations. Upscale spas are everywhere here, offering uniquely relaxing treatments for travelers. 

Check out The Floating Resort by ScubaSpa and Lily Beach Resort & Spa at Huvahendhoo, where you can watch ocean life through the glass floor. 

Relax on a remote beach and enjoy the white sand and blue water with ocean views as far as the eye can see. Take advantage of private and waterfront dining options for secluded, romantic dinners. 

Since the Maldives are small, one-resort islands, you’ll never have to travel very far to relax and fully enjoy each moment.

Your resort probably has a spa on the premises with private beaches steps from your room! 

Cost

Maldivian scenery aerial view with resorts, huts, and sand on a sunny day for a cost comparison section on Seychelles vs Maldives

icemanphotos/Shutterstock

While neither option is cheap, Seychelles is typically less expensive than the Maldives with more mid-tier options for accommodations, food, and activities. 

Seychelles is the more budget-friendly destination in the Seychelles vs Maldives comparison, offering average stay costs for 2 people in the $3,500 to $4,000 range. 

Since Seychelles offers a wider range of mid-tier options for accommodations, activities, and dining, you can keep to a tighter budget here with a little planning. 

Your transportation to the islands will represent a large chunk of the overall cost at around $1,300 to $3,000+ for a round trip flight from the US. 

Maldives vacation prices are slightly higher, ranging from around $2,500 to $9,000+ for 2 people (depending on the resort, when you go, and transportation costs). 

The average Maldives trip costs around $5,000 for a couple, placing it on the high end of affordable tropical island destinations. 

But it can get much more expensive than that, with private island accommodations and luxury resorts charging $500-$750+ per night. 

Transportation to the island will be a big part of your expenses for a Maldives vacation. Expect to pay from $1,600 to $5,500+ for a round trip flight from the US. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Girl swimming with goggles next to a sea turtle for a frequently asked questions section on Seychelles vs Maldives differences

Sun_Shine/Shutterstock

Wondering how you’ll finally settle the debate between Seychelles vs Maldives?

Take a look at these frequently asked questions to learn something that might tip the scales on way or another. 

Which is better, Seychelles or Maldives?

Seychelles and Maldives are both popular destinations, but each one suits different traveler needs.

Seychelles is more affordable and geared toward adventure, while Maldives is focused on luxury accommodations and private, secluded relaxation.

What's the difference between Maldives and Seychelles?

The Maldives are smaller, one-resort islands located off the coast of Sri Lanka (Asia) and surrounded by thriving coral reefs. High-end dining, pristine resorts, and private luxury are commonalities across the islands here.

Seychelles is home to larger islands with beautiful natural features like rain forests, mountains, creeks, and beaches. It’s less expensive than the Maldives with mid-tier to luxury options for accommodations and dining.

Is Seychelles similar to Maldives?

Both are archipelagos in the Indian Ocean with plenty of world-class accommodations, dining, and spa options. Seychelles is off the East Africa coast, while the Maldives are off the coast of Sri Lanka in Asia.

You’ll find private resorts, waterfront dining, ocean activities, and secluded, romantic areas in each destination.

Which is cheaper, Seychelles or Maldives?

Seychelles is usually cheaper to visit than the Maldives. There are more mid-tier accommodations and dining options in Seychelles, and round trip flights here from the US are a bit cheaper.

Maldives is more geared toward luxury and upscale accommodations, dining, and shopping. Round trip flights from the US are slightly higher for the Maldives than Seychelles.

What's the best time to visit Seychelles vs Maldives?

The best time to visit Seychelles is during the shoulder seasons from April to May and again in October to November. These are calmer months with less wind, better ocean conditions, and outside of the July/August peak season.

The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April, during the dry season when it’s warm and less crowded. Avoid going during the monsoon season (May-November and January-March).

How long do you need in Seychelles and Maldives?

Plan on spending at least a week in Seychelles since there’s so much to explore and see here. With bigger islands and more room to explore, you’ll need more time to experience Seychelles overall.

Try to spend at least 4-5 days in the Maldives for the best experience. Since most of the islands are home to a single resort and can be walked end to end in an hour or less, you won’t need as much time here to see it all.

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So, Which Is Better: Seychelles vs Maldives

Overall, the comparison of Seychelles vs Maldives has shown us that while these 2 remote, romantic island destinations are equally inviting, they’re each best suited for certain types of trips.

Seychelles is the winner if you’re looking for a more affordable trip with tons of natural scenery to get out and explore, real adventure, and a mix of island tradition and contemporary comforts. 

Maldives is the go-to choice if you want a remote, relaxing beach getaway that prioritizes luxury, privacy, and tons of activity options just steps from your room or villa. 

Your trip budget will help you narrow down your choices between Seychelles and the Maldives. If you want to keep to a tight budget, opt for Seychelles. 

You can spend around $4,000 for a Seychelles vacation or $5,000+ in the Maldives. You may find cheaper rates by going during the low season, but you’ll pay for it with less ideal weather conditions. 

The added convenience of all-inclusive resorts, more privacy, and smaller islands in the Maldives might make the cost difference worth it for you. 

But overall, the wild and natural landscapes in Seychelles with the more affordable cost and ideal tropical weather (especially when you go at the best time of year) make Seychelles our choice for the top island destination in the Indian Ocean.