What’s the difference between Maldives, Seychelles & Mauritius?

You know you want to visit a magical Indian Ocean destination with picture-perfect beaches of powdery sand and azure waters, but what exactly is the difference between these island destinations? Maldives or Seychelles or Mauritius? Read on for this short guide to these three wonders.
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One of the biggest honeymoon questions we get is ‘Which is better for honeymoon Maldives or Seychelles or Mauritius?’. You already know they have the most incredible beaches. However, they really differ from each other! We thought it was time to break down the difference between these gorgeous Indian Ocean paradises. So let’s help you decide between Maldives or Seychelles or Mauritius for your honeymoon!

P.S If you want to dive deeper into planning a Mauritius honeymoon, check out our Ultimate Mauritius Honeymoon Guide here or if you want to know everything about Seychelles, check out our Ultimate Seychelles Honeymoon Guide here.

Let’s talk geography

The Maldives, located just south of Sri Lanka and India, is compromised of 1200 tiny atolls (islands surrounded by a lagoon), about 190 of these are inhabited. The capital is Malé. 

Seychelles, just off the coast of Tanzania & Kenya in East Africa, comprises 100 islands and the vast majority of these are remote. Most tourists access less than 10 of these. Approximately 90% of the population lives on the main island Mahé. The capital Victoria is one of the world’s smallest.

Mauritius, off the east coast of its giant neighbour, Madagascar, is just one island but has around 50 uninhabited islets. The capital is Port Louis.

Getting there

The Indian Ocean islands are well connected. You can fly via the Middle East including the UAE (with Emirates via Dubai or Etihad via Abu Dhabi), Qatar (with Qatar Airways via Doha) or Turkey (via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines). You can also fly to the Maldives from cities like Bangkok and Singapore in Southeast Asia. There are also flights from European cities like London and Paris.

Petite Anse at Four Seasons Seychelles | The Honeymoon Guide
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Petite Anse at Four Seasons Seychelles | The Honeymoon Guide

Getting around

The concept in the Maldives is one island: one resort. There are opportunities to visit neighbouring islands from some resorts, but most tourists go straight from the airport to their hotel. If you want to go island hopping G Adventures have this wonderful traditional dhoni cruise. You get to your resort by speedboat, seaplane or domestic flight + speedboat. 99% of couples spend the entire trip in the same resort.

In Seychelles, visitors land on the main island, Mahé and although you can base yourself there, going island hopping via plane, ferry or helicopter to neighbouring islands is a must – 2/3 islands is usually the norm. On Mahé & Praslin, the best way to get around is by car (and if you’re Irish, British or Australian – they drive on the same side). Although you can also take excursions.

Mauritius is a small island nation. You can drive from the north to the south in just over an hour. Most couples will stay on the coasts and base themselves at the resort. However, you can take excursions or even better, hire a car for more freedom.

Accommodation styles

In the Maldives, the accommodation is all resort-based. From great ‘all-rounders’ with lots of facilities to smaller, more intimate settings. There are some resorts with blocks of rooms. However, for a true Maldivian experience, accept nothing less than a villa! Whether that is on the beach or over the water, will, of course, depend on budget.

In Seychelles, accommodation varies from eco-resorts and beachside hotels to some of the most luxurious private islands in the world.

In Mauritius, most accommodation is resort-style, from cool boutiques to ultra-luxury hotels.

P.S. Click on the destination and see our top honeymoon hotel recommendations on our destination guides!

couple walking on sandbank maldives | the honeymoon guide | via pexels asad
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Culinary adventures

In both Maldives and Mauritius, many resorts are ‘all-inclusive’ as standard. Others offer a variety of packages, from bed & breakfast, half board (B&D*) to full board (B, L&D*). If you don’t go all-inclusive, you only pay for any extras you eat & drink locally (added to your bill at check-out).

All-Inclusive packages can be great value and sometimes have a handful of activities included. Others have an optional supplement that allows you to upgrade to ‘dine around’ in multiple restaurants.

Generally speaking, Seychelles is not an ‘all-inclusive’ destination. Most accommodation offers either bed & breakfast, half board or full board with very few all-inclusive options. We recommend going with either breakfast or half board. You may be out exploring during the day so you don’t want to be tied to having lunch at the hotel!

When choosing what to eat, we recommend sticking with the local cuisines. Influenced by Indian, French, African and even Chinese cooking. You’ll be in culinary heaven in the Indian Ocean if you love curries or seafood. Typical western cuisine is usually widely available too.

**B = Breakfast L= Lunch D = Dinner

Couple in glass-bottom canoe | The Honeymoon Guide | Photo by Asad via Pexels
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What to do when you’re there

Another common question is ‘Is the Maldives boring?’ or ‘Is the Maldives too quiet? The answer is NO! The sound of the gentle lagoon lapping against white sand or under your overwater villa. Laughter as you sip on a cocktail living your best life – the best sounds on the planet. How would your day go in a typical Maldives resort? You might choose to wake up to see the sun rising, go for a leisurely breakfast or spend the morning diving or snorkelling amongst the coral reef. Take an afternoon stroll on a sandbank or take part in some water sports. Sunbathe by the pool, go to the spa, play a game of tennis, take a sunset dolphin-spotting cruise, have the most beautiful dining experience by the beach, marvel at the wondrous night sky.

In Seychelles, a typical itinerary will involve an island hop from Mahé to Praslin and maybe La Digue or Silhouette. What is there to do in Seychelles? You can lie by the pool in your lovely hotel. However, the world’s best beaches like Anse Source D’Argent, Anse Lazio or Anse Intendance await! Snorkel, swim, dive, and take a glass-bottom canoe. Spend your day meeting giant tortoises, hiking beautiful rainforest trails, visiting the colourful market on Mahé, or bike riding on La Digue. We strongly recommend car hire. Wake up early at least a few times so you get to the beaches before the crowds. If you get there at 8.30/9 am, you may find barely anyone around – magic.

In Mauritius, you can laze away the days in your luxury resort and do all the things a fabulous beach honeymoon offers. When you venture out, you’ll find national parks with fantastic hiking trails through pristine rainforests, waterfalls, birdlife, and butterfliesMauritius has a fascinating history that can be explored on a half-day trip to Port Louis, the nation’s capital

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The best time to go

The Maldives does not get cold but has a wet and dry season. The best time to visit is during the dry season from December to April, although outside of these months is fine too. Seychelles does not get cold, but there are different monsoons. You get dry weather between April to October. Mauritius gets cooler from June to August (average temperature 20°C / 70°F) and the rainy season is from January to March.

While none of the islands experiences very extreme weather events, there can be cyclones or heavy downpours during the wet seasons. So in summary, Seychelles during the summer*, the Maldives in winter and spring and Mauritius in autumn are good bets.

 (*northern hemisphere seasons)

Where else can you tag on?

As we mentioned earlier, multiple airlines serve the Indian Ocean islands. You can fly via Istanbul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha to all three destinations. Some European hubs such as Paris and London have direct flights too. From Asia, you can fly directly from the Bangkok to the Maldives for one of our all-time favourite honeymoon destination combinations. (check out our Ultimate Thailand Honeymoon Guide here). You can also fly from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Any of these make for a great add-on to create the perfect multi-centre honeymoon itinerary. Other honeymoon destination combinations we love include South Africa for an epic road trip, a safari in Tanzania and/or Kenya with Mauritius or Seychelles and Sri Lanka or India with the Maldives. Or you can just fly straight to paradise and stay there the whole time…!

We hope this blog has helped you figure out the difference between these incredible destinations! Let us know in the comments which will you choose? The Maldives or Seychelles or Mauritius?!

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Happy Planning x

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Kaz

Kaz

Founder of The Honeymoon Guide - Luxury Travel Lover - Adventure Seeker - Epicurean

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Hello!

Welcome to The Honeymoon Guide and huge congratulations on your engagement / upcoming wedding! We hope you are as excited to be planning your honeymoon as we are for you. Use our little corner of the web to start planning with the best honeymoon destinations, where the weather is good for a honeymoon with our month by month honeymoon calendar and our top advice to help you choose the best honeymoon to suit you. Explore the blogs and sign up for our mailing below for all the goodies!

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The Honeymoon Guide Team x

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