Maldives v. Seychelles: which wins?

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Jun 4th, 2004, 12:19 PM
  #1
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Maldives v. Seychelles: which wins?

Similar to another message posted recently on this board, my fiance and I are struggling with the question of where to spend our September honeymoon, the Maldives or the Seychelles. I notice that several people have mentioned that the Maldives have more activities than the Seychelles. Can anyone go into more detail -- my fiance and I are into hiking, biking, snorkeling, diving -- you name it. Will we be wanting for these things on the Seychelles? It seems like the good hotels offer all these amenities.
And, are there any great differences in the weather?
Many thanks in advance for your help.
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Jun 4th, 2004, 02:42 PM
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sandi
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Haven't been to the Maldives, but considering that most hotels/resorts are one-to-an-island, and these islands are only about 1-ft. above sea level, I doubt if you'll find mountains to hike thru. And whether there are sufficient black-top roads to bike on would be something to question.

The Seychelles have blacktop roads on their major islands, Mahe, Praslin, LaDigue.

On LaDigue, there are no automobiles allowed (except for emergency vehicles) so the bike and your feet are the only ways to negotiate this island.

On Praslin there are roads galore, and forests in which to hike; likewise there are plenty of roads on Mahe to bike and a forest in the center for hiking.

As to water sports, I believe these would be similiar in both places. But most people visit these destinations primarily for the beaches, water activities and diving. I don't believe hiking and biking are major selling points at either destination.
 
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Jun 7th, 2004, 03:26 AM
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Being to both, Maldives wins hands down. It is so romantic. We did lots of walking, snorkeling, diving, and biking too.
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Jun 7th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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I've also been to both and in my opinion, it all depends on what you want out of your trip.
From a honeymoon perspective, the Maldive islands are beautiful. Very quiet and peaceful but, not much going on. Great for just lazing around, diving and swimming. When I was there, I was on an adventure trip on tuna 'dhoni' (fishing boat) sailing around for 9 days helping to crew. A different island (there are thousands and some are really tiny, just like in comic strips with a single palm) every day and one every night where we anchored off.

The Seychelles are also beautiful but busier and larger, and with a lot more to see and do. You'd get your hiking and biking here but not in the Maldives. The Seychelles are also more commercialised than the Maldives.
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Jun 7th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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sandi
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The Seychelles are more commercialized in Victoria, the capital, on Mahe. Otherwise, once you get out to your lodging on Mahe, and especially on the outer islands - I didn't find that much commercialization.

If one is looking for single resort-type islands as in the Maldives, there is always Fregate and North Island. But I don't believe niki50 wants to spend in the range of $1500 to $2000 nite (though all inclusive of meals, drinks, etc) and then the private transfer to/from these islands. Certainly cost a lot more than the flights between Praslin and Mahe. And it's only a ferry ride from Praslin to LaDigue.

In the Seychelles you can be as remote and private/romantic as you wish at the hotel or resort you've staying, as in the Maldives, but if you choose to get out and investigate the islands - there's plenty for you to enjoy.

Granted for a small group of islands, with a population of about 80,000, consider that the islands only permit entry of about 250,000 visitors a year. I wouldn't call that overrun if you spread it out over the year.

Decisions, decisions!!!
 
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Jun 7th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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There are several single-resort islands in Seychelles which are considerably cheaper. For example, Alphonse and Anonymes is in the $700-800 a night range and Cerf and Bird Islands are in the $500s. Transfers are not all that bad, either.

As to commercialization, the Victoria area of Mahe is quite similar to Male.

And although it is purported that Seychelles as a 250,000 yearly visitor limit, the past few years they have been running in the 110,000 to 125,000 range. Many beaches are empty during the week.
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Jun 8th, 2004, 04:03 AM
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NoFlyZone - thanks for the reminder that there are other single-resort islands - how soon one forgets when everywhere you see visitors directed to is the "latest, newest, greatest, the best, etc."

Sad to hear that the Seychelles aren't maxing out on the number of tourists they'll allow in any given year, though I believe, here too, the impact of Travel Warnings is having an effect.

Thanks for the info.

 
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Jun 8th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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Actually, their tourism has been increasing yearly. I don't believe there are any travel warnings for Seychelles (and haven't been for quite a while) and overall arrivals have been steady. If anything is cooling it, it is the high taxes which are setting hotel prices sky high.

The 250K is something near the total bed-nights available and places rarely fill up 100% all year round.
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Jun 8th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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sandi
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NoFlyZone - when I mentioned travel warnings I wasn't referring to the Seychelles specifically, though before the Ayatollah, these islands were a hot vacation spot for wealthy Iranians, with the former Shah owning one of the islands.

Rather, since many people travel to the islands from an African Safari, or from Western Europe - travel warnings to/from these countries has to have had an impact - the domino effect.

When we visited a few years back, I wouldn't have consider end-Nov/begin-Dec, "the season." Sure there were plenty of tourists, but no where what might be there during their high season.

As to the high taxes, I recall that the government was considering instituting a $100/person visitors Pass (not actually a Visa entry fee). This would have been a one-time fee (regardless the number of times a person visited the islands) and include discounts on certain tours and entry fees - the idea was rejected quite vocally by the local tour operators. It's got to be difficult when there is no industry or exports to cover "just running the country" - so the visitors pay in rather high room rates.

So this is Paradise!!!
 
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Jun 8th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Lots of Middle Easterners vacation in Seychelles, as well as western Europeans and, strangely, Russians! But I understand the domino effect you refer to.

"The Season" is pretty scattered as different resorts market to different originating countries. So one hotel could be full one week and its neighbor not ... and vice verse next month! Very strange. Having said that, the most crowded times are the holidays (Christmas/New Year and Easter) and July through September.

The $100 you mention is the ill-fated "Gold Card" which was proposed back in 1999 or 2000 or so and was squashed by tour operators (more European than local) who objected to it, saying it would kill their business. The government capitulated and now there is only the $50 departure tax. Now, the only industries which bring in foreign exchange are tourism and tuna fish, so they pay dearly...

And we wonder why Wilderness Safaris charges over $2500 a night for a room at North Island!
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Jun 9th, 2004, 04:19 AM
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sandi
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NoFlyZone - That's it - the "Gold Card." We were having lunch with the manager of Mason's Travel and she was saying how those on the islands weren't all too happy with this grand idea the government was proposing.

Well, a Departure Fee isn't all that unusual - I recall our Departure Fee was 100 SeyRupees, a bit less than $50. But they've got to do what they've got to do.
 
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