A brief yet essential article for those dreaming of spending Christmas in Seychelles and welcoming the New Year under palm trees on the beach of a tropical island in the Indian Ocean on the equator. Isn’t it a dream? It certainly sounds like one! However, there are nuances and intricacies in this matter that may not be immediately apparent. I’ll share everything you need to know about celebrating Christmas in Seychelles.

Christmas in Seychelles: General Information

Facts to better understand the national characteristics and how locals celebrate Christmas and New Year.

  • The majority of the population in Seychelles is Catholic, with others being Hindus and Muslims. Learn more about the religious diversity on the islands.
  • The main holiday here is Christmas on December 25. People prepare for it, celebrate it, and set up a grand table with family.
  • However, New Year is not extensively celebrated in Seychelles. It’s more for tourists and a nod to Western traditions.
  • Hotels and restaurants adorn themselves with garlands and decorations.

Interesting to know:

Christmas trees and pine trees don’t grow here, as it’s a tropical climate. Locals either use artificial trees or create improvised ones from palm leaves, coconuts, bamboo – their creativity knows no bounds. An example was shown in the photo at the beginning of the article.
Christmas in Seychelles
Here’s another Christmas tree in Seychelles made from coconuts.

Christmas is a family celebration. Fireworks and festivities on New Year’s Eve are almost absent. Only hotels, popular among Europeans, organize entertainment programs. If you rent a villa or apartment, you’ll need to plan your own New Year celebrations.

If you want a lively New Year’s Eve with a noisy, fun crowd, choose hotels with more European tourists. Otherwise, you might find yourself heading to bed by 11:00 PM. In most large hotels, Christmas is celebrated quietly, while New Year’s Eve features banquets, festive dinners, and a New Year’s program with fireworks. However, these events usually end around 2-3 AM, rarely lasting until morning. Learn more about the timing, operating hours of establishments, and the punctuality of locals.

Drawbacks to Be Aware Of

Let’s discuss the main drawback you might encounter during Christmas and New Year in Seychelles.

Important:

Despite Seychelles being on the equator, with summer all year round and temperatures around +30°C, December and January are the two rainiest months. In recent years, it’s not uncommon to experience 7-10 days without sunshine. Rain can last the whole day or just 1-2 hours. Weather is unpredictable – year ago, there was hardly any rain, while this year, December was drenched.
christmas seychelles weather
The second half of December was quite rainy last year, but by January 1st, the sun was shining brightly. Be mentally prepared for rain during the Christmas holidays but hope for some sunshine.

In December and January, there are many tourists on the islands, and rains don’t deter them. However, for those flying in for a short 5-7 day vacation, be prepared not to see the sun during that time.

Packages for Christmas in Seychelles

Now, a few points about packages for Christmas and New Year holidays:

  • Occupancy rates in hotels across Seychelles during Christmas and New Year average around 97%. This means there’s almost no available accommodation, and what’s left will be very expensive.
  • If you plan to purchase a package for Christmas, it’s better to do so well in advance, at least 3-4 months. Keep in mind that some tourists book Christmas packages as early as April. Early booking often comes with good discounts.
  • Read about excellent hotels in Seychelles with available packages here.
new year seychelles
Many restaurants in Seychelles offer holiday menus for Christmas and New Year. I recommend trying the local Christmas dish, Ginger Crab, if you come across it.

Travel Tips

Now, some tips that will definitely help, and for many, they are not as obvious until you arrive.

  • Seychelles has only one true supermarket with the assortment we are accustomed to, located in the capital, Victoria. Before Christmas and New Year, the entire country converges there. Expect heavy traffic, impossible parking, and even worse queues at the cash registers. All other shops in Seychelles look like the ones in the photo below.
  • On Christmas and New Year, almost nothing is open – neither shops nor restaurants. Plan your leisure activities in advance, especially your purchases, including groceries.
christmas holidays seychelles
The fruit stall is ready for Christmas, adorned with tinsel.

Important:

If you plan to bring any products to Seychelles for Christmas, keep in mind that importing meat and fish products to Seychelles is prohibited. There is a scanner at the airport, and if they find any such items, you’ll be required to discard them. However, many tourists still attempt to bring something.

In conclusion, Christmas in Seychelles unfolds quietly in a family circle, while New Year is celebrated in a routine manner without extravagant festivities. Either choose a hotel with a Christmas and New Year program or plan your own leisure activities. For many, the beach, ocean, palm trees, and a bottle of Takamaka rum are enough to welcome Christmas and New Year.


IMPORTANT: essential links to organize your dream trip to the Seychelles:

  • FLIGHTS: Aviasales – direct flights and best deals.
  • CAR RENTAL: Mahe and Praslin, no deposit required – DiscoverCars.
  • TOURS and EXCURSIONS:
    • GetYourGuide – 75+ activities on land and water in the Seychelles.
    • Viator – 150 + activities in Seychelles.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: EKTA.
  • HOTELS, VILLAS, APARTMENTS:
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • PACKAGES: from budget to luxury – Expedia.
  • AIRPORT TRANSFER: Intui.
  • INTERNET: eSIM of local telecom operator – Airalo.