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Seychelles

Seychelles

If you can picture images of leaning palm trees, white beaches, lush wild interiors and crystal blue waters, then you can picture the Seychelles. The words ‘natural beauty’ do not do these 115 islands justice. Scattered across the Indian Ocean, the famous archipelago is located 1,600kms from the east coast of Africa

Whether you stick to the three main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue or explore the outlying islands, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Apart from sunbathing on some of the most exquisite beaches in the world, such as Anse Source d’Argent and Anse Soleil you can trek into the lush, mountainous interior of Mahé island, dive with the critters of the deep at Shark Bank or island hop your way across the archipelago discovering jungle trails, turquoise waters and deserted coves.

The islands are also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the legendary Vallee de Mai on Praslin island and the jaw dropping coral reef of Aldabra.

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North of Mahé the islands are small and relatively unexplored, which makes for great walking trips through wild, hilly, lush mountains areas.

Capital
Victoria
Languages
Creole, English and French
Population
87.000
Int. dial code
+248
Visa
Time zone
GMT+4
Voltage
220 V 50 Hz AC
Currency
Seychelles rupee (SCR). By law visitors must pay for all accommodation, car hire, transport and attraction entrance fees in foreign currency. Take plenty of cash and use credit cards as back up. ATMs are available at banks and dispense rupees.
Seychelles travel advice
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Seychelles tourism board
Seychelles tourism

Solo travellers beware: the Seychelles is a honeymooners paradise, so expect to be surrounded by couples.

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Take your pick of beaches and indulge in some ‘extreme’ sun tanning. Age-old granite boulders dot the sands on Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue while the powder-soft sands of Anse Victorin, Fregate are the key attraction.

Dive the azure water and discover the corals of Aldabra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest raised coral atoll on earth.

Take a guided tour of Morne Seychellois National Park and explore the island’s mountainous interior.

Make friends with one of the giant Aldabra tortoises on the granite island of Curieuse.

When to go

The Seychelles are blessed with year-long warm, tropical weather. The climate is governed by the trade winds. From October to March winds from the north-west bring warmer weather and from May to September the easterly trade winds bring cooler, winder weather ideal for sailing.

The wind free months of April and October are the best months for diving and snorkelling, when the water is warmer and clearer.

International airports

Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) is 8km south of the capital Victoria on the island of Mahé.

Getting around

Inter-island flights are operated by Air Seychelles. A number of ferry and catamaran companies offer trips between the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and are far cheaper than flying.

On the islands of Mahé and Praslin an extensive bus service operates, fares are cheap and services frequent. For flexibility, hire a car. Drivers must be over 23-years-old. On the island of La Digue, bicycles are the principal form of transport.

Accommodation

The Seychelles has a wide range of accommodation options. There are of course the ultra plush and ultra expensive resorts, but you can also find cheaper guesthouses and self-catering apartments. Camping is forbidden anywhere on the islands.

Food & drink

The staples are fish and rice. It goes without saying the seafood is fresh and delectable. Lobster, crab, octopus and a huge array of fish are gilled, steamed, salted, baked, smoked, minced and the list goes on.

The islands also have a large variety of tropical fruit including mango, banana, papaya and crambole. Fruit juices are popular. The local beer is Seybrew. Also try the palm wine calou.

Health & safety

The Seychelles is relatively safe with no specific dangers or scams. Consult your GP or a travel health clinic for advice on inoculations.

Some travellers have been critical of the public health system, which offers the cheapest service. Private hospitals and clinics are more expensive but have better equipment and staff. Tap water is safe to drink.