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The Seychelles travel guide and island information

The Seychelles Travel Guide

Location and Geography

A thousand miles adrift from eastern Africa, just four degrees south of the equator, set in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean lie the miniature islands of the Seychelles. With a total land mass of just 175 square miles, these 115 islands range from the larger islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue which belong to the Granatic Seychelles to the less accessible and much smaller outer Coraline Seychelles.

The turquoise warm waters lapping onto miles upon mile of secluded white sand beaches will set any heart a pulsing. Add to this the breath taking views amongst swaying palms and the dramatic backdrop and it goes without saying that this part of the world is perfect for romantic couples and honeymooners. But the Seychelles offer so much more. It is not only the unique location of the Seychelles that afford them their exclusive label, these islands also have plenty of ecotourism, offering untouched natural areas thriving with unique biodiversity. And with some great Marine reserves, National Parks, Nature parks and two UNESCO world heritage sites, there is a wealth of endemic wildlife and untouched nature to be seen here.

World Heritage Beaches

The Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé Island awaits sure footed hikers, keen to tread the trails through coastal mangroves and beneath jungle style canopies whilst the Vallée de Mai on Praslin, a world heritage site shows off the famous Coco de mer, found only in the Seychelles. Another more isolated world heritage site is the stunning Aldabra Atoll in the Outer Seychelles; this protected and pristine group of coral islands and lagoon is surrounded by its own coral reef and, it is here that the world’s largest population of giant tortoises can be found.

Culture

From ultra-luxurious all villa resorts to home away from home apartments, the Seychelles caters for every taste whilst the laid back lifestyle of the Creole people combined with the blend of French, African and Chinese cultural heritage create an interesting and eclectic array of cuisine, music and culture. Whilst you are here, you can chill out and stay on one island or island hop between one or two islands, thus allowing you a more varied experience of the contrasting islands.  Choose from the quiet Beachcomber islands of the outer Coraline Seychelles to a main island such as Mahé, with the buzzling atmosphere of its capital Victoria and stunning beaches such as Beau Vallon.

In the evenings, eating out can range from enjoying the fresh catch of the day at a small friendly shack on the beach to a fine dining experience in one of the top hotel restaurants on the island.

The phrase that rings true here in the Seychelles is “simple and gentle island life” and this takes the form of pure relaxation and enjoying the laid back lifestyle. Chill out and snorkel on the ravishingly beautiful beaches of Anse Lazio and Anse Source d’Argent or enjoy a reef dive amongst a myriad of colourful fish and gentle whale sharks, all wrestling for your attention. Relax in a laid back luxurious hotel, enjoying a pampering in the spa and an array of world cuisine or trek amongst coastal mangroves or in the wild dense forests with their cool thick canopy. Enjoy the jet set lifestyle and take a private helicopter ride to North Island or Fregate or take a boat trip to Curieuse Island to see the giant tortoises. The choices, just like the clear blue horizon, are endless.

When to go

The Seychelles is a warm and tropical destination all year round. Between May and October, there are more hours of sunshine, it is drier and a cool trade wind blows. Due to the islands’ situation close to the equator, light tropical rain showers are not unusual at any time of the year. However, the heavier rainfalls arrive between November and April when it is hotter and more humid too.

Getting there

Getting between the airport and the resort islands is pretty easy as there are regular domestic flights and ferry services.

Medical requirements

There are no compulsory vaccination requirements for entry into the Seychelles.

Visa requirements

There are no visa requirements for entry into the Seychelles but your passport must be have at least a six month validity on it.

Currency

The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR); however the majority of hotels, restaurants and other tourist related services often quote prices in Euros. You should only exchange foreign currency or travellers cheques at banks, authorised money changers or hotel cashiers. It is in fact a criminal offence to change money with any person or business other than those authorised to do so. Banks are generally open Monday to Friday 08:30-14:30 and Saturday 08:30-11:00.
Major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the Seychelles (although Amex and Diners Club to a lesser extent). ATM’s dispensing local currency can be found at the airports on Mahe and Praslin as well as at major banks on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Should you need to change rupees back into foreign currency, make sure you have the original cash exchange or ATM receipt as proof of the original transaction. Nevertheless, it’s wise not to change too much cash and only change what you will need for petrol and other incidentals. The Seychelles Rupee is a resticted currency and cannot be imported or exported.

Travel time

Flight time to the Seychelles is ca. 11 hours (from UK Airports)

National language

The national language is Creole. French and English is widely spoken.

Time difference

Local time in the Seychelles is GMT +4 hours.

Things to Know

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