The Republic of Seychelles (FR. République des Seychelles, English Republic of Seychelles, seiche. Repiblik Sesel) is an island state, consisting of 115 islands of granite origin and coral atolls. The Seychelles are located in the western Indian Ocean, south of the equator, about 1600 km east of the African continent and north of the island of Madagascar.
The area of the Seychelles is 455 km². The largest island is Mahe (142 km²), on which the capital of the state is located – the city of Victoria and the international airport. Other popular tourist islands are Praslin, Silhouette, La Digue, Bird. The population of the state is about 94 thousand people (data for 2016).
Seychelles was officially discovered at the beginning of the 16th century by the second expedition of Vasco da Gama. However, earlier, in the 9th-10th centuries, the Seychelles was visited by Arab sailors. Until the 17th century, the Seychelles were uninhabited, then they served as a base for filibusters who hunted in the Indian Ocean.
In 1742, the governor of the island of Mauritius, Mahe de La Bordonne, sent a ship to the archipelago, after which the largest island was named Mahe. At the same time, the islands were named after the French minister Moreau de Séchelle. Since 1756, the French settled on the islands, who in 1770 brought in slaves and set up plantations of spices – vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and also began to grow sugar cane, coffee and corn. At the end of the 18th century, the Seychelles attracted close attention of the British Empire, which did not fail to make them part of its territory, annexing Fr. Mauritius in 1840. The state gained independence only in 1976.
- Capital: Victoria
- Area: 459 km²
- Population: 94,228 (2016)
- Language: French, Seychelles, English
- Of.site: https://www.seychelles.travel/en/
The main article of the Seychelles economy is the tourism industry, from which the state receives about 70% of the income, followed by fishing. It is in the Seychelles that the largest tuna processing center in the Indian Ocean basin is located. In addition, Seychelles is an offshore zone with thousands of international companies registered.
Virgin nature is the main wealth of the Seychelles, actively protected by the government and residents of the state.
How to get to the Seychelles
You can fly directly to the Seychelles by aircraft of the national island carrier – Air Seychelles. Also, during the high season (winter), the charters of Transaero Airlines fly to the Seychelles.
All planes arrive at the international airport “Pointe Larue”, which is located on the island of Mahe, a few kilometers from the capital of the Seychelles – Victoria.
Climate and weather in Seychelles
The climate of the islands is subequatorial marine. There are two main seasons: from December to May in the Seychelles it is hot, the average air temperature is +29°С, and from June to November it becomes cooler, the average temperature is about +24°С. In addition, monsoons form two intermediate seasons – from June to October (southeastern Swett monsoon) the dry season begins, and from December to April (northeastern Nordé monsoon), hotter weather sets in, and humidity increases. The best times for diving are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Windsurfers and yachtsmen visit the Seychelles in May and October. The beach season on the islands lasts almost all year round.
Islands and regions for tourist travel in Seychelles
Seychelles is an island nation of 115 granite islands and coral atolls. The largest island is Mahe (142 km²), on which the capital of the state is located – the city of Victoria and the international airport. Other islands popular with tourists are Praslin, Silhouette, La Digue, Bird.
There are about 70 beaches on the island of Mahe, the most famous of them are: Beau Vallon and Grand Anse (rather big waves and excellent conditions for surfing); Anse Intendanse (part of which is nudist); Anse Forbans and Anse Royal (protected by a coral reef, good diving site). For lovers of secluded relaxation, the remote beaches of Anse Soleli and Anse Petit Polis are the only major port in the archipelago. The city has a variety of Creole restaurants, souvenir shops and shops, fruit and vegetable markets, and art galleries. Victoria is a very beautiful green city with traditional Creole architecture, nestled among the Signal, Crav Coeur and Niol hills. Nearby is the Three Brothers Mountain (699 m). The capital of Seychelles is surrounded by cinnamon plantations on all sides. Mahe Island is the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, its area is 150 sq. km. The island has a mountainous landscape, indented by rivers and covered with lush tropical vegetation. The capital of the state of the Seychelles is located here – one of the smallest capitals in the world – the city of Victoria. Seychelles International Airport is 9 km from the city.
On Mahé, it is worth visiting the Seychelles Morne National Reserve, the Royal Spice Garden, the Mont Fleury Botanical Garden, the National History Museum, the studio of the artist Michael Adams, the village of artisans. Not far from Mahe Island is a group of 4 small islands, declared in 1973 as a National Marine Park with unique marine life.
Praslin Island is the second largest island in the Seychelles, located 37 km north-east of Mahe Island. The landscape of the island is mountainous, the coastline is indented with large and small bays, and there are wide sandy beaches. On Praslin, there is no great excitement, as the island is surrounded by a coral reef. The small size of the island allows you to explore it on foot or by rented bike, and you can also get to any part of the island by bus. The village of Grand Ance is the main settlement, there are 2 monuments crowned with images of the fruits of the sea coconut palm “Coco De Mer” – the symbol of the Seychelles, present even on the coat of arms of the state.
It is worth visiting the May Valley National Park, which has the largest palm grove in the Seychelles, numbering about 7 thousand trees. In the same park, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, there is also a colony of the rarest birds – black parrots.
The most popular beaches of Praslin Island are located in the bays of Maria Luisa, Lazio, Consolation, Cote D’Or (“Gold Coast”), as well as in Bois de Roses, Boudin and in Kerlan Bay, where in 1999 the most luxurious Seychelles hotel opened – Lemuria Resort de Praslin 5 *.
Silhouette Island is the third largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. There are no roads on this island – only hiking trails. The highest point of the island – Mount Dauban (740 m) – dominates the island. The island is surrounded by a ring of living coral reefs, the underwater world of which attracts lovers of diving, snorkelling and fishing. The only hotel on the island is Labriz Silhouette 5*, which is considered the most beautiful hotel in the archipelago.
La Digue Island
La Digue Island – very popular with tourists, the fourth largest island in the archipelago – 5 km long and 3 km wide, located 43 km from Mahé and 6.5 km from Praslin. The highest point is Mount Ni d’Egl (Eagle’s Nest, 300 m). The island is famous for its magnificent landscapes and the opportunity to relax in seclusion. The only mode of transport is ox carts, and bicycles are also popular, which can be rented at the pier and in hotels. Tourists are attracted by the beautiful Surs-d’Arzhan bay and Tursi cape. The beaches of Petit Ari, Grand Anse, Anse Coco, Reunion, Sever, Palat, Gulette, Gros Roche, Banana and Fourmi are also very good. The capital of the island is the village of La Passe.
The main attraction is the house where the film Farewell Emmanuel was filmed. The most famous hotels on the island are La Digue Island Lodge, L’Union Beach Chalets and Gregoire’s.
The coastal waters are ideal for diving and fishing. The island is home to the world’s largest elephant turtles and the only surviving state-protected paradise flycatcher colony.
Felicite Island, located 4 km from the island of La Digue, is one of the most beautiful islands of the archipelago, its picturesque granite rocks are the hallmark of the Seychelles. The coastline is discontinuous, cut by cliffs, you can swim only in secluded coves with white sandy beaches, which you need to get to by swimming or on foot, crossing the low mountains.
The only large beach on Felicite is La Penice, and the only hotel is Felicite Private Lodge 4 *, consisting of 2 small houses with roofs made of palm leaves. The concept of staying at the hotel is such that guests, even booking only one room out of 8 available, end up on the island completely alone – other orders are not accepted.
Alphonse Island is the southernmost of the islands of the archipelago. This is a private property that is extremely popular with divers. The island was named after Chevalier Alphonse de Pontivez, an adventurer and treasure hunter whose frigate landed on the island in 1730.
Alphonse has the shape of a regular triangle with sides of 1200 m. It is a coral atoll that borders a large lagoon. The most popular form of transport is bicycle. Tourists go to Alphonse to relax on 3.5 km of well-groomed beaches, get acquainted with the underwater life of the coastal waters, which is inhabited by sea turtles, giant crabs, fish of all kinds of colors. In October, sperm whales, bronze and humpback whales and killer whales come to the island. The Alphonse diving school and fishing center are so popular that it is advisable to book the course and services in advance.
Small Anonyme Island with an area of 1300 sq. m. lies to the west of Mahé, it was named after a sailing ship that made voyages between the islands of the Seychelles archipelago. Anonymous is a private property, it belongs to the daughter of the President of the Seychelles. The island is very picturesque: there are palm groves, emerald hills, caves and cozy bays with white sand, framed by heaps of huge granite boulders of gray and pinkish color.
The island has an exclusive resort Anonyme Island Resort 5 *, consisting of 4 villas. This hotel is unique in that it can be rented entirely for one family or group. For the duration of the lease, in agreement with the hostess, it is even possible to close the island for any outside visits.
Bird Island is the northernmost of the Seychelles. Its dimensions are 1500 m long and 650 m wide. The eastern and southern parts of the island are surrounded by a coral reef. A few kilometers from the island, the continental shelf ends, on which the Seychelles are located, and the deep ocean trench begins – the best place for deep-sea fishing. Bird Island got its name in 1776, when European travelers sailed by and saw “countless birds” on it. This is how the name appeared – Bird (“Bird”). The bird colonies that had left the island when cotton and papaya plantations appeared on it returned in 1967 – new owners began to restore the Byrd ecosystem. Now in October-November and April-May you can watch birds choosing Bird Island as a resting place during bad weather. Here you can see black terns, sea swallows, swifts, white-tailed phaetons – about 100 species of birds in total.
Another attraction of Bird Island is the world’s oldest tortoise, Esmeralda. She is about 170 years old, she is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest in the world: her weight is 304 kg.
After sunset, all lights on the island are extinguished. This is done in order not to disturb birds and turtles: disoriented by the light, turtles may not find their way to the water.
Today, Byrd is a member of the Green Globe International Ecotourism Association, and in 1994 received the prestigious Tourism of the Future Award, established by British Airways. On the site of the old plantation, a small, cozy Bird Island Lodge was erected. The only inhabitants of the island are hotel guests.
Coral Island Denis is quite small – 1.8 km long and 1.3 km wide. The runway crosses it from end to end, rising only 3 meters above sea level. Denis was named after the French traveler Denis de Trobriant, who officially discovered the island in 1773. In Trobriand’s logbook, there was a record that, allegedly, a bottle was buried on the island with a document according to which the island belongs to the French crown. The bottle has yet to be found, but this mystery gives the island a romantic flair.
The main and only settlement of the island is a small settlement with 50 inhabitants. The only hotel on the island is Taj Denis Island Lodge 4*, many celebrities choose it for their rest.
The flora and fauna of the island has been preserved in its original form. Denis is an ideal place for deep-sea fishing lovers: it was in its waters that 5 world records for catching dogfish were set. In addition, tuna and marlin are caught here in May, October, November and December.
Cousine Island is an island of granite origin, its landscape consists of gentle hills and piles of huge boulders. A wide beach with fine white sand stretches along the perimeter of the island. Kuzin is a private property, its owners strive to preserve the pristine nature of the island. Since 1992, the island has actually turned into a private reserve for many species of birds and plants. The island is home to the rare singing robin and tailed warbler; here you can see the white-tailed tropical bird, which is the symbol of the island of Mauritius. Kuzin Island is overseen by the International Bird Conservation Committee. Today, more than 40 environmental and scientific projects have been deployed here.
Two old turtles also live on Kuzin – George and Georgina.
Coming to relax at the only hotel on the island, Cousine Island, guests, thereby, contribute to the maintenance of the local ecology – all funds go to the Cousine Ecological Fund. Tourists on Kuzin must be prepared for the fact that it is forbidden to smoke, have picnics and collect shells here: nothing should disturb the pristine nature. Today, the owners of the island are trying to implement a project to transfer the hotel’s supply to power from solar panels, in the future it is planned to transfer the entire island to exclusively solar energy.
Saint Anne Island
The small island of Sainte Anne Island until the 18th century served as a staging post for pirate ships and whaling ships. The first settler-planters appeared on the island only at the beginning of the last century. The landscape of Sainte-Anne is made up of beaches with white coral sand, lush tropical vegetation, picturesque granite rocks.
The pride of the island is the National Marine Sanctuary located in its coastal waters, which was established in 1973 as one of the first in the Indian Ocean. More than 150 species of fish and other marine life are protected in the reserve. In the waters off the island of Sainte-Anne, the use of any motorized craft is prohibited, so as not to disturb the fragile ecosystem of the natural park.
In addition, Sainte-Anne is a luxury resort that holds leading positions in many international hotel ratings. Here is the only luxurious hotel on the island Sainte Anne Resort & Spa 5*, which belongs to the famous hotel chain Beachcomber.
Fregate Island, privately owned, is small in size: its length is 2 km, width is 1 km. In the Middle Ages, the island was a haven for pirates. Pirate maps with the designation of treasures were allegedly found on the Frigate by Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels. The treasure has not yet been discovered, and the island remains surrounded by a halo of mystery.
The frigate is located in the easternmost part of the archipelago. There are no roads and vehicles here at all: you can only move on foot or by bicycle along the paths. The nature of the island is unique: rare plants grow here (takamaka, filao, banana, mango, Indian almond trees and centuries-old baobabs) and unique birds live: Seychelles diala, coconut turtle doves, song magpies, petrels and, of course, frigates.
The landscape is dominated by giant, bizarre granite boulders that surround 7 beaches with pinkish sand. The best beach – Anse Victorine is located directly in front of the only hotel on the island Frégate Island Private 5* – one of the most expensive hotels in the world, built in 1998.
Aldabra Atoll is the second largest atoll in the world, belonging to the Seychelles archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean, 420 km northeast of Madagascar. Entry to the territory of the atoll is carried out strictly by passes, human presence is reduced to an absolute minimum, since there is a unique natural reserve Aldabra, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.
The territory of the atoll and the islands in its lagoon is about 186 sq. Km. Like other isolated islands and oceanic island groups, Aldabra has a high percentage of endemic plant and animal species. Aldabra is home to the world’s largest population of giant turtles, with approximately 100,000 individuals. The coastal waters of the atoll abound in marine life, which attracts divers here. The Aldabra Natural Park has its own website.
What to see for tourists in the Seychelles
The excursion program on the Mahe Island will not do without a walk through the capital of Seychelles – Victoria.
Victoria’s main street is called Market Street, and on it, in addition to numerous shops, souvenir shops and markets, there is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (early 20th century), the Clock Tower (1903), the Museum of Natural History and a small historical museum, the largest supermarket in Seychelles , the size of which actually does not exceed the size of an average store in a small European town, as well as two only traffic lights in the entire archipelago.
The buildings of the Bank of Seychelles, the National Library and the Parliament, a small Anglican church, a blue and white Hindu temple “gopuram”, a modest mosque and the market named after Sir Selvin Selvin-Clark may seem interesting.
Seychelles Morne Game Reserve
The northern part of the island of Mahe, consisting of high hills of volcanic origin, overgrown with tropical forests, is part of the Seychelles Morne National Reserve, named after the largest hill that rises in the center of its territory. The eastern border of the reserve runs 1 km from the city of Victoria, the western border stretches from Port Loney Bay in the north to Grand Anse Bay in the south. There are many hiking trails in the reserve, relict species of trees and shrubs grow.
If you head from Victoria to Port Glod Bay on the west coast of Mahe Island along one of the few asphalt roads, then, before reaching the coast, you can find the Morne Blanc hill (667 m). On its slopes is the only Tea Factory in the Seychelles, founded here in 1962. Most of the tea produced is flavored with vanilla, sometimes lemon, orange, mint and cinnamon are added. You can climb the hill along the path past the tea terraces to the actual premises of the factory, where tourists will be shown all stages of tea production. At the factory’s gift shop for 10 rupees, you can buy various teas or a bag of citronella, a local plant whose properties can be compared to the invigorating properties of coffee. There is also a Tea Tavern at the tea factory, where you can taste all types of tea before purchasing.
The Royal Gardens is located next to Royal Harbor, 18 kilometers south of Victoria on Mahe Island. The garden was founded in 1772 by French colonists who began to grow spices here. The garden, exuding spicy refined aromas, still exists, it is a private property, the owners of which have restored the estate in the center of the site and invite tourists on a tour. The estate houses a small Creole restaurant, a souvenir shop, a small museum of the life of the Seychelles planters of the 19th century. Each visitor to the garden is entitled to a small present – a seedling of one of the plants: avocado, patchouli, ginger, clove, pepper, nutmeg or vanilla tree.
The Crafts Village is located just north of King’s Bay, next to Au Cap Beach on Mahe Island. The village was built in the traditional Creole spirit to introduce tourists to Creole crafts, architecture and cuisine. In the center of the village there is a large restored colonial-style manor house (Grann Kaz) dating from 1870. It is surrounded by 12 huts, turned into craft workshops and souvenir shops, where you can buy historically accurate models of frigates, paintings, and coconut crafts.
Michael Adams Gallery
The Blue Chicken Bay on Mahe Island houses the gallery of the most famous artist of the Seychelles – Michael Adams. He managed to achieve recognition not only in his homeland, but throughout the world. The small, traditional chalet houses a studio, an art gallery and a shop that sells colorful silk paintings, watercolors, postcards and designer calendars. The cost of work is from 10 to 8,500 rupees.
Botanical Garden of Mont Fleury
The Mont Fleury Botanical Garden was founded on the island of Mahe in 1901 by Monsieur Dupont as an experimental plantation on which tropical plants brought to the island were grown. Today, about 200 species of exotic and local plants grow on the territory of the garden of 6 hectares. The main place is occupied by palm trees, of which there are several dozen species in the garden, among them is the famous sea coconut palm, which has been under state protection since 1978. In the garden, everyone has the opportunity to plant their own coconut palm, receiving a sprouted nut for a small amount.
Less than a kilometer from the village of Baie Ste Anne on the island of Praslin begins the territory of the famous May Valley – a reserve of sea coconut trees, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The May Valley is a European idea of heaven on earth, embodied in life, in the 19th century it was even called the Garden of Eden. On the territory of the park of 19.5 hectares, many endemic plants grow, the main wealth of the May Valley is the largest plantation (about 7,000 palms) of the sea coconut palm (Coco-de-mer) – Lodoicea maldivica, the fruits of an interesting shape (fruits of the female and male palms are distinguished) are considered the symbol of Seychelles.
You can walk around the Mayskaya Valley in 2–4 hours: 5 routes marked with directional arrows follow specially laid paths. The reserve is also interesting for bird watchers: bird lovers can see the Seychelles nightingale, falcon, Indian myna, salanga, blue dove, and a rare black parrot (coracopsis nigra barklyi). The fauna of the May Valley is represented by geckos, chameleons, turtles, Seychelles flying foxes (huge bats, whose wingspan reaches 1 meter).
George Camille Gallery
This landmark of Praslin Island is located on the Gold Coast Beach. In the gallery you can get acquainted with the work of the local artist George Kamil, who has become widely known in the Seychelles since the end of the last century, and has visited many European capitals with exhibitions. George Camille’s paintings are distinguished by a riot of colors of tropical nature, imbued with the festive spirit of the Creole worldview. The gallery features watercolors, pencils, pastels, silk-screen printing, prints, acrylics and relief collages. Many works can be bought. The cost of work is from 300 to 10,000 rupees.
Farm “Black Pearl”
On the west coast of Praslin Island, near the local airport, in the village of Amitie, there is the Black Pearl farm, where black pearls are grown. The molluscs Pinctada margaritifera, which produce black pearls (their shade may vary), were introduced to the Seychelles 10 years ago as an experiment, and they have taken root well in warm tropical waters. The farm conducts excursions, during which tourists are introduced to the process of growing pearls, there is a jewelry store where you can buy jewelry made of black pearls, set in 18-carat gold.
The Black Pearl Farm also breeds the giant, colorful Tridacna maxima clams, which are very popular with European and American aquarists. Tridacna maxima shellfish are unpretentious, on the farm they thrive in four outdoor pools in the vicinity of tropical fish, turtles and other inhabitants of the coral reefs.
Park “Union Estate”
Union Estate Park in the village of Union on La Digue Island is the main tourist attraction of the island.
The park was built on land that belonged to the aristocratic Hossen family in the 19th century. The master’s house is still the central building of the complex; it is one of the oldest colonial buildings in the archipelago. Tourists are attracted by the fact that it was here that Francois Leterrier filmed some episodes of the famous film “Farewell, Emmanuelle”. Today, this wooden building with a palm leaf roof is the private property of former Seychelles President Frans Albert René.
The natural attraction of the park is a granite mountain, whose age dates back to 75 million years, it was formed by flows of magma, which led to its bizarre shape. At the foot of the cliff there is an aviary with giant land turtles brought to La Digue from the Aldabra National Park.
What to do in the Seychelles for a tourist
Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar and is ideal for diving and underwater photography. It is in the Seychelles that SUBIOS is held, an annual festival of films shot underwater in the Indian Ocean. Besides diving, fishing is held in high esteem in the Seychelles. No less popular in the Seychelles and other water activities – snorkeling, water skiing, windsurfing, kiting, information about which can be obtained at any hotel. Here we will take a closer look at diving and fishing.
Diving in the Seychelles
The coastal waters of the archipelago are home to a huge number of the rarest marine inhabitants: butterfly fish, razor fish, Picasso fish, stone fish, pterios rapiata, hammerhead shark, mademoiselle shark, nosed shark, blue marlin, cardinal fish, 17 species sea urchins, swordfish, yellowfin and toothed tuna, brown and green moray eels, the world’s oldest and largest turtles.
Most of the diving is by boat and most dive sites are 10 to 40 minutes by boat from shore. The diving centers have professional instructors who speak several languages; it is possible to rent the necessary equipment.
The visibility in the open sea reaches 30 meters,
Water temperature +24-30°C.
The diving season is limited by the monsoons, as the clarity of the water is significantly reduced. The underwater world of the Seychelles is presented in all its glory during the periods of April-May and September-October.
There are about 70 dive sites in the Seychelles, but the most popular and most visited are the ones listed below.
Trompeuse Rocks is a 20 meter deep rock located 15 miles from Mahé. Here you can meet a large number of underwater inhabitants, including musketeer fish, tuna, sharks.
Mamelles Island is a small uninhabited island 7 miles northeast of Mahé with a cove that turns into a through cave. Divers are attracted by the picturesque coral formations on the flat reef with a wide variety of fish. The depth is 12-18 m.
Brissare Rocks – 2 rocky islets 2.5 miles north of Mahé. Depths are 12-25 meters. A very attractive place for divers: among the fiery color of corals, flocks of bright small fish flicker, as well as larger representatives of the underwater fauna: hump-nosed wrasses and reef sharks.
L’Ilot Island is a small granite island with several palm trees to the north of Mahe Island. The constant current in the narrow strait between the islands attracts a variety of marine inhabitants here. Also very picturesque are the soft coral gardens with big fish on the east side.
Shark bank – underwater rocks 8 km west of the Beau Vallon Bay on Mahe, going down to a depth of 45 meters. This area is popular with divers because on almost every dive there is an opportunity to meet small barracudas, whale sharks and huge groupers.
Ennerdale Rocks is a group of rocks, one of which served as the cause of the wreck of the ship “Ennerdale” in the 70s of the last century, an English tanker with a displacement of 47,000 tons that transported fuel and lubricants to the Seychelles. The wreck lies at a depth of 30 m, but its part with high sides and superstructure is raised to a depth of 15–20 m. The wheelhouse is accessible for visits. The ship has become home to giant eels, scarpen, tailfishes, lionfish (lionfish), pennant fish, barracuda, sharks, giant groupers and giant cod.
Not far from Mahé there are 2 more dive sites located in the areas of intentional sinking of 3 ships in 1989: Dredger wreck and Two Barges. They are located next to each other near Fisherman’s Cove on the northeast coast of Mahe. Here you can almost always see blue striped snappers, scorpions, moray eels.
The Aldabra Natural Park is also attractive for divers, although many diving enthusiasts are discouraged by the difficulty of organizing diving in the waters of the second largest atoll in the world. Diving from boats and boats is permitted, but disembarkation on Aldabra is prohibited and requires a special permit.
Fishing in the Seychelles
Seychelles is a fishing paradise. The most notable trophies fall for the bait in the summer. You can catch tuna, barracuda, tiger shark and mako shark. For many, the most coveted trophy is the blue swordfish or blue marlin, which can weigh more than 400 kg.
Fishing is carried out from boats for 4 or 6 people, which can be rented for half and full day on the islands. Fishing begins early in the morning, so that, having reached deep-water places, you can catch small fish first, which you can then lure larger prey to. The catch of tourists can be prepared by the boat crew or the restaurant chef upon returning to the hotel.
Getting around the country
Flights between the islands are operated by Seychelles Airlines – Air Seychelles. There are regular flights between Mahe and Praslin, Frigate, Byrd, Denis, and charter flights to other islands. The cost of flights is 370-870 rupees one way, it varies depending on the destination.
Domestic helicopter services to major tourist areas, as well as (on request) to the outer islands, are provided by Seychelles Helicopter, which costs approximately Rs 4,000 per flight hour.
In addition, the connection between the islands, even the most remote ones, is provided by numerous ferries and schooners. Tickets are sold on board and cost around Rs 70 per one way. Information – at the hotel reception or on this website.
In the Seychelles, you can rent boats, catamarans and yachts. This is mainly done by Charter Seychelles, Interya Chtcharter, Charter World.
A complete list of water transport rental companies is presented on this site.
SPTC buses run on the islands of Mahe and Praslin every 15 minutes on the main routes, and from 30 minutes to an hour on all others. On Mahe the bus service runs daily from 5:00 to 20:30, on Praslin from 5:45 to 17:45. Schedules for both islands are usually available at the hotel reception. The fare is 5-10 rupees.
There are fixed-rate taxis on the islands of Mahe and Praslin. Taxis are comfortable, they work 24 hours a day, their parking is located near each hotel. The fare for the first kilometer is 15 rupees, then – 5 rupees per km. Fee for 1 piece of baggage – 5 rupees. The fare at night is higher than during the day. Victoria’s taxi rank is located on Albert Street, behind the Post Office.
To rent a car, the driver must be over 22 years old, an international driver’s license and a credit card are required. Car rental costs from 40 euros (640 euros) per day. The cost of 1 liter of gasoline is up to 15 rupees. There are few gas stations: on about. Praslin – 2 gas stations, on Mahe – 6. They all work according to their own schedule, for example, gas stations in Victoria are open from 5:00 to 23:00.
The maximum speed in the city is 45 km/h, outside settlements – 65 km/h, on the highway to the airport – 80 km/h. The local population does not comply with traffic rules. Traffic in the Seychelles is left-hand. The roads are mostly in poor condition.
One of the most convenient means of transportation on many islands (Praslin, La Digue) is a rented bike. Bicycle rentals are usually located in hotels. Its rental will cost from 50 rupees per day.
You can communicate with the inhabitants of the Seychelles in English, which is the official language (spoken by 4.9% of the population), or in French, which formed the basis of the local Creole language (91.8% of the population), the so-called “Creole Seselva”.
The culture of the Seychelles is multifaceted, it was formed under the influence of French and English colonists, as well as immigrants from Africa, India, Madagascar.
The applied arts of the archipelago are represented by products from palm fibers and turtle shells, as well as products from the famous Seychelles coconut “sea palm” and its nuts.
The islands are famous for their colorful festivals, the most interesting and beautiful of which are the “Creole Language Week” and “Creole Festival” held at the end of October. At this time, representatives of the Creole diasporas come to the Seychelles for a big holiday dedicated to all aspects of French-speaking Creole culture: literature, music, dance, theater, crafts, cuisine.
Seychelles cuisine is based on Creole culinary traditions, the main ingredients of which are rice and seafood. The most popular dish is “pwason ek diri” – fish and rice. The menu always contains typical fish delicacies such as a juicy red snapper (bourzwa), tuna steaks – the king of fish, shark chatini, you can even find rare parrot fish fillets. Smoked sailboat is the most common snack.
The local prawns are also excellent, either curried in a sweet sauce or fried in garlic oil. Also among tourists are respected tektek soup, octopus, banana kat-kat, stewed breadfruit, giramon puree, boiled cassava, coconut nougat, candied bilimbi, stewed banana Saint-Jacques. Another local delicacy is the curried fruit bat (chauve-souris), which is quite bony but definitely worth a try.
Remember that Seychelles cuisine is quite spicy. When ordering them, you can ask to add spices “in moderation”. Seychelles restaurants also serve European cuisine.
The main alcoholic specialties are: “dite zitronel” – lemon mint tincture, “kalu” – fermented coconut juice, reminiscent of young wine, “baka” – fermented sugarcane juice, quite strong. The local beer is called Seybrew. Connoisseurs of good wines are advised to try the South African wines that are available in the assortment of Seychelles bars.
Food in restaurants at hotels in the Seychelles is not cheap. In small cozy restaurants on the shore or in settlements, lunch or dinner will cost much less – 200-300 rupees.
Mahe Island Restaurants
An international restaurant with a pleasant interior and a chic terrace overlooking the ocean. The restaurant, in addition to dishes from various cuisines of the world, offers a large selection of cocktails for every taste. Dinner costs from 35 euros, each visitor gets a glass of champagne.
The Creole restaurant is located in a large orchard by the ocean. The interior is designed in the style of a Creole village using local natural materials – palm leaves, bamboo, granite boulders and large shells. The restaurant often hosts Creole themed evenings, weddings, and appointments. The restaurant is open from Monday to Friday from 10:00. To have dinner, you must book a table in advance – at least one day in advance.
Chilli Bar & Steakhouse
Restaurant with stunning panoramic ocean views, serving Creole and international cuisine using the freshest, highest quality ingredients. In addition to the main menu, there is a buffet and entertainment programs on weekends. The cost of lunch or dinner is from 70 to 1200 rupees.
Indian Tandoori Cuisine
The Indian restaurant is popular among the guests of the island: here you can taste such Indian dishes as Chicken Tikka, kebabs, Naan bread, Biryani chicken. There is a vegetarian menu. The cost of lunch or dinner is Rs 125-225. The restaurant is located on the territory of the Berjaya Beau-Vallon Bay Resort & Casino.
Le Canton Chinese Restaurant
Chinese restaurant located on the territory of the Berjaya Beau-Vallon Bay Resort & Casino. The cost of lunch or dinner is from 100 to 400 rupees.
The pizzeria serves Creole, Italian and international cuisine. This small and inexpensive restaurant in downtown Victoria enjoys a well-deserved popularity as the main dishes are cooked in a clay oven. The cost of lunch is 80-140 rupees.
Praslin Island Restaurants
Les Laurier Restaurant
Located in the Petit Les Lauriers, this restaurant offers a wide variety of salads, curries and other Creole gastronomy. Freshly caught grilled fish is also served here. Large selection of exotic cocktails. On Sunday evening, guests will find a cultural program – national dances performed by local groups. The interior is decorated in a Creole style.
Small family restaurant serving Creole cuisine. Most of the dishes are made from fish with the addition of breadfruit and vegetables. The bill is from 250 rupees. Open Monday to Saturday 11: 45-14: 30 and 19: 30-22: 00. Closed on Sundays.
PK’S @ Paquire Restaurant and Gastro Pub
Creole and international restaurant with large wooden terrace overlooking Curieuse Island. The menu is very varied, with a large selection of coffee, refreshing and alcoholic drinks. The cost of lunch is 180-420 rupees.
La Digue Island Restaurants
Villa Authentique Restaurant & Bar
Villa Authentique is the finest Creole restaurant in La Digue. Here you can have an inexpensive breakfast, dinner and lunch, enjoying a cozy atmosphere, good service and a large selection of local cuisine. It is better to book a table in advance by phone. The cost of lunch is about 300 rupees, the children’s menu is about 200 rupees.
This restaurant specializes in Creole cuisine. The interior of the premises is made in the national style: wooden furniture, sandy floors, a roof covered with palm leaves, a large open terrace with a stunning view of Praslin Island and, of course, magnificent sunsets. The cost of breakfast (buffet) – 180 rupees, lunch or dinner – 250 rupees.
Shopping in Seychelles
Prices in shops in Seychelles are quite high, the assortment does not differ in variety compared to European ones. Light cottons, leather sandals, sportswear and footwear are available.
The opening hours of shops are usually the following: on weekdays from 8:00 to 16:00 with lunch from 12:00 to 13:00, on Saturday – until 12:00. Sunday is a day off.
You can bring a lot of interesting things as souvenirs from the Seychelles: men’s straw hats and other woven products, local artworks (for example, the work of Seychelles painters), spices (Creole curries and chili), tea from the islands, CDs with local music, jewelry, caskets made of coral and mother-of-pearl.
Coco de mer
But the main present is the fruits of the Coco de Mer coconut tree, which cannot be exported without a special certificate. The most famous endemic of the Seychelles is the Lodoicea maldivica fan palm (Lodoicea maldivica), or Coco de Mer, its fruit weighs about 20 kg and is considered the largest in the plant kingdom. Up to 3000 nuts are harvested in the Seychelles per year (one palm tree yields a maximum of 30 nuts). Each fruit is numbered – marked with a special sticker with a number, this number is indicated in the certificate when buying a nut from an official seller. The walnut is not cheap (from 150 to 250 euros, large specimens are more expensive), but the price includes the cost of an export permit. Caskets are also made of whole walnut, and the so-called “Praslin faience” is made of small parts – scoops, bowls, plates, flasks and other rather elegant handicrafts.
Also, you cannot export from the Seychelles without a certificate of official purchase of shells, corals, hawksbill turtle shell products. Prices for goods, especially souvenirs, are fixed in the Seychelles, and bargaining is usually inappropriate.
Currency and payment
In the Seychelles, the Seychelles rupee (SCR) is in circulation, the rate of which is approximately as follows: $ 1 ~ 12.5 SCR, 1 euro ~ 16 SCR.
Currency can be exchanged at banks, official exchange offices, at the airport, in hotels. Hand currency exchange is prohibited by law. The reverse exchange of rupees is possible only upon presentation of a certificate of currency exchange from the bank. Banks usually work from 8:00 to 14:00 on weekdays, on Saturdays until 11:00.
Major hotels and some shops accept MasterCard/Access and Visa credit cards. American Express and Diners Club are less common. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at any bank, their rate is more favorable compared to cash. The hotel accepts payments in both currency and rupees. Tours and car rentals are usually paid only in international currencies ($ and Euros).
Communication in the Seychelles
You can make calls in Seychelles from payphones located in settlements, they work with magnetic cards (sold in kiosks and post offices). In some places, old-style coin-operated telephones have been preserved (3 minutes of conversation – 1 rupee).
Cellular communication – GSM 900 communication standard. Roaming is available to subscribers of major Russian operators.
Telephone country code – 248. To call Seychelles, dial: 00 – 248 – subscriber’s number.
- Emergency telephone number (Rescue service – police, ambulance, firefighters) 999
- Central hospital 999, 38-80-00
- Weather Inquiries 248-373-001
There are several internet cafes on the larger islands (Mahe, Praslin), and most hotels generally offer paid or free WIFI at. rooms, conference rooms or in the lobby. The cost of a paid Internet connection in hotels is approximately as follows: 1 day – 10 euros, 3 days – 25 euros, 5 days – 50 euros.
Mobile Internet is also available on the islands, conditions – from local operators AirTel and Cable & Wareless.
When buying a SIM card, AirTel will not have a network right away, since the access point (APN) must be configured at the operator’s offices. Connoisseurs can try to do it on their own using the parameters: name – Airtel, APN – airtelgprs.com, everything else is by default.
In general, Seychelles is safe for tourists. It is recommended to follow basic safety rules: do not take valuables with you to the beach, since the beaches are not guarded. Large sums of money and other valuables are best kept in the hotel safe.
Tap water on the islands of Mahe and Praslin is safe to drink; on other islands it is better to use bottled water.
Although doctors recommend that tourists traveling to the Seychelles get vaccinated against hepatitis A, special vaccination is still not required, but only desirable – a vaccination certificate and a health insurance policy are not required.
It is imperative to use a sunscreen with a high degree of protection (from SPF 30), headgear, in the first days of your stay on the islands, it is recommended to swim in a T-shirt so as not to get burned. It is worth bringing insect repellents with you.
When swimming in the sea, care should be taken: sea urchins are found, fragments of coral and granite are present.
Seychelles is considered the most developed country in the region from a medical point of view. The central hospital is located in the city of Victoria, there are also clinics in Praslin and La Digue. An ambulance can be called around the clock from any hotel.