Seychelles

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The Seychelles are a group of 115 islands, only a few inhabited, in the Indian Ocean that lie off the coast of East Africa, northeast of Madagascar.

Population: 90,846 people
Area: 455 km2
Highest point: 905 m
Coastline: 491 km
Life expectancy: 74.01 years
GDP per capita: $25,600
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Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Seychelles

History

Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. The earliest sightings occurred 1502 by Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (Islands of the Admiral).

Climate

Seychelles is hot and humid, with an average yearly temperature of 84°F (29°C), and average sea temperature rarely dropping below 81°F (27°C). However, the heat is usually mitigated by refreshing sea breezes, especially by the beaches. The cooler season in Seychelles is during the southeast monsoon season (May to September) and the warmer season is during the northwest monsoon (November to March). April and October are "changeover months" between the two monsoons, when the wind is variable. The northwest monsoon season tends to be warmer with more rain, while the southeast monsoon season is usually drier and cooler.

Activities

Watersports: The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for the water enthusiasts. Explore on the board of a yacht, power boat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May and October, at the start and end of the trade winds.

Scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing are also extremely popular and can be done almost anywhere in Seychelles. Baie Ternay is superb and easily accessible by glass bottom boat tour from Beau Vallon beach - leave yourself an empty day and walk the beach for a 'last minute' booking - great deals can be bartered. Snorkeling (provided you have your own gear - some hotels lend masks, snorkels and fins to guests) is FREE and there are many great spots: off some of the small beaches at Glacis, past Mouse Island at Anse Royale, along the reef at Port Launay (near Ephelia Resort). Often spotted are a wide array of tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle rays and more!

Land Sports: Golf, tennis, squash, badminton, horseback riding, biking and hiking are some of the recreational activities available on the Seychelles Islands. Bike rentals and walking tours are great ways to sightsee and since distances are relatively short and the scenery is beautiful, walking is probably the best way to see the smaller islands (La Digue, Praslin), while walking along the main road can be quite intimidating as the roads are narrow and local cars/busses drive quite quickly. On Mahe it is not advised to ride bicycles, and there are no rental shops within sight. Bird watching is also popular and the islands are home to many of the worlds most treasured and rare species of animals. The best place to do so is Cousin Island which although only 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, is home to more than 300,000 birds, but many unique species can be found at ease on Mahe.

Seychelles also has numerous markets, art galleries and shops, colonial Creole-style plantation houses, and the main island of Mahé has six museums, a botanical garden, and several national monuments. The market downtown Victoria has a good selection of local produce, and spices for sale that are all grown locally and 100% authentic.

Food

Seychellois cuisine has been greatly influenced by the islands' rich cultures. Creole cooking, varied seafood dishes, coconuts and curries are the most popular. The main product of the country, fish, is cooked in a variety of ways. Especially the red snapper is very tasty and well known to visitors.

There are restaurants that serve Chinese, Indian and Italian food as well as local cuisine.

Cheapest food: Collect coconuts on the beach and learn how to open their terrible cover (not the shell, that's easy; they have a thick cover of natural fibres; to open it: hit the coconut very strongly many times on the edges, sooner or later the fibres break up).

Drinks

Seychelles offers a fantastic nightlife scene that caters to tourists. The active nightlife is mostly located around the larger hotels and in addition to theatres, cinemas and discos, there are numerous fun and trendy restaurants.

Nightlife: Do not miss most popular Nightclub "Lovenut" in the centre of Victoria, 100 metres walk from central Taxi station. Also entertaining are "Tequila Boom" at (Bel Ombre) and "Katiolio" (near Anse Royale) night clubs. "Katiolio" was one of the first nightclubs to open on Mahe and boats an open-air that is directly beside the ocean.

If you enjoy a good beer you must try the local Seybrew beer, it tastes similar to a light Bavarian style beer and is a must to get you through those balmy days. You can save yourself a packet buying the beer from stores on the side of the road like the locals do rather than from hotels. A dark Takamaka Rum on the beach under the stars is the best way to end a day on the Seychelles.

Shopping

The islands' currency is the Seychelles rupee (SCR). ATM machines usually have the best conversion rates, however, airports and banks also conveniently exchange money.

Trading in foreign currency, long illegal, was legalized in November 2008, and the currency freely floated. This has also wiped out the previously widespread black market, which offered up to twice the official rate. The £ buys around 21-22 Rupees on Jan 2012.

Shopping

The best place for shopping is Victoria, the capital, and more specifically the market at the city centre, Seychelles Buy and Sell [13]. There are also a few outlets on the island, Praslin, but few shopping areas on the other islands. Larger hotels have boutiques but shopping in Seychelles is not one of the major attractions.

While visiting, be sure to buy the classic and traditional Seychelles souvenir, the coco-de-mer, or the 'nut of the sea,' a nut from trees native to the islands in the Seychelles - but this requires an export licence. Other locally made souvenirs, although not as unique, can be purchased like sea shell and pearl jewellery, textiles and straw hats, in addition to needlework & crochet, paintings by local artists and woodwork.

Tipping

Most service providers already include a service charge of 5% - 10%. Tipping is not obligatory in the Seychelles, however, any extra change is greatly appreciated.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Seychelles on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Seychelles

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Mahé is the largest and most populous island in the Seychelles, home to 90% of the country's population and its largest airport.

Interesting places:

  • Beau Vallon Beach
  • Takamaka Beach
  • Barbarons Beach
  • Anse Intedance Beach
  • Stade Linite
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Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles. Just off the coast are several small islands: Aride Island Cousin Islands Curieuse Island

Interesting places:

  • Anse Lazio Beach
  • Anse Volbert Beach
  • Anse Georgette Beach
  • Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve
  • Cote D\'Or Beach
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La Digue is one of the smaller islands of the Seychelles. It is reasonably accessible, well served with accommodation and some tourist facilities, but is much quieter, picturesque and exclusive than Mahe or Praslin. The key reason for visiting is to experience L'Anse Source D'Argent, one of the world's top ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Source D\'Argent Beach
  • Grand Anse Beach
  • Anse Severe Beach
  • Petite Anse Beach
  • Anse Patate Beach
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Mahé is the largest and most populous island in the Seychelles, home to 90% of the country's population and its largest airport.

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Silhouette Island is in the Seychelles. Just north is North Island, an exclusive resort.

Interesting places:

  • Silhouette Island Beach
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The Inner Corallines are composed of Denis Island and Bird Island in the Seychelles.

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The Inner Corallines are composed of Denis Island and Bird Island in the Seychelles.

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Seychelles

Visit the beaches. Many of the beaches are untouched by man's influence and are refreshingly uncrowded. They offer clear blue skies and a tranquility you will rarely find. A hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will take about 1.5-2 hours and your reward will be a small deserted beach that's fit for a king. The scenery along the hike is breath-taking. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming depending on the time of year, due to the seasonal winds. Do not ignore warning signs indicating that a beach is hazardous for swimming, no matter how appealing the waters may look.

Vallee de Mai is a national park and World Heritage Site, home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world's largest seed: the coco de mer. Entrance fee: Free for residents, 315 rupees (~€20) for foreigners (Sept 2010).

Aldabra Atoll: The world's largest coral atoll that stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise and tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.

Cousin Island is an internationally owned island and belongs to Birdlife International.

Victoria the capital on Mahe Island has several good museums including the Natural History Museum where you can hold the famed coco-de-mer and the National Museum of History with good photo displays and a video presentation.

Source D\'Argent Beach - La Digue

Anse Lazio Beach - Praslin Island

Beau Vallon Beach - Mahe Island

Silhouette Island Beach - Silhouette Island

Grand Anse Beach - La Digue

Anse Severe Beach - La Digue

Anse Volbert Beach - Praslin Island

Anse Georgette Beach - Praslin Island

Petite Anse Beach - La Digue

Takamaka Beach - Mahe Island

Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve - Praslin Island

Barbarons Beach - Mahe Island

Anse Patate Beach - La Digue

Anse Cocos Beach - La Digue

Anse Intedance Beach - Mahe Island

Stade Linite - Mahe Island

Anse Soleil Beach - Mahe Island

Cote D\'Or Beach - Praslin Island

Grand Anse Beach - Mahe Island

Sainte Anne Beach - Mahe Island

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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