The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Mahé, a hub for visiting the other islands, is home to capital Victoria. It also has the mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and beaches, including Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka.
Nature takes priority in the Seychelles most islands are nature reserves and even on the three most inhabited islands large areas of land are protected. When you see them you’ll understand why.A lucky few may experience the thrill of living on their own private island. but for everyone else the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue offer the chance to escape the real world and get back to nature. Which one will you choose?
How To Enter Seychelles
No visa is required, but Seychellois (pronounced se-sel-wa) authorities make sure you are not entering to stay for good. Therefore, the following items MUST be presented to the immigration officer:
- A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles.
- Your return ticket.
- Your hotel voucher.
- At least 150 USD per day. They will ask for cash, show them. If you have credit cards, show them – you may be asked for the credit balance you have.
- A statement of good health and a statement that you are not importing plants or infected animals (The flight attendants in your flight will provide you these papers).
Visitors without pre-booked accommodation are likely to be compelled to book one at the airport for the length of their stay before being allowed to leave the airport. An initial entry permit is granted for 1 month but can be extended for a maximum of 3 months at a time up to a maximum of 1 year in total. See the official travel web-site.
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.
Best Things To Do in Seychelles
Seychelles’s claim to fame is its beaches. The islands’ soft, white shorelines — peppered with immense boulders and framed by the warm, clear Indian Ocean — are often seen gracing the fronts of postcards and the covers of magazines. And the best part about Seychellois beaches is that even the most popular stretches of sand (like Anse Intendance and Anse Source d’Argent) are never crowded. If you don’t mind the company of critters, make your way to Curieuse Island to soak up the sun alongside giant tortoises, or dip below the waves off the Beau Vallon coast for a fishy encounter. Once you tire of the sand, the sea and the sun, cool down in the shade at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé, or stretch your legs in Praslin’s Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve.
1) Anse Volbert(Praslin):
Also known as the Côte d’Or (“Golden Coast”), Anse Volbert earns rave reviews from sun-seekers, swimmers and snorkelers for its sugary white sand and crystal clear water. Although it’s one of the island’s most popular beaches, Anse Volbert’s size (approximately 1½ miles long) means it never feels crowded. “It’s not a busy beach but for a good experience, try to go to the right to get away from all the boats,” one TripAdvisor user suggested.
Although they admit that Anse Volbert isn’t the prettiest of Seychelles’ beaches, travelers say that the soft sand and shallow water are ideal conditions for those traveling with children. And the abundance of restaurants and bars close by means you can plan to spend the day there without worrying about going hungry or finding a restroom.
You can reach Anse Volbert by car, bus or bike from Baie Ste. Anne; the port town sits about 2½ miles southeast of the beach. You can visit the shore at any time, free of charge. To learn more, check out the Seychelles package and Tourism Board’s Anse Volbert page.
2) Visit a tiny town
Victoria on Mahé is one of the world’s smallest capitals, with a cluster of roads around Creole-style houses. See the clock tower, a silver-painted replica of that on London’s Vauxhall Bridge Road, which arrived on Mahé in 1903. Don’t miss the wonky green vegetables, spices and fish piled high in the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, or the tiny Hindu temple.
3) Visit La Digue’s coconut plantation
Visitors to L’Union estate, one part of the Seychelles where coconut production is sustainable and managed, will see an ox-powered oil extraction machine, the cemetery of the original settlers, and one of the world’s most beautiful beaches at Anse Source D’Argent.You can tell your booking agent to include a visit to coconut plantation in your Seychelles package while booking.
4) Boat trip to Curieuse, Cousin Island and St Pierre
Cousin Island is a conservation success story: NGOs Nature Seychelles and BirdLife International have collaborated and available in Seychelles package to see it is kept as a place for terns, reptiles and endangered magpie robins to thrive. Visitors are only allowed to explore with a guide so as not to disturb the wildlife. Do not forget insect repellent. On Curieuse Island, visit the baby giant tortoise pens, take a boardwalk through preserved mango forest and read about projects to protect lemon sharks. Excellent snorkelling is to be had off St Pierre islet, although you are unlikely to have it to yourself.
5) Hikes on Mahé – Copolia Trail and Morne Blanc
Many Seychelles package includes The Copolia Trail which deceives with its initial descent through cinnamon and rubber tree forest, but it soon climbs higher; eventually walkers emerge on to exposed “glacis” rock, which forms the base of the inner granitic Seychelles islands. On the exposed outcrop grow plants including the vacoa (Pandanus multispicatus) and pitcher plant (Nepenthes pervillei). Allow 90 minutes each way; walking shoes or good trainers are essential.
The Morne Blanc walking trail starts above the tea plantation that covers part of north-central Mahé (itself worth a 10-minute diversion for a look at the traditional tea-drying, processing and packaging methods, if it is open – see seychelles.travel/en/seychelles-products/tea-factory for information). As the path climbs, tea bushes cede to ferns and mosses in which hides Sooglossus gardineri, one of the world’s smallest frogs. Climb higher for views over the Port Launay Marine Park. Allow 90 minutes each way; sturdy shoes are required.
6) Hit the beach
Two of the Seychelles’ most attractive beaches included in Seychelles package are handily near resorts. Anse Georgette on Praslin is 15 minutes’ walk from Constance Lemuria resort. A sumptuous stretch of white sand is met by crisp, white rollers, and surrounded by the Seychelles’ characteristic granite boulders. More adventurous types can take the coastal path across the island to Anse Lazio, a longer stretch of glorious sand with more powerful waves, but equally terrific sunsets. If you do not wish to walk to Anse Lazio you must take the coastal road that approaches from the opposite direction, via Raffles resort and Le Chevalier restaurant.
Frequently Asked Questions?
A)Which Travellers Cheques are best to use?
The most ideal Traveller’s Cheques to use in the Seychelles are either of the following: the US Dollar, the British Sterling and/or the Euro.
B)Do I need yellow fever vaccinations when travelling to the Seychelles?
Vaccinations are only required for travellers over 1 year of age who have come from, or passed through a partly or wholly infected area within the preceding 6 days, in order to keep Seychelles free of Yellow Fever. Infected areas include certain parts of northern and central South America and central Africa. Persons travelling to Seychelles in transit do not require a vaccination against yellow fever.
c)Where can I change Traveller’s Cheques and/or money?
Exchanging foreign currency into Seychelles Rupees must ONLY be done at banks, authorised money dealers at the Seychelles International Airport, or with the hotel cashier.
BE WARNED! It is a criminal offence to change money with any person or business other than those authorised to do so and who are mentioned above.
For more information on money matters, please refer to the Money and Banking section of the site.
D) How can I book accommodation and flights to Seychelles?
You can book your accommodation in Seychelles package with/on:
1. Tour Operators or Travel Agents in your country of residence
2. Hotels website @ Hotels.com (Book now)
3. Fly with Jet airways (Book Now)
4. Book Whole Seychelles package at Make my Trip (Book Now)
For comprehensive information on all licensed accommodation facilities in Seychelles, please refer to the Accommodation section.
E) What are the health risks in relation to a baby when travelling to the Seychelles?
The Seychelles is free of tropical diseases and there are therefore no health risks involved. However should you have any specific health requirements then it is advisable to contact the Ministry of Health directly
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