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Seychelles

With 115 scattered islands in the bright waters of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles islands look like heaven. On land and sea, these islands will offer to the visitor impressive panoply of fascinating experiences.  Just imagine the beach with dazzling white sand and the sea of emerald and turquoise colors, enchanting coves and dense and colored tropical vegetation…the picture postcard beaches is lived out each day in Seychelles islands. Not to mention the ecotourism activities (Seychelles is one of the world‘s leading country) there are many natural reserves, botanical heavens, bird sanctuaries, and exceptional fauna

 

Key Facts

  • Capital City : Victoria
  • Language : Seychellois Creole, English and French
  • Time difference : GMT/UTC + 4h
  • Entry formalities: Visa is not required. However, you will have to show a valid passport, return ticket , hotel reservation and proof of income
  • Electricity : 240 V, 50 Hz
  • Telephone : + 248
  • Health : There is not particular health risk. But if you are following a particular medical treatment you should bring your own medication (the supply of medicines is often problematic in Seychelles)

Money

Generalities: There are cash machines available in the three major islands and credit cards are widely accepted.  The capital city, Victoria, has many banks where you can exchange your traveller’s checks. If you are in a village, it will be possible to change your cash in the major hotels (but with lower rate). Tipping is not usual in the island but you can always leave a tip if you are satisfied from the service. Seychelles people are comfortable with bargain the price.  Prices are in general non-negotiable, but it is ok to try a bargain.

Currency: Seychelles rupee (SCR)

Daily Budget:

Less Than 80 USD

  • Guesthouse (60 USD)
  • Meal in a snack bar (less than 10 USD)
  • Bus  Mahé & Praslin (less than 1 USD)
  • Cargo  ship Mahé-La Digue (10 USD)
  • Beaches (free)

80-160 USD

  • Family hotels (from 90 USD)
  • Meal in a restaurant (around 25 USD)
  • Car rental (50 USD)
  • Half-day excursion (50 USD)
  • Catamaran Mahé-Praslin (46 USD)
  • Diving (50 USD)

More Than 160 USD

  • Island resort (from 250 USD)
  • Plane trip Mahé-Praslin (90 USD)
  • Day trip (100 USD)
  • Gourmet restaurant (40-60 USD)

Cost of living is high in Seychelles. Accommodation is regulated by the tourism bureau: camping is prohibited and prices, availability and quality are fixed. You will be able to manage with 55 USD per day approximately with a modest accommodation, light meal and no sport activities. However, if you want to enjoy a lasting memory vacation, you will need 95 USD per day. You will be able to do some diving, taste delicious sea food and stay in an average category hotel. If you won the lottery, Seychelles is the perfect destination to spend your jackpot!!!

Food

  • Economic budget : < 10 USD
  • Average budget : 10-20 USD
  • Larger budget : > 20 USD

Accommodation

  • Economic budget : < 90 USD
  • Average budget: 90-250 USD
  • Larger budget: > 250 USD

When To Go

Best Time To Go: If you like surfing and sailing, you should go during May or October (beginning and end of the trade winds season). If you are passionate about diving, you should go during March, April, may September, October and November. Some beaches are very pleasant during the monsoon season, but other beaches are very enjoyable during the trade winds season. In December, January, July and august the tourists flock and prices rise.

High Season (Dec-Fev & July-August)

  • Hiking (July -August)
  • Whale sharks (August)
  • Marine turtles breeding (Dec-Feb)
  • Game fishing (Dec – Feb)
  • Rough sea (July –august)
  • Frequent rainfalls (Dec – Feb)

Intermediate Season (Apr-May & Oct-Nov)

  • Diving and water sports
  • Presence of whale sharks (Oct)
  • Marine turtles breeding (Oct-Nov)
  • Terns nesting (May & Oct)

Low Season (Sept, March & June)

  • Low air fares
  • Presence of whale sharks (sept)
  • Tern nesting (June & sept)
  • Rough sea (June, sept)

Festivals And Ceremonies

JANUARY

  • Chinese New Year : celebrated by the Chinese community in Victoria

FEBRUARY

  • Kavadi thaipoosum: Hindu festival celebrated in the Hindu temple in Victoria.

MARCH

  • « Semaine de la francophonie » (Francophone Week): Films, concerts and handicraft exhibitions in Mahé.
  • Victoria Carnaval international: 3 days of jubilation, with parades and musical attractions. Many foreign countries are invited to assist.
  • Charity fishing tournament

MAY

  • Fet afrik: Every year, we celebrate the day of African Unity aiming at marking the founding of the OAU Organization of African Union in 1963). It is a cultural festival which gives a wide opening to music, dance and painting.

SEPTEMBER

  • Vinayagar chadhurti: Hindu religious festival at the Hindu temple in Victoria.

OCTOBER

  • Festival Kreol: Creole music, rhythm, local food, the creole festival is one of the biggest events on the event calendar. It is a week of colors, sounds and flavors. A week when creole is on top of the world with other participating of creolophone countries. Watch out for the music show (Mahé, Praslin and La Digue)
  • Divali : Hindu Religious festival in Mahé

NOVEMBER

  • Subios: Festival dedicated to underwater photography and videography. Slide shows, conferences and lectures held in Mahé
  • Deevapali: Hindu Religious festival in Mahé

Climate

Seychelles seasons are characterized by the beginning and the end of southeast trade winds blowing from May to October. During the rest of the year, Seychelles islands are swept away by monsoons, particularly in January. Mahé and Silhouette receive larger amount of rainfalls than the other islands. January is the wettest month, July and august are the driest months. Temperatures vary between 24°C and 31°C and humidity level is below 80%

Must see

  • Îlot Saint-Pierre: This tiny outcrop off the coast of Praslin is a true beauty. Snorkeling is magic, the bush and trees over the rocks are full of life and the water is crystal clear. The spectacle of life offered by the birds, crabs, and fishes is just amazing
  • Vallee De Mai: Well worth the visit if you are interested in the natural vegetation of the islands. This UNESCO world heritage site is home to the rare Coco de Mer palm trees.
  • Denis: Denis Island is the perfect place if you want to experience secluded beaches, endless Indian Ocean, luxurious but authentic accommodation. Enjoy all this in a relaxed atmosphere…. Heaven on earth!!!!
  • Anse Lazio: Anse Lazio has a unique environment made of rocks, sand of dazzling whiteness bordered by takamaka and badamier trees. After swimming in the calm turquoise water, you will enjoy excellent seafood in nearby restaurants.
  • Beau Vallon: Beau Vallon is a bay on the north western coast of Mahé. The beach is a very frequented and maybe the most popular on the island.  On Wednesday evening don’t miss Bazar Labrin, which injects a bit of vitality and excitement into the neighborhood. Numerous food and craft stalls take position along the seafront, with impromptu live bands or sound systems. It’s popular with local families and flirting youngsters. For tourists, it’s a great opportunity to catch local vibes.
  • Morne Seychellois National Park: While the dazzling coastline of Mahé is undoubtedly the main attraction, it’s crucial that you take the time to explore the island’s mountainous interior. One of Mahé’s highlights, the splendid Morne Seychellois National Park encompasses an impressive 20% of the land area of Mahé and contains a wide variety of habitats, from coastal mangrove forests up to the country’s highest peak, the Morne Seychellois (905m). Choked in thick forest formation, the enigmatic, central part of the park is virtually deserted and can only be reached by walking trails; you don’t have to go very far before the outside world starts to feel a long, long way away.
  • Anse Intendance: You will be left speechless when you will experience the magnetic beauty of the 600 m long beach in the southwest of Mahé. The beach is perfectly curved and shaded by coconut trees and bordered by granitic rocks.
  • Anse Cocos: This pretty bay on the eastern coast of La Digue is only accessible by foot, either by taking a path from Grand Anse or in the other direction from Anse Fourmis. Because of its more sheltered aspect, this beach, unlike its neighboring bays of Grand and Petit Anse, is safe for swimmers, but there are still some strong currents, so care does need to be taken
  • Île Cocos: This little granitic island near La Digue looks like a diamond in the middle of crystal clear waters. This is the perfect spot for snorkeling. This site is surrounded by a coral barrier which attracts a wide variety of marine life. A tropical heaven? Just go and judge by yourself!!
  • Victoria: Victoria is one of the smallest capital cities in the world by population (only 30 000 inhabitants) and the unique city of the archipelago. The main attractions of the city are: The Bazaar (which displays exotic fruits, species, fishes, and souvenir gifts); the botanic garden (very pleasant place for a walk under the shade of bottle palms) and many hindu temples and colonial houses.
  • Ste Anne Marine National Park: This marine park located at 4km from Victoria gathers 6 small wild islands. There are many activities like snorkeling, and swimming.
  • Anse Marron: Anse Marron is a stunning beach on the south west coast, but it is only for the intrepid. Whether you aim to come from Anse Source D’Argent on the west coast or Grand Anse in the south, the route is unmarked and treacherous, involving clambering over boulders, squeezing through narrow gaps between rocks and wading through water – it would be foolish to attempt it without a guide.  For those who come with sensible footwear, a local guide and plenty of energy, it is a very rewarding beach – but if you lack any of those three, you’re best off sticking to somewhere more accessible!
  • Anse Source D’Argent: This is it – the beach you were dreaming of when you picked the Seychelles. Perhaps one of the most photographed beaches in the world, Anse Source D’Argent has been the star of many films, adverts and TV shows for its pure white sand and unique boulders. Picture yourself paradise – and chances are it looks a lot like this. But does it live up to the hype? Yes, without a doubt – though perhaps it is a victim of its own success. It really is a stunning sight, but good timing is essential: it can all but disappear at high tide, and it can get very busy in the middle of the day. Yet the crystal clear turquoise waters and pristine sand are truly breathtaking, and it is easy to spot fish swimming in the shallow around the reef without so much as a mask or snorkel – lucky visitors may even spot a sea turtle swimming off the shore! The shallow water does make swimming a little pointless, but it is quite possible to wade out through the waters to enjoy the marine life, and it’s a good snorkeling spot.
  • Île De Bird – Bird Island: Bird Island is the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 60 miles from Mahé. The 0.70 km² coral island is known for its birdlife, including sooty terns, fairy terns and common noddies, and for hawksbill and green turtles. It is now a private resort with 26 bungalows.
  • Creole Architecture: You will have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of the old colonial houses (French and English styles). La Digue Island has nice colonial villas built during the 19th century.

Local Food

Fish is the main ingredient of Seychelles cuisine. Emperor red snappers, tunas, barracudas, jacks, octopus, or green job fishes are cooked with local vegetables, and bread fruits in thousands of recipes. Seychelles is blessed with an abundance of fresh tropical fruits.

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