Seychelles

Seychelles has paradise written all over it. This dream come true islands is lined with pearlescent sand only to have a rugged, lush rainforests at its heart. Seychelles comprises of 115 archipelago islands scattered across the vibrant blues of the Indian Ocean, like shards of green jade lost at sea.

Rather than the typical flat atolls and coastal vegetation of a tropical island, this wonder of Mother Nature is made up of fragments of gigantic granite rocks in the main inner islands from the ancient supercontinent Gondwana, making it the world’s oldest islands. The outer islands are made up coral reefs like the Aldabra atoll.

Beaches appearing to be picked straight out of a brochure and views to die for, then again, why wouldn’t it be? Arguably, Seychelles has the best beaches ever whether it be the electric blues of the ocean, warm yellows of the sun, pearly white sands, lush greens mangroves or maybe some much-needed privacy. This paradise backdrop makes Seychelles islands a perfect choice for modern wedding venues and holiday for honeymooners.

No wonder some of the most famous people spent their honeymoon in the most pristine North Island beaches of Seychelles. Prince William & Kate MiddletonGeorge Clooney & Amal Alamuddin, Nicky Hilton & James Rothschild, Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston to name a few.

The quaint little capital of Victoria is the smallest in the world, and so much so it can be explored on foot in mere hours. Don’t let size fool you, as Victoria is like no other with its unique blend of culture creating something truly, Seychellois.

This picturesque town is like a painting with the turquoise waters lapping at its feet juxtaposing to the wild green mountains that frame it. The Victoria is full of life and colour embellished with reminders of its past and people.

At the core of Victoria, you’ll find an impressive tiny clock tower monument hailing back to colonial times of 1903 to remember Queen Victoria, and it now serves as Seychelles first monument.

La Misere viewpoint is a definite pleaser and would be one of the unforgettable memories to take home from Seychelles.

If you’re in for a different kind of challenge, try scaling Morne Blanc. Walking through the dense vegetation to immerse in the fresh green atmosphere has its charm. You see more mosses on the trees as you get close to the summit, and once there you reach a fairy tale forest, full with rare, unique flowers and magical creatures.

Apart from exploring the jungle walks and trekking, island hopping experience is surreal to anyone who wants to venture more. With the comfort of warm weather and clear waters, divers and snorkelers are exposed to variety of environments from the vibrant coral reefs to fascinating underwater creatures. Various water activities are available with the quality tourist infrastructure to make your experience delightful.

One of Seychelles’ most prized possessions is her stunning, unique wildlife inhabiting in these ethereal isles. With a reputation for the true unspoilt beauty, Mother Nature’s gift come to light. You can find from the rarest species of Scops Owl to the Paradise Flycatcher (otherwise called as the Veuve found in La Digue Island)

And the oldest, heaviest Esmeralda (an Aldabra tortoise) also lives in Seychelles.

Sitting lazily on the shores of one of the world’s largest raised coral atoll of Aldabra Island to stroke on the gentle giant Aldabra tortoise is a majestic testament to the Seychellois wildlife.

If you travel to Seychelles between Oct to Apr, you can even dive in to meet the elusive whale sharks up-close.

Seychelles holds the title of producing the world’s largest sea coconut, Coco De Mer, which is considered the giant of the plant world. Each seed is around 18-20kg, and the kernel inside is delicious, and due to its rarity, only a few get to taste the seed.

Seychelles is a tiny gem found in the middle of great oceans, so much of the goods needed is imported into the country, which makes living and holidaying expensive. The main exports from the country are vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and national fish.

Language: The three official languages are English, French and Seychellois Creole. You should get around easily with limited knowledge of English or French as long as you understand the type of English or French the locals speak.

 

Capital City: Victoria in Mahé Island

 

Currency: SCR Seychellois rupee

International dialing and area codes with IDD prefix: International dialing code is +248 and the IDD prefix or exit code to call FROM Seychelles is 00.

Time zone and daylight savings: Time zone for Seychelles is UTC +4.00. Daylight savings is not observed in Seychelles.

Visitor Information Centre:

There is a visitor information centre located at the Seychelles International Airport; Tel: +248 4 37 31 36; Email: [email protected];  Website: www.seychelles.travel; It is opened whenever there is an International flight arrives at Seychelles.

Tourist Information Office – Mahé. Address is Independence House, Victoria, Mahé. Tel: +248 4 61 08 00/ 03/ 04/ 05; Email: [email protected]; Website: www.seychelles.travel. Opening hours are from Mon-Fri: 8.00am- 4.30pm and on Sat: 9.00am-12.00pm and Closed Sundays & Public Holidays.

Plan your holiday well ahead to book our recommended tours and save time and money to start your thrills of action packed holiday.

Prepaid Phone & SIM Card: Airtel and CWS are the main providers of mobile services. There is a booth to buy a SIM card in the arrival hall at the airport. SIM cards and re-loads can be done in any super markets and most shops.

For your convenience and ease, you can source an International SIM card that will work for over 190 countries with no contract, well before you land in Melbourne.

If you are a frequent traveller, you can go for an International mobile phone plus phone number for life with no contract for use over 190 countries.

Emergency services: In Seychelles, if you need to call the Ambulance, Police or Fire Brigade, dial 999.

 

Embassies and Consulates: Click here to check information on Embassies and consulates.

 

Blood alcohol level: 0.08

Transport: Much of Mahé’s roads are caught between the beautiful coasts to a gigantic granite mountains towers. This makes the place so special that wherever you turn you will only see a paradise backdrop.

With the length of 28km from top to bottom, any attraction is a hop step and jump. Challenge is the roads run between the lumpy granite mountains. Hiring the car would be a more sensible and easiest choice.

If your fitness level is quite reasonable cycling is the best way to see and absorb everything the city of Victoria offers. Bus rides are cheaper but the frequency of the service isn’t that often. If the Taxi isn’t equipped with meter, agree to a price well ahead.

Unless the Island is owned by private resort companies, numerous ferries are on service for island hopping from the Port of Victoria.

 

Driving: Driving in Seychelles is on the left side of the road that has narrow winding roads and sharp turns. You might notice that safety barriers are not present always. Roads are very easy to follow, and there is no motor way. The speed limit is 40-65km/h, except 80km/h on the highway to Mahe airport.

The two islands that you can rent cars are Mahe and Praslin. The minimum age requirement for car rental is 18 years old, but some insurance companies only cover from age 21 and upwards. Need to carry a valid driver’s license at all times is a must. You don’t require an international driving permit to drive in Seychelles.

Planning to drive? You can instantly rent a car suited to your personal needs filtered by price, availability, time and pickup/dropoff locations, by major car service providers.

 

Public Toilets: Unfortunately public toilets are not found easily and mostly you will have to use toilets in public buildings and in your hotel.

There is a paid public toilet in the car park in front of St.Pauls Cathedral.

Weather: Blessed with sunshine year round Seychelles make it the beach-lovers ideal prospect. Due to Seychelles being on the smaller side, the temperature varies little between 24C – 31C; Mar – Apr are hottest months around 28C – 31C.

Northwest (Oct– Mar) and Southeast trade winds(May-Sep) are part of the recipe that keep Seychelles at a steady average of 27C coupled with plenty of shady palms; manicured mighty trees make the warmth more comfortable.

The Seychelles is sunny throughout the year, and the average daylight is almost 12hrs a day.

 

Food: Seychelles food is called Creole, main component is curries and grilled fish, with spices similar but less stronger than the Indian subcontinent foods. It has chicken, dhal, fish, octopus(other seafoods are not common), breadfruit, coconut, tea, sugarcane and lots of tropical fruits like star fruit, guava, rose apple, papaya, banana, custard apple, soursop, bilimbi fruit, umbrella fruit and many more.

If you choose to cook your own meals, check out Victoria market for your fresh vegetable, fruits, fish. Beau Vallon bazaar is another option with limited choice.

Never miss Takamaka rum while in Seychelles, a locally brewed rum that comes in different flavours, coco, pineapple, spiced, white, mango & passion etc. Takamaka rum can be mixed into various cocktails as well.

Electricity and Voltage information: The voltage is 240 volts/ 50 Hz and the plug type G is used, same as Britain. Drawings of electrical plugs and outlets: Electrical plugs.

Travel Health Insurance: Travel health insurance covers lost baggage, travel documents, cancelled/delayed flights and overseas medical treatment. Foreign travelers are highly advised to have travel health insurance organised before entering Seychelles.

If holidaying in Seychelles you might want to take part in adventurous water sport activities like scuba diving and water skiing which might not be part of the main policy covered, so always make sure you plan your insurance and the trip activity accordingly.

Insurance takes the worries out of your trip, our recommended World Nomads worldwide insurance, lets you explore your boundaries, 24/7 with flexible and easy, online booking even after you have left home. This insurance with global assistance partners and trusted reliable underwriters include adventure sports and activities as well.

Customs and quarantine:

The maximum duty-free allowances are 200ml of perfume, 2l of wine and 2l spirits, 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco.

Up to SCR2000 is allowed into the country and no restriction for foreign currency.

Refrain from bringing in any plant or animal products and if you must please, contact Animal and Plant Health Services of the Seychelles Agricultural Agency concerning the biosecurity import procedures.

Any other personal belongings other than the restricted items, taken back on departure is exempt from tax.

Unless import permit is obtained any food items in excess of SCR 3,000 will be levied tax, payable by cash or check drawn on local bank.

Offensive weapons, dangerous drugs, chemicals, medicines, radioactive and pharmaceutical items are not allowed unless you hold a special import permit.

Measurement: Seychelles uses the metric system. Click here to make easy conversions from the imperial system.

 

Tipping: Tipping is not a social norm, if you want to, it is always greatly appreciated.

Dangers, warning, safety tips and theft:

  • Seychelles is reasonably a safe country from theft, but taking precautions as to where you store your money, phone and passport is very necessary.
  • Walk in group while trekking as you might not only get lost in the jungle but also subject to occasional targeted robbery on the treks.
  • At times you might face with unpredictable waves, high tides and strong currents due to change in the Monsoon causing drowning in the Islands of Seychelles. North-west trade winds (Oct –Mar)brings up strong currents to Northwest coast (Beau Vallon area) and during May to Sep South east coasts see the strong Always watch out for the warning signs posts, if not present doesn’t mean the beach is safe, but it is just not there. Presence of life guard is only on the popular beaches.
  • Seychelles business hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm; shopping hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and 8am to 12pm on Some attractions and shops are closed on Friday, Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Island hopping doesn’t come cheap.
  • Insect repellant is a must as there are Dengue causing mosquitos and sandflies. Sunscreen is a must to ward off the reasonably high temperature.
  • Water quality is good and is drinkable off the tap, yet bottled water is preferred.
  • Salt content is 4% less than other beaches, means less sticky.
  • You will not find Crows in Seychelles.
  • In the departure and arrival halls of the international airport, you will find ATM(Visa, MCB, Barclays), 4G SIM card booth, restaurant, bookshop, service desk, toilets

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