Thursday, September 7, 2023
Seychelles Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


travel guide

Seychelles, formally the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an Indian Ocean archipelago and nation. The 115-island nation, whose capital is Victoria, is located 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) east of East Africa’s continent. To the south, other adjacent island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion, and Mauritius. It has the smallest population of any independent African state, with around 92,000 people; yet, it has a bigger population than the British overseas territories Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.

The African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations all include Seychelles as a member. Following its independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles transitioned from a mostly agricultural society to a market-based, diverse economy, with agriculture being displaced by fast growing service and public sectors, as well as tourism.

Since 1976, per capita productivity has approximately sevenfold grown. In recent years, the government has promoted foreign investment in certain industries in order to modernize them. Seychelles now has Africa’s highest nominal per capita GDP. It is one of just a few African countries with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country’s newfound economic success, poverty remains prevalent due to the country’s extremely high degree of income inequality, which is among the greatest in the world, and the country’s poor wealth distribution.

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Seychelles - Info Card




Seychellois rupee (SCR)

Time zone



459 km2 (177 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language

English, French, Seychellois

Seychelles - Introduction

Tourism in Seychelles

With the establishment of the Seychelles International Airport in 1971, tourism has become a very important part of the nation’s economy, basically splitting the economy into two sectors: plantations and tourism. The plantation sector of the economy became less important and tourism has become the main industry in Seychelles.

During the last few years, the government has stimulated foreign investment in order to improve their hotels and other services. These incentives have led to a tremendous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resorts, such as the TIME project distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor, MAGIC.Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourism sector was highlighted by the sharp decline in 1991-1992, largely due to the Gulf War.

Since then, the government has moved to reduce dependence on tourism by encouraging the development of agriculture, fisheries, small-scale manufacturing, and most recently the offshore financial sector through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the passage of several laws (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, among others).

In March 2015, Seychelles allocated the island of Assumption to be developed by India.

Geography of Seychelles

Located in the Indian Ocean, north-east of Madagascar and approximately 1,600 km from Kenya, the Seychelles is an island archipelago. The archipelago consists of 115 islands. Most of the islands are uninhabited, many of them as nature reserves.

According to the constitution, the islands are divided into groups as follows.

A total of 45 granite-based islands which are known as the Granite Seychelles: Mahé, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curious, Felicite, Frégate, Ste-Anne, Norden, Cerf, Marianne, Big Sister, Thérèse, Aride, Conception, Little Sister, Cousin, Lang, Reef, Rund (Praslin), Anonymous, Mamelles, Medium,  Pierre (Praslin), Zavé, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand bays north of the granitic: Denis and Bird.

South of the Granitics there are two coral islands: Coëtivy and Platte.

In the Amirantes Group west of the Granitics there are 29 coral islands: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (consisting of three islands – Poivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D’Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (consisting of 14 islands – St. Joseph Île aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Pélicans, Vars, Île Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and Île aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnoeufs, African Banks (consisting of two islands) – African Banks and South Island), Rémire, St. François, Boudeuse, Etoile, Bijoutier.

In Farquhar group, south-southwest from Amirantes, there are 13 coral islands: Farquhar atoll (consisting of 10 islands – Bancs de Sable Déposés Île aux Goëlettes Lapins Île du Milieu North Manaha South Manaha Middle Manaha North Island and South Island), Providence atoll (consisting of two islands – Providence and Bancs Providence) and St. Pierre.

The Aldabra group has 67 coral islands west of the Farquhar group: Aldabra Atoll ( which consists of 46 islands – Grande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, Île Michel, Île Esprit, Île aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot Emile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, Île Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrates, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Sésame, Heron Rock, Hide Island, Île aux Aigrettes, Île aux Cèdres, Îles Chalands, Île Fangame, Île Héron , Île Michel, Île Squacco, Île Sylvestre, Île Verte, Ilot Déder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niçois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (consisting of 19 islands – Menai, Île du Nord (west-north), Île Nord-Est (east-north) ), Île du Trou, Goëlettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand Île (Wizard), Pagoda, Île du Sud-Ouest (South), Île aux Moustiques, Île Baleine, Île aux Chauve-Souris, Île aux Macaques, Île aux Rats, Île du Nord-Ouest, Île Observation, Île Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

Weather & Climate in Seychelles

The Seychelles are warm and humid, with an average annual temperature of 29°C (84°F) and an average sea temperature that rarely drops below 27°C (81°F). However, the heat is usually tempered by refreshing sea breezes, especially on the beaches. The cooler season in Seychelles is during the southeast monsoon (May to September) and the warmer season is during the northwest monsoon (November to March). The months of April and October can be considered “alternate months” in between the 2 monsoons, when the weather is very variable. The north-west monsoon season has a tendency of being warmer with more rain, while the south-east monsoon season is generally drier and cooler.

Wildlife in Seychelles

Environmental legislation is very strict and every tourism project has to go through an environmental assessment and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. The Seychelles are world leaders when it comes to sustainable tourism. This sustainable development has resulted in an unspoilt sustainable natural environment which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 visited the island in 2007) rather than a short term mass tourism. Since 1993, a law guarantees citizens the right to a clean environment while obliging them to protect it. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under conservation – almost 50 % of the total land area.

Seychelles, in common with many fragile island ecosystems, experienced some loss of biodiversity when people first started to settle in the area, which included a disappearance of the majority of giant tortoises from the granite islands, the clearing of coastal and middle forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut-flanked white-eye, the Seychelles parakeet and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions have been far lower than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human settlement (since 1770). Today, Seychelles is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the country’s national bird, is now protected.

The granite islands of Seychelles are home to some 75 endemic plant species, with another 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Especially well-known is the Coco de Mer, a type of palm which grows only on the islands of Praslin and the neighbouring island of Curieuse. Because of the shape of its fruit, which when the shell is removed is a “double” coconut resembling a buttock, it is sometimes called a “love nut” and produces the heaviest seed pods in the world. The jellyfish tree is only found in a few places on Mahe. This odd looking and very old plant in its own genus (Medusagynaceae) has resisted all attempts to propagate it. There are other unique species of plants including Wright’s Gardenia (Rothmannia annae), which can only be found in the Aride Island Special Reserve.

Aldabra giant tortoise is now inhabiting in many of the islands of the Seychelles. At present, the Aldabra population in the Seychelles is the largest in the world. These unique reptiles can even be found in captivity. The granitic islands of Seychelles have been reported to harbour several species of Seychelles giant tortoise; the status of the various populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchids on the islands.

Seychelles is home to some of the largest seabird colonies in the world. The outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo harbour the largest numbers. In the granitic Seychelles, the largest numbers are on Aride Island, including the world’s largest number of two species.

The sea life surrounding the islands, particularly on the the more remote coral islands, is spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been counted.

Environmental issues in Seychelles

Since the use of spear guns and dynamite for fishing was banned through the efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, wildlife is no longer afraid of snorkellers and divers. The coral bleaching of 1998 damaged most reefs, but some reefs are showing healthy recovery (e.g. Silhouette Island).

Despite huge differences between nations, Seychelles claims to have achieved almost all the Millennium Development Goals. 17 MDGS and 169 goals have been achieved. Preservation of the environment has become a cultural value.

Seychelles’ government climatologist accurately describes the nation’s climate as rainy, which includes a dry season in ocean regions. Southeast trade is down, but still quite strong. Weather patterns there are reportedly becoming less predictable.

Demographics of Seychelles

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper classes to keep their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British banned slavery in 1835, African workers continued to arrive. As a result, the Gran Blan (“great white”) of French heritage continued to dominate both economic and political life. The British government employed Indians as indentured servants to the same extent as in Mauritius, resulting in a small Indian population. Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a commercial class.

Seychelles, with its harmonious socio-economic policies and development over the years, can now be described as a fusion of peoples of different cultures.Many Seychellois are considered mixed-race: a blend of African, Asian and European ancestry to create a modern Creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend can also be found in Seychelles’ cuisine, which incorporates various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

Since the islands of Seychelles had no native population, the present-day Seychelles consist of people who immigrated. The largest ethnic groups were of African, French, Indian and Chinese descent. The average age of the Seychelles was 32 years.


Seychellois majority are Christians according to the 2010 census: Roman Catholic 76.2%,  Protestant 10.6%.

Hinduism is practised by 2.4%, Islam by 1.6%. Other non-Christian faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population, while another 5.9% were non-religious or did not indicate a religion.

Entry Requirements For Seychelles

Visa & Passport

Regardless of the nationality of the visitor and their family members, there is NO visa requirement to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be presented for immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport:

  • A valid passport valid on the date of entry into and departure from Seychelles.
  • Return or onward flight ticket
  • Proof of accommodation; including contact details
  • Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay

Holders of a “Kinderausweis” issued to German minors (up to and including 15 years of age) may enter Seychelles, provided that this travel document contains a photograph of the minor concerned.

Presentation of all the above documents will enable you to obtain a visitor’s permit, which will be issued to you upon arrival by the Seychelles Department of Immigration.

The visitor’s permit is initially valid for the visiting period of up to one month. It may be renewed for a period of up to three months from the date of issue, and may be further renewed for successive periods of not more than three months each, up to a maximum period of twelve months, provided the person continues to meet the criteria of a bona fide visitor.

The residence permit is issued free of charge for the first three months; thereafter, a fee of SCR 5,000 is charged for each renewal for each three-month period or part thereof.

For all visa exemptions and extensions, as well as other immigration issues,contact

Immigration Department
House of Independence
PO Box 430, Victoria
Mahé, Seychelles
Tel: +248 4 29 36 36
Fax: +248 4 22 50 35
E-mail: [email protected]


Import regulations :

Free importation (tobacco and alcoholic beverages only for persons 18 years and older) by passengers if intended for personal or domestic use:
– 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco;
– 2 liters of alcoholic beverages;
– 2 liters of wine;
– 200 ml of perfume ;
– Sports equipment to the value of 500 SCR;
– Jewelry and items made of precious metals to the value of 500 SCR;
– other personal effects to the value of SCR 3,000.

The following goods are also exempt, but may be required to pay a deposit in SCR, which will be refunded in SCR upon re-export if the re-export takes place within 6 months from the date of arrival: Video cameras and other camera equipment, musical instruments, sports equipment, portable electronic or electrical equipment, and other recreational equipment.

Restricted: Tea, seeds, plants, meat and meat products, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Prohibited: Dangerous drugs, narcotics, firearms, harpoon fishing equipment, swords, camouflage clothing, pornographic literature, movies, dvds and any other items prohibited by law.

More information on regulations :

Seychelles pre-trip plant import permit and phytosanitary document issued by the national phytosanitary agency of the country from which the plant originates are required for all plants and plant products. All fruits, vegetables, plants, cuttings, bulbs, seeds or other unprocessed plant products must be declared to Customs and submitted for quarantine inspection. Any imports involving plants or plant products are strictly enforced under import controls in compliance with the Seychelles Plant Protection Act. For more information, please contact the National Plant Protection Office (NPPO).

Imports of all meat and meat products are subject to the import regulations of the Seychelles Veterinary Authority.

Export Regulations :

Restricted: coconut shells (unprocessed), shellfish, live and processed fish and live turtles. Processed coco de mer requires an export license issued by the Ministry of Environment. All exports require an export license. For application forms, contact: Policy and Strategy Division, Ministry of Finance, Liberty House, PO Box 313, Victoria, Seychelles. Exports are exempt from business tax and require only a documentation fee of SCR 25 per document.

Pets :All animals entering Seychelles require an import permit issued by the Veterinary Office. Applications should be addressed to Director General, Animal Health Division, MENR (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources), P.O. Box 166, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles. The importer must provide the following information: – Name and address of exporter; – Details of proposed shipment; and – Breed, sex, age of animal. No birds, with the exception of the African gray parrot (provided it has been a family pet for one year), are allowed for import. By law, all imported animals must be tested upon arrival for a period of : 14 days for cats and dogs from countries or areas certified as rabies-free; 30 days for animals from countries or areas where canine rabies is well controlled, if accompanied by a rabies antibody neutralization test with a result of at least 0.5 IU/ml. Period of 180 days in the case of animals arriving from rabies-affected countries.
Regulations for customs clearance of baggage :

Luggage is cleared in the first entry point in Seychelles, it is also for passengers taking domestic flights to other islands such as Praslin, La Digue, Desroches, Bird, etc.

Exception: baggage of transit passengers whose destination is outside Seychelles, if the onward flight is within 4 hours.


Currency Import Regulations :

Local currency (Seychelles Rupee – SCR) and foreign currency: no restrictions. However, amounts over USD 10,000 (or equivalent) must be declared upon entry.

Currency Export Regulations :

Local currency (Seychelles Rupee) and foreign currency: no restrictions. However, amounts exceeding 10,000 USD (or equivalent) must be declared upon exit.

How To Travel To Seychelles

With plane

The Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), located in the vicinity of Victoria, is the only international airport gateway to the Seychelles. Air Seychelles is the country’s flag carrier and flies to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Paris, as well as Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Antananarivo in Africa. International flights are also available from Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines), Nairobi (Kenya Airways), Dubai (Emirates), Abu Dhabi ([www] Etihad) and Doha (Qatar Airways), as well as regular charter flights from Frankfurt (Condor [www]) and Amsterdam (Martinair [www]).

With boat

The strict controls imposed on cruising yachts in the early 1990s have gradually been lifted and the rules and regulations are no longer as complicated. However, some restrictions remain in force, mostly for environmental reasons, as most islands are surrounded by coral reefs close to the surface.

How To Travel Around Seychelles

With plane

Air Seychelles operates several daily flights between Mahe and Praslin. Over two dozen flights vary in frequency from 15 minute to 2 hour intervals, depending on the time of day.

Air Seychelles also flies once a day or several times a week between Mahe and Bird, Denis, Fregate, Desroches and Alphonse islands. You can fly to Assumption Island and Koetivi with an air charter.

With helicopter

Zil Air offers charter helicopter flights to/from most of the inner and outer Seychelles islands. It is the only provider of scenic flights in the Seychelles. Scenic flights can be booked to cover the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and the surrounding smaller islands (including) Cousine, Félicité, Grande Seour, Curieuse and Bird Island.

With boat

Cat Cocos operates 2 catamaran ferries (with a third ferry coming into service in 2013) offering several daily crossings between Mahe and Praslin and a daily extension of the crossing to La Digue. The crossing usually takes one hour. For non-residents, you will need from 90-100 Euros per person for a same-day ticket from Mahe to Praslin. Tickets can be purchased at the Cat Cocos office, opposite the pier, on the same day before the trip, subject to availability.

The Inter Island Ferry also operates a route between Praslin and La Digue with 8 daily departures and a crossing time of only 15 minutes. Tickets cost about €15 for an adult . The schedule usually allows onward travel to Mahe with Cat Cocos in Praslin harbour.

The Belle Serafina, a small schooner ferry, makes the passage between Mahe and Praslin or La Digue in 3-4 hours, usually leaving Mahe shortly around 12 noon on weekdays and returning to Mahe from Praslin at 5am. In October 2010, the fare for passage was 125 rupees. Timetables and routing must be confirmed by phone.

Alternatively, it is also possible to take a small boat directly from Mahe to Ladigu, although sailings are erratic, with limited routes during rainy weather, and the trip takes about 3 hours.

Since June 2013, online bookings with live seat availability and e-ticketing for Cat Cocos and Inter Island Ferry are available through [www].

With car

Driving in the Seychelles is on the left-hand side of the road. Mahe’s road is a narrow mountain road with little traffic, therefore attention is generally advised.

Having a car is really a good idea and makes life much easier. With just 100 rupees of petrol, visitors can explore the whole of Mahe Island in a couple of hours, which includes stopping at beaches and other interesting places. Parking is free in downtown Victoria on Mahe, and if you choose bed and breakfast or self-catering accommodation, it’s by far the easiest way to shop for groceries. A car also gives you access to the shops where locals do their regular shopping, and prices are cheaper compared to the small shops along the beaches.

There is no substitute for running your holiday to your own schedule….

You can only rent on Mahé and Praslin. You can find a small car (e.g. : Hyundai Atos) for around €35-€45 per day, but remember that renters must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driving licence and have at least three years driving experience. There are several car rental counters outside the arrivals hall at Mahe International Airport, which offer a convenient way to compare prices from different rental companies. Rates can be negotiated, with the cheaper rate applying to rental periods of 3 consecutive days or more. The “excess” that the customer has to pay in case of damage ranges from €300 to €1000 depending on the company, so choose carefully and ask the right questions.

Taxis are also a popular mode of transport for both short trips and day hires and are available almost everywhere. Taxi fares for non-residents (approx. 20 rupees/1.3Euro per km) can easily exceed the cost of hiring a small car for a day for a relatively long trip.

With bus

The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) operates a daily bus service on the islands of Praslin and Mahe from dawn to dusk on almost every available road on the island. The bus usually passes every 15 minutes. On Mahe, you can simply use the SPTC bus to get to and from the airport as long as you have the local currency in small notes.

The bus will take you there, but the schedules are not very tight and the drivers are a bit bold on the very narrow roads if you are a nervous passenger.

Destinations in Seychelles

The 115 islands of the Seychelles belong to two distinct groups. The inner islands, high and granitic, are mainly located on the relatively flat Seychelles plateau, 4° south of the equator and about 1800 km from the east coast of Africa, while the outer islands, low and coral-bearing, are mainly located beyond the plateau, up to 10° south of the equator.

These outer islands are divided into five groups: the Amirantes group, which is 230 km from Mahé, the South Coral group, the Alphonse group, the Farquhar group and finally the Aldabra group, which is about 1,150 km from Mahé.

In total, it has 43 inner islands – there are 41 Granite Islands as well as 2 Coral Islands, with a total of 72 outer coral islands.

Inland islands

Mostly granite, and concentrated around the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the inland islands represent the cultural and economic hub of Seychelles, and also the center of tourism. Together they house most of the Seychelles’ accommodation and almost the entire population of the archipelago. There are a total of 43 inland islands, 41 made of granite and 2 of coral.


Mahe, which is 28 km long and 8 km wide, are the largest island as well as the cultural and economic hub of the inland archipelago which is the Seychelles’ international gateway. It is home to the international airport and the country’s capital, Victoria.

The island is home to almost 90 per cent of the total population (approximately 72,200 people), reflecting the ethnic diversity of Seychelles and the ancestry of the African, Indian, Chinese and European populations. It is the seat of government and the main centre of trade.

Nestled among 1,000-meter-high granite peaks, Mahé is a remarkable treasure trove of plants which have evolved over the centuries in isolation.

Rare endemic plants found nowhere else in the world adorn the cloud forests of Mahé in the mountain strongholds, such as the jellyfish, the Seychelles carnivorous pitcher plant and the Seychelles vanilla orchid.

First visited by the British in 1609, Mahé was not visited again until the expedition of Lazare Picault in 1742, when the gradual process of colonisation of the island began, first by the French, whose direct influence lasted until 1814, then as a British colony until the independence of the Seychelles in 1976.

Mahé is the transport hub for island shopping and day trips to the neighbouring islands and all the other islands of the Seychelles. All regular Air Seychelles domestic flights depart from Mahé to the islands served.

A leisurely tour of the island by car takes 2 to 2.5 hours and reveals most of Seychelles’ accommodation options, cultural sites and other attractions.


Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles with a population of 6,500. It is 45 km northeast of Mahé and measures 10 km by 3.7 km. A drive around the island takes about 2 hours.

Praslin is home to the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Seychelles. The island has truly exquisite beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both voted in the top 10 best beaches in the world in recent years.

Before the islands were colonised by the French in the mid-18th century, the Côte d’Or de Praslin was a popular haunt for pirates.

The island was named Praslin in honour of the Duke of Praslin, French Minister of the Navy, in 1768, when the first “stone of possession” was erected on the island in what is still known as Anse Possession.

Almost a century and a half later, General Gordon (from Khartoum), on a visit to Khartoum, is convinced that the Valley of May is the original site of the Garden of Eden. Here the legendary coco-de-mer, the heaviest nut in the world, grows high on ancient palms in a jungle. The valley is home to six species of palm trees found only in the Seychelles.

Praslin is at the forefront of the Seychelles tourism industry, with a strong tradition of hospitality and a wide range of accommodation options. It also serves as a base for excursions to neighbouring islands, some of which are important sanctuaries for rare species of endemic flora and fauna.

La Digue

The island of La Digue is the immediate neighbor of Praslin Island as well as its satellite islands of Félicité, Marianne and its smaller sister islands. The island of La Digue is the 4th largest island of Seychelles.

La Digue takes its name from one of the ships in the fleet of the explorer Marion Dufresne, who was sent out by the French in 1768 to explore the granite islands of the Seychelles.

As well as being home to the Seychelles flycatcher, one of the rarest birds in the world, La Digue’s biodiversity includes stars such as the star bittern, cave swift, scissor-bill and two rare species of sea turtle.

The forests of La Digue are also home to a very rich flora in the form of delicate orchids, rampant vanilla vines, and trees such as the Indian almond tree and the takamaka. The gardens glow with hibiscus and nepenthe against a backdrop of swaying coconut palms.

La Digue is an island where time has stood still and where old traditions such as travelling by ox-cart and bicycles are still very much alive. The traditional methods of boat building and refining coconut products (copra) are still practised on La Digue.

With its friendly vibe, laid-back rhythm of life, its traditional architecture and charming beaches, such as the legendary Anse Source d’Argent, is an absolute must-see for visitors.

La Digue offers its visitors a variety of different accommodations, and the picturesque satellite islands are ideal for diving and snorkelling trips.

Bird Island

Bird, the northernmost island of the Seychelles, is 100 km or 30 minutes’ flight north of Mahé. The island was once known as Cow Island because of the dugongs (manatees) that lived there.

During the period of southeast trade winds (May-September), Bird is populated by more than a million Sooty Terns, each laying eggs in its own square metre of exclusive territory. Bird is also home to populations of Little and Fairy Terns, as well as tropical whitetail birds, ravens, plovers and cockatiels.

Located on the northern border of the archipelago, where the seabed drops to 2000 metres, Bird has an exceptionally rich marine life in the form of hawks and green turtles, dolphins and even, occasionally, whales.

Once famous for its large population of giant tortoises, Bird now boasts “Esmeralda”, the world’s heaviest giant tortoise living in the wild, weighing over 300 kg and said to be over 200 years old. By the way: “Esmeralda” is a male.

Bird turned to tourism in the early 1970s and with several conservation programmes, Bird Island Lodge is at the forefront of ecotourism in the Seychelles.

Twenty-four comfortable bungalows, excellent beaches, a reputation for good food and a friendly atmosphere complement the snorkelling, deep-sea fishing and nature-watching opportunities.

Le Cerf

Le Cerf is located in the Ste Anne Marine National Park and is the closest neighbour to Mahé. It offers excellent opportunities for swimming and snorkelling, as well as unforgettable sunbathing on several large beaches.

Le Cerf is a popular picnic spot for Mahé residents because of its beautiful beaches and good swimming.

The Cerf owes its name to the naval frigate that visited the Seychelles in 1756 to officially take possession of the island on behalf of France.

The island once had a thriving coconut industry, the remains of which are still visible in the form of lush coconut groves. The 116 hectares are adorned with many exotic shrubs, and it is also home to giant tortoises and flying foxes.

Le Cerf is the only island in the marine park with a small local population that travels to Mahé for their daily business, covering the 4 km distance in a few minutes.

Quality accommodation is currently available at three hotels on the island, as is the opportunity to enjoy the tantalising Seychelles Creole cuisine.

Chauve Souris

Chauve Souris are private Island just a couple of hundred yards away from the legendary beach of Côte d’Or in Anse Volbert.

Leased to the government in the 1960s by a Spanish count, this granite outcrop is named after the fruit bat, but was also formerly known as Jeanette Island.

As one would expect for such a small island dominated by granite boulders, the flora of the bat consists mainly of exotic ornamental shrubs and bushes. The fauna is limited to skinks, geckos and a limited number of birds that mainly use the island as a perch.

The Chauve Souris Club is the ideal place for an intimate and secluded holiday, with five luxurious rooms set between sea and sky amidst granite rocks and lush tropical vegetation.


Located approximately 6 km off the west coast of Praslin, the immediately adjacent Cousine offers a unique island experience of absolute privacy found in few other places on earth.

Cousin is a private nature reserve that is home to five of the Seychelles’ endemic birds, such as the Seychelles robin and the Seychelles bush warbler, as well as a variety of endemic wildlife and spectacular marine life.

The island, which is also a nesting site for the hawksbill turtle, is home to several large specimens of the giant land turtle.

Once a coconut plantation, Cousin now has an exceptional resort complex which offers a special experience in a Private Nature Reserve.

Designed in an old French colonial style, 4 separate villas, where exclusivity is the order of the day, since only a maximum of 10 guests are allowed at any moment.

Denis Island

St Denis is 95 km north of Victoria, Mahé and 45 km from Bird Island, making it one of the northernmost islands in the Seychelles.

Like many islands in the Seychelles, at the height of the coconut industry Denis was a coconut plantation with a population of 70-100 people engaged in guano (decomposed bird droppings) collection, copra (refined coconut meat) production and fishing.

The island was purchased by French paper tycoon Pierre Burghardt in 1975, and he successfully operated the island under his marketing slogan “The Island at the End of the World”. In the mid-1990s, the island was sold to Mason’s Travel, one of the first local ground handling companies in the Seychelles.

Denis’ 350 hectares are home to diverse vegetation and populations of seabirds and landbirds, including frigatebirds, tropical whitetails, curlews, doves, wood pigeons, cardinals and mynas. The island has recently benefited from a successful project to introduce endangered bird species.

For anglers, it is ideally situated for deep-sea fishing expeditions on the edge of the Seychelles Bank, where marlin, sailfish, barracuda, wahoo, sea bream and tuna delight novice and experienced anglers alike.

St Denis offers excellent nature walks as well as opportunities for tennis, diving, windsurfing, canoeing and of course sunbathing on its brilliant white beaches. The 5-star lodge with 25 cottages is the perfect honeymoon getaway, offering seclusion in comfort and excellent gourmet cuisine.


Frégate is about 55 km from Mahé and is the furthest inland island from the Granite Archipelago.

Frégate was a popular pirate hideout at the end of the 17th century and stories persist about the treasures hidden somewhere on its 280 hectares.

Seychellois tycoon Harry Savy bought the island after the Second World War and turned it into a highly profitable business growing vegetables, fruit, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon and poultry for the Mahé markets. The island had a population of about 100 people who were actively involved in Savy’s various lucrative businesses.

This island microcosm of about 2 km2 is home to no less than fifty species of birds, including the rare Seychelles robin, and is also home to the world’s only population of giant Tenebrionidae, as well as many giant tortoises.

There is a luxurious five-star eco-lodge in Frégate that offers optimal comfort and amenities and has become a popular place for Hollywood stars to stay. The luxury villas are located right on the shore, so each of them has a million-dollar sea view. Meanwhile, guests are encouraged to participate in the island’s many conservation projects, led by ecologists who ensure that the island remains naturally pristine.


Located 4 km off the east coast of Mahé, Ste-Anne is the biggest island in the Ste-Anne Marine National Park, and is close to the neighbouring islands of Ile du Cerf, Ile Ronde and Ile Moyenne.

Ste Anne was discovered in 1742 by the famous explorer Lazare Picault and was the first island to be settled by the first French settlers before they settled on Mahé. The island later housed a commercial whaling station and a gun battery from the Second World War.

Besides the countless coconut palms, including three coco-de-mer, cinnamon grows wild on the lush hills, as do casuarinas and many species of plants, trees and shrubs found on the neighbouring islands.


Silhouette Island is the 3rd biggest island of Seychelles, and is situated 30 km from the west coast of Mahé, close to the North Island. Silhouette’s green and mountainous profile dominates the view from Beau Vallon beach in Mahé.

It is thought that the Arabs used Silhouette Island as a base for boat trips in the 9th century, as evidenced by the remains of Arab tombs at Anse Lascars.

Silhouette Island, along with North Island, was the first island seen in the Seychelles by the ships of the Charpy expedition in 1609. It was not until the early 19th century that it was finally colonised.

Protected by the Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles, Silhouette remains a living and intact natural history museum, home to many unique plant and tree species.

These include rare hardwoods, the amazing incense tree and the carnivorous pitcher plant. Silhouette is the only other island outside Mahé to have a cloud forest on its 731m peak, Mount Dauban.

The unspoilt beauty of Silhouette is the ideal setting for walkers and hikers who want to delve into the secrets of an island that is said to have once been the home of the famous pirate Hodoul, whose hidden treasure may still be there.

Outer islands

The outer islands are those beyond the Seychelles plateau. They comprise 72 low-lying bays and sand atolls, ranging from 230 km to 1150 km from Mahé. Less visited than their granite cousins due to their relative remoteness, these pristine miniature worlds, some of which are little more than sandbanks or isolated rocky outcrops, provide pristine habitats for many species of fauna and flora.

Only one of the outer island groups, Alphonse, currently offers accommodation. It offers luxurious accommodation as well as unparalleled opportunities for sailing, fishing and diving in places where few people have been.

Aldabra Atoll

Located 1,150 kilometers southwest of Mahé, Aldabra Atoll is the world’s largest sublime coral atoll, consisting of more than a dozen islands ringed by a lagoon large enough to accommodate the entirety of Mahé.

The exceptional and pristine state of Aldabra has led to the island being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of two sites in the Seychelles and a Ramsar Site.

The islands of the atoll are home to unique fauna and flora as well as the largest population of giant tortoises in the world (150,000), and the lagoon is home to the most vibrant marine life in the entire archipelago.

The atoll was first named by Arab navigators. The atoll’s harsh, sunny environment and the swift waters of the lagoon have generally kept all but the most intrepid explorers at bay. But since 1874 there has been a tiny permanent settlement on the island, made up mainly of contract workers from Mahé, who at various times have been involved in fishing, guano mining and the production of copra for sale on the mainland.

The Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF) now oversees the island and there are strict regulations on access to the island to protect the fragile ecosystem.


Located 1140 km southwest of Mahé and approximately 40 km west of Aldabra, Assumption Island has a length of nearly 7 km with a width of 2.5 km. Assumption is a nesting site for turtles and the surrounding waters, accessible mainly by charter boats, are excellent for diving.

Cosmoledo Atoll

Cosmoledo Atoll is located about 1,045 km southwest of Mahé and 120 km from Aldabra. It consists of a ring of nine main islands surrounding an inner lagoon that is about 16 km long and 11 km wide at its widest point.

The sea around Cosmoledo is particularly rich in fish, while the atoll itself is home to large colonies of frigatebirds, terns and lunaticas. This hauntingly beautiful atoll is also a nesting ground for green turtles.


Coëtivy is the easternmost of the Seychelles islands, 290 km from Mahé. An agricultural production site is still in operation on the island, which now has a large scale tiger crayfish farming project, and there is vegetable growing for sale on Mahe.


Platte Island, 140 km south of Mahé, is low and flat, with a surrounding reef containing a lagoon. Known for its rich fish fauna, Platte has an airstrip and is occasionally approached by Island Development Company (IDC) aircraft from Mahé.

African banks

African Banks is the northernmost land of the Amirantes Group and consists of two islands, North and South, 2 km apart, near the edge of the Amirantes Bank.

Once famous for their seabird eggs, these uninhabited islands are surrounded by waters teeming with fish such as mackerel, tuna and sharks.


D’Arros is part of the Amirantes group and lies 255 km southwest of Mahé and about 45 km west of Desroches. Along with nearby St. Joseph’s Atoll, D’Arros makes up a private property with a remarkably beautiful lagoon.

The island hosts a number of seabird colonies such as frigatebirds, fairy terns, crested terns, tropical birds and small noddies. There is a small population of giant land turtles and the island is often visited by sea turtles during the breeding season.

Formerly owned by an important local Seychellois family, the island was bought by Prince Shahram Pahlavi-nia of Iran in 1975 and has remained in private hands to this day.


This coral island is 5 km long and 1.5 km wide. It has 14 km of immaculate beaches bordering a lush grove of coconut palms with casuarina in between.

Desroches is named after a former French governor of Mauritius and, like many other islands in the Seychelles, was once a thriving coconut plantation.

Approximately 50 minutes from Mahé by air, this island and the exclusive Resort Desroches offers magnificent deep-sea fishing, fly-fishing as well as diving opportunities.

Pepper Atoll

Located approximately 270 km to the southwest of Mahé as well as 40 km south of Daros lies Puyfre Atoll, famous for its stunning semi- lagoon and deep-sea fishing.

The two islands that make up Pepper Atoll, Pepper and South Island, are very different in nature and separated by a semi-lagoon.

Poivre was named after the intendant of Mauritius, Pierre Poivre, who helped import spices from the Far East to the Seychelles.

Pepper is one of the oldest coconut plantations in the outer islands and was the main source of income for a number of people who rented or owned Pepper.

There is a population of blue herons, Chinese herons, frigate birds, curlews and fodys, as well as little and fairy terns. Pepper is a nesting site for the sea turtle and the green turtle.


Remire Island, which is also referred to as Eagle Island, is situated approximately 245 km southwest from Mahé, on the northern side of Amirante Bay.

This charming island surrounded by fish-filled waters was once home to American Wendy Veevers-Cater, who spent a few years here with her family before the tiny island was placed under the management of the state-owned Island Development Company (IDC).

The island was once prized for its guano deposits and much of this compacted manure was exploited after the First World War with the casuarina trees that gave the small island a picturesque profile. After Veevers-Cater’s experience in settling the island, the IDC stationed a handful of workers there to keep the island clean, look after the coconut plantation and maintain a small number of houses.

Saint Joseph Atoll

St. Joseph’s Atoll is situated approximately 250 km southwest from Mahé Island and is adjacent to Aros Island, whose fortunes have always been closely intertwined.

The atoll includes the islands of St Joseph, Fouquet, Resource, Ile Varres, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Ferrari Bank, Dog, Sand Bank, Cocos Bank, Ile Paul and Pelican. Ile Saint-Joseph itself covers an area of 1000 acres and is the largest island in the group.

St Joseph, like d’Arros, was once a thriving coconut plantation, interspersed with trees such as casuarina, mapu wood, brittle and white wood. Traditionally, a small population of contract workers from the neighbouring country lived here, who over the years have been involved in the copra (refined coconut meat) industry and also in fishing.

The atoll lagoon is home to a huge population of stingrays and a large number of turtles. Giant blue mud crabs migrate from the depths of the lagoon to the surrounding flats at high tide. Bony fish are abundant, as are groupers, lobsters and several species of coral fish. Oysters grow profusely on the coral walls and in the herbaceous beds that cover much of the lagoon’s surface.

There is a large colony of frigatebirds and large numbers of blue herons, crested terns, nymphs and plovers.


Alphonse, the main island of the Alphonse group, is a small triangular island, barely 1.2 km wide, protected by a spectacular coral reef.

Located 400 km southwest of Mahé, Alphonse first developed around the coconut industry and was also exploited for guano (decomposed bird droppings). The island remains an important nesting site for turtles and seabird colonies.

One of Seychelles’ few outer islands that offers deluxe accommodation in 25 bungalows as well as 5 executive suites . The island offers excellent fly fishing, deep sea fishing and diving in pristine waters. Alphonse is served by air from the main island of Mahé, with a flight time of one hour.


Alphonse’s small neighbouring island, Bijoutier, occupies a special place in the waters of a turquoise lagoon.

This circular, two-hectare island, which crowns the beauty of the lagoon like a gem, is lined with beach shrubs and coconut palms. A walk around the island takes 10 minutes.

Never inhabited, Bijoutier has a diverse fauna that includes colonies of frigate birds, turtles, giant blue mud crabs and now a world-renowned population of bony fish.

Trips to Bijoutier can be made from Alphonse.

St. Francis

Saint-François is a V-shaped reef, shallow and low, with a fringe of coconut palms, separated from its large neighbour Alphonse by a narrow but deep channel.

The island itself is relatively recent and has not matured, and the poverty of the topsoil has limited its development.

The island was once home to a handful of men engaged in coconut harvesting, but the plantation was never productive.

The sandbanks that now surround St Francis offer what is widely regarded as the best bonefishing in the world for fly fishers staying at nearby Alphonse Island Lodge.

Farquhar Atoll

Farquhar Atoll comprises North Island, South Island, North Manaha, Middle Manaha, Middle Manaha, South Manaha, Gulets, Rabbit, Middle Island, Depose and Sand Banks.

Located just over 700 km from Mahé, this group consists of the atolls of Farquhar and Providence and the island of Saint-Pierre. Beautiful lagoons within the atolls provide safe anchorages, sheltered from the sometimes stormy seas that surround them. The islands of the Farquhar group do not offer accommodation.

Farquhar, the southernmost outpost of the Seychelles, has an airstrip and is served by aircraft from Mahé on a charter basis.

Providence Atoll

The Providence Atoll comprises the islands of Providence, St Pierre and Ile Cerf.

The atoll of Providence occupies a large shoal known for its abundance of fish. Ile Cerf, a true coconut island with an almost cartoonish fringe of green palms, lies at the southern end of the Providence shoal.

Saint-Pierre, about 32 km west of Providence, is a small raised coral island that occupies its own small underwater bank and is a popular perching and breeding place for seabirds.

Accommodation & Hotels in Seychelles

Seychelles is not tolerant of backpackers who turn up at the airport without booked accommodation. In such a situation, you will probably be taken to a counter where you will have to book and pay for accommodation for the duration of your trip before being allowed through immigration. Visitors have to provide the details of their accommodation on their landing card (hotel name, address, phone number) and are additionally questioned by the immigration officer about their accommodation details .This means that it is easy to book a room by e-mail from offers on the internet.

Most accommodation is relatively expensive and some islands have only one hotel. In fact, some of the islands are not even permanently inhabited and accommodation can be found on less than 10. The best option for a cheap bed is to rent a flat or bungalow, which are available at better prices. Also remember that hotel prices rise sharply and accommodation can be hard to find during the high season from December to January and July to August. It can also get very crowded on public holidays such as Easter.

Most resorts are found on the main islands of Mahe and Praslin. A small number of (very) exclusive ones, such as the North Island, have their own dedicated islands. In addition, you will find a number of “small hotels” that are ideal as meeting places with that special feeling of exclusivity.

Beaches in Seychelles

Beaches On Mahe island

L’anse aux Poules Bleues – Mahe island

A quiet and shady beach next to Anse à la mouche that disappears with the tide; Anse aux poules bleues is well worth a visit. Parking is available under the tall takamaka trees and the water is shallow and perfect for families or divers.

Anse Forbans – Mahe island

Perhaps in the days of buccaneers, pirates actually visited this beautiful beach on the south-east coast of Mahé. Today, Anse Forbans is very popular with visitors to hotels along the coast.

Anse Major – Mahe island

Winding along the rugged northwest coast of Mahé, this fairly easy trail takes you to the small, remote beach of Anse Major. Beginning in the fishing village of Belombre, the walk to the beach is very short, but the protected cove there at the end is well worth it.

Anse Gouvernement – Mahe island

The twin beaches of Anse Soleil and Petite Anse, Anse Gouvernement are an ideal picnic spot. With shallow waters, a shaded car park and an equestrian centre located right on the beach, there is no shortage of activities. The beach is accessible via a winding road that passes the Kempinski seaside resort. The beach is protected by a reef and features granite rocks that form a small lagoon with clear water.

Anse Takamaka – Mahe island

Located southwest of Mahé, Takamaka Cove is a picturesque combination of clear water, a large expanse of sand and beautiful mountain scenery. Often featured on postcards, it represents one of the most beautiful beaches on Mahé, which offers opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and even boating in calm, shallow waters.

Anse l’Ilot – Mahe island

Off the beaten track, Anse L’Ilot emerges through dense vegetation in the north-western region of Mahé. It is known by those who have seen it for its beauty and tranquillity, but the beach disappears when the water rises at high tide. It is therefore preferable to visit it at low tide.

Marie Laure – Mahe island

Located close to Beau Vallon, north-west of Mahé, Marie-Laure is a relatively small beach, considerably less crowded than its more populous neighbours, which is characterised by a quiet, exclusive atmosphere.

Anse Glacis – Mahe island

Glacis Beach is actually more than just a beach, with two distinct sections separated by rock formations. The deep water is great for swimming and snorkelling, and also offers magnificent views of Beau Vallon and Silhouette Island.

Anse Barbarons – Mahe island

Better known as the beach opposite the Avani Resort on the west coast of Mahé Island, Anse Barbarons, this beach is family-friendly and ideal for swimming at high tide, making it a popular destination for hotel guests and tourists seeking an exceptional beach experience.

L’Anse Des Anglais – Mahe island

Just a short walk from Port Launay beach and right next to Pointe Paul, L’anse des Anglais is a secluded cove with spectacular rock formations and perfect for photography. Not accessible by road, you would have to walk there or take a boat from nearby Port Launay beach.

Lans Trusalo – Mahe island

This secluded and isolated cove is close to Anse L’islette and is easily accessible via a path. It offers interesting rock formations that are ideal for photography.

Anse L’Amour – Mahe island

Anse l’amour, on the west coast of Mahé, is a little less than half a kilometre from Port Launay. This tiny cove offers excellent views of Port Launay beach and Conception Island. A unique combination of rock formations and palm trees give it a character all its own.

Lans Angle – Mahe island

Overlooking Therese Island, Lans Angle is a private beach secluded enough for those who want to relax in peace. It is easily accessible from nearby Lans Trusalo by simply negotiating the rocks, and is definitely worth a visit.

Fairyland Beach – Mahe island

This picturesque beach is located on the lower slopes of the hill as you leave Point au Sel towards Fairyland. A popular spot for swimmers and sunbathers, this beach has the added attraction of granite boulders adorning its sand.

Petite Marie Louise – Mahe island

South of Anse Marie Louise is Petite Marie Louise, accessible only by a gravel road and forest track. This secluded beach is short and surrounded by huge granite boulders. Small coral stones are scattered across the beach due to the proximity of the reef, while the rocky seabed can make swimming difficult and requires beach sandals.

Anse Marie Louise – Mahe island

To the south-east of Mahé and next to Anse Forbans is Anse Marie Louise. The pretty sandy beach is a little off the beaten track and is an ideal place for a picnic.

Anse Louis – Mahe island

Located on the picturesque west coast of Mahé in the area of Anse Boileau, Anse Louis has a sheltered bay with large wave formations while being conveniently located near a bus stop.

Anse L’Islette – Mahe island

Opposite L’Islette Island, one of Constance Ephelia’s two main beaches, Anse L’Islette is a picturesque cove overlooking a small island and with water so shallow that it can be reached on foot. Although it is a very attractive beach, swimmers will prefer Port Ternay because of the deeper water and the opportunity for snorkelling. Access to the beach is preferably via the resort of Ephelia.

Anse Corail – Mahe island

Located near the police bay of Grand, it is accessible via a small path and only 5 minutes walk from the main road. The aspect of this remote and little-visited beach is rather wild and is not suitable for swimming, but rather for sunbathing or resting under the coconut trees.

Anse Capucins – Mahe island

This southern beach, which can be reached by walking in the forest and caves or by boat, has powdery white sand and large coconut palms with rocks. A short walk from Petite Marie Louise, this beach offers the ultimate Seychelles wedding experience.

Anse Bougainville – Mahe island

Anse Bougainville is located south-east of Mahé, close to Anse Baleine and Anse Royale. This sheltered beach with calm waters enjoys the protection of a coral reef and is safe for swimming and snorkelling. It is also conveniently located for nearby shops and restaurants.

Anse Bazarca – Mahe island

Located south of Mahé, Anse Bazarca is a spectacular beach with deep and rough waters that are not suitable for swimming or snorkelling. However, the wilderness aspect of this remote beach is well worth a visit.

Anse Baleine – Mahe island

With its shallow waters and plenty of shade, Anse Baleine is a fairly small beach on the southeast side of Mahé, which is the largest island in the Seychelles, making it ideal for couples and children. Despite its quiet and welcoming atmosphere, the beach is often uncrowded. Parking at the beach is limited, but there is a bus shuttle available.

Anse Soleil – Mahe island

Located on the southwest coast of Mahé, Anse Soleil is a stunningly beautiful bay perfect for swimming and snorkeling, with an extensive sandy beach encompassed by tall, shady trees. This beach is very photogenic and is a popular picnic spot for weekends. To get there you have to go off the beaten track, but it is worth the extra effort. There is also a small café by the sea that serves excellent seafood.

Anse Souillac – Mahe island

Nestled between the vast and spectacular beaches of Port Launay and Baie Ternay, this little cove is well worth a stop. Surrounded by granite boulders, the small beach is often completely deserted and the sea is ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Sunset Beach – Mahe island

Located in Le Glacis, north-west coast of Mahé, this little beach is only a short walk away from the Sunset Beach Hotel and is accessible either from a path off the main road, or by going down to the ground floor from the hotel car park.

This beautiful, palm-fringed beach is great for swimming and snorkelling. Snorkelling is particularly good around the rocks below the hotel and it is not uncommon to see turtles. The sea has a sudden drop in depth near the shore, so small children need close adult supervision.

Anse Severe – Mahe island

Anse Severe is a quiet place, good for sunbathing and swimming. It is the first beach you reach along the road as you turn left from the pier. There are two small hotels along the shore, but the beach is never very crowded.

Petit Anse – Mahe island

This stunning cove is located near Anse Soleil. Smaller than its more popular neighbour, it is difficult to access but well worth the trip for tranquil swimming and sunbathing against a spectacular backdrop of granite rocks and lush forest. The powdery sand and turquoise waters of this bay will simply take your breath away.

Police Bay – Mahe island

Two spectacular bays with undulating waves as well as soft white-sand are on both sides of the south-western tip of Mahé. These two beaches are ideal for walking and photography, as the strong currents make them dangerous for swimming. Because of this and their remoteness, hikers can usually enjoy a solitary stroll along this pristine coastline.

Port Launay – Mahe island

A charming beach, which is also a marine national park, is situated on the north-west shore of Mahé and is accessible via road to Port-Gloude.

Swimming and especially snorkelling are excellent here, with a huge variety of colourful fish to be seen in and around the shores of the stunning bay.

The beach itself is large and wide, with white sand and many shady trees. At weekends it is popular with picnickers, but during the week it is much quieter. There are often beautiful shells and corals along the shoreline, but remember that this is a national park area and it is strictly forbidden to take corals and shells.

North East Point – Mahe island

This part of the coast is a windswept, rocky contrast to the quiet sandy bays on the opposite shores of the island. Near the main road, the beaches are narrow stretches of white sand with rocks and a reef near the shore. Only one or two other sheltered coves along this coast are suitable for swimming, but the main beaches are ideal for long exploratory walks.

Anse Forbans – Mahe island

Perhaps in the days of buccaneers, pirates actually visited this beautiful beach on the south-east coast of Mahé. Today, Anse Forbans is very popular with visitors to hotels along the coast. Most of the beaches are considered safe for swimming, with the exception of the southern part leading to Anse Marie Louise.

Anse Intendance – Mahe island

The famous Stewardship Beach, south of Mahé, offers half a mile of powdery white sand and huge breakwaters. With no reef, the waves are much bigger than at most other beaches on the island, making it more suitable for surfing than swimming most of the time.

During the southeast trade winds, the waves can reach frightening heights, but during the northwest trade wind season, the sea is calmer.

Grand Anse – Mahe island

Grand Anse, on the southwest coast of Mahé, is, as its name suggests, an imposing bay of sand. Although not suitable for swimming because of the strong counter-current, this spectacular beach with its undulating waves and long coastline is ideal for a relaxing stroll.

Anse Boileau – Mahe island

Located on the southwest coast, Anse Boileau beach is a narrow strip of sand bordering the shallow waters near the main coastal road. Fishermen are often seen unloading their fish traps and small boats on this beach.

Anse Royale – Mahe island

The best places to snorkel are around the rocks of Fairyland and up to the small island just offshore, where you can find a variety of colourful coral fish. Here the water is surrounded by a reef that keeps the big fish out and is shallow. The currents can be deceptively strong, so swimming too far is not recommended. This part of the coast is best enjoyed during the northwesterly trade winds when the water is translucent, soft and calm.

Turtle Bay – Mahe island

At low tide, it is interesting to walk on the sand and rocks where you can spot all kinds of marine life trapped in rocky pools.

Local fishermen also use this part of the coast to set up fish traps and hunt squid, and you can often see them wading to the reef at low tide. At high tide it is possible to swim here, but the water remains quite shallow.

Beau Vallon – Mahe island

This is the most popular beach on Mahé, for visitors and locals alike. This expansive bay of white sand and clear water on the northwest coast of Mahé offers a very safe swimming area. With its sandy hotels, water sports and diving centres, it is the ideal beach for those who want to do a little more than sunbathe. During the southeast trade winds, the sea is extremely calm and the beach is at its best.

Carana Beach – Mahe island

The small but secluded Carana beach, north-east of Mahé, offers a sandy beach lined with hewn granite boulders. This beautiful beach is a popular place for sunbathing. As there is no reef, the waves can be bigger than on other beaches on the island, making it a popular spot for boogie boarding and careful swimming.

Anse à la Mouche – Mahe island

Anse à la Mouche, situated on the southwest coast of Mahé, is a large, peaceful, sparkling bay with crystal-clear, shallow waters. Swimming here is very safe and child-friendly since the water is shallow and without strong currents, even at high tide.

Anse Patates – Mahe island

At the northernmost tip of La Digue, Anse Patates is near the village of Patatran and adjoins the longest beach of Anse Gaulettes. Blessed with soft white sand and calm seas, it’s good for swimming and snorkelling.

Baie Ternay – Mahe island

Surrounded by the waters of the National Marine Park, this pristine beach is popular with divers and sailors, but unfortunately it is not currently accessible by car as the road leading to the beach is closed to the public.

With a large expanse of white coral sand, it is located in a secluded corner of Mahé, making it a quiet paradise for those who can discover it.

Anse Gaulette – Mahe island

Anse Gaulette is a wide, family-friendly beach that ends with the iconic Copra Rock. This is a very popular place for swimming, snorkeling as well as family picnics.

Beaches On La Digue

Anse Source d’Argent – La Digue

L’Anse Source d’Argent is considered the most photographed beach in the world. With its soft white sand, clear turquoise waters and huge granite boulders sculpted by the elements and time itself, it’s not hard to see why photographers and filmmakers still love coming here. Protected by the reef, the sea is very calm and shallow, with only sand underfoot, making it safe for children. Access to the beach via the Union Domain requires an entrance fee of SCR 100 for non-residents.

Anse Union – La Digue

A part of the L’Union property, this beach is open to the public. Lying on the shore is the private villas of the L’Union estate, where celebrities such as Tony Blair, have their  holiday.The small shipyard, a traditional La Digue craft that also shared the shore, is now sadly closed. The sea is ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Petit Anse – La Digue

This is the sister beach to Grand Anse and can be reached by crossing the rocks from Grand Anse and following the path. Swimming is equally dangerous, but it is a secluded beach for sunbathing or picnicking.

Anse Gaulettes – La Digue

In the north of the island, Anse Gaulettes is a long, narrow strip of sand located near the coastal road. The beach is not considered safe for swimming.

Anse Bonnet Carré – La Digue

While many travelers to La Digue walk or ride bicycles to the famous Anse Source d’Argent, very few are motivated to explore further along the coastline.

The reward of Anse Bonnet Carré for those who do: a beach that can only be reached on foot and is therefore often deserted. It has the same white sand as its famous neighbour, with fewer rocks and the same warm, shallow water that invites a relaxing rather than energetic swim.

Anse La Reunion – La Digue

Digue Island Lodge is located along the coast. Anse la Reunion is an attractive, long, curved beach that basks in the sun and offers beautiful views of the neighbouring island of Praslin.

Beaches On Praslin Island

Anse Lazio –  Praslin Island

Praslin’s most famous beach, and rightly so. Worth the long and winding journey from the Côte d’Or, Anse Lazio can be described as the perfect tropical paradise beach, frequently regarded among the top 10 world beaches. Beautifully framed by granite cliffs, this dream beach has soft, white sand that gently leads into calm, clear waters that are absolutely perfect for swimming and diving with their gentle slope. Bon Bon Plume and Le Chevalier restaurants are nearby and offer lunch and snacks.

Anse La Farine – Praslin Island

Perhaps so named because the sands here are as soft as dust and look like flour. This small and beautiful beach is unfortunately not accessible by road, but can be reached by boat.

Anse Matelot – Praslin Island

Anse Matelot is a small sandy cove just a short walk from Hotel L’Archipel. Due to its remote location, it is often deserted. Suitable for swimming.

Anse Kerlan – Praslin Island

These two beautiful aquamarine berries are part of the Lemuria Resort. Both have sandy bays surrounded by picturesque granite rocks. Swimming and especially snorkelling are excellent here. At certain times of the year there can be strong currents that push swimmers out to sea, but the hotel will inform guests of the opportunity to swim.

Anse Boudin – Praslin Island

Anse Boudin is located near the coastal road that leads to Anse Lazio. It is a long, narrow beach with very soft sand and calm seas for swimming and snorkelling. Refreshments can be bought from a small shop at the T-junction on the road to Anse Lazio.

Anse Georgette – Praslin Island

Known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles widely, surrounded by granite boulders, it offers soft and powdery sand.

Anse Gouvernment – Praslin Island

On the edge of the Côte d’Or coast, this small white sandy bay is located between the Lodge de la Côte d’Or and the L’Archipel hotel. Swimming is safe and water sports are nearby.

Grand Anse – Praslin Island

On the east side of Praslin, near the airport, Grand Anse is the longest beach on Praslin. This large bay has several hotels overlooking the beachfront. Grand Anse is a large and wide beach, and the sea is good for swimming and water sports.

The beach is best during the north-westerly trade winds when the sea is calm and clear. During the southeast trade wind season, seaweed can sometimes drift into the bay; when this happens, many hotels around Grand Anse offer their guests a free transfer to the Côte d’Or or other beaches.

Anse Volbert – Praslin Island

Praslin’s main beach, with its many hotels and guesthouses along the golden coast, is rarely crowded. L’Anse Volbert / Côte d’Or is a brilliant white beach and the crystal clear sea is perfect for swimming and water sports.

Beaches On Silhouette Island

Anse Lascars – Silhouette Island

With shells and coral on the beach, this beach is well known due to some ancient tombs behind it, said to be the final resting place of 30 Arab sailors who were settled by humans years after their canoes had been wrecked on the island.

Anse La Passe – Silhouette Island

The long, narrow beach of Anse La Passe borders the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa. The sea here is good for swimming and sunbathing and the beach itself is lined with trees that provide shade near the hotel.

Things To See in Seychelles

Visit the beaches. Most of the beaches appear to be untouched by people and they are refreshingly uncrowded. The clear blue skies and rarely seen tranquility make this a great place to visit. Hiking up the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major is approximately an hour and a half or two hours and provides a delightful little uninhabited beach that is fit for a king. The scenery alongside the trail is breathtaking. Due to seasonal winds, not all beaches are suitable for swimming. Do not ignore warning signs that a beach is dangerous for swimming, no matter how tempting the water may look.

The Vallee de Mai is a national park and World Heritage Site and is home to amazing flora and fauna, including the largest seed in the world: the Coco de Mer. Entrance fee: Free for locals, 315 rupees (~€20) for foreigners (as of September 2010).

Aldabra Atoll: The largest coral atoll in the world, stretching some 22 miles from east to west and enclosing a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is home to giant land turtles, as well as tiger sharks and manta rays, which can often be found in the area.

Cousin Island is internationally owned and is belong to BirdLife International.

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

Things To Do in Seychelles

Water sports: The warm waters of the Indian Ocean make Seychelles the perfect place for water enthusiasts. Explore aboard a yacht, motorboat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also very popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May and October, at the beginning and end of the trade winds.

Diving, snorkelling and fishing are also popular and can be done almost anywhere in the Seychelles. Baie Ternay is great 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 exchanged. Snorkelling (provided you have your own equipment – some hotels lend masks, snorkels and fins to guests) is FREE and there are many great spots. Often seen are a variety of tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle rays and more!

Land sports: A variety of recreational sports are available in Seychelles: tennis, golf, badminton, horse riding, cycling, and hiking are some. Bicycle hire and walking tours are great ways to see the sights. As the 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 the local cars/buses drive quite fast. Bicycles are discouraged on Mahe and there are no rental shops in sight. Birdwatching is also popular and the islands are home to many of the world’s most valuable and rare species. The best place for this is Cousin Island, which, although only 1 km in diameter, is home to more than 300,000 birds, but Mahe is also home to many unique species that can be seen in peace.

There are plenty of markets, art galleries and boutiques in the Seychelles, as well as a number of colonial Creole style plantation houses, 6 museums on the main island of Mahé, Botanic Gardens, and a number of national monuments. Downtown Victoria’s markets offer 100% authentic, locally produced agricultural products and spices.

Food & Drinks in Seychelles

Food in Seychelles

Seychellois cuisine has been strongly influenced by the rich cultures of the islands. Creole cuisine, varied seafood dishes, coconuts and curries are most popular. The country’s staple, fish, is prepared in a variety of ways. Red snapper in particular is very tasty and well known among visitors.

There are many restaurants which serve not only local cuisine, but also Chinese, Indian, and Italian food.

Cheapest food. Gather coconuts on the beach and learn how to open their horrible shells ( to open: hit the coconut very hard on the end a few times, sooner or later the fibers will break).

Drinks in Seychelles

Seychelles has a fantastic nightlife scene that caters to tourists. The active nightlife takes place mainly around the larger hotels. Besides theatres, cinemas and discos, there are also many fun and trendy restaurants.

Nightlife: Visit Lovenut, the most popular nightclub in the center of Victoria, just a 100-meter walk from the Central Station. Also entertaining are the nightclubs “Tequila Boom” in (Bel Ombre) and “Katiolio” (near Anse Royale). “Katiolio” was one of the first nightclubs to open on Mahe and offers an open-air, seafront setting.

For a good beer experience, you should try the local beer, Sable Beer. The flavor is very similar to a light Bavarian-style beer, and is a must-have beer to overcome the hot and humid weather. You can save yourself a packet by buying the beer from the roadside shops, as the locals do, rather than from the hotels. A dark Takamaka rum on the beach under the stars is the best way to end a day in the Seychelles.

Money & Shopping in Seychelles

The currency of the islands is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). ATMs usually have the best exchange rates; but airports and banks also conveniently exchange money.

Trading in foreign exchange, which was illegal for a long time, was legalised in November 2008 and the currency was freely traded. This also wiped out the previously widespread black market, which traded at up to twice the official rate. For one pound you get about 21-22 rupees in January 2012.

Shopping in Seychelles

For shopping, the best place to go is the capital city, Victoria, more specifically the city center market. There are also a few outlets on the island, Praslin, but little shopping on the other islands. Larger hotels have boutiques, but shopping in Seychelles is not one of the main attractions.

When visiting the Seychelles, it is advisable to buy traditional Seychelles souvenirs such as coco de mer or “sea nuts”, which are native to the Seychelles Islands and require an export license. Also available are seashell and pearl jewelry, textiles, straw hats, handicrafts, crochet, paintings by local artists, and woodwork.

Tipping in Seychelles

Most service providers already include a service charge of 5% – 10%. Tipping is not compulsory in Seychelles, but any extra change is greatly appreciated.

Culture in Seychelles

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most of the expenses and looking after the children’s interests. Unmarried mothers are the social norm and the law requires fathers to support their children. Men are important because of their earning potential, but their domestic role is relatively secondary.

Education in Seychelles

Until the mid-19th century, there was little formal education in the Seychelles. In 1851, the Catholic and Anglican churches opened a mission school. The Catholic mission later ran secondary schools for boys and girls with religious brothers and nuns from abroad, even after the government took over responsibility for them in 1944.

With the opening of a teacher training college in 1959, the supply of locally trained teachers grew and many new schools were established in a short time. Since 1981, a free school system has been in place, requiring all children to attend grades one to nine, starting at the age of five. Ninety percent of all children attend kindergarten at the age of four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to over 90% by the end of the 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not learned to read or write in childhood; adult education courses helped raise the adult literacy rate from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

Seychelles has a total of 68 schools.The public school system consists of 23 nurseries, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. It is located in Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, and Silhouette. In addition, there are three public schools: École Française, International School and the Independent School. All public schools are located on Mahé, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are 7 post secondary schools (non-secondary schools): Seychelles Polytechnic, High School, Seychelles Tourism Academy, Seychelles College of Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Centre, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Centre and National Institute of Health and Social Research.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow the brain drain that has been taking place. The University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations and offers University of London qualifications.

Cuisine in Seychelles

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often served with rice. Fish dishes are prepared in various ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked. Curry dishes with rice are also an important aspect of the country’s cuisine.

Other staples are coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and cordonnyen fish. The dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.

  • Chicken dishes
  • Coconut curry
  • Dhal (lentils)
  • Fish curry
  • Saffron rice
  • Fresh tropical fruits
  • Ladob is eaten as a savory dish or dessert.The dessert dish consists of ripe plantains and sweet potatoes (including cassava, breadfruit, and colossol) cooked in pods with coconut milk, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla. A flavorful dish made with salted fish, it is prepared in the same way as desserts made with plantains, cassava, and breadfruit, but with salt instead of sugar (omitting the vanilla).
  • Shark chutney usually consists of skinned shark that has been finely pureed and cooked with a squeeze of bilimbi juice and lime. It is mixed with onions and spices; the onions are fried and cooked in oil.
  • Vegetables

Music in Seychelles

The music of the Seychelles is diverse and reflects the blending of cultures throughout its history. The folk music of the Seychelles Islands is a pan-African fusion of African rhythms, aesthetics and instrumentation, zes and bombs (known as berimbau in Brazil), European contra dances, polkas and mazurkas, French folk and pop, Mauritian and Reunion sega, taarab, soukous and other It is a fusion of many influences, including African genres, Polynesian music, Indian music, and Arcadian music.

Also popular are the percussion music known as contrebly, and mutha, a fusion of Kenyan benga and indigenous folk rhythms. Contre dances (based on European contre dances) are popular, especially in district and school competitions held during the annual Festival Creole (International Creole Festival). Moutier performances and dances are often seen at beach bazaars. The main languages spoken are Seychellois French Creole, French and English.

Media and telecommunications in Seychelles

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, which publishes the views of the local government and current affairs. Other political parties run other newspapers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are available in most bookshops and kiosks. The newspapers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

Leading TV and radio stations are managed by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, which provides news and discussion programs that are locally produced and are presented in Seychellois Creole. Programs are broadcast from 15:00 to 23:30 on weekdays and longer on weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programs broadcast on terrestrial television in Seychelles, and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

Sport in Seychelles

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has developed particularly well in this decade. In 2015, the country’s national team qualified for the African Games, their biggest success to date. There, the team competed against some of the biggest countries on the continent, such as Egypt.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Seychelles

Stay Safe in Seychelles

Try to avoid dark paths and be careful not to leave your bag unattended. Swimming alone on secluded beaches is not advisable. If you are on a boat, you should avoid taking valuables with you, or if you have no choice, be familiar with finding a nice hiding place.

There is some sketchy activity along a shady side road behind Beau Vallon beach (left of the Boathouse restaurant) on Mahé, but locals seem mostly content to admire their swanky cars and mostly ignore passersby.

There is a newly established tourist police force stationed on every beach on Mahé, easily recognized by their blue or white golf shirts with a tourist police badge sewn on them. They are very friendly and more than willing to turn a blind eye, even though you may not see them. They are honest and willingly give advice. Potential thieves are conspicuous ( most likely because there are locals lurking and noticeable) and they tend to hide out in the immediate vicinity of the beach or in the tight streets close to the more isolated beaches. Prison sentences are harsh and strictly enforced, as the island makes a lot of money from tourism.

Stay Safe Healthy in Seychelles

Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne disease that causes flu-like symptoms. It is of increasing concern and although it is rare to die from it, the joint pain it causes can last for months. Insect repellents can help deter mosquitoes, but not much else can be done as a precaution. The disease is native to East Africa and is occasionally introduced and quickly eradicated.

Tap water is safe to drink in most areas of Seychelles, but water quality varies in undeveloped areas. It is recommended to drink bottled water only and avoid bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.



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Victoria is the capital of the Seychelles and is located on Mahé island, the archipelago’s major island, on the north-eastern side. The city was founded...