The Seychelles aside from being a luscious tropical escape also boasts a number of fantastic activities and things to see and do. A number of the flora that appears on the islands appear exclusively in the Seychelles, so it’s a great opportunity to try foods made with ingredients you’d not find elsewhere in the world.
The islands offer up some of the most breathtaking scenery there is to be found and there are a multitude of pristine beaches with hardly anyone on them. Many of the islands’ beaches have been kept to their natural beauty thanks in part to the generally lower level of tourism that comes here as standard. You won’t be hard pressed to find truly unspoilt beaches with luscious sand and gorgeous seas for swimming. There is only one point to note for beaches and that is the fact that if it is noted to be not currently safe for swimming, adhere to the notice, regardless of how safe it may be.
Both land and water sports are prevalent throughout the Seychelles. Hiking, biking, walking tours, horseback riding, windsurfing, sailing, catamaran tours and more are all available. Cycle and walking tours are a great way to see some of the smaller islands. For a truly beautiful experience, check out the Aldabra Atoll – the world’s longest coral atoll roughly 22 miles in length. Home of the land tortoise, the atoll also home to marine life such as tiger sharks and manta rays. Scuba diving and snorkelling as well as fishing are all popular activities to get out and in or on the water, with some of the marine life being truly spectacular thanks to the conditions of the islands.
The Seychelles is blessed by good weather most of the year. Some of the outlying islands can experience cyclones but tourists don’t often go out that far and so it’s a non-issue. The temperature throughout the year is between around 24-32C, with both ends of the spectrum rarely exceeding these temperatures, that is to say, it’s rarely below 24 and rarely hotter than 32. Sea temperatures are usually around 27 degrees, perhaps a bit warmer and rarely cooler making the Seychelles the ideal place for sun worshipers coming to hit the beaches and enjoy the warm sand.
The Seychelles experiences two monsoon seasons – the south east monsoon between May and September and the north west monsoon from November to March. Depending on what you want from your trip to the Seychelles either is a good time to go with the south east monsoon being cooler and a bit drier and the north west being warmer but bringing more frequent rains. April and October are months that are subject to change, with the winds being variable and weather being somewhat more unpredictable. That being said, with the temperatures tending to be fairly mild regardless of the season, anytime is a good time to visit the Seychelles – you just might want to bring some wet weather gear so you’re still able to enjoy the outdoor activities rain or shine.
Visas aren’t typically required for the Seychelles but be prepared to prove that you aren’t coming to stay for good when you speak with the immigration authorities. They will want to see your onward ticket, proof of accommodation and quite frequently proof of funds for your stay – which they say is around 150USD per day.
Getting around the Seychelles is fairly straightforward with many flights to outlying islands being available as well as boat charters. Seychellesbookings.com offers a variety of options for getting around and even has special deals on hotels and car rentals and the like. If going to and from Mahe to Praslin islands, the ferry is around 90 to 100 euros per person for a same day return trip on the Cat Cocos and Inter Island ferry, but other providers can be found with somewhat significantly cheaper rates depending on when and where you’re going.
Getting around by car is one of the best ways to see the islands, but some roads may be mountainous and narrow and so caution is advised. Cars will also make your shopping easier if you are staying at a self-catered accommodation, and with a car you can go to the more local shops where the prices will be lower than in the convenience shops along the beaches.
Tipping in the Seychelles is not common and quite often you will see a gratuity already added to the overall bill, usually around 5-10%. While extra tipping isn’t mandatory, any extra given is often highly appreciated.
The Seychelles are a string of over one hundred islands that are located off the east coast of Africa, almost directly east of Mombasa, near to the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles have been a popular location for honeymooners and couples looking to get away from it all to secluded areas with pristine beaches as well as some great options for water sports and culture.
The initial settling of the islands is generally unknown but it’s thought that the Malays from Borneo stayed on the island for a period of time. Arab traders were likely aware of the island, but never settled it, although they did trade its valuable Coco De Mer nuts, which probably washed up on shores on their trading routes in Indonesia and the Maldives. African slaves were eventually brought over and the Seychellois Creole dialect began to form.
The Seychelles had originally been first charted in 1503 by Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama who was traveling between India and East Africa at the time. They became known as the Seven Sisters. In 1608 sailors from England’s East India Trading Company became disoriented during a storm and found refuge on the islands which provided enough fish, fresh water and coconuts for them to stock their ship again for the second attempt to get to India. The English reported back to England what they’d discovered but the English didn’t take any action over the islands for over 200 years, by which point the French had settled it and conflicts arose over the settling of the islands. The Seychelles had been a contested region between the French and the British for a number of years, and even today it doesn’t have a specific government really in place or power. Britain took possession of the islands in the early 19th century and eventually in 1976 the Seychelles finally became its own independent republic.