Seychelles is a group of 115 islands. It lies in the Indian Ocean, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Seychelles is called the island of love. The islands have a tropical climate and invite the tourists to be in peace and serenity on them. Only a few of these islands are inhabited.
The ‘Subious Underwater Festival’ is held in Seychelles and also the ‘Festival Kreol’ held each year in October to showcase the traditions and heritage of Creole. You also have an international sailing event in January. The international fishing competition is held in November.
Sightseeing in Seychelles
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles group of islands. It is on the northeastern side of Mahe Island. Victoria is the port of Seychelles. It is one of the smallest capital cities in the world. Victoria is the city where most of Mahe’s population is settled. The tourists can buy some classy traditional souvenirs like sea shells, textiles, straw hats, pearl jewelry, woodwork, needlework, crochet items and paintings made by the locals. Coconut products are abundant in Victoria. So do pick up some items when in this city. There are a number of markets, shops, art galleries where you can shop for the local produce in the city of Victoria. Internally, the visitor can take a bus, taxi or like the locals bicycle around in the city of Victoria.
Victoria Botanical Garden
In these botanical gardens, the visitors will find a number of indigenous and exotic plants along with birds, giant tortoises and fruit bats. The total area is 15 acres. Here, you will find the famous CoCo de Mer palm, which has twin nuts and grows only in Seychelles.
Museum of Natural History
This museum has a collection of Seychelles’ unique geological forms and its flora and fauna. Several exhibits show that the government keenly protects the islands’ natural environment. The museum is not big, and an hour or two is enough to come to know about Seychelles’ hidden natural treasures.
Le Jardin du Roi
Drive down 20 minutes from Victoria and you will come to the 18th century plantations. As you walk down, you see gardens of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and citronella. You also get to visit the planter’s house. You are free to munch on the tree fallen fruits. To satisfy your hunger, wait till you reach the open-air restaurant and have a sumptuous helping of grated green papaya, tropical salads and star fruit. You see tortoises freely roaming around the gardens.
St. Anne Marine Park
This marine park is best visited from Victoria. Islands of St. Anne, Cerf, Long, Round and Moyenne islands surround this park. The traveler here can learn a lot about undersea life by taking a day tour. This marine park is a favorite for snorkeling.
The nightlife in Victoria should not be missed by the tourists. Visit some of its night clubs and have a blast of a time. There are theatres, discos, cinemas and trendy restaurant to add a zing to the nightlife. One of the theatres show Hollywood blockbusters. Tourists all through the night enjoy the music and dance shows while sipping beer.
This coral reef is the world’s largest one and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The reef itself has 13 islands. Giant land tortoises offer an amazing sight as you watch them.
This little island is on the continental shelf of Seychelles. It is about 100km from Mahe. You could take a flight and be thrilled as you look below at the astounding views of the island. The duration of the flight is about 30 minutes. This island, though small, has five beaches of soft white sand. Besides the reef area, you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
To reach this island it takes about 2 hours from Mahe. The island is home to rare birds. Here, you will find Seychelles fairy turn and toc-toc. It is mind-boggling to know that about 1.25 million birds nest on the island. April and May are the best time to visit Cousin Island.
Beau Vallon is a beach resort on Mahe Island. This island is the largest one among the group of Seychelles Island. It has beautiful beaches and rainforests in the middle of the island. On the island is a market, botanical gardens and a tower clock. The tourists can visit the cinnamon and vanilla plantations, lush green jungles and old colonial mansions. Mahe has about 70 beaches. From here, you can an exceptional view of the neighboring islands. Mahe is also well-known for its open-air club right beside the ocean.
Beau Vallon Beach
This beach is picture perfect with white sand and coconut palms around. Here, you get to see an indigenous takamaka tree. The beach is ideal for watersports with its clear blue waters and colored coral reefs. This is Mahe’s most mild current beach. When you glance across the bay, you see a Silhouette island. The first island of Seychelles to be visited way back in 1609 was the North Island, which too can be viewed from here.
You will find beaches that are uncrowded and surrounded by the bounty of nature. The skies are clear. Just walk for about 2 hours along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major and soon you will touch upon a small beautiful beach.
Morne Seychellois National Park
Mahe not only has excellent beaches but also Morne Seychellois, the highest peak in Seychelles. 20 percent of Mahe Island’s land is occupied by the national park. Take a nature tour and view the natural environment at its closest as you pass by plants, coastal mangroves, Coco de Mer palm and carnivorous pitcher plants. You can also see the tea factory located in the park. The tea plants grow on the hills around. You can buy tea packets to take home, and while there sip a hot cup of tea. Nearby are the ruins of a school of the 19th century.
Among the Seychelles archipelago, this island is the second largest one. It is green, quiet and has one of the world’s most picturesque beaches. The famous Vallee de Mai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has double-nutted palms. There is an oyster farm in the Indian Ocean here where black pearls are cultured. The visitors can visit the aquarium, touch pool and a store selling black pearl jewelry. Some of the rarest birds in the world like the black parrot and the fruit pigeon can be spotted here. There a few villages in and around the island.
La Digue Island
This island is known for its tranquility and peaceful serene surroundings. It offers a carefree life where you will find ox carts and bicycles as means of transport though cars are also available in limited numbers. The visitor takes 30 minutes to reach here from Praslin. From Mahe, it takes 3 hours by a schooner. There are plantations on this island and also a church. You can climb a mountain and behold the beauty of the island and the expanse beyond.
The Indian Ocean waters are warm and hence make Seychelles a wonderful sports resort. You can go windsurfing around May and then in October. Board on a powerboat, sailboat, yacht or a catamaran and explore the islands of Seychelles to your heart’s content.
Seychelles offers the brave hearts scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. You can take a glass bottom boat tour from Beau Vallon Beach to Baie Ternay. Do go snorkeling and spot a variety of tropical fish, eagle rays, sea turtles and many more.
Seychelles does not only cater to the water enthusiasts. You will find a number of land sports like squash, badminton, horse-riding, golf, tennis, biking and hiking around the Seychelles Islands. You can take a walking tour and enjoy the unbelievable scenery around you as you walk towards the islands like La Digue and Praslin. Bird-watching is also popular, and these islands are home to some rare animals of the world.
People in Seychelles speak Creole, the native language though English and French are also spoken here. Seychelles has a hot and humid climate but when on the beaches, you feel the refreshing sea breeze. From May to September the months are cooler. It is warmer from November to March and at this time the wind is also variable. Seychelles has good schools, colleges and the University of Seychelles offers a medical degree for Americans, but many students for higher education go abroad.
There is a variety to be found in the cuisine of Seychelles. Creole cooking includes a wide spread of seafood dishes and coconut curries. The visitors relish the taste of the red snapper fish. You will find in Seychelles guest houses, both small and large and so also five star luxury hotels. All accommodation has to be booked in advance or else you cannot go through immigration.
You can enter Seychelles via air at the Seychelles International Airport. Seychelles Airline flies to a number of countries across the globe. There are other airlines, which cater to the passenger traffic for Seychelles. No visas are required for entry to Seychelles Islands whatever the nationality of the visitor be.
Credit card / Access and Visa Cards are accepted widely in Seychelles. ATM facilities are also available for the tourists at major banks on La Digue, Mahe and Praslin. The airports at Mahe and Praslin also have ATM facilities. The cash provided to the tourists is in the local currency, which is Seychelles Rupee.
The last but not the least to keep fit and fine and to enjoy your island vacation follow the safety health rules of Seychelles.