- Mahe — largest island and site of the capital
- La Digue
- North Island — exclusive resort island
- Praslin — 2nd largest island
- Victoria - is the Capital
- Anse Boileau
- Anse Royale
- Anse Etoile
The Seychelles were disputed between France and Great Britain during the age of colonialism, with Britain ending up in control in 1814 after the Napoleonic Wars. The islands achieved independence in 1976, however free elections did not occur until 1993. The politics of this island group remain in something of a state of flux, although this should not bother the tourist seeking a relaxing beach vacation.
No visa is required for all nationalities, though all foreigners must have passport valid for at least 6 months, and must have proof of accommodation bookings before arrival. An initial entry permit is granted for 1 month but can be extended for a maximum of 3 months at a time up to a maximum of 1 year in total. See the official travel web-site  for more details.
The only international gateway to the Seychelles is Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) near Victoria. Air Seychelles  flies to London, Paris, Johannesburg, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Mauritius and Singapore via Boeing 767 aircraft. International service is also available from Nairobi (Kenya Airways ), Dubai (Emirates ) and Doha (Qatar Airways ), and regular charter services from Frankfurt (Condor ) and Amsterdam (Martinair ).
The strict controls imposed on cruising yachts in the early 1990s have been gradually lifted and rules and regulations are no longer so complicated. However, some restrictions remain in force, mostly for the sake of environmental protection.
Air Seychelles  operates multiple daily flights between Mahe and Praslin. Over two dozen flights vary in frequency from 15 minute to 2 hour intervals, depending on time of day.
Air Seychelles also operates once daily or several times per week between Mahe and the islands of Bird, Denis, Fregate, Desroches and Alphonse. Assumption Island and Coetivy can be reached by air charter.
Helicopter Seychelles  provides shuttles between the main islands Mahe, Praslin and La Digue as well as charter flights to/from most of the inner islands. Helicopter Seychelles is the only scenic flight operator in the Seychelles. Depending on the timeframe, these scenic flights cover the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and the surrounding smaller islands of Cousine, Félicité, Grande Seour, Curieuse and Cousin.
It is also possible to take small boats from Mahe direct to La Digue, although departures can be unreliable, there is limited wet weather cover and the journey takes about 3 hours (but that's cheaper than an Indian Ocean Island cruise!)
Having a car is really a good idea. It is easier to find a good view point. You can only rent on Mahé and Praslin. You can find a car for only 45E per day but keep in mind that renters must be at least 21, have a valid driver's license, and have at least three years of driving experience.
Taxis are also popular means of transportation for both short trips and day rental and can be obtained almost anywhere.
Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) runs daily bus services on the islands of Praslin and Mahe from morning to evening on nearly every available road on the island. The bus usually passes by every 15 minutes.
Seychelles is hot and humid, with an average yearly temperature of 84°F (29°C), and average sea temperature rarely dropping below 81°F (27°C). However, the heat is usually mitigated by refreshing sea breezes, especially by the beaches. The cooler season in Seychelles is during the southeast monsoon season (May to September) and the warmer season is during the northwest monsoon (November to March). April and October are "changeover months" between the two monsoons, when the wind is variable. The northwest monsoon season tends to be warmer with more rain, while the southeast monsoon season is usually drier and cooler.
Visit the beaches. Many of the beaches are untouched by man's influence and are refreshingly uncrowded. They offer clear blue skies and a tranquility you will rarely find. Visit the Vallee de Mai which is a world heritage site, and home to the world's largest seed: the coco de mer.
Aldabra Atoll: The world's largest coral atoll that stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise and tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.
Watersports: The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for the water enthusiasts. Explore on the board of a yacht, power boat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May and October, at the start and end of the trade winds.
Surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing are also extremely popular and can be done almost anywhere in Seychelles.
Land Sports: Golf, tennis, squash, badminton, horseback riding, biking and hiking are some of the recreational activities available on the Seychelles Islands. Bike rentals and walking tours are great ways to sightsee and since distances are relatively short and the scenery is beautiful, walking is probably the best way to see the islands. Bird watching is also popular and the islands are home to many of the worlds most treasured and rare species of animals. The best place to do so is Cousin Island which although only 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, is home to more than 300,000 birds.
Nightlife: Do not miss most popular Nightclub "Lovenut" in the center of Victoria, 100meters walk from central Taxi station.
Seychelles also contains numerous markets, art galleries and shops, colonial Creole-style plantation houses, and the main island of Mahé has six museums, a botanical garden, and several national monuments.
The University of the Seychelles  has a medical degree for Americans.
Public education has been free and mandatory for a ten period of primary schooling for children ages six to 16 since 1980. Primary education is followed by five years of secondary education. Seychelles does not provide education at university level, but there is a teacher training college and a polytechnic institute, and as mentioned above, the University of Seychelles - American Institute of Medicine does exist. Because of the absence of higher education facilities, many students study abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom.
Working and doing business in the Seychelles can be difficult due to the the humidity and heat. Forget about wearing a suit or anything resembling one; rather, opt for a light cotton shirt and pants. The atmosphere in the Seychelles is relaxed and it can take a lot of effort to achieve very little.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the economy. In fact, about 15 percent of the work force is directly employed in tourism, and employment in banking, transportation, construction, and other activities is closely tied to the tourist industry.
The islands' currency is the Seychelles rupee (SCR). ATM machines usually have the best conversion rates, however, airports and banks also conveniently exchange money.
Trading in foreign currency, long illegal, was legalized in November 2008, with the rupee trading at around 20 rupees to the euro. This has also wiped out the previously wide-spread black market, which offered up to twice the official rate.
The best place for shopping is Victoria, the capital, and more specifically the market at the city center, Seychelles Buy and Sell . There are also a few outlets on the island, Praslin, but few shopping areas on the other islands. Larger hotels have boutiques but shopping in Seychelles is not one of the major attractions.
While visiting, be sure to buy the classic and traditional Seychelles souvenir, the coco-de-mer, or the 'nut of the sea,' a nut from trees native to the islands in the Seychelles - but this requires an export licence. Other locally made souvenirs, although not as unique, can be purchased like sea shell and pearl jewelery, textiles, and straw hats, in addition to needlework & crochet, paintings by local artists, and woodwork.
Most service providers already include a service charge of 5% - 10%. Tipping is not obligatory in the Seychelles, however, any extra change is greatly appreciated.
Seychellois cuisine has been greatly influenced by the islands' rich cultures. Creole cooking, varied seafood dishes, coconuts and curries are the most popular. The main product of the country, fish, is cooked in a variety of ways. Especially the red snapper is very tasty and well known to visitors.
Cheapest food: Collect coconuts on the beach and learn how to open their terrible cover (not the shell, that's easy; they have a thick cover of natural fibres; to open it: hit the coconut very strongly many times on the edges, sooner or later the fibres break up).
Seychelles offers a fantastic nightlife scene that caters to tourists. The active nightlife is mostly located around the larger hotels and in addition to theatres, cinemas and discos, there are numerous fun and trendy restaurants.
If you enjoy a good beer you must try the local Seybrew beer, it tastes similar to a light Bavarian style beer and is a must to get you through those balmy days. You can save yourself a packet buying the beer from stores on the side of the road like the locals do rather than from hotels. A dark Takamaka Rum on the beach under the stars is the best way to end a day on the Seychelles.
The Seychelles are not tolerant of backpackers turning up at the airport without accommodation booked. Most accommodations are relatively expensive and some islands have only one hotel. In fact, some of the islands aren't even permanently inhabited and accommodation can be found on fewer than 10. Your best bet for a budget bed is renting an apartment or bungalow, which can be rented at very reasonable rates. Also keep in mind that hotel prices greatly increase and accommodation can be hard to find during the peak seasons from December to January and July to August. Holidays such as Easter can also get very busy.
For a list of cheap accomodations, visit the Seychelles Tourism web site: www.seychelles.net/stma
- Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino, Praslin, P.O. Box 550, ☎ +248 287287(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +248 247943). Situated on the northwest coast of Mahe Island,Seychelles,Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino is idyllically located on Beau Vallon Bay -the most popular and beautiful beach at Mahe.The lush tropical rainforest and stunning white sandy beaches surrounding the resort have made Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino the perfect holiday gateway.
- Berjaya Praslin Beach Resort, Anse Volbert Praslin, Seychelles, ☎ +248 286286(email@example.com, fax: +248 232244), . Situated on one of the most fabulous beaches - Cote d’Or, Berjaya Praslin Beach Resort’s white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters offer a wide range of watersports activities including windsurfing, diving and sailing. For the more adventurous, opt for nature walks to the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, home of the famous and legendary Coco de Mer palms. The resort also organizes trips to Anse Lazio – one of the world’s best kept beaches.
- Sunrise Hotel, Mont Fleuri(Victoria, Mahe), ☎ +248 224560, . The Sunrise Hotel, with 16 rooms, is strategically located, close to all the main commercial, administrative and tourist centers of Victoria. Located less than one kilometre south of the Clock Tower, adjacent to the Botanical gardens and the ferry to the outlying islands is within walking distance. Comfortable accomodation at affordable prices.
Seychelles has a low level of crime; however, it is advisable to take routine precautions. The country does have the 2nd highest rapes per capita. Try to avoid any dark bylanes, and be careful not to leave your bag unattended on sparsely occupied beaches; most locals are poor and would love to get their hands on a wad of dollars or euros. Swimming alone on isolated beaches is not advisable. If sailing don't bring valuables or if you do become adept at finding great hiding places.
Chikungunya virus is a disease spread by mosquitos, and causes flu-like symptoms. It is increasing in concern and although it is rare to die from it, the joint pain it causes can last for months. Insect repellent can help deter mosquitos but not much else can be done as a precaution. The disease is native to East Africa and occasionally is introduced and quickly eradicated.
Tap water is safe to drink in most areas of the Seychelles, but water quality is variable in undeveloped areas. It is recommended to drink bottled water only and to avoid bodies of fresh water like lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.
The environment is a treasured aspect of Seychelles and there are more than 1,000 recorded species of fish around the islands and Aldabra, just one of the islands, is home to the largest population of giant tortoises in the world.
- Diplomatic representation in the US
- chief of mission: Ambassador Claude Sylvestre MOREL
- chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
- FAX:  (212) 972-1786
- telephone:  (212) 972-1785
- Diplomatic representation from the US
- the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to the Seychelles
Many tourists travel to these areas because of their similarity to Seychelles yet cheaper accommodations and other expenses.
This page was last edited at 16:53, on 12 March 2009 by Wikitravel user Ypsilon. Based on work by daphne toh and Jani Patokallio, Wikitravel user(s) Superrod29, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.