Seychelles:Breathtaking Beaches And Magnificient Islands

Officially known as the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Its capital is Victoria.Seychelles has a population of 90,024, the Country has the smallest population of any African state. Official languages of Seychelles are English, French and Seychellois Creole.
The ethnic groups of Seychelles are Creole 90%,and the remaining 10% are of British, French, Chinese, Indian descent. The Country share it borders with Madagascar, Comoros, reunion island and Kenya. 

Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism. This sustainable development is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservation—nearly 50% of the total land area.
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ECONOMY

Since independence in 1976, per capita output of Seychelles has expanded to roughly seven times more. The economy of the Country is relatively good for its small size, the Tourism Sector is the most significant sector contributing roughly about 65% and employing more than 30% of the population. Agriculture also contribute a sizeable portion and employs 3% of the citizens.The prime agricultural products currently produced in the Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, cinnamon and coconuts. These products provide much of the economic support for the locals.

WEATHER&CLIMATE
Lying 4°-11° south of the equator, in the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid.  The temperature is consistently 24-32°C, there is no distinct dry season and there is some humidity at all times.  From May to October the south-east trade winds (Southeast Monsoon) bring a relatively dry period. Reaching its peak in July/August, there is little precipitation and temperatures average 27°C, though seas can be a little choppy. By November (Pre-Northwest Monsoon), the winds start to change, bringing light, warmer winds and the start of the main rainy season. During December to March (Northwest Monsoon), Seychelles gets extremely wet, especially in December and January, even though the vegetation is lush, the winds generally light and the sun at its warmest. This is also the cyclone season, only the most remote southern islands are within the cyclone belt. This period is followed by the calmest, warmest month, April (Pre-Southeast Monsoon), as the winds die down and start to change direction.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SEYCHELLES IS APRIL, MAY JUNE, JULY, OCTOBER NOVEMBER
THE ZONE IS FOUR HOURS AHEAD OF Universal Time Coordinated (UTC/GMT+4)

CUISINES
The cuisine that is uniquely Seychellois is actually a fusion of flavours from African, French, Chinese, Indian and English cooking – See more at: http://www.seychelles.org/seychelles-info/food-drink#sthash.6M8d63hy.dpuf

The cuisines that are uniquely Sychellois is actually a fusion of flavors from African, french, Chinese, Indian and English cooking. Sychellois cuisines are a tourist attractions themselves because of its rich and spicy combinations. Most of Seychellois cooking are based on seafood and chilies. The Cuisines include chicken dishes, saffron rice, fresh tropical fruits, Dhai (lentils), coconut curry, Ladob( a dessert made of sweet potatoes and ripe plantain cooked in coconut milk), Pulao(Rice cooked with fish, meat or vegetables), Caris Masala( a combination of curry, vegetable, meat or fish and masala) Giant Crab soup etc. They are a must try when you visit the Country

The cuisine that is uniquely Seychellois is actually a fusion of flavours from African, French, Chinese, Indian and English cooking – See more at: http://www.seychelles.org/seychelles-info/food-drink#sthash.6M8d63hy.dpuf
ICONIC PLACES TO SEE IN SEYCHELLES 
All the attractions are not situated in one location so you might want to choose a particular location or island to make your trip easier. The best 3 islands are MAHE ISLAND, PRASLIN ISLAND, BIRD ISLAND to visit.

BIRD ISLAND

The bird island is one of the world’s top eco-holiday destinations, but as its name suggests, it is also a successful wildlife reserve, it is home to a fantastic array of birds which may be watched and photographed from arm’s length, Sea turtles lay their eggs on the white powdery beaches and the world’s oldest land turtle (“Esmeralda”, born in 1771) happily roams the island. It offers a true desert island experience and the chance to escape the stresses of 21st century living,there are no modern distractions such as televisions or telephones in the around the relaxation spots. Situated in the Indian Ocean in the most northerly archipelago of the Seychelles, It can be reached by a short 30 minute flight time from Mahe International airport.

BIRD ISLAND ACCOMMODATION
The Bird Island lodge is a relaxed, informal establishment. Being the only hotel on the island, the lodge ensures that guests are treated with first class service and the food is excellent. It features simple chalets that nestle between the island’s old coconut plantations only a stroll away from the beach. This stunning paradise retreat welcomes couples seeking a romantic and very relaxing holiday, or families who wish to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the Seychelles. There are 24 bungalows with each rooms having basic toiletries and it is full board which means breakfast/lunch/dinner is added to the room rate.

BIRD ISLAND ATTRACTIONS

BEACHES
Bird Island beaches are some of the best and most beautiful in the world. The island is surrounded by The Hirondelle beach, The North-Point Beach and The West Beach.

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION&NATURE RESERVES
Being a pioneering force in indian ocean eco-tourism, Seychelles has  made giant stride in wildlife conservation and nature reserve, this is evident in bird island which is home to differents species of bird and acquatic animals. 

MAHE ISLAND


Mahé Island is the largest island in Seychelles with lush tropical hillsides rising to around 3000 feet and also location of the International Airport. It is home to 90% of the country’s total population.The Island is divided in to east and west by the Morne Seychellois National Park, a mountain range with peak as high as 905 metres clad in thick typical forest. Dense cloudforest covers large parts of the interior, and drops down to a coastline strung with sweeping sandy beaches and picture-perfect coves. Below are the best places you can visit in Mahe Island

VICTORIA which is the capital, its one of the world’s smallest capital, It’s a pleasant provincial place with neat, tree-lined streets, a colourful local market, few simple souvenir stores and a handful of bars and restaurants.There’s enough to merit a few hours exploration here, including the Botanical Gardens, the National Museum of History and the Victoria Natural History Museum. Le Sans Souci is a great place to lodge if you want a small, quiet and refreshing place. 

SOUTHERN MAHE offers some stunning beaches, and relatively few hotels. Flanked by massive bamboos are laid-back hideaways on a beautiful crescent of sandy beaches . There are a few recommended hotels like The Banyan Tree for its professional service and stylish rooms, The Chalets d’Anse Forbans for its well equipped rooms and of course plenty space for families and Le Jardin Des Palmes for its stunning sea view.

There are some other great hotels to lodge like The South Point Chalets which offers Sel-Catering service, Maia Luxury Resort and Spa (The most exclusive and expensive hotel in Seychelles, Clef des Iles (a relaxed self-catering property with four two bedroom duplex flats)  and the 40-room Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa, which is a far cry from business-hotel stereotypes.

MAHE ISLAND ATTRACTIONS

BEAU VALLON BEACH
Mahé has 60 separate beaches and sandy bays, most of them easily reachable by rental car using good access roads, however Beau Vallon beach is widely regarded as the best beach in Mahe Island.Here, you will find everything you could ever want: white sand, clear water, restaurants, shops, a boat rental, and a diving centre. This beach is also great for families and children, as there is usually a lifeguard present, and there is no danger from currents or jellyfish

ANSE BOILEAU BEACH

Anse Boileau is a quiet district on the south of the island of Mahe, in the Seychelles. Anse Boileau embodies the natural wonders of Seychelles: it sits at the foot of a steep, very green mountain,the beach of Anse Boileau is a narrow band of sand fringing shallow waters close to the main coastal road.It is a short distance away from Anse La Mouche, a popular tourist destination. Anse Boileau is so-called because of its many coves.

ANSE INTENDANCE BEACH    
The famous Intendance beach in southern Mahé offers half a mile of powder white sand and huge breakers. There is no reef so the waves are much larger than most of the other beaches around the island, making it more suitable for surfing rather than swimming at most times. During the south-east trade winds the waves can reach fearsome heights, but in the north-west trade wind season the sea is calmer. This beautiful beach is also a popular spot for sunbathing. its great for surfing.

ANSE LASCARS BEACH   

On the eastern side of the island, Anse Lascars beach can be reached by taking the footpath from La Passe, which the tour guide usually takes. Sandy and with shells and corals lining its shore, this beach is famous for the fact that behind it there are some ancient tombs, believed to be the final resting place of 30 Arab sailors, whose ship was wrecked on the island many years before it came to be settled by man.

SEYCHELLES NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
This museum is located in Victoria the capital city, on Mahe Island. It’s one of the most visited attractions in Seychelles. Natural History Museum traces the evolution of flora and fauna in Seychelles over a period of many centuries. It contains numerous exciting displays like the skeleton of an extinct crocodile species, many stuffed animals, and varying species of flora and fauna.It is open on all days except Sundays. From Monday to Thursday, open hours is from 8.30 AM-4.30 PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, one can visit the museum between 8.30 AM and 12 noon.
COUSIN ISLAND SPECIAL RESERVE    
This special reserve is a superb example of an eco-tourism site and is one of the world’s very first island reserves, situated in Mahe Island . Previously a coconut plantation, Cousin Island was purchased by International Council for Bird Protection(now BirdLife) in 1968 for the purpose of saving endemic seychelles warbler. The transformation of the island form ecologically improverished coconut plantation in to a thriving indigenous forest also benefitted other species. Cousin Island is a huge conservation success, The Island receives more than 10,000 visitors yearly. Visitors are advised to bring their water, mosquito repellent and and high factor sun block

KOT MAN YA EXOTIC FLOWER GARDEN
For nature lovers and flower enthusiasts, Kot Man is definitely the place to visit. With their ravishing elegance, sparkling colours and symmetrical perfections, the flowers at exotic tropicals cater for the ultimate in floral brilliance. In addition to over 200 tropicals and orchid, Kot Man Ya is home to giant tortoises, rabbits, green geckos etc There are also fruit tress and medicinal herbs in abundance

PATRIMWANN
The word Patrimwann is a creole name meaning Heritage Trail.It encompasses all four of Seychelles Cultural attractions that highlights the country’s creole heritage, they include Kreol institute, Craft village, La Bastille and the Eco-museum. 

SIR CLARKE SELWYN MARKET
A visit to the busy and colourful market is a way to get the feel of seychellois way of life. It remains the bustling heart of the capital, it remains the best place to buy souvenirs, clothing and local art works.
Apart from all these attractions above, there are other places to visit like- Seychelles national botanical gardens, Seychelles National Archives, St. Paul Cathedral, Tea Factory and a host of others. 

PRASLIN ISLAND
Praslin is the second largest island in Seychelles, with a population of around 6,500 people, it is sparsely inhabited. It lies just 44 km northeast of Mahé. Praslin is known as a tourist destination with several hotels and resorts, as well as a number of beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette . It is home to Praslin Island Airport (Domestic Airport). It has substantial tracts of tropical forests with birds such as the endemic Seychelles Bulbul and the Seychelles Black Parrot. The Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve is known for the unique coco de mer and vanilla orchids. Praslin is also the only island where you can enjoy an 18 hole round of golf on a championship course, or discover the amazing Coco De Mer, an exotic plant that lead to the belief the Seychelles were the true Garden of Eden. The Island has 3 main settlements: Baie St. Anne, Grand Anse and Anse Volbert/Cote D’Or.

BAIE ST. ANNE is a small town in Praslin Island, with a sleepy charm that makes it easier for tourists to relax and refresh. It is home to both the Anse Mage and Anse Takamaka Beach. There are budget hotels there like the Colibri Guest House, Chalets Cote Mer.  

GRAND ANSE: It is on the eastern side of Praslin, close to the airport, Grand Anse has the longest beach on Praslin, which is called Grand Anse Beach. This bay has several hotels overlooking the seashore. The sea is great for swimming and water sports. The beach is at its best during the north-west trade winds when the sea is calm and clear. During the south-eastern trade wind season, seaweed can occasionally drift into the bay; when this occurs many of the hotels around Grand Anse will provide free transfers to Côte d’Or or other beaches for their guests.

COTE D’OR: The beach of Cote D’or is a stunning 2.5 km stretch of pristine white sand wrapping around the bay of Anse Volbert. Spread along the length of the beach are a number of accommodation options, from large luxury resorts like the Paradise Sun Hotel or the boutique Duc De Praslin through to simple self catering bungalows and guesthouses. It may be one of the more tourist areas of the island, being more of a ‘resort’ than a village like Grande Anse or Baie Sainte Anne, but as resorts go Cote D’or is low density and sleepy. The beach is long and the hotels spread thinly, with a handful of shops and restaurants clustered towards the middle to west end of the bay. The vast majority of buildings are set back from the beach and obscured by trees, with just a handful of resorts opening onto the beach front, keeping the beach looking beautiful and empty, and in the evenings and weekends you are likely to see just as many local families as tourists wandering the beaches or the shops. There are self-catering lodge like Cote D’or Self-catering Apartment.

So you may be asking, what other interesting things to do in Seychelles… 
  • Horse Riding
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Cruise Ride
  • Shopping
HOW TO PLAN YOUR TRIP
  • Save enough money to cover your expenses
  • Obtain your passport (Seychelles is a VISA FREE country) a permit will be issued to you when you get there free of charge for a stay of 1 month and free extension for 2 extra months
  • Book a hotel, resort or self catering hostel or house (www.seychelles.travel/en/plan-your-visit/accommodation)
  • Book a return ticket at any airline or travel agent near you
  • Pack enough travel essentials in your luggage
What to Pack 
  • Light clothing due to the warm tropical climate
  • shoes and sandals
  • underwear, hats and sunglasses
  • Travel document(International passport, passport photograph, yellow fever vaccination card)
  • mobile device 
  • Cash

Do’s & Don’ts

This section covers those areas or activities which, in the interests of enjoying a fine holiday experience, are best avoided.

Although Seychelles has a relatively low level of crime it is advisable not to carry large sums of money, items of value or important documents such as passports on your person. Most hotels offer facilities for safeguarding these. Similarly, do not take these to the beach or leave them in your hired vehicle or on display in your hotel room.

Avoid changing all your foreign exchange into Seychelles Rupees (SCR) at one time but rather calculate your daily requirements and change only what you need for a specific period of time.

Do not change your foreign exchange illegally with unauthorised traders but rather through banks, hotel cashiers and at the Bureau de Change at the airport.

TRANSPORTATION
Taxis are expensive but there are cheaper means of transport like bus,ferry and boat and there are domestic flights from one island to the other.

photo credit: Petite Anse Kerlan via photopin (license)


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