Everything you need to know about the Seychelles

The Seychelles is an Indian Ocean nation spreading across an archipelago of 115 beautiful islands. It is the ideal holiday location thanks to its calm waters, perfect white sand beaches and its green mountainous interior. Hopefully this guide teaches you everything you need to know about the Seychelles, an incredible island nation.

Getting there

The Seychelles is serviced by one international airport on the largest island of Mahé. Many major airlines fly here year round including Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines and Kenya Airways.

There are currently no direct flights between the UK and Mahé so if you are travelling from here you will find Emirates, Qatar and Etihad offer the most regular service, taking around 13 hours including a layover.

There is a direct flight from Switzerland, Istanbul and Frankfurt.

Getting around

Mahé island is home to a number of travel companies that offer transport such as Masons Travel and Creole Travel Services. There are plenty of taxis on the island and a bus service. To reach the other islands you can travel on a ferry or you can take a small aircraft to Praslin and travel via ferry from there to another island.

Tourist hubs

The main tourist hub is on Mahé which is a diverse island with beautiful beaches, emerald green mountains and a great place to experience the Creole culture.

Praslin and La Digue are also well set up for tourists with easy to use transport links. Praslin is much quieter than Mahé, with a handful of luxury hotels and guesthouses. There is a road that circles the island and one road that cuts through its interior, I’m not sure there has ever been a traffic jam here…

La Digue is a stone’s throw from Praslin and you can reach the island via helicopter or ferry. The island is not particularly developed other than round the ferry jetty area which is where you can find places to stay. There are an extremely limited number of vehicles on the island so tourists and locals get from A to B via bicycle.

Best time to visit

The Seychelles sits 7° south of the equator meaning it experiences a tropical climate with lots of sun and distinct rainy periods. December-February is the rainiest season with April-may and October-November being the best time to visit if you want sun and calm conditions.

The summer months (this is winter in the Seychelles) is peak season as it coincides with the European and North American summer holidays. Conditions during this time can be a little windy, sometimes unsettled, but also sees a fair bit of sunshine and blue sky.

It’s important to note Mahé experiences more rain than the rest of the islands as clouds gather round the mountains.

If you are specifically visiting for snorkelling or diving, the best conditions are during April, May, October and November.

Seychelles Climate

Conditions in the Seychelles are often hot and humid but luckily avoid cyclones. Average daily temperatures are between between 24 and 30°C and it stays warm throughout the evenings so it’s highly unlikely you will ever need to pack a jacket.

The trade winds form an important part of the Seychelles’ weather system. The south-east trade wind blows between May and September and this is when the wind is strongest. From December to March the island experiences a slight more gentle north-west trade wind, and during the shoulder seasons there is barely a wind at all.

Seaweed

The June to September trade winds can sometimes cause a seaweed build up on certain beaches in the south of Praslin, so if you are travelling during these months you are better off staying in the north. The Seychelles is lucky to have a thriving marine eco system so this seaweed is not damaging or a bad sign, it shows underwater life continues to thrive.

The tide

The tide changes every six hours and the majority of accommodations will be able to provide you with tide conditions so you can plan on when to hit the beach.

Crime

The overall crime risk in the Seychelles is low and the vast majority of tourist visits are trouble free. I would always advise you to be cautious wherever you travel in the world as you would at home. valuables should be kept in the hotel safe and basic safety such as not walking through trails at night should be practiced.

Violent crime is extremely uncommon but petty theft can occur more regularly and this tends to happen late at night. Like anywhere, it’s better to not roam the streets in the early hours.

Crime is even lower on the smaller islands where everyone knows everyone. La Digue for example has a good police presence as there is one small town on the island where the tourists stay and this is where the police station is situated.

Its criminality score is 3.68 which is comparable to Canada who has a score of 3.67 (the lower the score the better). To put it into context, the UK has a score of 4.89, the US 5.5, France 5.67 and Germany 4.9 so it is safer than where the majority of tourists come from.

Cost

The Seychelles has a very high cost of living as almost everything is imported, they are not just trying to rip off tourists. Hotel rates are higher than many other locations around the world and whilst you can budget carefully, I wouldn’t recommend it as a particularly ‘cheap’ destination.

Accommodation

If you are looking for laidback luxury, this is your place. The most luxurious properties benefit from having their very own island (it’s important to note ALL beaches are public on the Seychelles islands, even on ‘private’ islands.

The Six Senses Zil Payson (on Félicité) and North Island are possibly the most incredible hotels you will ever visit in your life.

Mahé is home to a mixture of accommodation, there is a variety of small guesthouses, boutique hotels, the well-known luxury chains like the Four Seasons, Kempinski and Anantara, and in the north, particularly around Beau Vallon, there are larger, family friendly hotels.

You can search hotels in the Seychelles here.

Currency

The currency of the island is the Seychelles Rupee, but many places with accept US dollars, Euros and Stirling. Card payments have only become common place recently and many places still require cash only. Whilst some hotels and restaurants offer contactless payments, not many do yet, so make sure you carry with you your physical debit/credit card so you don’t get caught out.

Religion and culture

The Seychelles is a melting pot of culture and religion, the main religion is Catholicism but you will find plenty of Hindus and Buddhists etc. The island is not particularly strict and wearing usual holiday attire such as shorts and t shirts is more than welcome.

There are three official languages spoken on the island, Creole, French and English. Creole is the most widely spoken, followed by English.

Safety

The island is very safe, Air Seychelles is a great airline with experienced pilots. The ferries and speedboats are smooth, well-organised and proper. Traffic accidents are not common place and the Seychellois people are generally careful drivers.

Sudden heavy downpours can reduce visibility and road surface conditions quickly. Potholes can appear in the road suddenly after heavy rains – drivers sometimes veer sharply across lanes to avoid them.

There are no deadly animals on the island and it is very rare to see sharks in their waters. Malaria does not exist in the Seychelles and there are no particular vaccines that are recommended to travel here.

There are no cyclones, forest fires, or dangerous weather events. The islands were affected by the 2004 tsunami with minimal deaths and some damage. It’s important to note Tsunamis are an extremely rare event and can happen in any ocean in the world.

There are no earthquakes or volcanoes here..

Food

The creole food has a heavy asian influence with incredible flavour and spice. There is a lot of curried food, coconut and papaya. The Creole food is cook from the heart and tastes delicious.

There are plenty of international options, particularly Indian food and Italian.

If you want to learn more about the Seychelles, check out my reasons why you should visit here.

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