Officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles;Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Southeast Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west and Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south.
Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean, and is northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya. The archipelago consists of over 116 islands. The granitic islands are considered the oldest and hardest granite in the world. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves.
The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small. The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mahé vary from 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900 mm (114 in) annually at Victoria to 3,600 mm (142 in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands. During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24 °C (75 °F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31 °C (88 °F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.
There are three official languages in Seychelles: Creole (a lilting, French-based patois), English and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian or German.
Roman Catholicism remains the dominant religion of Seychelles but there are also Anglican and Protestant churches and the places of worship of other denominations. These live in harmony alongside, Muslim, Hindu and Bahaï communities based on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice. Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such assteamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked. Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country's cuisine.
Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish. Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.
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.
The dessert version usually consists of ripe plantain and sweet potatoes (but may also include cassava, breadfruit or even corossol) boiled with coconut milk, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla in the form of a pod until the fruit is soft and the sauce is creamy. The savory dish usually includes salted fish, cooked in a similar fashion to the dessert version, with plantain, cassava and breadfruit, but with salt used in place of sugar (and omitting vanilla).
typically consists of boiled skinned shark, finely mashed, and cooked with squeezed bilimbi juice and lime. It is mixed with onion and spices, and the onion is fried and it is cooked in oil.
coated with a sauce of crushed chilies, ginger and garlic.
By car :
HinduDriving in Seychelles is on the left side of the road. The roads on Mahe are low-traffic, mountainous, narrow roads, so caution is generally advised.
Having a car is really a good idea and makes life much more simple. For as little as 100 rupees worth of gas you can see the entire island of Mahe in a couple of hours, including stops at beaches and whatever else catches your eye. There is free parking in 'downtown' Victoria on Mahe, and if you go with a B&B or self-catering option for accommodations its by far the easiest way to pick up groceries. A car will also allow you access to the stores where locals do their regular shopping, and the prices are more reasonable as compared to the small convenience stores along the beaches.
You can only rent on Mahé and Praslin. You can find a small car (eg: Hyundai Atos) for around €35-€45 per day, but keep in mind that renters must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license, and have at least three years of driving experience. There are several car hire counters outside the arrivals hall at Mahe international airport, which provides a convenient way to compare prices. Prices can be negotiated, with the better rate available for rental periods of 3 consecutive days or more. The 'excess' payable by the customer in the event of a claim, ranges from €300 to €1000 depending on the company, so choose carefully and ask the right questions.
Taxis are a popular means of transportation for both short trips and day rental and can be obtained almost anywhere. Taxi prices for non-residents (approx. 20 rupees/1.3Euros per km as of Sept 2010) on a relatively long trip, can easily exceed the cost of hiring a small car for a day.
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. Although the bus will get you there, the schedules aren't tight and the drivers are a bit bold on the very narrow roads if you're a nervous passenger.
The hisMany 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. A hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will take about 1.5-2 hours and your reward will be a small deserted beach that's fit for a king. The scenery along the hike is breathtaking. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming depending on the time of year, due to the seasonal winds. Do not ignore warning signs indicating that a beach is hazardous for swimming, no matter how it seems to you.
Vallee de Mai is a national park and world heritage site, home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world's largest seed: the coco de mer. Entrance fee: Free for residents, 315 rupees (~20Euros) for foreigners (Sept 2010).
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.
The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for the water enthusiasts. Explore on board a yacht, power boat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May then in October, at the start and end of the trade winds. Scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing are also extremely popular and can be done almost anywhere in Seychelles. Baie Ternay is superb and easily acccessible by glass bottom boat tour from Beau Vallon beach - leave yourself an empty day and walk the beach for a 'last minute' booking - great deals can be bartered. Snorkeling (provided you have your own gear - some hotels lend masks, snorkels and fins to guests) is FREE and there are many great spots: off some of the small beaches at Glacis, past Mouse Island at Anse Royale, along the reef at Port Launay (near Ephelia Resort). Often spotted are a wide array of tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle rays and more!
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 smaller islands (La Digue, Praslin), while walking along the main road can be quite intimidating as the roads are narrow and local cars/busses drive quite quickly. On Mahe it is not advised to ride bicycles, and there are no rental shops within sight. 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, but many unique species can be found at ease on Mahe.
Do not miss most popular Nightclub "Lovenut" in the centre of Victoria, 100 metres walk from central Taxi station. Also entertaining are "Tequila Boom" at (Bel Ombre) and "Katiolio" (near Anse Royale) night clubs. "Katiolio" was one of the first nightclubs to open on Mahe and boats an open-air that is directly beside the ocean.
Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Seychelles. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).Hiking There are several maintained hiking routes on the main island of Mahe and a few on Praslin. The Seychelles tourism office has a few descriptions of the hiking routes with maps available to be purchased. Check out openstreetmap  for some hiking tracks around the islands. Seychelles also has 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 market downtown Victoria has a good selection of local produce, and spices for sale that are all grown locally and 100% authentic.
Donald Adelaide has been a professional artist for some 20 years. He comes from Baie Lazare, in southern Mahé, where the sea view and coastlines inspire his paintings. His experience and skills were developed under the guidance of Michael Adams. He works with watercolours and sells both original and print paintings.
Andrew Gee is a successful watercolour artist. Visitors are welcome to his studio to view his original watercolour paintings, silk paintings, textiles and handmade cards. Andrew trained at St. Martin’s School of Art in London then ran his own Fashion Company for many years. In 1993 he came to Seychelles as a fashion and textile instructor at the School of Art & Design. He has a keen interest in culture and heritage and uses his watercolour paintings to record a personal view of the beautiful and changing face of Seychelles.
Aride Island, one of the finest jewels in the Indian Ocean, is also one of the world’s most important Nature Reserves. Blessed with a wealth of natural treasures Aride has remained a wild and beautiful paradise. The island was bought as a Nature Reserve in 1973 by Christopher Cadbury, and today is managed by the Island Conservation Society. Aride is home to one million breeding seabirds of ten species, endemic birds such as Magpie Robins, Fodies, Brush Warblers and Blue Pigeon, Endemic Plants like wrights Gardenia and Turtle beaches and rich marine life. No vessels other than those of the reserve are allowed to land on Aride Island. As such visitors will have to disembark from their vessel and board the islands' boat for transfer onto the island.
Barbara is a full time painter living and working on the beautiful island of La Digue. From her beach side studio, she produces a wide variety of work in many different mediums including watercolour, gouache and acrylic on paper and canvas as well as varnish and pigments on aluminium sheet. Barbara also draws in pencil and charcoal, screen prints, marbles and hand colour papers and fabrics: in fact, she works in any medium that enables her to express her artistic talent and love of the islands. All her original work is displayed for sale in the small friendly gallery adjoining her studio.
The Bel Air Cemetery, undoubtedly the oldest historic site in Seychelles, was the first official burial ground to be opened on Mahé soon after the establishment of the French settlement in the late 18th century. Important historical milestones, the cemetery’s tombs, vaults and shrines contain the remains of some of the islands’ most famous personalities such as corsair Jean-Francois Hodoul and the 9ft giant Charles Dorothée Savy, poisoned at the age of 14 by neighbours fearful of his height. Another character whose remains lie within the cemetery is the mysterious Pierre-Louis Poiret, claimed by some to be the son of Louis XVI who fled the French Revolution and took refuge in Seychelles. It is also a final resting place of a son-in-law of Quéau de Quinssy, a magistrate, an acting civil commissioner and a district magistrate who lie among other recently rediscovered graves once covered by the great landslide of 1862.
At Black Pearl experience three attractions in one: The Giant Clam Farm, Pearl Farm and the Black Pearl shop. Enjoy the unique chance to encounter over forty thousand giant clams and to learn about their feeding and reproduction habitats at the Black Pearl Ocean Farm. Black pearls are also cultured here in the first and only pearl farm in the Indian Ocean region. Situated next to the farm is the Black Pearl Shop, selling a selection of beautiful high-class jewellery and other exotic creations made from locally cultivated pearls from the Seychelles ‘Black Lip Oyster’. You can choose from the array of matching rings, earrings, pendants or strands designed and hand crafted by Linneys the internationally awarded West Australian jewelers. Set in yellow or white 18-carat gold and with argyle diamonds, many of which are of a “One Off” design.
The hotel offers a snack bar/deli. A bar/lounge is on site where guests can unwind with a drink. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast. An Internet point is located on site and high-speed wireless Internet access is complimentary.