Things to know before your Seychelles holiday

Making plans for your holiday in Seychelles? I’m so excited for you! The Seychelles islands are one of the most beautiful (and oldest!) islands in the world, located about 4-11 degrees south of the Equator and is home to one of most diverse cultures and ecosystems on the planet!

Are you ready to plan your Seychelles holiday? Or rather, the question should really be, are you ready for the experience of a lifetime?

All the magazines and guidebooks can be a bit overwhelming but I’ve got you covered! No one can give you better advice about a place than a local and I just happen to be one, born and bred.

So look no further, everything you could possibly want to know about your Seychelles holiday is on these pages.

Photo credit: Patrick Valmont

Fun Facts about Seychelles

The Seychelles islands are made up of roughly 115 islands, with a growing population of around 98,000 people.

The main island, Mahé, measures around 28km long by 8km wide and is home to about 90% of the population. The next biggest island is Praslin with around 6500 people and measuring 10 by 3.7 km, followed by La Digue with a tiny population of 2000 and an area of 10². The other islands after that are very small, most of them are uninhabited, some are privately owned and others boast exclusive luxury resorts.

Some of the islands are mountainous and made up of one of the oldest granitic rock in the world, the remnants of the once magnificent continent of Gondwana. The remainder of the islands are flat coralline islands that rose out of the ocean hundreds of year ago and that now form part of some of the most unique tropical ecosystems in the world.

The islands have a rich history involving pirates, myths of buried treasures, slavery, witchcraft and colonisation by both the English and the French. We’re a fairly new republic, having gotten our independence from the English in 1976.

The population of the islands reflect a diverse ethnicity and descent from all over the world. Our people come from Africa, India, China and Europe and we have three national languages, English, French and Creole, making the Seychelles islands a veritable melting pot of cultures.

Want to know more fun facts about the islands? Here are 40 things you didn’t know about The Seychelles!

Weather and Climate

The Seychelles Islands are around 4 degrees south of the equator, so they experience a hot monsoon climate. This means its generally sunny all year round with temperatures ranging from 27 and 31 degrees celcius, with a bit of rain in the wet season.

From May to October, the South-East trade winds result in the islands experiencing a dry season, with temperatures reaching their highest in July/August and the seas can be quite choppy.

From mid-November to March, the North West monsoon kicks in and there’s a lot of rain but the vegetation is very green and there are periods of cool sunshine.

The islands are generally very humid so you’ll want to pack lightly. Don’t forget your mosquito repellants and sun cream.

Currency & Exchange Rates

The Seychelles currency is the Rupee. It’s very easy to exchange money either at the airport or in the town of Victoria.

You can check the exchange rates on the Central Bank website to prepare you for your trip but here are of the approximate rates as of December 2018.

Pound Sterling Rs17.7
United States Dollar Rs13.9
Euro Rs15.7

Getting around in Seychelles / Transport

Public transport in the form of buses can get you over almost all of the island on Mahé and Praslin. The central bus terminal is in the capital Victoria and there are bus stops all over the island. You pay the driver as you hop on and a ticket costs around Rs7 per person.

A local’s tip: it’s important to remember that when you’re on holiday in Seychelles, you’re running on island time. This means that everything has a slower pace! Don’t be too surprised if the buses are a bit late.

Taxis are also available but you want to be sure that they’re legitimate which you’ll know if they have a big old taxi sign on the roof. Just make sure they don’t overcharge you! To find out reasonable fares, just ask at your hotel reception.

You also have the option of renting a car from one of the various car hires on Mahé and Praslin. Don’t forget that we drive on the left!

To get from one island to another, the Cat Coco ferry travels between the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue at various time during the day. Their website has information about departure times and prices range between €50 and €80.

The domestic terminal at the airport at Anse Au Pins also offers flights for around Rs2000 (€120) between Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and some of the smaller outer islands including Bird Island.

A Map of the Seychelles Islands

Where to Stay in Seychelles

Seychelles truly is paradise on earth! With over 100 hotels, guest houses and self-catering residences to choose from, there’s an overwhelming amount of choice!

There has been an amazing increased movement to encourage green tourism on the islands and to ensure that tourist accommodation is eco-friendly and sustainable in order to preserve the fragile ecosystems that make the islands as beautiful as they are. Don’t forget to enjoy all of the beauty that the islands have to offer, take away tons of memories, and leave only your footprints.

Let me help you find the perfect place to stay while on your holiday in Seychelles for your ultimate tropical getaway. I’ve rounded all the best accommodation, from 5-star resorts to budget-friendly options, on all of the main islands, for all groups and types of travellers.


Safety tricks and Island tips

Like with any holiday, it’s advisable not to walk around with your valuable possession such as jewellery, your passport or large amounts of money. Always keep an eye on your belongings when you’re on the beach and be sure to walk in large groups when you go hiking or exploring among trails or in the forest.

Safety at the beach: Keep an eye out on some beaches for signs warning against strong currents and take care of children on those beaches. When out at sea in a boat, be safe and if it’s your first experience, listen to your guides and skippers. Don’t forget to be careful not to step on the fragile reefs that you get to marvel at, and to take all your litter with you when you go home.

Water: most tap water is safe to drink. We encourage tourists and locals to carry their reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic bottles to help reduce single use plastic and keep the environment clean.

Driving: If you’re driving yourself around the islands, take care on the roads because they can be quite narrow or steep and if you run into a bus in a sharp bend, don’t panic (it happens more often than you think!), just move out of the way slowly if you can otherwise the driver will probably be able to manoeuvre his way around you.

Finally, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, stay hydrated and most importantly, have a fabulous time making lifelong memories!

Annual Events in Seychelles

Carnaval International de Victoria / Festival Kreol

Every year, during the last weekend of October, the islands celebrate the Creole Festival, a three-day long party to honour the Creole traditions, it’s dances, food, music and our ancestors who came to the islands and created the melting pot of cultures that we are today.

For 6 years now, the islands have also hosted the Carnaval International de Victoria, welcoming performers and guests from some of the most renowned carnivals in the world. In 2017, the two celebrations were merged together and the new event includes even more fun; several fairs on the three main islands, parades, concerts and performances and not to forget all of the food!

Seychelles Round Table Regatta

The Regatta has quickly become a very important date in the Seychelles calendar. The event takes place on the popular Beau Vallon beach front and goes for a whole weekend (in 2018 the event took place on the 8th September to the 30th of September).

The weekend is packed with various sports races and competitions such as sailing and rowing, sports such as beach volleyball and football, as well as live concerts on the beach by local and international artists and DJs, not to mention a fair with lots of food and games.

There’s a pageant show, where one lucky island girl or boy is crowned Miss and Mr Regatta and the event culminates in the Seychelles Round Table Lottery draw at 6.30pm and a Greasy Pole Competition, where competitors struggle to reach a cash prize fixed on top of a 6-metre wooden pole smothered in grease.

29th June – Independence Day

On the 29th June 1976, the Islands got their Independence from the British and became the Republic of Seychelles. The day is commemorated with a national sports day and a fair which takes place in Victoria.

In the evening, there is an event in the People’s Stadium at Roche Caiman which involves a parade by members of several national and international armed forces, as well as performances by local dance groups and artists. The show culminates in a beautiful fireworks display and the festivities go on till late in the evening.

Travel Insurance

Don’t forget to get travel insurance! World Nomads is a reliable and cost effective insurance provider to cover you while you’re on your epic world adventures.

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