Where are the Seychelles?

The Seychelles represent an archipelago of 115 islands, 42 of which are granite or granitic, and 73 are coral islands, situated in the Indian Ocean, between 470 and 1,590 km east of Africa.

Although geographically distant from the African mainland, the Seychelles is politically considered part of the African continent. The islands are categorized as Inner Islands and Outer Islands, with 25 administrative regions in the Inner Islands, which are mainly composed of granite, including the Northern Coral Islands. Meanwhile, the Outer Islands consist of the the Amirantes, Southern Coral Islands, the Farquhar Group, the Aldabra Group, and the Alphonse Group.

The Seychelles observes the UTC/GMT +4h, which places it three hours ahead of France during the winter months and two hours ahead during the summer.

How large is the archipelago?

The Seychelles is composed of 115 islands that cover a total land area of 175 sq. miles (455 km²). However, when including the oceanic territory, the country’s total area expands to a vast 390,000 km² (150,000 sq. miles).

The Aldabra Atoll, an uninhabited landmass, is the largest in the Seychelles, followed by the main island of Mahé. Although the Seychelles is sizable, it is smaller than neighboring island nations such as Madagascar, Mauritius, and Comoros.

The main islands of the Seychelles are situated approximately 660 miles (1000 km) from Madagascar, 1092 miles (1750 km) from Mauritius, and 960 miles (1550 km) from Comoros. The distance from the Maldives in the east is approximately 1330 miles (2140 km).

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At a glance

Timezone

The time zone of the Seychelles is Seychelles Time (SCT), which is 4 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+4), same time of London.

Languages spoken in the Republic

People in the Seychelles mainly speak in English which is particularly dominant in commerce and law. The French is also widely spoken and understood.

The most frequently spoken in the Seychelles though is the Creole – a language similar to French with Swahili and Arabic words, rooted during the times the French plantation owners needed to communicate with their African and Malagasy slaves.

Local Currency

The currency used is the Seychelles Rupee (SR), which is divided into 100 cents.

However, it’s worth noting that in most tourist areas, Seychelles Rupees are not widely accepted.

For this reason, we recommend taking Euros with you when travelling to the Seychelles. Euros are generally accepted in many tourist areas and can be easily exchanged for local currency if needed.

When it comes to payment methods, major credit cards such as Diners Club, Visa, Access, and MasterCard are widely accepted at larger hotels, restaurants, and shops.

It’s always a good idea thou to carry some cash with you for smaller purchases, especially when exploring local markets and street vendors.

By being prepared with the right currency and payment methods, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your time in the Seychelles without any worries about how to pay for your purchases or activities.

Do I have to leave a tip?

When it comes to tipping in the Seychelles, it’s important to note that it is not mandatory. However, if you receive exceptional service, leaving a tip is always appreciated.

In restaurants, the service charge is usually between 10 – 15% of the bill.

Of course, if you feel that the service was truly outstanding, leaving an extra tip is always a kind gesture.

It’s worth noting that tipping customs can vary between different types of establishments and experiences. For example, if you go on a guided tour or hire a private driver, it’s customary to tip the guide or driver at the end of the experience.

Ultimately, while tipping isn’t mandatory, it’s a nice way to show appreciation for great service and ensure that those who go above and beyond are recognized for their efforts.

Know the local Habits

In the Seychelles, revealing clothes must be avoided as this may cause offence to local people.

Do not photograph people without their consent.

Taking pictures at the ports of entry is forbidden too.

Historical sites, museums, and those of scenic interest must be photographed only upon permission.

The same goes for shooting public buildings, or any places of potentially sensitive matter among which government buildings and military presence.

Easy Island-Hopping or Safari to Seychelles by Flight

Emirates and Qatar operate daily flights via Dubai from Berlin, Madrid, London and other regional airlines connect as well.

Additionally, flights are available twice per week from African capitals like Johannesburg and Nairobi, allowing you to link your stay in the Seychelles with a safari experience.

Once you arrive in the Seychelles, you have the option to stay at a single hotel or explore multiple islands through island hopping, where you can stay at two or three different locations.

What types of accommodation are offered?

There is a diverse selection of accommodation available in the Seychelles, catering to a range of budgets and preferences. Options include luxurious five-star hotels as well as cozy Creole guesthouses.

Selections of intimate properties such as boutique hotels, plantation houses, and exclusive private island retreats are also available.

These accommodations can be found across a variety of locations, ranging from the larger islands of Praslin and Mahé to the more tranquil La Digue and remote Desroches.

For those seeking ultimate seclusion, private island hideaways with only one exclusive lodge is also available.

Culinary experience

One of the most exciting parts of visiting the Seychelles is experiencing the unique blend of flavors that make up Seychellois cuisine.

This vibrant cuisine draws influences from a variety of cultures, including African, Chinese, English, French, and Indian traditions.

A key feature of Seychellois cuisine is the careful blending of spices, which give many dishes their distinct flavor profiles.

Coconut milk and breadfruit are also commonly used ingredients in Seychellois dishes. Breadfruit, with its slightly sweet taste, is often prepared in ways similar to potatoes, such as mashed, chipped, or roasted.

In the Seychelles, the main meal of the day is typically eaten in the evening, with many recipes featuring seafood due to the island’s strong connection to the ocean.

While most restaurants offer some international cuisine options, fresh fish and shellfish are often the star of the show in Seychellois dishes. So be sure to sample some of the local seafood during your visit!

What are the Seychelles best known for?

The Seychelles is internationally renowned for its stunning beaches, thriving biodiversity, lush tropical forests, and the mesmerizing azure waters surrounding its islands. In addition, the archipelago is home to 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, where the rare and exotic Coco de Mer palm tree grows, and Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll globally.

How to plan your Seychelles vacation?

The Seychelles is a breathtaking destination, boasting not only stunning beaches. The diverse flora and fauna, the welcoming locals, and a multitude of islands, each with its unique charm, are must-see. If you are considering a trip to this paradise, this guide offers essential information on how to plan your Seychelles vacation, including estimated costs, recommended number of islands to visit, and transportation options.

What is the ideal time to visit the Seychelles?

The Seychelles enjoys warm temperatures throughout the year, ranging between 26 to 32 degrees Celsius daily. Due to its location near the equator, the climate remains stable year-round, making it an excellent holiday destination any time of the year.

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What Seychelles islands are worth visiting?

If you’re wondering which islands to include in your itinerary, the duration of your trip will be a crucial factor in determining the numbers of islands you can visit. If it’s your first time in Seychelles, don’t miss the 3 primary islands: Praslin, La Digue, and Mahé. Nevertheless, there are plenty of islands that will pique your interest.

What is the recommended duration for a Seychelles vacation?

A typical Seychelles vacation usually lasts up to two weeks, which allows time to visit 3 different islands and explore their unique beauty and character. If you wish to cover more than 3 islands, then consider planning for a three-week vacation.

How to organize the multiple islands visit?

  • For a 7-day stay, it’s practical to keep to a single island (Praslin or Mahé) and go on a single day-visits to the other Seychelles islands with water-taxis or ferries.
  • For a 10-day stay, you will be able to travel to a couple of islands especially if the visit takes part of islands hopping trip. You could add a 3rd island as a daily trip.
  • A 2-week stay allows you to visit 3 islands (e.g. Praslin, La Digue, and Mahé) and have time for relaxation and activities. You can also try visiting a smaller island to two of the main ones.
  • With a 3-week stay, you can consider visiting four islands, typically consisting of the three main islands and one more.

Is visiting multiple islands a good idea when travelling to the Seychelles?

Visiting multiple Seychelles islands is a must-do as the archipelago has 115 separate islands, each with its unique beauty. From the granite islands with splendid boulders to coral islands with beaches stretching with kilometers, you won’t want to miss any of them.

The main, most famous islands, Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, and some smaller ones like Silhouette, Cerf, Felicité, Round, Saint Anne, etc. are all located within an hour’s boat ride of each other, making inter-island transfers fast and easy. Plus, the boat trips themselves are impressive, with stunning views of the water and islands.

Health requirements to enter the Seychelles as a tourist:

As the world reopens to international travel after the COVID-19 pandemic, many tourists are excited to visit the beautiful islands of Seychelles. However, as with many other travel destinations, there are specific health requirements that must be met before entering the country.

COVID-19 PCR Test

As of October 2021, Seychelles has relaxed its entry requirements for fully vaccinated travelers, and visitors are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before entering the country.

Vaccination Requirements

COVID-19

Providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not currently a requirement to enter Seychelles.

Yellow fever

If you’re travelling from a country or region where yellow fever is considered endemic, you may be required to upload your yellow fever vaccination certificate as proof of immunization. However, if you’re transiting through a yellow fever endemic region’s airport for less than 12 hours, you do not need to provide the yellow fever certificate when travelling to Seychelles.

If you have spent more than 12 hours in any of the below countries, you will have to submit your yellow fever vaccine certificate which is going to be more than 10 days older to your arrival in Seychelles.

AFRICACENTRAL and SOUTH AMERICA
AngolaEthiopaNigeriaArgentina
BeninGabonSenegalBolivia
AngolaEthiopaNigeriaArgentina
BeninGabonSenegalBolivia
Burkina FasoGambiaSierra LeoneBrazil
CameroonGhanaSouth SudanColombia
Central African RepublicGuineaSudanEcuador
ChadGuinea-BissauTogoFrench Guiana
Congo (Republic of)KenyaUgandaGuyana
Ivory CoastLiberiaPanama
Democratic Republic of the CongoMaliParaguay
Equatorial GuineaMauritaniaPeru
NigerSuriname
Trinidad and Tobago
Venezuela
  • It is not mandatory to provide a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate for Elder than 59.
  • If such vaccination has side effects to the traveler, this has to submit a written exemption from his/her doctor explaining the reason of the exemption.

The certificate vaccination card needs the following details:

  • First and Last name
  • Citizenship
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Vaccination Serial number
  • Date of Vaccination
  • Stamp and Initials of medical provider

Health insurance

While it is advisable to have one Health insurance, that it is not mandatory.

If you decide to buy one, the recommended travel health insurance coverage for Seychelles should include, but not be limited to, coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalization and emergency medical treatment, as well as emergency medical evacuation or repatriation.

It is also important to ensure that the policy covers COVID-19-related medical expenses, including testing, treatment, and quarantine.