Pronounced say-shells, the name alone conjures up images of powder-soft white sands and hidden treasures. These islands are blessed with a warm tropical climate all year long. With all but its most remote, uninhabited islands lying well outside the cyclone belt, there are no extremes of weather.
The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Swimming, snorkeling and especially diving are ideal in April/May and October/November.
What sets Seychelles apart from so many other destinations is its wide variety of islands — each one with its own particular geography, character and history. Whether you choose a day excursion to one of the many Inner granitic islands, or an extended stay on an exotic island hideaways, Seychelles has something exceptional to offer.
Experiencing more than one island during your stay is a must and will add a dimension to your holiday experience that you will never forget.
Whatever your choice, a regular network of air and sea transport operating out of the principal island of Mahé will cater to most itineraries. Ferry services, domestic flights and even helicopter transfers are also available on a daily basis to many of the islands.
Seychelles is all that remained after the African and Indian continents broke apart, leaving a necklace of islands created from massive, 650-million-year-old granite, as opposed to fossilized coral that forms most of the Caribbean islands. Because of this splendid isolation from continental influences, Seychelles became a natural haven for wildlife, boasting 850 species of fish, 100 kinds of shells, several rare-bird colonies, the fabled coco-de-mer palms and more giant tortoises than the Galapagos.
Humans finally discovered these islands in the early 1600s, and they’ve been careful to preserve their natural beauty ever since. The locals, known lyrically as Seychellois (say-shell-wah), are a rich mixture of Indian, African, French, Portuguese and Arab, with a few sentimental pirates and permanent castaways thrown in for good measure.
Most everyone on the islands speaks English, yet Creole is spoken in the local kitchens, where spicy cuisine is served up with fresh catches. Seychelles is also known for its sensational seafood which is caught fresh from the ocean and basted in a mouth watering fusion of Creole spices. Food lovers shouldn’t miss sampling rich coconut curries, cooked with tender octopus or Tec Tec, a tasty pumpkin and shellfish soup.
Overall the atmosphere on the islands is relaxed and hassle-free, just like your travel planning should be. We’ll set up your adventure to include the best islands for deep-sea fishing, bird watching, snorkeling or just lying around on your own private beach.
You’ll smile with delight on your flight into Mahé Island, the largest island at 17 miles long and five miles wide, composed of striking peaks rising abruptly from the sea. Mahé is all about nature, and soon you’ll be all about enjoying it as you hike through rainforests, past small villages and hidden waterfalls before finding yourself alone on one of the island’s 75 beaches.
Mahé is home to almost 90 percent of all Seychellois, most of whom live in Victoria, the world’s smallest capital city. Victoria is so small, some say it’ll take you an hour to walk around it three times. Along your self-guided tour, be sure to notice the only set of traffic lights in the entire country and the great silver town clock, a gift from England in 1903, that strikes twice every hour: first to warn you that it will, then to remind you that it has, with the exact hour never quite clear.
As soon as you’re able to tell time on Mahé you’ll be whisked off on a 15-minute flight northeast to Praslin Island. Praslin truly is one of the world’s most unique islands, thanks to the fabled Vallée de Mai, a dense forest of giant palms, some 130 feet high. The female palms bear the world’s largest nut, a coco-de-mer, weighing up to 40 pounds. Stay overnight on Praslin and you can choose from a luxurious hotel or a bungalow perched high in the slopes with views of neighboring islands. You won’t stay in a high rise– no structure is can be built higher than the palms. The Seychelles is a World Heritage Site, and a third of the area is now protected. The main populations of coco-de-mer palms are found within the Praslin and Curieuse National Parks.
After a 30-minute ferry ride you’ll sink your feet into La Digue Island, where enormous granite rocks decorate long, beautiful beaches ideal for long walks, swimming and snorkeling. There is no town or village on this highly photogenic jewel of the Indian Ocean, but you can set off in any direction with just a backpack and a bottle of water and find yourself in a secluded slice of heaven in no time flat. Don’t be surprised if your hiking trail is blocked by a boulder with eyes lumbering toward you until you step aside. It’s a tortoise, possibly over a hundred years old, and it moves for no one.
Two of the world’s oldest, and most amiable, tortoises live on Cousin Island. George and Georgina like to follow people around to get their necks stroked. Once you’re done ‘necking’ with the reptiles, you’ll love the rest of the small island, a nature reserve since 1968 and home to several endangered species. To walk through the island’s thick forest with a bird on every branch is an unforgettable experience.
That’s what Seychelles truly is: a collection of unforgettables, from the beaches so soft to a wildlife of wonders. Talk to us today to begin your island-hopping adventures. We know Seychelles makes a welcome addition to safari expeditions to Kenya– after spending a week tracking big game, you’ll love the bare-footed luxury of these islands. Or if you want to visit a place your friends and neighbors have never heard of, let alone been to, we’ll send you to Seychelles, the capital of bragging rights.
Say yes to Seychelles! Call us today and soon you’ll be snorkeling for buried treasure in the Garden of Eden.