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Useful tips for your stay in the Seychelles:
Climate facts ...
A year-round destination located outside of the cyclone belt, the Seychelles Islands are blessed with a warm and humid tropical perfect climate with refreshing sea breezes, and temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C. So it's always warm in the Seychelles, making the islands a year-round destination.
The seasons are defined by the trade winds, which blow from the northwest from October to April, bringing warm, sometimes wet weather.
From late May to September the southeast trade winds bring in a bit cooler, drier but also windier weather.
The turnaround periods (March through April and October through November) are normally calm with little wind.
There is some rain during both seasons. January is the wettest month, when mountainous Mahe and Silhouette get the most rainfall, but it tends to come in short bursts. 70 % of the rain comes down between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and in average, the sunshine hours are always > 5 hours, even in January.
July and August are the driest months. The annual temperature range fluctuates between 24°C (75°F) and 31°C (88°F) and the humidity hovers at 80% year round.
Seychelles is located outside the cyclone belt in Indian Ocean, so severe storms are rare.
For diving and snorkelling, April/Mai/June and September/October/November are perfect with visibility at 30+ meters. It's not bad at all the rest of the year except maybe June, when rough seas reign on the exposed SE-sides of the islands.
Getting to the Seychelles ...
Airlines serving the Seychelles include Emirates (6 flights weekly), Etihad (4 flights weekly), Ethopian (3 flights weekly), Turkish Airlines (3 flights weekly), Air France, Condor (once per week direct from Frankfurt), Air Seychelles (3 flights weekly from Paris, 3 flights from Mauritius, 4 from Johannesburg and 1 weekly flight each from Bejing and Mumbai, India), Austrian Airlines (once per week from Vienna ), SriLankan Airlines (four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday), Transaero (from Moskow), Meridiana, Air Mauritius, Air Austral (twice a week from Paris), and Kenya Airways. From Australia, it's probably best with Etihad via Abu Dhabi.
From Prague (Czech Republic) to the Seychelles via Abu Dhabi on Czech Airlines / Etihad 3-4 times weekly.
A quick overview of Seychelles islands ...
Island hopping: Getting from island to island...
a) by speed ferry: it runs between Mahe and Praslin (with onward connections to La Digue). The trip takes only 50-60 minutes.
Between Praslin and La Digue there is a ferry which crosses in 15 minutes.
On either ferry connection, you will be likely to see dolphins and flying fish (better viewing on the upper deck category). Find ferry booking information and timetables here.
b) By plane: Mahe - Praslin costs a bit more than double the ferry fare if you go by plane. Although the hop with a Twin Otter or Short360 lasts only about 15 mins., you may end up spending hours at the airport, if you are unlucky and if there's a lot of demand. Most of the time, they are roughly on time, though. Please note that if you arrive from Mahe by plane and wish to continue on to La Digue, you'll have to take an expensive taxi to cross the island to reach the ferry jetty.
Furthermore, the luggage allowance for flights is 15 kgs only! Exceptions e.g. for Etihad frequent flyers (Silver/Gold members).
c) By helicopter: You'd have to charter a helicopter to La Digue, which costs about 820 €.
Getting around on the islands ...
... on Mahe you are well advised to rent a car, due to both traffic and size of the island. Alternatively, those with more time and less money take a taxi or the local bus. Please note that on Mahe and Praslin, busses don't take you if you carry more than a daypack!
We offer good, reliable rental cars at unbeatable prices here.
... on Praslin a car is a fairly good idea as well. Alternatively, take an expensive taxi or the cheap local bus (again: very time consuming)..
... on La Digue you are best off by renting a bicyle. There are few cars and the island is small enough to discover all the beautiful spots and beaches this way.
By the way: Tourists arriving in the Seychelles will usually receive a free map of the main islands at the airport.
... are rather expensive in the Seychelles. Count on 25 to 30 Euros from the airport to the ferry terminal, for example (if you book your ferries with us, we can arrange a bus shuttle). From the airport to Beau Vallon you'll pay up to 50 € even!
A rental car for the whole day won't cost you more than one single taxi trip. So check out our unbeatable prices for car hires.
are a cheap, but very time consuming way of getting around. A ticket costs 3-10 Rupies, regardless of the distance you travel. If you change busses, you have to pay again.
On frequently traveled routes on Mahe, there is a bus every 15 or 30 minutes. After 7 p.m. there are hardly any buses running and if you think you can hop on a bus with a suitcase, think again! No bus driver will take you from the airport to Victoria, for example, if you carry more than a daypack. For a map of bus routes on Mahe click here.
On Praslin, things are about the same as on Mahe, but buses ply even less frequently. During lunchtime, most buses here are used as school buses, so they'll leave you standing there and will speed past you. We can provide you with reliable taxi driver's phone numbers together with your accommodation vouchers if you wish.
Tap water in the Seychelles meets W.H.O. (World Health Organization) specifications and is safe to drink nation-wide. As it is often heavily chlorinated, it doesn't taste good. Thus, visitors are advised to drink bottled water. Bottled water you'll find in any supermarket. It's a good idea to buy large 5 or 10 liter bottles instead of expensive smaller ones. It's more environmental-friendly, too.
If you are staying in one place for a few days - which we recommend anyway - you may want to buy 15 or 18 liter bottles. There is a returnable deposit of usually 100 SCR for the container, but they cost only 70 or 100 SCR respectively and are the most economical and environmental-friendly way of buying safe drinking water. You can buy them at petrol stations or big supermarkets. On La Digue: at the petrol station near the jetty.
During the drier summer months, especially from June through September, water restrictions are not uncommon. That means, the water supply is off, usually from 12 noon to 4 pm and 10 pm to 6 am.
Please use water sparingly and try not to waste it. You're on an island after all, surrounded by lots of salt water. Thank you!
Do not expect to come to the Seychelles and go on a shopping spree like you would in any of the major capitals of the world. The Seychelles are still a laid-back place and the market is too small for international brands to come here.
Having said that, you will get anything you need for daily life.
On Mahe there are some big supermarkets around Victoria. Otherwise, small shops (mostly owned by Indians) will cater for your needs.
On Praslin, there are mostly small shops, apart from the supermarkets in Baie St. Anne the Pension Complex at Grande Anse.
At Anse Volbert (Cote d'Or) there are small "supermarkets" with limited supplies.
On La Digue you'll find small shops and "supermarkets" in the La Passe area and then there's the big "Grégoire's" Supermarket. Here you'll get everything from TV-sets to New Zealand Cheese. Grégoire's is more expensive than the smaller shops, though.
Wine is widely available in the Seychelles (simple imported wines cost from around 100 to 150 SCR). Those of you who like a decent glass with their fish dinner but have to keep the dough together should consider bringing a bottle or two with them. In some Guesthouses it's no problem to "bring your own".
Beer however is brewed locally and available as Seybrew, Eku and Guinness. It tastes very good and the only drawback is that it comes in too small bottles (280ml) ;-))) On the other hand, bigger bottles would become warm too fast. The bottle goes for around 23 Rupees in shops, more of course in restaurants.
Bottle deposit is 2 SCR (in shops only).
Fruit juices at about 25 SCR and long-shelf milk at about 25 SCR are widely available. Baby food and diapers are available but rather expensive in the Seychelles.
consists - in good old creole tradition - of the staples fresh fish and rice, with various vegetables as side dishes. Special wishes are gladly taken care of by owners of our smaller guesthouses.
A very good place is the recommendable restaurant "Marie Antoinette" at the road from Victoria toward Beau Vallon. You'll get a variety of mouthwatering dishes that will fill your stomach with the best the island has to offer. Ask us for free discount vouchers if you plan to eat there!
Another and newly opened restaurant on the same road and closer to Beau Vallon is the "Botanica": a bit upmarket but very friendly and with fine-dining atmosphere. It is one of the best restaurants on the island. Ask us for discount vouchers if you plan to eat there!
There is an all-you-can-eat-buffet most evenings at the "Boat House" on Mahe's Beau Vallon beach. It opens at 19:00 hrs in the evenings for a buffet dinner which costs (2017) 425 SCR (approx. 30 Euros) per person.
Baobab's pizzeria opposite the Boat House offers good italian dishes in a simple but authentic creole atmosphere. A pizza will cost between 100 and 160 SCR (in 2017).
The "Pirate's Arms", a long-standing favourite near the clocktower in Victoria is currently closed, due to reconstruction of the building.
A good place in the South of Mahe is the recommendable restaurant "La Plaine St. André" at the Takamaka destillery: a bit upmarket but with a cozy colonial atmosphere, very friendly, not overpriced and definitely worth those extra rupees.
They are open for lunch every day except Sundays and for dinner Wednesdays and Saturdays. Unfortunately, they tend to change opening days quite frequently, so check before you book a table.
The restaurant is located near Devon Residence Chalets, so if you plan to stay there, this is an excellent choice.
"Le Reduit" near Batista's in the south of Mahe serves good food at fair prices. Another place in the south is "Kaz Kreol" at Anse Royale, but we personally find that the quality of the curries and fish served there isn't what it used to be.
On Praslin, try the restaurant at "Le Laurier" (buffet style, again ask us for discount vouchers!), or "Villas de Mer" on Grande Anse.
Good is also the "Coco Rouge" in Baie St. Anne (ph. 4232228, Mon-Sat 11-14 and 19-22 Uhr, Sundays closed).
La Digue: we recommend to eat at your booked guesthouse/hotel. The guesthouses we offer on our accommodation site all offer excellent dinners! The best of the bunch - in our view - are: Chloé's Cottage, Pension Socrate, Beryls Guesthouse, La Passe Guesthouse, La Diguoise, Le Sur Mer Chalets and Etoile Labrine. These places offer the best creole style food - prepared with housewive's pride and lots of love for good food. The few restaurants you will find on the island are more expensive and don't offer the same quality. You don't have to believe us but if you do, you won't regret it!
currency to bring?
Seychelles Rupees, US$ and Euros are accepted. The latter is preferred.
At entry you'll get a free tourist visa on the spot. This is true for ALL passport holders, there are usually no restrictions whatsoever for stays of up to 3 months.
To get your visa, you will need a passport valid for the period of the intended stay until arrival back in your country of origin or residence. Furthermore you'll need an onward/return ticket and an accommodation voucher (camping is strictly prohibited!).
We do as a matter of course issue such accommodation vouchers if you book your accommodation with us, so you will get your visa on entry hassle-free.
If you come from an area with infectious diseases (e.g. Yellow Fever, Ebola), please check with your embassy, the Seychelles immigration and with the airline. Temporary visa requirements may be in place.
People with passports issued in the Republic of Kosovo have also reported problems lately! The Seychelles seem not to recognize Kosovo as a state.
Each adult passenger is allowed to bring in the following goods tax free (valid as per January 2017):
• 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or cigars/cheroots
• 2 litres of alcohol with less than or equal to 16% alcohol by volume (abv)
• 2 litres of alcohol with more than 16% abv
• 200 ml of perfume or eau de toilette
• Goods obtained overseas or purchased duty free in Seychelles with a combined value of SCR 5000 for adults or SCR 3000 for travellers aged under 18. The passenger allowance does not apply to commercial goods (i.e. goods that will be sold or used in business).
Import of guns, drugs and pornographic material are strictly prohibited.
Expensive electronic goods should be declared at entry. No one seems to do this ;-)
The Seychelles have GSM-mobile networks provided by Cable&Wireless and Airtel. Please ask your cellphone provider whether you can use one of the Seychelles networks with your mobile phone.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will receive a free Airtel SIM card with a bonus R25 of call units. For text messages to or from abroad however, we advise to rely on Cable & Wireless more than on Airtel.
in Victoria there are a few internet café options near the clocktower (Coconet) and opposite the STC supermarket. At the "Doubleclick" you may plug in your own notebook.
On Praslin, there are internet cafés at Baie Saint Anne and at Grand Anse.
On La Digue you'll find internet cafés near the La Passe jetty.
Mobile Internet (3G is now widely available in the Seychelles):. Cable & Wireless offers a configuration which is being sent directly to your mobile. Simply send a text message with the text Internet to 9633.
On 92.6, 93.6 and 100.9 FM Paradise FM sends an english music program; on 103.9 they take over RFI Afrique. On AM 1368 you can hear the local creole program, with news in English, French and Creol. BBC sends via 106.2 FM.
SHORTWAVE: BBC World Service on 15310 kHz.
The famous beach "Anse Source d'Argent" on La Digue...
is a true money printing machine for the owners of the plantation that lies on the way to that beautiful beach. If you pay the hefty 10 € entrance fee you can visit the plantation, complete with old creole cemetery, copra mill, vanilla plantation, giant tortoises, ship yard and - of course - lots of coconut trees.
You can get to that magnificent beach for free if you walk along the beach: shortly before the entrance to the plantation you'll find a helicopter landing pad. Go down to the beach there and turn left, the first few meters sloshing in the water along the helipad. Then continue in this direction (south), always sticking to the beach. It takes about 20 mins. to get to the best part of Anse Source d'Argent beach.
On La Digue snorkelling is especially good on Anse Sévère and Anse Gaulettes. At the latter we encountered a group of up to a dozen (!) eagle rays every time. But watch out for the dangerous current there. Lots and lots of colorful fish!
At Anse Sévère it's probably a good idea to walk to the north end of the beach if the tide is low. Go in there (amidst the granite boulders) and snorkel back along the reef edge to the south.
Sea turtles (usually caretta caretta) can be seen quite often everywhere in the Seychelles. Sometimes you'll encounter a curious animal, but they are pretty shy most of the time.
Grande Anse, Petit Anse and Anse Cocos on La Digue are very beautiful, but unsuitable for snorkelling: rather big waves most of the time. Watch out: every year people drown here, because of the strong currents!
Around Mahe there is good snorkelling almost anywhere around the island, except of course in the Victoria area and also at Grand Anse.
One of the best places to go is Coco Island, close to La Digue. You'll receive much more information on daytrips to various islands together with the hotel vouchers we'll send you.
It is advised to bring your own snorkelling equipment. Rental gear is expensive, often worn out and not very hygienic.
BTW: Avoid the spots where dried sea grass lies on the beach: sand flies lay their eggs there. Don't scratch the itchy skin, although it's easier said than done: scratching often leads to infections. Use insect repellent.
National parks and reserves ...
On La Digue you can find the endemic Seychelles-Paradise-Flycatcher(Terpsiphone corvina) at the "Veuve Reserve", but also in other parts of the island. Well worth a visit!
On Praslin a half day at the world heritage site "Vallée de Mai" is an absolute must for nature lovers. Open every day from 8:30 a.m.onwards. Last admission at 4:30 p.m.
Entrance costs 305 SCR (in 2016) for persons 12 years or older. If your child is below 12 years old, it's free but make sure you bring some sort of ID showing the age.
There are free guided tours daily at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Subject to change.
On Mahe there are many beautiful walks around the "Morne Seychellois" National Park. You'll find a few walks described here.
Daytrips to Cousin and Curieuse are very recommended (see "Islands"), as are snorkelling trips to Cocos Island and St. Pierre.
Ferry connections between the islands:
We strongly recommend to book your Seychelles ferries in advance. If there's a football match or a larger funeral, ferries can be booked out fast - not to mention strong days on weekends or in the main holiday season.
We are happy to arrange all ferry tickets for you in advance, and at a better price than when booking at the jetty. You save about 10 Euros per person each way! So there is not really a reason for not to book your tickets with us.
a) FERRY MAHÉ - PRASLIN (- LA DIGUE)
are 2 or 3 ferry connections daily between Mahe and Praslin, with
the evening ferry continuing to La Digue. The morning ferry has a
direct connection from La Digue.