Seychelles Travel tips
Heading off on a big adventure to the Seychelles, but not sure what's involved. These trip planning tips will help you get a handle on the things you need to consider.
Costs in the Seychelles
- Accommodation: On the main islands, you can find hotels prices on the low end are between $55-$85 per night. There are many high-end places, with rooms starting at $175+ a night. Most people come here as part of a package so accommodation tends to be included in the package you go. It’s rare that you would book accommodation separately.
- Food: You can eat relatively cheap here if you turn away from the hotel restaurants. Price range is between 300-1600Rs.
- Transportation: Bikes, the best way to get around the islands, cost 400 rupees for a day rental. A car is 2300+ rupee per day and only available on the main islands of Mahé and Praslin. Highspeed catamaran rides between Mahé and Praslin runs 6000Rs per person. A ferry schooner between Mahé and Praslin or La Digue runs 125Rs (but it takes 3x as long). Between Praslin and La Digue, a ferry schooner runs around 350Rs. There are also small boat rides from Mahé to La Digue available.
- Activities: Activities tend to cost $50 USD or more depending on what you want to do. Expect to pay top dollar for most things here.
There are ATMs, which accept major international cards, at the airport and at all the major banks in Victoria. You’ll also find ATMs at Beau Vallon on Mahé and on Praslin and La Digue.
The four main banks are Barclays Bank, Seychelles Savings Bank, Nouvobanq and Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB). All have branches in Victoria while Barclays Bank and Nouvobanq have desks at the airport that are open for all flights – in theory at least. There are also banks on Praslin and La Digue. None of the banks charges commission for changing cash but some do so for travellers cheques, generally a flat rate of Rs 25.
Isolated coral outcrops speckling a vast area of the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the granitic group. They rise only a few feet above sea level but are covered with rich and dense vegetation. Aldabra, the largest atoll in the world, contains one-third of all Seychellois land and is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.
Surrounded by coral reefs, this is the largest of the islands, and houses the international airport, the port and capital, Victoria.
The second-largest island is two to three hours by boat or 15 minutes by air from Mahe. It is famous for the Vallée de Mai, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which contains the double-nutted coco-de-mer palm.
Victoria, on the island of Mahé, is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, and the only major port in the Seychelles. It's also the only town - every other settlement is a village. The courthouse and main post office in the centre of town have been untouched since colonial time. The streets emanating from the centre have been rebuilt over the past 20 years, giving the town a clean and modern look. There are a few old houses and shops in the city centre, but it's unfortunately barely enough to give the town any character.
Beau Vallon is one of the largest beaches in the Seychelles. The sand is good, clean and relatively free of rocks. The waves can sometimes be large, as there's a big break in the reef. There are platforms in the ocean that you can swim out to, and the local resort lets non-residents use its beach lounges and bar. Beau Vallon is the best location for activities and watersports including dive and sport centres situated along this 3km beach. There are also many restaurants here offering a wide variety of cuisine from typical Creole to Italian, French, Indian, Chinese and Japanese.
Aldabra is one of the world's largest coral atolls, stretching some 22km east to west and enclosing a huge tidal lagoon, which is sometimes home to tiger sharks and manta rays. Aldabra is the original habitat of the giant land tortoise. There are about 200,000 of the tortoises on the atoll, as well as thousands of seabirds, including the white-throated rail, the sole remaining species of flightless bird in the Indian Ocean. The only people who live on Aldabra are scientists, and they're only there three months of the year.
The best beach on Praslin - in fact, one of the best in the country - is Anse Lazio, in the far north of the island. The beach has glorious white, soft sand, a few rounded granite boulders and a lively line-up of waves. The water is a magical turquoise colour. There's also a sheltered area with great snorkelling at the end of the beach. There's even a terrific restaurant at the end of the beach road. The beaches east of Lazio are protected by a reef, which makes the water like a giant bath - it's shallow, warm and safe, and there's some nice snorkelling.
Ste Anne Marine National Park
There are six islands within this park, which is a short distance from Victoria. The snorkelling is superb. Moyenne is probably the best island to visit, although you can only get there on a tour. The island is known for its buried treasures and ghosts, and you can have a look at the House of Dogs, built at the turn of the century as a home for stray dogs.
Vallee de Mai
Vallée de Mai has the Seychelles' greatest concentration of coco de mer palms - almost 4000 of them. This valley's prehistoric forest is World Heritage listed and the very sight of sunlight filtering through their fronds will make you go all poetic. You'll see wild pineapple, wild coffee, allspice bushes and the Seychelles black parrot, if you're lucky.
We hope you have a great trip, and here's some travel tips to help you on your way!
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