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Seychelles Guide

 
  • History of Seychelles
  • Scuba Diving in Seychelles

The Seychelles is situated 4 Degrees South of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. Often referred to as the "Jewel of the Indian Ocean", this Archipelago is probably what could be the definition for Paradise!

On the hundred or so islands in the Seychelles, scattered over an area of 400,000 square kilometres of ocean, you can discover primeval mistforests, huge flocks of sea birds and giant tortoises, black parrots and the flightless white-throated rail bird [related to extinct Dodo].  There are old plantation houses,ruins of leper hospitals, pirate graves and legends of buried treasure.  Then, of course there are the famous beaches - miles of deserted powdery white sands, surrounded by coral reefs and sparkling lagoons.

Praslin the second largest island in the Seychelles,is home to the Vallee de Mai  - a primeval rainforest containing the famous coco de mer palms, which have the largest, heaviest and most suggestively shaped nuts in the world.  For tropical charm, La Digue has it all - tumble down plantation houses, with dusty roads used by slow - moving bicycles and ox - carts.  The beaches of La Digue are supposedly the most photographed in the world, distinguished by the weathered granite boulders that resemble modern art pieces.  Many other smaller islands have been turned into discreet hideaways for the rich and famous or nature reserves for the many examples of rare species found nowhere else on earth.

Nature under the waves is as spectacular as the many unique species on dry land in the Seychelles . The coral reefs that form around many of the islands contain huge numbers of fish and other species and the corals themselves well worth a closer look. Further out to see from the reefs are much larger fish, Tuna, Sailfish, and a variety of Sharks for those divers who wish to experience the thrill of swimming close to the giants of the deep.

The 'Desroches Drop' is a site renowned for the best diving in the Seychelles, if the Indian Ocean.  Even if you are not a diver, a snorkle on the reefs around the islands is almost as amazing:  if the  birds are sometimes lacking in colour, the fish make up for it in a vivid living kaleidoscope.  Many of the best sites lie in the national marine parks around mahe and Praslin.

The tropical climate and colourful culture of the Seychellois people make the this unique group of Islands the ultimate paradise.

Seychelles, 7 day Itinerary
To cruise the Seychelles is an invitation, that no normal person can resist, an invitation to "discover the islands", which lie just four degrees south of the Equator and are literally a thousand miles from anywhere.  Bleached granite rocks, thrusting up from the sea like the peaks of a sunken mountain range, lie in the shadow of lush tropical vegetation clinging to steep mountainsides, in the middle of a beach of white coral sand. The people reflect these same dramatic contracts.  A description of a typical Seychellois is impossible; their ancestors include British and French seaman, freed African slaves, and Indian and Chinese merchants. Their skin tone can be fair or dark, their hair blonde or black, their eyes blue or brown.  But they all share a gentle and cheerful character, combined with a nature as warm and welcoming as their island home.
Day 1
Upon arrival at the boat in Baie St. Anne,Praslin you will be welcomed with a local cocktail, after unpacking and discussing the itinerary with the skipper.  A light lunch will be served before setting sail to Curieuse.  As part of the marine park the island is stricitly protected, and only a few families live there, there is a fee of $12 per person to see the island, this money helps the marine parks to maintain these beautiful islands.  Like Praslin, Curieuse is home to the coco de mer plam.  The island has been used in the past to conserve giant tortoises, brought over from Aldabra.  A breeding scheme has been in place there for several years.  Curieuse was once a leper colony, and the ruins of the houses can still be seen. There is also a large restored villa, known as the Doctors house, where the island doctor lived in the 1870's. Curieuse offers nature trails across the island, and beautiful, deserted beaches.  Enjoy your first dive at coral gardens or an outstanding snorkel and see the abundance of tropical fish in the Indian Ocean.
Day 2:
Les Souers islands
are a pleasure two-hour sail, ideal for fishing on the way.  Upon arrival after lunch enjoy snorkeling or beach combing on white power sands surrounded by large granite boulders on Grand Soeur.  These Islands are privately owned but you can go ashore, again there is fee that goes to the national parks for conservation, of $15 per person and share in the beauty.  The next morning dive Grand Souers pinnacle and visit Cocos Island for some more outstanding beautiful snorkeling.
Day 3:
After lunch sail to La Digue, this is the third-largest granite island in Seychelles, with a population of about 2,000.  It is a short sail from Praslin or Les Souers.  The pace of life is slow, about the same speed as its traditional way of transport- the ox cart.  Very few cars are allowed on the island and bicycles are popular.  They can be hired from various rentals at Anse Reunion or La Passe harbour on arrival.  At l'Union, a fine old traditional planter's house has been carefully restored.  It used to be the center of a vanilla plantation of which the treatment factory can still be seen.  Further in land, Chateau Saint Cloud is another impressive restored plantation house.  La Digue has some of the most pristine white sandy beaches frindged with palm trees nestled in the giant granite boulders.  Diving is outstanding off the boulder formations equally so is the snorkeling is fantastic in calm sheltered warm waters with an abundance of fish life to see. 
It will take two days to fully enjoy the delights of la Digue, on the second day relax during a short afternoon sail on to Round Island, into Emerald bay which is rich in fish life and coral.  See Shellfish, Starfish, Clown fish, Moray Eels and many more abound near the sandy beaches. 
Day 4:
The next day a pleasant morning sail to Praslin, the second largest granite island of the Seychelles.  The highest point being 330 meters, but it has similar great granite outcrops surrounded by beautiful beaches and a coral reef enclosing the crystal-clear waters which are so typical of Seychelles.  The majestic bays and beaches alternate with smaller ones on which, even in the busy season you could believe you were the only person on the island.  There is an 18 hole champion golf course has been added to Praslin.  When visiting Mahe you must make time to hike through the Vallee de Mai, it can take 1-2 hours to fully enjoy the beauty.  The coco de mar is found in the Vallee de Mai forest in Praslin, also home to the worlds rarest birds, black parrots. Paths are well maintained and clearly indicated and a nature trail leads you to all interesting botanical species. In streams, freshwater crayfish and crabs can be seen and the plants around you include, the coco de mer, thick palm fronds block out the sun, helping to cool you down while hiking. Cousins show nature untouched birds every where, enjoy an island tour by a local Sechellois.  Enjoy another change to see the large land turtles. After lunch sail on to Cousin Island for cocktails and sunset.
 

Day 5:
Cousin Island
has been a nature reserve since 1968 , you can find the Seychelles warbler, Magpie, Robin, Seychelles Fody, Sooty turns, Turtle doves and many more beautiful birds.  On land there are also interesting reptiles, geckos and giant tortoises, again the national parks charge a fee of $20 a person to go ashore.  There are many great dive sites around the boulders and snorkeling in the shallow waters.  Enjoy a day of diving, snorkeling and beach combing.
Day 6:
The next morning enjoy a morning sail on to Aride Island, if you though there was a lot of birds to see on Cousin, there are double or more on Aride. Deep sea fishing is popular in this area.  This is the home of Esmeralda estimated by some to be over 200 years old, Esmeralda is probably the largest free ranging tortoise in the world!  Fishing is a strong feature in the Seychelles from Marlin deep sea fishing to Fly fishing for bone fish and getting your daily catch by trolling while sailing.  Catch Tuna, Wahoo, Rainbow Runner, and many others, enjoy fresh fish daily, you own catch of the day! Again there is a fee to see the island and this money goes towards conservation of this nature reserve.
Day 7:
For your last night a final sail back to Praslin for your return flight back home in the morning.  Enjoy a beach barbeque with the base staff at Baie St Anne and try and agree on which was, the most beautiful beach!

Six months of the year the winds blows northwest, during November to March.  Then they change to southeast through April to October.  The itinerary, which is here, is for the northwester.  When the wind is blowing northwest you will still visit these islands just in a different formation.

10 – 14 day Itinerary:
For a ten or fourteen day itinerary you will be able to include Mahe and Silhouette in the cruise as well as the other islands around Praslin.  Silhouette is well named,the impressive mountainous silhouette of the island looms above the ocean, off the coast of the famous Beauvallon Bay in Mahé. "Silhouette the Wild" seems to have been specially created for nature lovers and walking enthusiasts. There are no cars or roads on this island. Instead, rivers and waterfalls populate one of the most beautiful equatorial forests of the Indian Ocean. Silhouette is a paradise for naturalists who will be delighted to discover the exotic and rare trees and plants growing here. Some 300 inhabitants earn their living from coffee, tobacco, cinnamon and avocado plantations. This island is a haven of peace, which should be explored on tiptoes and with eyes wide open.

Mahe the main island of Seychelles is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive in the world.  Each of its 70 beaches has a different character; the rock formations behind them are a dramatic contrast and a beautiful backdrop for the architectural elegance of the hotels.  The highest point is Morne Seychellois 900 meters above sea level, a great place for hiking.  The airport is south of Victoria and built on reclaimed land, offering stunning views of the verdant island and its coastline.  Victoria is the capital with a population of some 20,000 spread around a large bay at the foot of Morne Seychellois and the Trois Freres.  This tiny city is the islands economic and administrative hub as well as their only port.  While no one street is best for souvenir shopping there are a cluster of shops and boutiques around the clock tower.  St Anne Marine National Park now protects over 150 types of fish, there is a fee to enter the marine parks again this money goes towards to protecting and conserving the wild life.  There are over 20 dive and snorkel sites in the marine parks around Mahe.  These dive sites, primarily of granite rock in origin are heavily encrusted by rich marine growth and populated by the many colorful fish and invertebrate species of the Indian Ocean.  The islands oceanic isolation has accounted for many indigenous species unique to Seychelles waters, such as the Seychelles anemone fish.  Although the soft corals are much smaller and more of a dwarf variation of those found in the Red Sea or Malaysia, they are very brightly colored and are home to some amazing forms of marine life.

The National Parks are active in nature conservation, to ensure they can protect and conserve these areas there is fee per person to visit these areas from $10-$20 per person.  Excusions are not part of your all inclusive vacation, and these fees need to be paid by each person, when visiting the marine parks

Air Seychelles flies to Paradise on Earth several times a week, leaving from the airports of Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris, Rome and Zurich in Europe, and also from Dubai, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Nairobi, Reunion and Singapore.

The Seychelles, a group of over one hundred islands in the Indian Ocean, is a haven of unspoilt nature just waiting to be discovered. In addition to Creole, both English and French are spoken here.

The temperature in the Seychelles does not vary much, the average is 26-29°C throughout the year, accompanied by a very pleasant breeze. The islands lie outside the hurricane belt, and violent storms are very rare. The Seychelles can therefore be visited at any time of the year. Even though tropical rains fall more frequently in January and February, the weather can be completely different from one side of an island to the other; the sun will probably be shining only a few miles away.  The weather in the Seychelles is tropical and humid.  From May to October, the wind blows regularly from south to east, bringing a dryer climate and slightly cooler temperature. From December to March, it is the southern summer with north-west winds and a more humid climate. However, the weather is pleasant in all seasons, never too cool or too hot.  The averagesea temperature is from 27° to 29° perfect for all water sports.  The delicious Creole cuisine is based on fish and a wide variety of exotic vegetables, fresh fruit and spices that simply must be sampled when you are in the Seychelles. 

The official currency is the Seychelles Rupee. MasterCard and Visa credit cards are widely accepted. You can also withdraw money from cash distributors on the larger islands.  Most consumption goods have to be imported, which explains why shopping can be fairly expensive in the Seychelles.  While local crafts, exotic fruits and flowers are plentiful and very reasonably priced.

Languages: Creole, English and French.

Time difference: The Seychelles is four hours ahead of Universal Time. The time difference with France and Western Europe is therefore only + 2 hours in summer and + 3 hours in winter.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are of the English type, square with three points.  While on the yacht the electricity is 110 Volts and plugs are the American two pin.

Upon arrival at Mahe, allow up to 1 ¼ hours to clear customs, and collect luggage.  To fly on to Praslin, you will need to go to the domestic departure lounge.  Leave the international lounge and walk out of the airport, turn right, pass the check in desks and bar, following signs for domestic flights [200 yards away].  Pick your tickets up from the ticket office and check bags through.  Then enter the waiting lounge, the planes are small and only take 10-20 people. 

The Shuttle flights to Praslin depart every 30 minutes and cost approximately $75 return flight.  The planes only carry 10-20 people at a time so you need to book this flight early, to ensure a smooth connection.  We can help with booking flights and suggesting routes.

Upon arrival in  Praslin you will be met by a VOYAGE charters representative at the airport, the drive to Baie St Anne, where your yacht will be waiting is approximately 20 minutes, it is a wonderful drive past the Vallee De Mai. 

There is a fee to enter the National Marine Parks, they charge from 50 - 100 rupees per person, to go ashore and visit the islands in the Parks, which is about $10 - $20. This money helps the local government to protect and restore their beautiful islands.  The National Parks are active in nature conservation, the fees ensure they can protect and conserve these areas.  Excursions are not part of your all inclusive vacation, and these fees need to be paid by each person, when visiting the marine parks.

There is a $40 fee for departure tax per person, due in dollars, imposed upon visitors to the Seychelles by the local government.

The Seychelles as pure as it gets

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