Officially titled ‘The Republic of Seychelles’, this scattered archipelago of 115 small islands is a drop of paradise in the Indian Ocean.
Graced with otherworldly beauty; tranquil beaches of silver sand lapped by turquoise water, against a backdrop of emerald palm fronds and blessed with year-round tropical sunshine kissed by trade winds offering a welcome breeze, the Seychelles are a haven for sun worshippers and beach lovers.
With only 16 of the 115 islands offering accommodation, tourism is still a relatively new concept in the Seychelles. Luxury, 5* island hideaways sit side by side with quaint guesthouses and beach lodges, offering comfort and exclusivity to suit every budget.
Channelling influences from Africa, Asia and Europe, the Seychelles compromise a colourful blend of races, cultures and religions. The diversity and natural beauty of the islands infiltrates the popular local art scene, music, dance and architecture.
Offering a wealth of things to do and places to explore all year round, the Seychelles really is the ultimate adventure holiday. Enjoy surfing, diving, hiking, bird-watching and some of the finest sailing in the world or just channel the island spirit and laze on a perfect beach and soak up the sun.
Whatever time of year you choose to visit the Seychelles, you will be spoilt for choice for things to do. Year-round fine weather and soothing trade winds makes the Seychelles a world-renowned destination to enjoy sailing and excellent surfing.
Clear warm waters with astonishing levels of visibility also makes this tropical paradise a favourite haunt for diving enthusiasts who come to explore the coral reefs which surround the islands. Most notable is the Aldabra coral atoll, part of the outer island collection of the Seychelles, which is home to the majority of the world’s population of Giant Tortoises.
Island hopping is a must in the Seychelles. With regular boats and small planes available to take you around the main islands, it is the best way to really get an insight into the vibrant and diverse culture of this incredible country.
The principal island of Mahe is home to the Seychelles capital city, Victoria. Recognised as the world’s smallest capital city, Victoria is a picturesque cosmopolitan hub and the centre of all nightlife in the Seychelles. Based around chic hotel bars and restaurants offering discos and entertainment, don’t expect any super clubs here!
Praslin Island was once believed to be the real ‘Garden of Eden’. The palm forest of Vallee de Mai, a protected world heritage site on the island, plays host to a number of endangered species of plant and bird including the increasingly rare Seychelles Black Parrot and the famous Coco de Mer palm.
With such a diverse range of cultures and nationalities in the Seychelles, it is no wonder that these influences have found their way into the national cuisine. Creole cooking embodies the exoticism of Indian dishes with oriental flavours, yet cooked with all the delicacy and flair of French or European cuisine.
Rice plays a staple part in Seychellois diet as does fresh seafood like in most island groups. Dried, salted fish or octopus in particular is considered a delicacy when grilled together with a sauce of crushed chilli, garlic and ginger to make Rougay.
Seychellois people are known for their sweet tooth, and generally anything with banana in is considered a winner! The islands are home to over 65 varieties of banana which makes it a versatile ingredient in a number of dishes, most especially desserts.
Banana fried with butter and sugar creates a deliciously sickly-sweet sticky toffee-esque mess which is a favourite amongst locals.
It must be noted that drinking alcohol in any public unlicensed place in the Seychelles is strictly prohibited. However, traditional liquors and alcoholic drinks are still locally produced.
Coconut extract is used in the making of Calou (palm wine) and is a popular drink to whet the whistle with on hot, balmy days. Or if you prefer beer, the island has its own Bavarian style beer Ekyu, and Seybrew lager.