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A Guide to the Seychelles

2012 December 12
by Scott

Winter weather getting you down? Have you ever dreamed of escaping to a tranquil island with turquoise waters brushing up against talcum powder white beaches? If so, you were probably dreaming of the Seychelles.

This group of 115 islands 1,000 miles east of Kenya in the Indian Ocean is as close to heaven on earth as you will come. The collection of 41 inner granite islands and outer coral islands were once part of the British Empire before gaining independence in 1976. The islands remain a favourite destination for sun-seeking Brits.

Undoubtedly, the biggest attraction of this destination is the luxurious beaches, but don’t for one minute believe that the Seychelles is a one trick (sandy) pony. Some two million Sooty Terns nest on Bird Island, while the Aride island nature reserve is home to over 1.25 million breeding seabirds, including the world’s largest colony of Lesser Noddy and the biggest Roseate Tern population in the Seychelles. Naturally, this makes the islands very popular with birdwatchers. On top of this, there are also miles of jungle, stunning rock formations and adventure for all – both on land and sea. Be sure to pack your travel clothing accordingly, if you fancy something a little off the beaten track.

Where should I go?

White sandy beaches of the Seychelles

Wherever you decide to visit in the Seychelles, you shouldn’t worry too much about matching your expectations, for every location is likely to exceed them. The ideal holiday plan is to combine three main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Each of the islands offers something a little different and between them you will find the perfect accommodation, from luxury 5-star hotels to quant family-run guesthouses. Click here for some ideas on where to travel.

Arrive at the International airport on Mahé and travel between the destinations by boat, plane or helicopter – each one giving you stunning views of the beauty and charm that await. Honeymooners are of course attracted to the idyllic paradise setting of the Seychelles, but for those that want to escape the laidback beach life, a venture to a different island will find you immersed in stunning jungle surroundings and a closer look at the lifestyle and culture of the islanders.

Mahé is home to Victoria – the capital of the Seychelles, and this can be the most crowded (although not to the point of mass tourism) with holidaymakers paying visits to the National Museum and the stunning Port Launay beach. While on the main island, a visit to the Morne Seychellois is highly recommended.

Praslin is more relaxed than Mahé and has some of the most stunning shoreline and beaches you are ever likely to come across. Or, for something smaller, and a little more adventurous, a bike ride across the island of La Digue could be in order, and you can admire the stunning rock formations en route.

When to go?

The Seychelles can be visited by anyone at any time of the year, but the rainy season from mid-November until mid-February may want to be avoided if you want to capture the true beauty of the island. Downpours during the rainy seasons are generally short but pretty heavy, with dark clouds doing no favours for blue sky and clear water postcard image.

In terms of temperature, you can expect little change all year round with drops rarely below the mid-80s (29˚C). Night time also remains very humid.

The Seychelles is often regarded as a destination for millionaires, but the growing number of self-catering facilities and guesthouses that now sit alongside the all-inclusive resorts, means that the islands of daydreams can now be reality to us all.

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