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Seychelles

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    All about the Seychelles.

    The Seychelles are a group of 115 islands, only a few inhabited, in the Indian Ocean that lie off the coast of East Africa, northeast of Madagascar.

    Outer Seychelles
    The Outer Seychelles are corral line and mostly uninhabited. Visitors are rare; travel is via private yacht or remote airstrip on small local planes.

    Outer Seychelles
    • Aldabra Islands
    • Amirante Islands
    • Alphonse Group
    • Farquhar Group
    • Southern Coral Group

    Inner Seychelles
    The vast majority of the Seychelles' population lives on these granite islands, home to the bulk of the country's resorts.
    • Mahé (Sainte Anne Island, Cerf Island, Marnelle Island)
    • Praslin (Curieuse Island, Aride Island, Cousin Islands)
    • La Digue (Félécite Island, The Sisters, Marie Anne Island)
    • Silhouette Island (North Island)
    • Inner Corallines (Denis Island, Bird Island)

    Cities
    • Victoria - is the Capital City
    • Anse Boileau
    • Anse Royale
    • Anse Etoile
    • Beau Vallon
    • Glacis
    • Cascade
    • Takamaka

    Get in
    No visa is required, but Seychellois authorities make sure you are not entering to stay for good. Therefore, the following items MUST be presented to the immigration officer:
    • A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles.
    • Your return ticket.
    • Your hotel voucher.
    • At least 150 USD per day. They will ask for cash, show them. If you have credit cards, show them - you may be asked for the credit balance you have
    • A statement of good health and a statement that you are not importing plants or infected animals (The flight attendants in your flight will provide you these papers).
    Visitors without pre-booked accommodation are likely to be compelled to book one at the airport for the length of their stay before being allowed to leave the airport. An initial entry permit is granted for 1 month but can be extended for a maximum of 3 months at a time up to a maximum of 1 year in total.

    Climate
    Seychelles is hot and humid, with an average yearly temperature of 84°F (29°C), and average sea temperature rarely dropping below 81°F (27°C). However, the heat is usually mitigated by refreshing sea breezes, especially by the beaches. The cooler season in Seychelles is during the southeast monsoon season (May to September) and the warmer season is during the northwest monsoon (November to March). April and October are "changeover months" between the two monsoons, when the wind is variable. The northwest monsoon season tends to be warmer with more rain, while the southeast monsoon season is usually drier and cooler.

    Culture
    Seychelles is not well-known as culture destination, but those who spend their entire vacation on the beach do miss out on several interesting sights.

    • The Arulmigu Navasakti Vinayagar Temple in Victoria is the centre of Hinduism on the islands. The temple is beautifully decorated and the ceremonies of the temple are interesting to see. Visitors are welcome, and discreet photography is allowed. Footwear should be removed and left in the vestibule. Please turn off your phone and avoid loud talking.

    • Seychelles Natural History Museum in Victoria is small, inexpensive and interesting. Visitors will learn about the unique nature and geology of the islands.
    • The ruined youth village of Cap Ternay is located at the end of a narrow one lane road on Mahe. This quiet and eerily beautiful place is best enjoyed by those who spend a bit of time beforehand reading about the site's history.

    Nature
    • Vallee de Mai on Praslin is a national park and world heritage site, home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world's largest seed: the coco de mer. The remote paths far from the entrance are less crowded and offer the best views, but can be rough and steep. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. It is also a good idea to start the visit with a guided tour so that you can fully appreciate the unique features of the park. Entrance fee: Free for residents, 315 rupees (~20Euros) for foreigners (Sept 2010).

    • Beaches on the Seychelles also good for activities other than swimming and tanning. Especially during low tide one can spot interesting wildlife there. Find a deserted beach and move quietly, and you may be rewarded by sightings of ghost crabs, leaping blennys, flying fish and many other species.

    Beaches
    Visit the beaches. Many of the beaches are untouched by man's influence and are refreshingly uncrowded. They offer clear blue skies and a tranquility you will rarely find. A hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will take about 1.5-2 hours and your reward will be a small deserted beach that's fit for a king. The scenery along the hike is breathtaking. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming depending on the time of year, due to the seasonal winds. Do not ignore warning signs indicating that a beach is hazardous for swimming, no matter how it seems to you.
    The conditions on the beaches depend on the strength and direction of wind, absence or presence of a protective reef and the tide.

    One should not worry, however, because Seychelles has beaches in abundance, and if the conditions on one beach are not good, a perfect beach may be only 5 minutes drive away.

    Aldabra Atoll: The world's largest coral atoll that stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise and tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.

    Watersports: The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for the water enthusiasts. Explore on board a yacht, power boat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May then in October, at the start and end of the trade winds.
    Scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing are also extremely popular and can be done almost anywhere in Seychelles. Baie Ternay is superb and easily acccessible by glass bottom boat tour from Beau Vallon beach - leave yourself an empty day and walk the beach for a 'last minute' booking - great deals can be bartered. Snorkeling (provided you have your own gear - some hotels lend masks, snorkels and fins to guests) is FREE and there are many great spots: off some of the small beaches at Glacis, past Mouse Island at Anse Royale, along the reef at Port Launay (near Ephelia Resort). Often spotted are a wide array of tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle rays and more!

    Land Sports: Golf, tennis, squash, badminton, horseback riding, biking and hiking are some of the recreational activities available on the Seychelles Islands. Bike rentals and walking tours are great ways to sightsee and since distances are relatively short and the scenery is beautiful, walking is probably the best way to see the smaller islands (La Digue, Praslin), while walking along the main road can be quite intimidating as the roads are narrow and local cars/busses drive quite quickly.

    On Mahe it is not advised to ride bicycles, and there are no rental shops within sight. Bird watching is also popular and the islands are home to many of the worlds most treasured and rare species of animals. The best place to do so is Cousin Island which although only 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, is home to more than 300,000 birds, but many unique species can be found at ease on Mahe.

    Nightlife: Do not miss most popular Nightclub "Lovenut" in the centre of Victoria, 100 metres walk from central Taxi station. Also entertaining are "Tequila Boom" at (Bel Ombre) and "Katiolio" (near Anse Royale) night clubs. "Katiolio" was one of the first nightclubs to open on Mahe and boats an open-air that is directly beside the ocean.

    International Charter Group:[12]. Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in the Seychelles. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).

    Hiking There are several maintained hiking routes on the main island of Mahe and a few on Praslin. The Seychelles tourism office has a few descriptions of the hiking routes with maps available to be purchased.

    Seychelles also has numerous markets, art galleries and shops, colonial Creole-style plantation houses, and the main island of Mahé has six museums, a botanical garden, and several national monuments. The market downtown Victoria has a good selection of local produce, and spices for sale that are all grown locally and 100% authentic

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