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The Seychelles (Seychellois Creole: Sesel) is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and east of Kenya. It consists of 115 islands, of which the largest are Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. The capital and largest city is Victoria, located on the island of Mahe.

Seychelles is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. It is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. The economy is largely based on tourism and fishing, and the country has made significant progress in developing its infrastructure and promoting sustainable development.

Seychelles is also home to a unique biodiversity, with many species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest raised coral atoll in the world and is home to over 150,000 giant tortoises.


Inner Seychelles

The vast majority of the Seychelles' population lives on these granite islands, home to the bulk of the country's resorts.

Outer Seychelles

The Outer Seychelles are corralline and mostly uninhabited. Visitors are rare, and will find themselves traveling either by private yacht or between remote airstrips on small local planes.


Other destinations

  • 1 Morne Seychellois National Park – one of the last few expanses of pristine tropical rainforests


The Seychelles tourism industry offers a wide range of activities for visitors, including snorkeling, diving, fishing, hiking, and island-hopping. The country is home to several stunning natural attractions, such as the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the iconic coco de mer palm tree. Seychelles also boasts several national parks and marine reserves, such as the Sainte Anne Marine National Park and the Curieuse Marine National Park, which offer opportunities to see a variety of marine life and unique bird species.


Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. The first European to arrive at the islands was Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama who passed through the Amirantes in 1502 and named them after himself (Islands of the Admiral). They became a waypoint on the Cape Route.

The Seychelles were disputed between France and Great Britain during the age of colonialism, with Britain ending up in control in 1814 after the Napoleonic Wars. The islands achieved independence in 1976; however, free elections did not occur until 1993.

The politics of this island group remain in something of a state of flux, although this should not bother the tourist seeking a relaxing beach vacation.


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.


Languages spoken in the Seychelles are Seychellois Creole, English and French. You'll be able to get around just fine with just a little French. A couple of basic polite words will go a long way to get a smile from the friendly and helpful locals.

Get in

Visas are not required, though all foreigners must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, and must have proof of accommodation bookings before arrival (these may be checked). An initial entry permit is granted for 1 month but can be extended for up to 3 months at a time to a maximum of 1 year. Since 2022 all foreign travelers must now apply for an Electronic Border Travel permit to enter the Seychelles. [1]

By plane

  • Seychelles International Airport (SEZ IATA). The only international gateway to the Seychelles near the national capital, Victoria. Air Seychelles is the country's flag carrier and flies from Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Paris, Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Antananarivo. International service is also available from Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines), Nairobi (Kenya Airways), Dubai (Emirates), Abu Dhabi (Etihad), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), Doha (Qatar Airways), and regular charter services from Frankfurt (Condor) and Zurich (Edelweiss)

By boat

The strict controls imposed on cruising yachts in the early 1990s have been gradually lifted and rules and regulations are no longer so complicated. However, some restrictions remain in force, mostly for the sake of environmental protection as most of the islands are surrounded by coral reefs near the surface.

Get around

By plane

Air Seychelles operates multiple daily flights between Mahe and Praslin. Over two dozen flights vary in frequency from 15-minute to 2-hour intervals, depending on time of day.

Air Seychelles also operates once daily or several times per week between Mahe and the islands of Bird, Denis, Fregate, Desroches and Alphonse. Assumption Island and Coetivy can be reached by air charter.

By helicopter

Zil Air provides charter helicopter flights to/from most of the inner and outer Seychelles Islands. It is the only scenic flight operator in the Seychelles. Scenic flights can be booked to cover the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and the surrounding smaller islands of (among others) Cousine, Félicité, Grande Seour, Curieuse and Bird Island.

By boat

Cat Cocos operates catamaran ferries that provide several daily crossings between Mahe and Praslin and a daily crossing extension to La Digue. The sailing normally takes one hour. Non-residents should budget between SCR1,300 and SCR1,820 per person (price at February 2021) for a one way ticket from Mahe to Praslin. Tickets can be purchased from the Cat Cocos office, opposite the pier, on the same day before travel subject to availability.

Similarly, Inter Island Ferry operate a route between Praslin and La Digue with 8 daily departures taking 15 min to cross. Tickets cost around €15 for an adult single (July 2013). The schedule usually allows for onward connections to Mahe with Cat Cocos at Praslin harbour.

It is also possible to take small boats from Mahe direct to La Digue, although departures can be unreliable, there is limited wet weather cover and the journey takes about 3 hours (but that's cheaper than an Indian Ocean Island cruise!)

As of June 2013, online bookings with live seat availability and e-ticketing are possible for Cat Cocos and Inter Island Ferry by Seychellesbookings.com [2].

By car

Driving in Seychelles is on the left side of the road. The roads on Mahé are low-traffic, mountainous, narrow roads, so caution is generally advised.

Having a car is really a good idea and makes life much more simple. For as little as 100 rupees worth of gas you can see the entire island of Mahe in a couple of hours, including stops at beaches and whatever else catches your eye. There is free parking in 'downtown' Victoria on Mahe, and if you go with a B&B or self-catering option for accommodations its by far the easiest way to pick up groceries. A car will also allow you access to the stores where locals do their regular shopping, and the prices are more reasonable as compared to the small convenience stores along the beaches. There is no substitute for running your vacation on your own schedule

You can only rent on Mahé and Praslin. You can find a small car (e.g., Hyundai Atos) for €35-45 per day, but keep in mind that renters must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license, and have at least three years of driving experience. There are several car hire counters outside the arrivals hall at Mahe international airport, which provide a convenient way to compare prices from different hire companies. Prices can be negotiated, with the better rate available for rental periods of 3 consecutive days or more. The 'excess' payable by the customer in the event of a claim, ranges from €300 to €1000 depending on the company, so choose carefully and ask the right questions.

Taxis are also a popular means of transportation for both short trips and day rental and can be obtained almost anywhere. Taxi prices for non-residents (approx. 20 rupees per km in Sept 2010) on a relatively long trip, can easily exceed the cost of hiring a small car for a day.

By bus

Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) runs daily bus services on the islands of Praslin and Mahe from morning to evening on nearly every available road on the island. The bus usually passes by every 15 minutes. On Mahe you can easily use the SPTC bus to travel to and from the airport so long as you have local currency in small bills.

Although the bus will get you there, the schedules aren't tight and the drivers are a bit bold on the very narrow roads if you're a nervous passenger.


  • Visit the beaches. Many of the beaches are seemingly untouched by human 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 breath-taking. 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 appealing the waters may look.
  • Vallée de Mai is a national park and World Heritage Site, home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world's largest seed: the coco de mer. Entrance fee: Free for residents, 315 rupees for foreigners (Sep 2010).
  • Aldabra Atoll: The world's largest coral atoll that stretches about 22 mi (35 km) 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.
  • Cousin Island is an internationally-owned island and belongs to Birdlife International.
  • Victoria, the capital on Mahe Island, has several good museums including the Natural History Museum, where you can hold the famed coco-de-mer, and the National Museum of History with good photo displays and a video presentation.


Water sports: The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for water enthusiasts. Explore on the board of a yacht, power boat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May and 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 accessible 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 bargained. 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.

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.


The University of the Seychelles has a medical degree for Americans.

Public education has been free and mandatory for children aged 6-16 since 1980. There is a teacher training college and a polytechnic institute, and as mentioned above, the University of Seychelles - American Institute of Medicine does exist. Because of the absence of higher education facilities, many students study abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom.


Working and doing business in the Seychelles can be difficult due to the humidity and heat. Forget about wearing a suit; rather, opt for a light cotton shirt and pants. The atmosphere in the Seychelles is relaxed and it can take a lot of effort to achieve very little.

Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the economy. In fact, about 15 percent of the work force is directly employed in tourism, and employment in banking, transportation, construction, and other activities is closely tied to the tourist industry.



The islands' currency is the Seychellois rupee, denoted by the symbol "SR" or "SRe" (ISO code: SCR). ATMs usually have the best conversion rates; however, airports and banks also exchange money.

Coins of the Seychelles are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents, 1, 5 and 10 rupees. Banknotes of the Seychelles are issued in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 rupees.

There is no longer a black market in currency.


The best place for shopping is Victoria, the capital, and more specifically the market at the city centre, Seychelles Buy and Sell. There are also a few outlets on the island, Praslin, but few shopping areas on the other islands. Larger hotels have boutiques but shopping in Seychelles is not one of the major attractions.

While visiting, be sure to buy the classic and traditional Seychelles souvenir, the coco-de-mer, or the 'nut of the sea,' a nut from trees native to the islands in the Seychelles - but this requires an export licence. Other locally made souvenirs, although not as unique, can be purchased like sea shell and pearl jewellery, textiles and straw hats, in addition to needlework and crochet, paintings by local artists and woodwork.


Most service providers already include a service charge of 5–10%. Tipping is not obligatory in the Seychelles; however, any extra change is greatly appreciated.


Seychellois cuisine has been greatly influenced by the islands' rich cultures. Creole cooking, varied seafood dishes, coconuts and curries are the most popular. The main product of the country, fish, is cooked in a variety of ways. The red snapper is very tasty and well known to visitors.

There are restaurants that serve Chinese, Indian and Italian food as well as local cuisine.

Cheapest food: Collect coconuts on the beach and learn how to open them (not the shell, that's easy; they have a thick cover of natural fibres; to open it: hit the coconut very strongly many times on the edges, sooner or later the fibres break up).


Seychelles offers a fantastic nightlife scene that caters to tourists. The active nightlife is mostly located around the larger hotels and in addition to theatres, cinemas and discos, there are numerous fun and trendy restaurants.

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 is open-air beside the ocean.

If you enjoy a good beer, try the local Seybrew beer; it tastes similar to a light Bavarian-style beer and helps you through those balmy days. You can save yourself a packet buying the beer from stores on the side of the road like the locals do rather than from hotels.

A dark Takamaka rum on the beach under the stars is the best way to end a day on the Seychelles.


The Seychelles are not tolerant of backpackers turning up at the airport without accommodation booked. In such a situation, you will likely be taken to a counter where you will have to book & pay for accommodation for the duration of your trip before being allowed through immigration. Visitors need to provide details of their accommodation on their landing card (Hotel Name, address, phone number), and additionally, will be questioned by the immigration officer about their accommodation details ("Is your booking at hotel <x> confirmed?", etc.)

The common perception of Seychelles only offering expensive accommodation is unfortunate as it is possible to find accommodation to fit most budgets. Some establishments will offer you a double room for two people starting at €65. At this price point you can expect a basic room, but you will have the Creole hospitality that has made this island so famous. However, most accommodation is relatively expensive and some islands have only one hotel. In fact, some of the islands aren't even permanently inhabited and accommodation can be found on fewer than 10. Your best bet for a budget bed is renting an apartment or bungalow, which are available at better rates. Also keep in mind that hotel prices greatly increase and accommodation can be hard to find during the peak seasons from December to January and July to August. Holidays such as Easter can also get very busy.

Most resorts can be found on the main islands of Mahe and Praslin. A few (very) high end ones, like the North Island, have their own private islands. Additionally, you will find an array of 'small hotels' which can feel exclusive.

Stay safe

Try to avoid any dark lanes, and always be careful not to leave your bag unattended. Swimming alone on isolated beaches is not advisable. If you sail, avoid bringing valuables; if you have no choice, become adept at finding great hiding places.

There is some sketchy activity along a shady secondary road behind Beau Vallon beach (left from the Boathouse restaurant) on Mahé, but locals mostly seem content to admire their flashy cars and mostly ignore passers-by.

There are tourist police stationed at every beach on Mahé and are easily recognizable by their blue or white golf shirts, with a tourist police badge sewn on. They are very friendly and more than willing to help keep a good eye, even though you may not see them. They are honest and freely offer advice. Potential thieves are obvious (mostly due to lurking and just stand out from the locals) and tend to hide just off the beach or across the narrow streets near more out of the way beaches. Jail terms are stiff and are strictly enforced since the island makes lots of money from tourism.

Stay healthy

Chikungunya virus is a disease spread by mosquitoes, and causes flu-like symptoms. It is increasing in concern and although it is rare to die from it, the joint pain it causes can last for months. Insect repellent can help deter mosquitoes but not much else can be done as a precaution. The disease is native to East Africa and occasionally is introduced and quickly eradicated.

Tap water is safe to drink in most areas of the Seychelles, but water quality is variable in undeveloped areas. It is recommended to drink bottled water only and to avoid bodies of fresh water like lakes, rivers, ponds, etc.

Limited medical services are available outside the capital city of Victoria.


The environment is a treasured aspect of Seychelles and there are more than 1,000 recorded species of fish around the islands and Aldabra, just one of the islands, is home to the largest population of giant tortoises in the world. Do the effort of respecting it and leaving it clean for visitors to come.


The Seychelles Tourism board is a great point of reference and they will be able to answer any and all questions you might have. Their website is www.seychelles.travel


Embassies and consulates

There are only six embassies and High Commissions, and another dozen or so consulates. The Chinese embassy is an attraction itself while the multilevel, colonial-era Victoria House on the corner of Francis Rachel & State House Streets is home to several of these consulates.

Go next

Many tourists travel to these alternative destinations because of their similarity and because accommodation and travel are less expensive there.

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.


Petty crime such as muggings, purse snatching and pickpocketing are increasing in and around tourist facilities. Theft from parked cars, in hotels and on beaches is also on the rise. Valuables and travel documents should be kept in secure hotel facilities. Do not leave your bags unattended at the beach.

Avoid deserted beaches and solo trips to the beach, other than at major hotels. Also, avoid poorly lit areas after dark and do not travel alone. Take care when hiking in remote areas.

The police department has set up a beach security unit composed of police men and women that patrol the main public beaches.

Road travel

Traffic drives on the left. Seat belts are mandatory for drivers and front-seat passengers. Roads are generally well maintained, but are narrow and winding, often with sheer drops and few barriers. Drive defensively, particularly after dark. In the event of a traffic accident, remain at the scene until the police arrive.

Car rentals are available. You are advised to purchase adequate car insurance. When returning a rented vehicle, ensure that you receive written acknowledgement stating that the vehicle has not been damaged.

Public transportation

Buses and taxis are available. Agree on the taxi fare beforehand. On the main islands of Mahe and Praslin, public transportation by bus is a viable option.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.


Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

General safety information

Tourist facilities are generally well developed on the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

Visitors on maritime excursions should leave identification, travel documents and an itinerary with the hotel reception desk to assist the coast guard and police in the event of a problem. Carry a cell phone. Many islands are isolated, and travel by ship, including emergency travel, may be difficult in stormy weather.

Strong currents make swimming dangerous in some locations.

For emergency assistance on the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, call 999.


Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.


Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.


Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.


Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.



There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited, particularly on isolated islands where there are no doctors. There is a hospital in Victoria. There are also hospitals on Praslin and La Digue islands with resident doctors.   There are private practices on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue islands.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Homosexual activity is illegal.

Strict regulations may be enforced on the temporary import or export of items such as firearms, spear-fishing equipment, and fruits and vegetables.

If you are travelling with pets, you should be aware that there is a six-month quarantine period for warm-blooded animals coming into the country. Contact the Consulate for the Republic of Seychelles in Montreal for specific information regarding Customs requirements.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.


The currency is the Seychellois rupee (SR). Since November 1, 2008, foreign currency restrictions have been removed and you may now pay for goods and services either in rupees or in USD. It is prohibited to exchange foreign currencies at rates other than the official rate. Banks, casinos, hotels and the international airport are licensed to exchange currencies.


The monsoon season extends from November to February. The heaviest rainfall is usually from mid-December to mid-January. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

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