Useful tips for your stay in the Seychelles
Airlines serving the Seychelles include Emirates (6 flights weekly), Etihad (4 flights weekly), Ethopian (3 flights weekly), Turkish Airlines (3 flights weekly), Air France, Condor (once per week direct from Frankfurt), Air Seychelles (3 flights weekly from Paris, 3 flights from Mauritius, 4 from Johannesburg and 1 weekly flight each from Bejing and Mumbai, India), Austrian Airlines (once per week from Vienna ), SriLankan Airlines (four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday), Transaero (from Moskow), Meridiana, Air Mauritius, Air Austral (twice a week from Paris), and Kenya Airways. From Australia, it's probably best with Etihad via Abu Dhabi.
From Prague (Czech Republic) to the Seychelles via Abu Dhabi on Czech Airlines / Etihad 3-4 times weekly.
Busses are a cheap, but very time consuming way of getting around. A ticket costs 3-10 Rupies, regardless of the distance you travel. If you change busses, you'll have to pay again.
On frequently traveled routes on Mahe, there is a bus every 15 or 30 minutes. After 7 p.m. there are hardly any buses running and if you think you can hop on a bus with a suitcase, think again! No bus driver will take you from the airport to Victoria, for example, if you carry more than a daypack.
On Praslin, things are about the same as on Mahe, but buses ply even less frequently. During lunchtime, most buses here are used as school buses, so they'll leave you standing there and will speed past you. We can provide you with reliable taxi driver's phone numbers together with your accommodation vouchers if you wish.
The famous beach "Anse Source d'Argent" on La Digue...
is a true money printing machine for the owners of the plantation that lies on the way to that beautiful beach. If you pay the hefty 10 € entrance fee you can visit the plantation, complete with old creole cemetery, copra mill, vanilla plantation, giant tortoises, ship yard and - of course - lots of coconut trees.
You can get to that magnificent beach for free if you walk along the beach: shortly before the entrance to the plantation you'll find a helicopter landing pad. Go down to the beach there and turn left, the first few meters sloshing in the water along the helipad. Then continue in this direction (south), always sticking to the beach. It takes about 20 mins. to get to the best part of Anse Source d'Argent beach.
A year-round destination located outside of the cyclone belt, the Seychelles Islands are blessed with a warm and humid tropical perfect climate with refreshing sea breezes, and temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C. So it's always warm in the Seychelles, making the islands a year-round destination.
The seasons are defined by the trade winds, which blow from the northwest from October to April, bringing warm, sometimes wet weather.
From late May to September the southeast trade winds bring in a bit cooler, drier but also windier weather.
The turnaround periods (March through April and October through November) are normally calm with little wind.
There is some rain during both seasons. January is the wettest month, when mountainous Mahe and Silhouette get the most rainfall, but it tends to come in short bursts. 70 % of the rain comes down between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and in average, the sunshine hours are always > 5 hours, even in January.
July and August are the driest months. The annual temperature range fluctuates between 24°C (75°F) and 31°C (88°F) and the humidity hovers at 80% year round.
Seychelles is located outside the cyclone belt in Indian Ocean, so severe storms are rare.
For diving and snorkelling, April/Mai/June and September/October/November are perfect with visibility at 30+ meters. It's not bad at all the rest of the year except maybe June, when rough seas reign on the exposed SE-sides of the islands.
Mahé is the main island and the entry point to the Seychelles for most travellers. It not only has the capital Victoria as a natural gravitation point but also lots of beautiful beaches, adventurous hikes in rainforests and arguably the best food outside exclusive restaurants.
Cerf Island A small, charming island in St. Anne Marine National Park. Within view of the capital Victoria, but seemingly a world apart. Only 40 people live here, there are 2 hotels and a self-catering place.
Praslin has a population of 5,000 with the main settlements at sleepy Grande Anse and Baie Sainte-Anne. It's the island with the famous "Vallée de Mai" which is a UNESCO world natural heritage, home to the Coco-de-Mer palms and definitely worth a visit.
La Digue visitors are attracted mostly by the tranquillity of the the island and its magnificent beaches which rank among the best in the world. Where else can you find unspoilt beaches of pure white sands, with fringing coconut trees and a coral reef teeming with fish?
Bird Island is a true masterpiece of nature, right at the edge of where the Seychelles bank drops to depths of more than 1500 meters. The island is home to a phantastic array of birds which may be watched and photographed from arm's length!
Others of the "Inner Islands": Thérèse, Conception, Silhouette, North Island, Curieuse, Aride, Cousin, Coco Island, etc.
Do not expect to come to the Seychelles and go on a shopping spree like you would in any of the major capitals of the world. The Seychelles are still a laid-back place and the market is too small for international brands to come here.
Having said that, you will get anything you need for daily life.
On Mahe there are some big supermarkets (STC, Hypermarket, Docklands) around Victoria. Otherwise, small shops (mostly owned by Indians) will cater for your needs.
On Praslin, there are mostly small shops, apart from the supermarkets in Baie St. Anne the Pension Complex at Grande Anse.
At Anse Volbert (Cote d'Or) there are small "supermarkets" with limited supplies.
On La Digue you'll find small shops and "supermarkets" in the La Passe area and then there's the big "Grégoire's" Supermarket. Here you'll get everything from TV-sets to New Zealand Cheese. Grégoire's is more expensive than the smaller shops, though.
Wine is widely available in the Seychelles (simple imported wines cost from around 100 to 150 SCR). Those of you who like a decent glass with their fish dinner but have to keep the dough together should consider bringing a bottle or two with them. In some Guesthouses it's no problem to "bring your own".
Beer however is brewed locally and available as Seybrew, Eku and Guinness. It tastes very good and the only drawback is that it comes in too small bottles (280ml) ;-))) On the other hand, bigger bottles would become warm too fast. The bottle goes for around 23 Rupees in shops, more of course in restaurants.
Bottle deposit is 2 SCR (in shops only).
Fruit juices at about 25 SCR and long-shelf milk at about 25 SCR are widely available. Baby food and diapers are available but rather expensive in the Seychelles.
At entry you'll get a free tourist visa on the spot. This is true for ALL passport holders, there are usually no restrictions whatsoever for stays of up to 3 months.
To get your visa, you will need a passport valid for the period of the intended stay until arrival back in your country of origin or residence. Furthermore you'll need an onward/return ticket and an accommodation voucher (camping is strictly prohibited!).
We do as a matter of course issue such accommodation vouchers if you book your accommodation with us, so you will get your visa on entry hassle-free.
If you come from an area with infectious diseases (e.g. Yellow Fever, Ebola), please check with your embassy, the Seychelles immigration and with the airline. Temporary visa requirements may be in place.
People with passports issued in the Republic of Kosovo have also reported problems lately! The Seychelles seem not to recognize Kosovo as a state.
Food in the Seychelles consists - in good old creole tradition - of the staples fresh fish and rice, with various vegetables as side dishes. Special wishes are gladly taken care of by owners of our smaller guesthouses.
A very good place is the recommendable restaurant "Marie Antoinette" at the road from Victoria toward Beau Vallon. You'll get a variety of mouthwatering dishes that will fill your stomach with the best the island has to offer. Ask us for free discount vouchers if you plan to eat there!
There is an all-you-can-eat-buffet most evenings at the "Boat House" on Mahe's Beau Vallon beach. It opens at 19:00 hrs in the evenings for a buffet dinner which costs (2017) 425 SCR (approx. 30 Euros) per person.
Baobab's pizzeria opposite the Boat House offers good italian dishes in a simple but authentic creole atmosphere. A pizza will cost between 100 and 160 SCR (in 2017).
The "Pirate's Arms", a long-standing favourite near the clocktower in Victoria is currently closed, due to reconstruction of the building.
A good place in the South of Mahe is the recommendable restaurant "La Plaine St. André" at the Takamaka destillery: a bit upmarket but with a cozy colonial atmosphere, very friendly, not overpriced and definitely worth those extra rupees.
They are open for lunch every day except Sundays and for dinner Wednesdays and Saturdays. Unfortunately, they tend to change opening days quite frequently, so check before you book a table.
The restaurant is located near Devon Residence Chalets, so if you plan to stay there, this is an excellent choice.
"Le Reduit" near Batista's in the south of Mahe serves good food at fair prices. Another place in the south is "Kaz Kreol" at Anse Royale, but we personally find that the quality of the curries and fish served there isn't what it used to be.
On Praslin, try the restaurant at "Le Laurier" (buffet style, again ask us for discount vouchers!), or "Villas de Mer" on Grande Anse.
Good is also the "Coco Rouge" in Baie St. Anne (ph. 4232228, Mon-Sat 11-14 and 19-22 Uhr, Sundays closed).
La Digue: we recommend to eat at your booked guesthouse/hotel. The guesthouses we offer on our accommodation site all offer excellent dinners! The best of the bunch - in our view - are: Chloé's Cottage, Pension Socrate, Beryls Guesthouse, La Passe Guesthouse, La Diguoise, Le Sur Mer Chalets and Etoile Labrine. These places offer the best creole style food - prepared with housewive's pride and lots of love for good food. The few restaurants you will find on the island are more expensive and don't offer the same quality. You don't have to believe us but if you do, you won't regret it!
On Praslin, there are two bike rental places, both are located on Anse Volbert (Cote d'Or):
One is based at the Le Duc de Praslin Hotel and it has been created in order to generate funds for the Cote d'Or Football Team :) They deliver the bikes to your hotel and the phone number is 4294800.
The other place is "Mario's". His phone is 2564062 and he also will bring the bike to your hotel.
Both charge 10 Euros per bike per day (which is rather expensive when compared to our rental car prices), but remember that bikes don't last long in this tropical climate.
On La Digue, there are many bike rentals. Most guesthouses offer bicycles for rent to their guests. Alternatively, try "Tati's" (opposite the jetty), but they are rather expensive. Alternatively, try the friendly guys of "Chez Michelin" right opposite the ferry jetty and next to the police station.
Please check the bikes immediately, especially regarding brakes and gear shifting functionality. Very few have lights at all, so it's a good idea to have a torch (flashlight) with you.
In general, we - as dedicated bikers ourselves - think that due to the size of the islands and the temperatures and humidity, it is advisable to rent a car on Mahe and Praslin and a bicycle on La Digue.
We strongly recommend to book your Seychelles ferries in advance. If there's a football match or a larger funeral, ferries can be booked out fast - not to mention strong days on weekends or in the main holiday season. We are happy to arrange all ferry tickets for you in advance, and at a better price than when booking at the jetty. You save about 10 Euros per person each way! So there is not really a reason for not to book your tickets with us. a) FERRY MAHÉ - PRASLIN (- LA DIGUE)
There are 2 or 3 ferry connections daily between Mahe and Praslin, with the evening ferry continuing to La Digue. The morning ferry has a direct connection from La Digue.
Please find details, schedules, prices for Seychelles ferries on our special ferry website.
b) FERRY PRASLIN - LA DIGUE - PRASLIN:
There are up to 8 ferry connections daily between Praslin and La Digue. Please find details, schedules, prices for Seychelles ferries on our special ferry website.
On Mahe you are well advised to rent a car, due to both traffic and size of the island. Alternatively, those with more time and less money take a taxi or the local bus. Please note that on Mahe and Praslin, busses don't take you if you carry more than a daypack!
We offer good, reliable rental cars at unbeatable prices here.
On Praslin a car is a fairly good idea as well. Alternatively, take an expensive taxi or the cheap local bus (again: very time consuming)..
On La Digue you are best off by renting a bicyle. There are few cars and the island is small enough to discover all the beautiful spots and beaches this way.
By the way: Tourists arriving in the Seychelles will usually receive a free map of the main islands at the airport.
You'll find banks and licensed money changers on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. With credit and debit cards you can get local currency (Seychelles Rupees, SCR) at any ATM. The exchange rate stands at around 16 SCR for a Euro, 17.10 SCR for one British Pound and 13.30 SCR for 1 US$ respectively (approximate rates, in December 2017). Usually, money changers will give you better rates than banks. It's a good idea to compare rates before changing large sums. Nobody will try to rip you off (provided you change at licensed dealers), but rates vary slightly and competition between the money changers is greater on Mahe than on Praslin or La Digue.
Note for the Beau Vallon area on Mahe: The ATMs at Beau Vallon only accept VISA, no Cirrus/Maestro cards! So it's best to get your Rupies from the ATM at the airport or in Victoria.
Where credit cards are accepted (only in upmarket restaurants and hotels, not in family-run guesthouses), VISA and Mastercard are the best choice.
Many guesthouses still prefer payment in Euros or US$, although most do accept Seychelles Rupees. Restaurant bills can always be paid in Rupees. The conversion rate is often a bit lower than what you get at the banks. So compare the sums and pay either in SCR or forex.
There are hospitals and health stations on the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. In case of need, your landlord will be happy to help.
Private clinics and doctors are also available. Watch out that you are not overcharged. Their prices are sometimes high because the doctor will think that you will get the amount refunded by your insurance anyway. A visit should not cost more than 20 to 30 Euros. In a public hospital, the costs are about half as high.
The emergency number for the ambulance is the 999. The hospital in Victoria can be reached at (+248) 438 8000.
Dentists are available on Praslin and Mahe. On Mahe the privately managed German Dental Clinic is available in the Eden Island Plaza Mon-Fri from 9 am to 5 pm (2nd floor, Suite 207). Tel .: 4346605, the emergency number is 2606066.
The Seychelles are free of tropical diseases. Ebola and malaria are not an issue in the Seychelles.
The Seychelles are malaria free.
You will only need yellow fever vaccinations if you have been in North and Central South America or Central Africa during the last 6 days prior to entry.
There are no poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions or the like in the Seychelles. Only the bite of the big centipede can cause a bee-stinging pain. These animals only occur in the woods.
Mosquito nets in the room are not essential. In areas where mosquitoes occur mosquito nets are provided by landlords. Most are sprayed around the houses by the government. Mosquitoes sometimes occur in the evenings on the beach. We recommend to bring a good repellent.
Sand flies or sand fleas are found on some beaches and there is no effective protection, as far as we know. Also, a prediction of when and where they occur is not possible. Some people seem to be more vulnerable than others. You usually do not notice the bites until the night or the following day and the red spots itch a lot. Easier said than done: under no circumstances should you scratch - this often leads to infections. Better to apply cooling gel, e.g. Aloe vera gel. If you suffer from sandfly bites, ask your landlord or see a doctor. Both know the symptoms well and have appropriate home remedies (just aloe vera) in the garden or medication ready.
Prevention is better than cure: So ask first (landlords, other people on the beach), avoid the places where dried seaweed lies on the beaches, because there the sand flies lay their eggs. And very important: Use large, not too thin beach towels to avoid direct contact with the sand.
In the Seychelles there has been a silkworm caterpillar plague for some years. The introduced animals (senil plim in Creole) hang under the protective leaves of the tropical vegetation, preferably on hibiscus bushes and on Bodanmyen trees. The caterpillars covered with long fine hairs often cause skin irritation, itching and an allergic skin rash. The effect is similar to the skin irritation from glass wool.
Hydrocortisone products often help. The island clinics know the problem and administer an injection in extreme cases.
Also introduced and on some evenings a plague are a small but harmless mayflies. These gather at night with light sources of all kinds and are annoying by their mass appearance.
Most people take a ferry via Praslin where you change boats. There is also a direct ferry once daily.
If you arrive on Praslin by local flight, you will have to croos the island by taxi to get to the jetty to La Digue.
Another option is a chartering helicopter but those flights are really expensive.
Getting from Mahé to Praslin
a) by speed ferry: it runs between Mahe and Praslin (with onward connections to La Digue). The trip takes only 50-60 minutes.
Between Praslin and La Digue there is a ferry which crosses in 15 minutes.
On either ferry connection, you will be likely to see dolphins and flying fish (better viewing on the upper deck category).
b) By plane: Mahe - Praslin usually costs about double the ferry fare if you go by plane. Although the hop with a Twin Otter or Short360 lasts only about 15 mins., you may end up spending hours at the airport, if you are unlucky and if there's a lot of demand. Most of the time, they are roughly on time, though.
Please note that if you arrive from Mahe by plane and wish to continue on to La Digue, you'll have to take an expensive taxi to cross the island to reach the ferry jetty.
Furthermore, the luggage allowance for flights is 15 kgs only! Exceptions e.g. for Etihad frequent flyers (Silver/Gold members).
Swim, paddle or take a ferry.
Just about every hotel and guesthouse nowadays offers WiFi.
At Victoria there are a few internet café options near the clocktower (Coconet) and opposite the STC supermarket. At the "Doubleclick" you may plug in your own notebook.
On Praslin, there are internet cafés at Baie Saint Anne and at Grand Anse.
On La Digue you'll find internet cafés near the La Passe jetty.
Mobile Internet (3G is now widely available in the Seychelles): Cable & Wireless offers a configuration which is being sent directly to your mobile. Simply send a text message with the text Internet to 9633.
Most visits to Seychelles are trouble free. However, crime levels are rising and there has been an increase in break-ins, robberies, burglaries and opportunist thefts against residents, expatriates and tourists. Although crime is generally non-violent, bags have been snatched, cars broken into and tourists robbed.
- you should take sensible precautions to safeguard yourself and your possessions.
- parked cars, guest houses and hotels, beaches and walking trails may be targeted.
- you should maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would at home and make sure your living accommodation is secure.
- don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear eye-catching jewellery.
- use a hotel safe to store valuables, money and passports.
- don’t leave valuables in cars or anywhere on display.
Be vigilant and when outside hotel grounds carry a mobile phone with roaming capability for use in emergency.
Take care in isolated areas and also in more popular places like Beau Vallon and the back streets of Victoria, especially after dark.
A rental car on Mahé and Praslin will save you a lot of your precious holiday time! You won't need an international driving license, the paperwork is minimal.
You can rent cars on Mahé and Praslin. Usually it's small cars like Hyundais, but bigger cars are also available.
Please check out our rental car website.
On Mahe there are many beautiful walks around the "Morne Seychellois" National Park. You'll not be meeting many other hikers.
On Praslin a half day at the world heritage site "Vallée de Mai" is an absolute must for nature lovers. Open every day from 8:30 a.m.onwards. Last admission at 4:30 p.m.
Entrance costs 350 SCR (in May 2017) for persons 12 years or older. If your child is below 12 years old, it's free but make sure you bring some sort of ID showing the age.
There are free guided tours daily at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Subject to change.
On La Digue you can find the endemic Seychelles-Paradise-Flycatcher(Terpsiphone corvina) at the "Veuve Reserve", but also in other parts of the island. Well worth a visit!
Daytrips to Cousin and Curieuse are very recommended, as are snorkelling trips to Cocos Island and St. Pierre.
On 92.6, 93.6 and 100.9 FM Paradise FM sends an english music program; on 103.9 they take over RFI Afrique. On AM 1368 you can hear the local creole program, with news in English, French and Creol. BBC sends via 106.2 FM.
SHORTWAVE: BBC World Service on 15310 kHz.
On La Digue snorkelling is especially good on Anse Sévère and Anse Gaulettes. At the latter we encountered a group of up to a dozen (!) eagle rays every time. But watch out for the dangerous current there. Lots and lots of colorful fish!
At Anse Sévère it's probably a good idea to walk to the north end of the beach if the tide is low. Go in there (amidst the granite boulders) and snorkel back along the reef edge to the south.
Sea turtles (usually caretta caretta) can be seen quite often everywhere in the Seychelles. Sometimes you'll encounter a curious animal, but they are pretty shy most of the time.
Grande Anse, Petit Anse and Anse Cocos on La Digue are very beautiful, but unsuitable for snorkelling: rather big waves most of the time. Watch out: every year people drown here, because of the strong currents!
Around Mahe there is good snorkelling almost anywhere around the island, except of course in the Victoria area and also at Grand Anse.
One of the best places to go is Coco Island, close to La Digue. You'll receive much more information on daytrips to various islands together with the hotel vouchers we'll send you.
It is advised to bring your own snorkelling equipment. Rental gear is expensive, often worn out and not very hygienic.
BTW: Avoid the spots where dried sea grass lies on the beach: sand flies lay their eggs there. Don't scratch the itchy skin, although it's easier said than done: scratching often leads to infections. Use insect repellent.
In the Seychelles you'll get 230 volts from the usually british-type 3-pin power outlets. It's a good idea to bring an adapter if you plan to charge batteries or use your own appliances.
Taxis are rather expensive in the Seychelles. Count on 25 to 35 Euros from the airport to the ferry terminal, for example (if you book your ferries with us, we can arrange a bus shuttle). From the airport to Beau Vallon you'll pay up to 50 € even!
A rental car for the whole day won't cost you more than one single taxi trip. So check out our unbeatable prices for car hires.
Seychelles have GSM-mobile networks provided by Cable&Wireless and Airtel. Please ask your cellphone provider whether you can use one of the Seychelles networks with your mobile phone.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will receive a free Airtel SIM card with a bonus R25 of call units. For text messages to or from abroad however, we advise to rely on Cable & Wireless more than on Airtel.
To get your visa on arrival, you will need an accommodation voucher, as camping is strictly prohibited.
We do as a matter of course issue such accommodation vouchers if you book your accommodation with us.
We offer hand-picked guesthouses with family atmosphere and international standard hotels.
Bring a torch (flashlight).
A not-too flimsy beach towel. The bigger the better.
Easy and lightweight travel clothes. In the Seychelles it's very informal.
Flip-flops and/or trekking sandals if you plan to do some hiking. Don't bring trekking boots.
Good ear plugs that keep the noise of barking dogs out.
There is no need to bring towels, linen, cutlery. This will be provided by self catering establishments as well as guest houses and hotels.
Tap water in the Seychelles meets W.H.O. (World Health Organization) specifications and is safe to drink nation-wide. As it is often heavily chlorinated, it doesn't taste good. Thus, visitors are advised to drink bottled water. Bottled water you'll find in any supermarket. It's a good idea to buy large 5 or 10 liter bottles instead of expensive smaller ones. It's more environmental-friendly, too.
If you are staying in one place for a few days - which we recommend anyway - you may want to buy 15 or 18 liter bottles. There is a returnable deposit of usually 100 SCR for the container, but they cost only 70 or 100 SCR respectively and are the most economical and environmental-friendly way of buying safe drinking water. You can buy them at petrol stations or big supermarkets. On La Digue: at the petrol station near the jetty.
During the drier summer months, especially from June through September, water restrictions are not uncommon. That means, the water supply is off, usually from 12 noon to 4 pm and 10 pm to 6 am.
Please use water sparingly and try not to waste it. You're on an island after all, surrounded by lots of salt water. Thank you!
Best is to bring your debit and credit cards and to withdraw local money (Seychelles Rupees) from an ATM.
Cashwise, Seychelles Rupees, US$ and Euros are accepted. The latter is preferred.
So if you live in a country where the Euro reigns, bring those. If the dollar is your currency, stick to it. Many establishments refuse Pound Sterling, as the owners prefer to work only in US dollars or in Euros.
Each adult passenger is allowed to bring in the following goods tax free (valid as per January 2017):
• 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or cigars/cheroots
• 2 litres of alcohol with less than or equal to 16% alcohol by volume (abv)
• 2 litres of alcohol with more than 16% abv
• 200 ml of perfume or eau de toilette
• Goods obtained overseas or purchased duty free in Seychelles with a combined value of SCR 5000 for adults or SCR 3000 for travellers aged under 18. The passenger allowance does not apply to commercial goods (i.e. goods that will be sold or used in business).
Import of guns, drugs and pornographic material are strictly prohibited.
Expensive electronic goods should be declared at entry. No one seems to do this ;-)