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Useful tips for your stay in the Seychelles:
Climate facts ...
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.
Airlines serving the Seychelles include Emirates (6 flights weekly), Etihad (4 flights weekly), Ethopian (3 flights weekly), Air France, Thomas Cook/Condor (once per week direct from Frankfurt), Air Seychelles (3 flights weekly to Mauritius, 2 to Johannesburg and 1 weekly flight to Singapore via Chennai, India), Transaero (from Moskow), Meridiana, Air Mauritius, Air Austral (twice a week from Paris), and Kenya Airways. Blue Panorama plans flights from Italy.
From Prague (Czech Republic) to the Seychelles via Abu Dhabi on Czech Airlines 3-4 times weekly.
Getting from island to island...
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 15-30 mins. Timetables here.
b) By plane: Mahe - Praslin costs about 105 o/w by plane and 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 there's a lot of demand. Most of the time, they are roughly on time, though.
c) By helicopter: You'd have to charter a helicopter to La Digue, which costs about 820 .
On the islands ...
... 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 (see below).
... 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 hardly any cars and the island is small enough to discover all the beautiful spots and beaches this way.
Tourists arriving in the Seychelles will receive a free map of the main islands at the airport.
are advisable on Mahe, as there is lots and lots to see and do on that island. Please note that vehicles drive on the left side of the road and insurance is obligatory (available directly when you pick up the car). Bring your national driving license. Petrol costs around 21 Rupees/litre (2014).
On Mahe there are petrol stations at:
Victoria (Capital) 05:30 am 11.00pm dailyOn Praslin there are two petrol stations: in Baie St. Anne and in Grande Anse.
Warning: Do NOT park your car under coconut trees and never leave valuables unattended in your car!
... are rather expensive in the Seychelles. Count on 25 to 30 Euros from the airport to the ferry terminal, for example (if you book your ferries with us, we will offer a free 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 ask us about our unbeatable prices for car hires.
are a cheap, but very time consuming way of getting around. A ticket costs 5-7 Rupies, regardless of the distance you travel. If you change busses, you 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. For a map of bus routes on Mahe click here.
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 will provide you with reliable taxi driver's phone numbers together with your accommodation vouchers.
... should be safe to drink from the tap but it's quite chlorinated. So it doesn't taste good. Bottled water is a much better alternative.
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 65 or 90 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 dry 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!
On Mahe there are some big supermarkets around Victoria. Otherwise, small shops (mostly owned by Indians) will cater for your needs.
On Praslin, only small shops exist: in Baie St. Anne and Anse Volbert there are small "supermarkets" with limited supplies, at Grande Anse there are only small shops with even less choice.
On La Digue you'll find small shops 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. This supermarket is more expensive than smaller shops, though.
Wine is rather expensive in the Seychelles (simple 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 25 Rupees in shops, more of course in restaurants.
Bottle deposit is 2 SCR (in shops only).
Fruit juices at about 45 SCR and long-shelf milk at about 25 SCR are widely available.
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.
There is an all-you-can-eat-buffet at the "Boat House" on Mahe's Beau Vallon beach. It opens at 19:00 hrs in the evenings for a buffet dinner (25 ). Also very good are the "Marie Antoinette" and "Le Rendez-vous" in Victoria.
"Le Reduit" near Batista's in the south of Mahe serves excellent food at fair prices. Another place in the south is "Kaz Kreol" at Anse Royale, but we personally find that the quality of the dishes there isn't what it used to be.
An excellent place for lunch or dinner is the restaurant "La Plaine St. André" at the Takamaka destillery. Well worth every Rupee spent here!
On Praslin, try the restaurant at "Le Laurier" (buffet style), or "Villas de Mer" on Grande Anse.
Near the harbour, the "Organibar" serves excellent take-aways and is also a good place for dinner: open daily 8a.m. - 11 p.m., ph. 4232111.
Also very good is the "Coco Rouge" in Baie St. Anne (ph. 4232228, Mon-Sat 11-14 and 19-22 Uhr, Sundays closed). Fair-priced and excellent "fixed menu".
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: 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!
Also worth mentioning: the "Coco Lautier" restaurant at La Digue's Grande Anse beach serves a yummy creole buffet. (Closed in the evenings)
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 16.55 SCR for a Euro, 20.50 SCR for one British Pound and 12 SCR for 1 US$ respectively (approximate rates, in July 2014). 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.
Please note that 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$, although most do accept Seychelles Rupees. Restaurant bills can always be paid in Rupees. The conversion rate is often a bit lower than what you get at the banks. So compare the sums and pay either in SCR or forex.
currency to bring?
Seychelles Rupees, US$ and Euros are accepted. The latter is preferred.
At entry you'll get a free tourist visa on the spot. This is true for ALL passport holders, there are no restrictions whatsoever.
To get your visa, you will need a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of departure. 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 vouchers if you book your accommodation with us, so you will get your visa on entry hassle-free.
Free import of 2 litres of spirits plus 2 litres of wine, 200 cigarettes and 200ml of perfume or eau de toilette.
Import of guns, drugs and pornographic material are strictly prohibited.
Expensive electronic goods should be declared at entry.
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.
The 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.
in 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.
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.
Diving and Snorkelling...
Diving: We have set up a special site for "Diving in the Seychelles" here.
Snorkelling: 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.
National parks and reserves ...
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!
On Praslin a day at the world heritage site "Vallée de Mai" is an absolute must for nature lovers.
On Mahe there are many beautiful walks around the "Morne Seychellois" National Park. You'll find a few walks described here.
Daytrips to Cousin and Curieuse are very recommended (see "Islands"), as are snorkelling trips to Cocos Island and St. Pierre.
a) MAHÉ - PRASLIN (- LA DIGUE)
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.
b) PRASLIN - LA DIGUE - PRASLIN:
The ferry schedule, valid until further notice: (subject to change).
HOW TO MAKE A BOOKING:
a) Either you make yor ferry bookings together with your guesthouse/hotel bookings through us. In that case, we will take care of everything, ensuring you the best connections.
b) For ferry-only bookings, please fill in the booking form or send an email to email@example.com, stating the route, the exact date and time you wish to travel, the full names of all passengers and the birth dates of the children, if applicable.
If you book a return trip, then the price for Praslin - La Digue or vice versa is 14 Euros for adults for each way. If you book a one-way trip only, then it's 17 Euros.
Children 2-12 years pay half that price.
The maximum allowance normally is: 23 kgs. Extra weight has to be paid.
However, we have a special deal also with this ferry company and our clients get a 30 kgs allowance. Please note that you get this 30 kgs allowance only when you book your ferry tickets through us!
Additionally, 1 piece of cabin luggage is allowed.
Please note that the tickets have to be paid in advance! In return you will receive a voucher from us, which guarantees your seat! To minimize time and effort, we do not issue invoices. Thank you for your understanding.
CHANGING YOUR RESERVATION:
You may change the ferry booking without extra charge later (one change is free) - provided there are seats available for the new date. Thus you remain very flexible.