Located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madigascar and west of Zanzibar, the Republic of the Seychelles is 115 island country which comprises an archipelago of legendary beauty. Occupying a total land area of only 175 square miles, the islands of the Seychelles are composed of coral atolls, reef islands, and the oldest granite islands on Earth. With its silky white sand beaches, pristine natural environment, azure waters of the Indian Ocean, and close proximity to the equator (which allows for a tropical climate), it’s no wonder why the Seychelles is a popular vacation spot for discerning travelers and royals alike.
Seychelles is most famous for having some of the most natural, pristine, uncrowded beaches and landscapes in the world, and the diversity of the landscapes between islands is fascinating. While some beaches are framed by majestic granite boulders, others boast powdery sands and turquoise waters. Naturally, swimming, snorkeling, riding in glass bottom boats, and beach and water sports comprise some of the most popular activities in the Seychelles.
There are great opportunities for island-hopping between the 16 islands that currently offer accommodation. While exploring the various islands, travelers enjoy visiting national monuments, traditional Creole houses, artists’ studios, national reserves, and marine parks.
Other popular activities include golf, horseback riding, and guided nature tours where visitors enjoy some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on earth. The mellow Seychelles nightlife includes trying your luck at the casino, enjoying an adult beverage at a local bar, and feasting at fine restaurants, which offer unforgettable Creole and international cuisine.
Seychelles Weather and Seasons
Due to its proximity to the equator, the Seychelles enjoys a warm and tropical climate year round. The temperature rarely drops below 75°F or rises above 90°F. The Seychelles enjoys cool north-west trade winds during the months of November through March. The sea is generally calm, with average winds of 9 – 14 miles per hour.
The “wet season” in the Seychelles occurs during the months of December through February. The average number of rainy days (days with 1 millimeter or more rainfall) in December, January and February are 18, 17 and 11 days respectively. It is can also be fairly cloudy during those months. The weather is hottest from December to April, and the humidity is high – often 80% or higher.
The months of May to October bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas – particularly on south-eastern coasts – and winds of 12 -23 miles per hour are common. It is not uncommon to go two or more weeks without rain.
The 115 granite and coral islands of the Seychelles extend from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and lie between 298 and 994 miles from the east coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean.
Of these 115 islands, 41 Inner Islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on Earth while an additional 74 islands form the 5 groups of low-lying coral atolls and reef islets of the Outer Islands.
Seychelles is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin is where the fantasticly shaped Coco-de-mer nut grows high on ancient palms. The Aldabra is the world’s largest raised coral atoll, which was first seen by early Arab seafarers in the ninth century.
Getting to the Seychelles/Seychelles Travel
The only international airport is on the principal island, Mahé. All international flights to and from the Seychelles travel out of Mahé. Flights from Los Angeles to the Seychelles are approximately 21 hours in duration, exclusive of layovers. Air Seychelles offers all inter-island flights, and operates a regular shuttle service between Mahé and Praslin, the second largest island. The flight lasts only 15 minutes, and there are an average of 20 daily returning flights.
Zil Air offers chartered helicopters for island transfers, excursions and chartered scenic flights throughout Seychelles. The Islands Development Company (IDC) provides charter flights mostly to the Outer Islands.
Sea ferries are also an option in the Seychelles, and their types and durations vary depending on which islands you are looking to travel to.