The tropical paradise best known as a honeymoon destination is slowly shading that image to don a more holistic tourism hat. Seychelles, which witnesses a good number of inbound Indian travellers had also recently conducted a three-city roadshow to boost travel trade relations. So, if one is planning to visit the alluring golden beaches of Seychelles, here is a quick guide to help the cause.
This destination truly has a lot to offer, from Mahe’s lush mountain forests and sweeping bays to the pristine beaches and endemic flora and fauna of Praslin and La Digue, while allowing visitors to indulge in a luxurious relaxation spree or adventurous activities.
Where to Go
Anse Major Trail, Mahe
As the gateway to the Seychelles archipelago and home to the capital city Victoria, the lush tropical island of Mahe is not only the nation’s financial and political hub but is a treasure trove of dense forests, mountain peaks, sweeping bays and secluded beaches. Being the largest and most developed island in the archipelago, Mahe offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do as well as some of the best places to eat and drink.
Anse Volbert, Praslin
Only an hour from Mahe by ferry, the tropical paradise of Praslin – Seychelles’ second largest island – beckons visitors with the promise of world-class beaches, stunning endemic forests and unlimited opportunities to relax and unwind. For the more adventurous, the crystal-clear water surrounding Praslin offer great diving and snorkelling opportunities as well as big game fishing and the possibility to visit neighbouring islands and their giant inhabitants.
Veuve Natural Reserve, La Digue Island
No longer just a day-trippers attraction, the small granite island of La Digue is fast becoming a popular vacation destination in its own right. With a laid-back, off-the-beaten-track atmosphere, palm-fringed beaches, rare wildlife and very few motorised vehicles, it’s easy to see why visiting La Digue, for many, is considered a true tropical island experience. And when you’re done lazing on the beach, there’s still plenty to explore both above and below the water.
When to Go
According to Seychelles’ official destination tourism site, the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, which is why it is always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.
The best months to visit however are April-May and October-November when it is fairly warm and dry. These are also the best months for swimming, snorkelling and diving as the trade winds are usually calmer during this time.
For bird watchers, October is the month of migration while April is the breeding season and May-September is the nesting season of the local Scooty Terns. Hiking and walks and trails are usually organised around May-September, which is also a good time for surfing and windsurfing.
The ‘SUBIOS Underwater Festival’, showcases Seychelles’ diverse underwater world through a series of film shows, talks and competitions, while the ‘Festival Kreol’ (a week-long celebration of Creole heritage and traditions) is held in October each year. The Seychelles Sailing Cup, an international sailing event, is held in January and the International Fishing Competition is held in November. Further local fishing competitions are held throughout the year.
How to Go
Regardless of the nationality, there are no visa requirements to enter Seychelles. All travellers, however, must be in possession of a valid passport and a return or onward ticket. In addition, one may be asked to show proof of accommodation and may possibly need to show evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of the proposed stay.
As long as a visitor meets the above requirements, they will be issued with a Visitor’s Permit on arrival, free of charge, valid for an initial period of one month. Permits can be extended for free for up to three months from the date of issue, after which further extensions will incur a fee.
Seychelles is well connected to India by multiple airlines that connect the island nation with major Indian airports. Jet Airways, Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air France flights, Austrian Airlines flights and Air Austral flights are some airways that have flights to Seychelles from India. The national carrier Air Seychelles also connects Mumbai and a few other cities to the island nation.