Seychelles is closer to the African continent but closer to India in its heart. Officially the Republic of Seychelles, it is a collection of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. India and Seychelles have always had excellent bilateral relations and parts of the population of this island are originally Indians. Seychelles has been in the recent news as British Prince William’s ‘royal honeymoon destination’.
Seychelles is one of those exotic islands that can stand out among the best of any international beach destination. There are more than 60 amazing beaches here which you can visit. If your budget fits, you can also get a private beach to languid on.
One of the best things in Seychelles is that you get to scuba dive in the corals and swim with the whale sharks.
In Seychelles most of the islands are uninhabited and have been preserved as natural reserves. However, the ones you would stay in are also covered with dense forests in the interiors of the island and you would get a chance to spot the rich diverse wildlife that is rare to spot anywhere else in the world.
Seychelles is full of small towns with people speaking in French, English and you may find some speaking in Hindi too. You can also get Indian cuisine there. While eating out, please remember that leaving tips for the waiter is quite common in India but not in Seychelles. You may if you want to, but it is not the trend. Most restaurants would add the service charge which is about 10% – 15%.
You can plan a 1 to 2 week trip to Mahe. It is the largest island in Seychelles and around 90% of the people live there. The capital of Seychelles, Victoria is located in this island.
Mahe has excellent white sand beaches and you can also go scuba diving and kayaking. But wait, you could also go to the jungle, climb mountains and see waterfalls – all in one island! In fact not only Mahe but the most of Seychelles, is the land which is bountiful with nature’s blessings – it has scintillating beaches, dense jungles and sky kissed mountains.
Seychelles takes sustainable tourism very seriously so it is imperative for tourists to respect the natural environment there and maintain the beauty of that place as per their rules.
It is recommended that you hire a car for the day than take taxis. You can drive yourself and see around the island with a local guide.
There are numerous other spots in Seychelles where you can go. Beau Vallon is comparatively less populated than Mahe. It has a serene secluded beach with calm waves. Tourist footfall is comparatively less in this area. This place is also budget-friendly for you. Food options are plenty.
Seychelles has options for all types of tourists – be it budget or luxury. There are five star to adult only hotels as well as self catering car service. Wherever you stay you will surely enjoy this land of beautiful and innumerable beaches.
How to go
- There are direct flights from India. The Seychelles international airport is 8 km is the only international airport in the country.
- You may take a trip by water but it will be time taking and will add to your budget. However, if you have always wanted to take that special cruise in the ocean, go ahead.
- If you are planning a luxury travel, there are plenty of helipads available.
- There is no connecting bridge hence path by land is possible.
When to go
For Indian tourists, April to November is good as the find hotel prices comparatively lower and the weather pleasant. From December to March there are chances of cyclone and rain. Avoid July and August as a lot of people visit from the West making the accommodation prices increase.
Seychelles is very lenient towards tourists making it a hassle free entry and customs check. For Indians, they provide Visa on arrival.
The visa for Indians is for free for a maximum stay of 30 days and you will be asked to show return ticket and proof that you have funds of at least $150 for each day stay (per person). You may also be asked to show proof of hotel booking.
Trip cost will vary depending on your itinerary and choice of stay. From India, packages usually start at Rs. 100,000 and upwards for a 3 – 4 night stay.
Image credits: lonelyplanet.com, seychelles.org, seychelles.travel, continentcrossings.co.za, pitucaviaggi.it, indian-ocean.com, mycar.sc, www.adventure-life.com, reefandrainforest.co.uk, caandesign.com
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