English, French. Creole is widely spoken
Climate: Hot all year round. Heavy rain between November and May.
Flight Time: Approx 10 hours
Time Difference: 4 hours ahead of GMT. Recommended vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio.
What's it really like?
Note: Caution is needed when swimming or
snorkeling in the sea around the Seychelles after several
14 of the 150-plus Seychelles islands have now begun to embrace tourism albeit in a subtle way. A few have become exclusive playgrounds for the very rich and famous who pay up to a thousand pounds a night to be pampered, others are not so snooty and are no less appealing.
Mah� is the largest of the islands and home to 90% of the entire population while many of its smaller neighbours are uninhabited.
Thanks to good roads car hire is the ideal way to explore the coastline or inland forests through the national park.
Victoria is the capital and epicentre of workaday life for the Seychelles although it still proceeds at a leisurely pace.
It is divided into the old and new with the former beginning to look rather decrepit in places. Beyond the town most activity centres around the modern hotels.
Beau Vallon is the closest the Seychelles has to a 'resort' which is home to a couple of hotels and a public beach.
What all the islands have in abundance is dramatic unspoilt scenery on the doorstep of every hotel, unique wildlife and majestic beaches. Note: Very few of the islands have airstrips, some have limited amenities and many are occupied by just one hotel. Check with your tour operator
Health: Mah�, Praslin and La Dique all have hospitals. .
Voted the best in the world, the beaches of the Seychelles typify most people's vision of paradise hence they are repeatedly used for glamour photo-shoots or exotic film locations.
If solitude and truly stunning scenery are your heart's desire look no further - a combination of sand, palm trees and the crystal-clear Indian ocean creates the perfect location.
Most hotels provide Watersports.
Island hopping is a major pastime fueled by legends of buried pirate treasure and deserted beaches.
Some novices hire boats to explore but unless you are a complete adventurer it is advisable to take an organized excursion - you wouldn't want to stray onto the prison colony or run into rats on a desert island.
Guided nature walks and snorkeling are great ways to get closer to nature and witness the exotic creatures on land or the colourful sea life which inhabits the coral reefs.
The capital, Victoria is good for shopping trips and a handful of museums which preserve the culture and natural history of the islands.
Golf: Mah� has a nine-hole course. There's an 18-hole course on Praslin.
Mainly hotel-based entertainment. On police advice it is best not to walk out at night.
Most hotels provide their own discreet security patrols.
Bucket and Spade Brigade:
For active youngsters ensure your accommodation provides entertainment and children's facilities. Also, consider staying on Mah� which has better amenities and involves less traveling.