A group of 115 islands, the Seychelles is found in the Indian Ocean, right off the Eastern coast of Africa. Blessed with amazing weather and great vistas all around, the average temperature never drops beneath 26°C – making it a complete tropical paradise.
Unsurprisingly for a group of islands, the country doesn’t share any borders but is also relatively close to the islands of the Maldives and Madagascar. Seychelles also has a large Indian/Sri Lankan influence, due to its proximity to those two countries. Combine this with the local Creole culture, a history of both French and English colonialism, and you get the Seychelles unique brand of personality. The capital city of Victoria is the easiest place to see all of these influences blending together, with quaint architecture, delectable restaurants, and fantastic sights like the National Museum and the botanical gardens.
Due to the aforementioned colonial past imposed by both the French and English in the past, Seychelles now has three official languages, the aforementioned French and English, as well as the native Creole. Creole is spoken across a number of Caribbean and African countries, each with their own dialect, slang, and slightly different pronunciations. Seychellois Creole is more French-based than English-based, and saying hello is as easy as allo, and thank you is similarly recognisable to French in the fact that it’s mersi. In terms of money, the Euro is widely accepted in most places, but the local currency is the Seychellois rupee - of which one roughly equates to 51p (at time of writing).
The main island in Seychelles is Mahé Island, which is home to the capital city of Victoria and several amazing beaches. The most popular beach on the island is Beau Vallon Beach and its home to several first-class hotels, welcoming white sands, and so much more. Outside of the city, there are great hiking trails found on the island, with plenty of spectacular views on offer from all around. Those who like exploring under the water as well as above it will find many endangered species like the aldabra giant tortoise and green turtles moving about, as well as the hawksbill above water.
Of the other islands, there are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Seychelles – found on Praslin Island and on the Aldabra Atoll. Vallee de Mai on Praslin Island is a a wonderful nature reserve and park quite unlike anywhere else in the country, offering a plethora of ancient palm forests and beautiful foliage. Aldabra Atoll is a little harder to get to, but when you do, it’s more than worth it. The world’s second-largest coral reef, it’s a diver’s paradise.
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