Seychelles – Things to know & travel tips (Mahé, Praslin & La Digue)

Categories: Travel reports, Africa, Seychelles

White dream beaches, crystal clear waters, sun and palm trees: The Seychelles is the epitome of an island paradise ❤ For 2 weeks we have explored the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and explored the most beautiful sights: from beautiful beaches, fascinating natural parks to hidden photo spots, animals and beautiful viewpoints. We will be happy to provide you with all the information you need for a holiday in the Seychelles in the following post.

Seychelles

Geography of Seychelles

The Seychelles is a group of islands inthe Indian Ocean that belong to Africa topographically and are spread up to 1,600 km from the African continent on a sea area of about 450,000 km2. About 10 of them (455 km2) occupy the islands. The Seychelles region consists of a total of 115 islands (42 granite islands and 73 coral islands), which are divided into the two main groups Inner Islands and Outer Islands.

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The Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean

Things to know about Seychelles

Here are some interesting facts about the Seychelles:

– The Seychelles has about 95,000 inhabitants
– The capital is Victoria
– The official languages are Seychellescreol, English and French
– The archipelago belongs to Africa topographically
– The Seychelles consists of 115 islands, according to the geology there are 42 granite islands and 73 coral islands
– The Seychelles has been independent of great Britain since 1976
– Left-hand traffic in the Seychelles is considered a remnant of the British colonial period
– The currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) – 1 EUR is about 15 SCR
– The Seychelles has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Vallée de Mai on Praslin and the Aldabra Atoll
– In the Seychelles there is a rich endemic flora and fauna, only three species of giant tortoises
– The World’s largest colony of giant tortoises is found on Aldabra Atoll with 150,000 Aldabra giant tortoises
– The Seychelles is the first country in the world to include nature conservation in its constitution
– 90 of today’s population are descendants of the settlers who immigrated from various French colonial territories and their African labour slaves
– The population is 82.3 Catholic, about 7.7 are Protestants or Anglicans
– The Seychelles palm (Coco de Mer) is an endemic species of palm found exclusively in the Seychelles. The seeds of Coco de Mer are the largest seeds of the plant kingdom, weighing up to 30 to 40 kg.

Flights from Germany to the Seychelles

The Seychelles is served by many different airlines. The only direct flight from Germany is offered by the airline Condor. Within 9 to 10 hours you can get directly to the Seychelles from Frankfurt – it can’t be more comfortable and easier. Depending on the time of travel, tickets vary between 500 and over 1,000 euros. Other alternatives include stops in Abu Dhabi (Etihad), Addis Ababa (Ethiopian), Doha (Qatar), Dubai (Emirates), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines). There are also direct flights from Vienna, Zurich, London, Johannesburg or Paris.

We decided to fly directly with Condor from Frankfurt because we wanted a direct flight without annoying changeovers and waiting time at the transfer airport. We were relatively flexible from the travel time, but wanted to escape the cold winter months of January/February, so we asked on the Condor page about the airfares during this travel period. And behold: For February we had found an unbeatably cheap offer for a whopping 500 EUR including luggage and great flight times. We didn’t really have to think long and the click on the booking button was done within a few minutes 🙂

Entry and visa requirements

German nationals do not need a visato enter the Seychelles. A residence permit will be issued upon arrival at the border. On our passport stamp we had seen that we had been granted a stay of 3 months. For entry, passport, return or onward travel ticket, hotel booking and sufficient financial resources are required (approx. 150 USD per day). We did not carry out any checks on hotel bookings or financial resources upon entry.

On the plane, we received two entry, customs and health forms from the crew shortly before landing, which we filled out on the plane and submitted upon arrival. It should be noted that imports of plants and parts of plants as well as animals and animal products are prohibited. More information can be found on the website of the Foreign Office.

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Immigration at Mahé Airport

The main islands of the Seychelles

The Seychelles region consists of a total of 115 islands (42 granite islands and 73 coral islands), which are divided into the two main groups Inner Islands and Outer Islands. Here we introduce you to the 6 islands that we visited and discovered on our Seychelles trip.

Mahé

We spent a total of 6 days on the main island of Mahé and therefore had enough time to explore the most beautiful sights of the largest island of the Seychelles with our rental car. And Mahé really has a lot to offer: from dreamy beaches, a small capital to hidden photo spots and beautiful viewpoints.

All travel reports from the island of Mahé can be found here.

Praslin

Praslin is located by ferry about an hour from Mahé and with a total area of 37.58 km2 is the second largest island of the Inner Seychelles. The island, which is 12 km long and 5 km wide, has a population of about 9,000. The vallée de Mai nature reserve, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, is located in the interior of the island. Here is the endemic palm species Coco de Mer (Seychelles palm), which occurs exclusively in the Seychelles. In addition to numerous, dreamlike beaches, there is another nature reserve on the island: Fond Ferdinand. Near Praslin are other islands such as Curieuse, Silhouette, Cousin, Ile Ronde, La Digue and Ile St. Pierre.

All travel reports from the island of Praslin can be found here.

La Digue

La Digue is the smallest of the three main islands of the Seychelleswith its size of just under 10 km2. It is located about 50 km northeast of Mahé and about 6 km east of Praslin. The 5 km long and 3 km wide island has a population of just 2,200. The majority of the inhabitants live in the west of the island, as here, with the port and the main town of La Passe, the largest settlement with infrastructure is located on the island. On the other hand, the south and east of the island are largely uninhabited.

The beach Anse Source d’Argent with its extraordinary granite formations is considered a dream beach and is regularly listed among the top 10 beaches worldwide. Therefore, La Digue is a very popular tourist destination overall, especially for day trippers from other islands and cruise guests. On the small island it can get quite crowded during the day.

All travel reports from the island of La Digue can be found here.

Curieuse Island

The island of Curieuse is only about one kilometer from Praslin and is therefore perfectly accessible with a small boat trip as part of a day trip. Like all granite islands in the Seychelles, Curieuse belongs to the Inner Seychelles. The island is only 3 km2 in size, has no notable infrastructure and is inhabited by very few people. Curieuse served in the 19th century as a leper’s camp for leprosy sufferers. Today there is a research station for water turtles, a lot of endemic flora and fauna as well as a colony of Seychelles giant turtles. And that is exactly why the island is visited by many tourists every day.

Curieuse Island is open to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entering the island, an entrance fee of 200 SCR per person (approximately 13 EUR) is due, which is to be paid in a small kiosk not far from the main beach.

You can read more about our day trip to Curieuse Island here.

Cerf Island

Cerf Island is located about 4 kilometres off the northeast coast of the main island of Mahé. The 1.27 km2 island is privately owned and has several accommodations: from simple guest houses to high-priced hotels. It is also covered with a tropical rainforest and offers several beaches. There is no real village on the island, but it has about 100 inhabitants, most of whom commute to Mahé by boat every day.

The highlight of the island for us was the small colony of giant tortoises,which found their home here on Cerf Island. We were able to claw the turtles, pet them and give them a few leaves to eat. A great experience!

You can read more about our day trip to Sainte Anne Marine Park and Cerf Island here.

Félicité Island

The Island of Bliss is the fifth largest island in the Seychelles and measures 2.68 km2. Until the 1970s, today’s private island was a coconut plantation with a population of just 50 people. In the late 19th century, Félicité was the home of Sultan Abdullah of Perak, who was accused of murder and exiled by the British on Félicité Island – only years later he was released. In 2007, the Seychelles government granted a 99-year lease for the then uninhabited island, which was taken over by a Singapore-based real estate developer in 2013. The Six Senses Zil Pasyon Resort was built here within three years.

Félicité Island is one of the so-called “satellite islands” of La Digue, with its neighbouring islands of Ile Cocos, Les Soeurs and Marianne. Only 1 km from Félicité, the dream island of Ile Cocos and the surrounding sea area (“Ile Cocos Marine National Park”) have been protected since 1996 and are among the most beautiful snorkeling and diving spots in the Inner Seychelles.

You can read more about our day trip to the luxury resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon on Félicité Island here.

Connections & transfer between the islands

Between the three most visited islands Mahé, Praslin and La Digue there are two ferry companies that connect the three islands. The Cat Cocos ferry runs 3 times a day between Mahé and Praslin and 1-3 times a day between Mahé and La Digue. There are 3 different booking classes:

Main deck (50 EUR)
Upper deck (55 EUR)
Business class “Lazio Lounge” (70 EUR)

We had decided for the ticket on the upper deck, because here you have a really great view of the island world of the Seychelles. The journey time is about one hour, between Mahé and La Digue about 90 minutes. The second ferry company, Cat Rose, connects Praslin and La Digue daily with 5 to 8 departures. The journey time between the two islands is about 15 minutes. We had bought our ferry tickets through SeyFerry.com. After the purchase process, you will receive the vouchers for the journeys by e-mail, which you then have to exchange for “real” tickets at the ferry terminal. Right next door you can drop off your suitcases, which are then conveniently loaded onto the ferry.

We were very lucky, because at our ferry crossings the sea was very calm. If this is too uncertain, you can also fly from Mahé to Praslin within 15 minutes,e.g. with Air Seychelles, which offer more than 170 scheduled flights per week on this route.

The best time to visit

The Seychelles is generally a year-round destination,with the year divided into a dry and rainy season. In the dry season (May to October) stronger winds blow due to the south-east monsoon, which stirs up the sea. In the rainy season (November to April) you have to expect increased rainfall but also warmer, windier temperatures. However, the rain showers are usually short and intense, i.e. often the sun shines again after half an hour. The Seychelles is located in the tropical climate zone, i.e. there is a high humidity all year round.

We were very satisfied with our travel month of February. Even though the weather forecast actually predicted 14 days of rain, we didn’t have that much rain in the end. On Mahé it had rained short and intense every day, often even at night. On praslin and La Digue, on the other hand, we had almost no rain at all. So perfect 🙂

Annual temperature Seychelles

Car rental, bus, taxis and bicycles

It quickly became clear to us that we would book a rental car for the whole time on the two islands of Mahé and Praslin, because we didn’t just want to lie in the hotel on the beach, but wanted to see a lot of the islands. Normally we book our rental cars for our holidays always via billiger-mietwagen.de. However, since we wanted to pick up our car on Mahé at the airport and drop it off at the ferry, and this combination was unfortunately not possible with billiger-mietwagen.de, we decided on a different provider. The choice has fallen to Seychelles-info.com due to the very good price-performance ratio. It is always important to us that we have an unlimited number of kilometres and that an additional driver is included free of charge. And since there is left-hand traffic in the Seychelles, it was still important for us to book a rental car with automatic. The insurance cover was basically in order, but the self-allocation of EUR 500 was relatively high. It is good if, like us, such a sum can then be covered by supplementary insurance (e.g. via credit card).

On Mahé and Praslin you can also use the public buses if you don’t want to take a rental car. These are very cheap, but there can sometimes be longer waiting times and you are simply not as flexible as with your own car.

The number 1 means of transport on La Digue are besides your own feet the countless bicyclesthat can be rented anywhere on the island for 7 to 10 euros per day. With these you can easily and easily get from A to B. Cars are only allowed on the island if they are taxis or transport vehicles. Therefore, you will find many electric club cars, which are preferably used as taxis.

SIM Cards

In order to always be online on our Seychelles journey, we wanted to buy a SIM card for the Seychelles in advance from Amazon, as we always do in the US. But since the choice wasn’t that great, we decided to just buy a SIM card on site at the airport in Mahé – and that worked fine 😊

Directly at the exit of the airport you will find two different stands of mobile operators in the arrivals hall:
A blue, round stand from Cable & Wireless
A red, angular stand by airtel

We bought our SIM card from Cable & Wireless because this provider was recommended to us in different forums. At the stand you can choose between different prepaid rates from 2 GB to 20 GB data volume. We chose a card with 4 GB of data at a price of 399 SCR (about 27 EUR). The staff at the counter also have the right tool to insert the SIM card into the mobile phone and also take over the setup of the settings.

We always had a great welcome during our whole trip – even on secluded beaches or on our boat tours in the middle of the sea.

Supermarkets & Take Aways

We have always met our daily demand for drinks and snacks in one of the many Indian supermarkets. As a rule, these are slightly cheaper than the big supermarkets. When visiting the supermarket, one should of course bear in mind that the Seychelles is a remote island state and much needs to be imported. In order to get a better overview of the costs that can be incurred, we have written down a few food prices here:

» 5 litres of water: 25 SCR
» 1.5 litres of Coca Cola: 42 SCR
» 1 litre of juice: 25 to 40 SCR
» 1 baguette: 20 to 25 SCR
» 1 pack of margarine: 20 SCR
» 1 pack of sausages: 60 to 100 SCR
» 1 pack of cheese: 30 to 60 SCR
» 1 pack of noodles (500 grams): 15 SCR
» 1 glass of Nutella (750 grams): 150 SCR
» 1 chocolate bar: 10 SCR

The conversion rate is currently about 15 SCR = 1 EUR. The largest supermarket in the Seychelles is the STC Hypermarket (Google Maps) on the island of Mahé. If you have a self-catering apartment, you can also take care of yourself relatively well. Nevertheless, we recommend to try the local cuisine from time to time. Especially recommended are, for example, the many takeaways in the Seychelles, where you can get a delicious lunch and dinner quickly and cheaply.

Resorts, Hotels & Apartments

The Seychelles is certainly not a cheap destination in general. But holidays in the Seychelles don’t necessarily have to be expensive. If you look at the offers e.g. at Expedia, you will find accommodation in almost every price range on the individual islands: self-catering apartments, small and medium-sized hotels as well as luxury resorts. Prices here usually vary from 50 euros to well over 10,000 euros per night, such as in the Residence Villa with 4 bedrooms and 4 king-size beds at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles 🙂

We were accommodated in five different accommodations in the Seychelles and in fact in all price ranges:

» Mahé: 6 nights at Tropical Hideaway and 1 night at Hilltop Boutique Hotel
» Praslin: 4 nights at Acajou Beach Resort
» La Digue: 2 nights at La Diguoise Guesthouse and 1 night at Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie Resort

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

There are a total of 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Seychelles:

The Vallée de Mai is a national park in Praslin, Germany. The park was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1983. The Vallée de Mai is located in the heart of Praslin, home to the largest intact forest of the endemic Seychelles palm Coco de Mer, as well as many other endemic animal and plant species. The natural park with its 19.5 ha is one of the smallest national park areas in the world. We have written a separate article about our visit to the Vallée de Mai, which you can watch here.

In addition to the Vallée de Mai, Aldabra Atoll (the largest atoll in the Indian Ocean) is another World Heritage Site, also managed by the Seychelles Islands Foundation.

The most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles

The beaches of the Seychelles are certainly among the most beautiful beaches in the world, with the turquoise blue water, powdery sand and the fascinating granite rocks. What we particularly liked about the Seychelles is the fact that all the beaches here are public, i.e. even if the beaches are located on the grounds of hotels, you can enter them (partly with prior permission).

On the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue there are numerous beaches, some of which we have visited:

Mahé: Top 10 – The most beautiful beaches on the island of Mahé
Praslin: Top 5 – The most beautiful beaches on the island of Praslin
La Digue: Top 10 – The most beautiful beaches on the island of La Digue

Getting married in the Seychelles

If you hear the word Seychelles, you automatically think of white dream beaches, sun and palm trees as well as beach weddings and honeymoons. And this is actually the case: The Seychelles are the epitome of an island paradise and are considered an ideal destination for those who want to marry and honeymooners.

The great advantage of a wedding in the Seychelles is that marriage is also recognised in Germany – for this you only need a translation of the wedding certificate and the so-called apostille. If you want to get married as a tourist in the Seychelles, you can either contact the Seychelles Civil Status Office yourself or arrange the wedding easily through a wedding planner or the hotel. SeyVillas even has a wedding configuratorwhere you can easily and quickly click together the dream wedding on the beach online and keep an eye on the price at all times.

And we know what it’s like to get married on a dream island: in 2018 we got married on the beach of the Robinson Club Maldives ❤ The travel report of our beach wedding in the Maldives can be found here.

Wedding Pavilion, La Digue, Beach Wedding, Seychelles, Marriages, Travelreport

Wedding pavilion at Grand Anse on La Digue

More travel blogs & links

Here you will find more blogs and pages that have written about the destination Seychelles:

Cloud-wide – Travel reports, travel tips & much more
Lilies Diary – 7 fantastic tips for the island paradise
We Travel The World – 12 wonderful things you should have seen and done
SeyVillas – Customer Travel Reports

Our travelogues from the Seychelles

White dream beaches, crystal clear water, sun and palm trees: the Seychelles are the epitome of an island paradise. For 2 weeks we explored the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and saw the most beautiful sights: From gorgeous beaches, fascinating nature parks to hidden photo spots, animal islanders and beautiful viewpoints.Route Seychellen, Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Kombination, Reisebericht Seychelles: Things to know & Travel Tips (Mahé, Praslin & La Digue)
Seychelles: Travel Planning, Flight & Rental Car
Mahé: Things to know & places of interest
Mahé: Tropical Hideaway Apartement & Beau Vallon Beach
Mahé: Victoria – Things to do & beautiful photo spots
Mahé: The Rock Pool (Ros Sodyer) at Anse Takamaka
Mahé: Top 10 most beautiful beaches on the island
Cerf Island: Snorkeling in Sainte Anne Marine Park
Praslin: Things to know & places of interest on Praslin
Praslin: Acajou Beach Resort on the Cote d’Or Beach
Praslin: Fond Ferdinand – Coco de Mer Nature Reserve on Praslin
Praslin: Vallée de Mai – UNESCO National Park on Praslin
Praslin: Top 5 most beautiful beaches on the island of Praslin
Curieuse Island: A trip to the giant tortoises
Félicité: The luxury resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon
La Digue: Things to know & Travel Tips from the island of La Digue
La Digue: Cat Cocos Ferry & La Diguoise Guesthouse
La Digue: Crystal Water Kayaks – Transparent kayak tours on La Digue
La Digue: Anse Marron – Hike around the south coast of La Digue
La Digue: Top 10 – The most beautiful beaches on La Digue
La Digue: The resort Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie
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