This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Seychelles general information

Seychelles general information

What you need to know

Know before you go

As you plan your trip, and before you travel, we recommend that you check the latest Foreign Office advice on the places that you're going to - regardless of where you are travelling to, or how you are travelling. See FCO’s Seychelles advice here, or its info on other countries here.
We urge you to do this, as we recommend that all our travellers keep themselves up to date with the current foreign office advice on their destination countries.

Setting the scene for a holiday in Seychelles

Travellers on holidays in the Seychelles don't always realise, but the islands fall into two distinct groups: the tall, granitic Inner Islands found on the relatively shallow Seychelles' plateau, and the low-lying, coralline cays, reef islets and atolls of the Outer Islands. The distance from Seychelles International Airport on Mahé to the Outer Islands' atolls ranges from 230 to 1,150 kilometres; the sheer distance making the vast majority of them inaccessible to all but Mother Nature.

Almost all Seychellois live on the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, making these Inner Islands the centre of everyday cultural and economic activity, as well as a great holiday destination. However, with a resident population of only 82,000, the smallest of any sovereign state in Africa, there are plenty of spectacularly beautiful, wholly untouched environments to explore, both on land and in water. Steep, forested mountains rise from golden sands and turquoise waters, whilst coral reefs teem with multi-coloured marine life and gargantuan corals; all are alluring prospects for a great Seychelles holiday.

A brief history of the Seychelles

Unsurprisingly given its breathtaking natural beauty and mid-ocean location, battle for control of Seychelles has been fiercely contested over the years. Named, in 1756, after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV's Minister of Finance, this uninhabited archipelago had served as a transit point for Arab, Portuguese and British traders for many centuries before.

It came under British control from French in 1812, was granted independence as a Commonwealth republic in 1976, and following a coup d'etat in 1977 became a socialist one-party state until, in 1993, multiparty politics prevailed. With no indigenous population but a stream of interested parties, the current Seychellois (people of the Seychelles) are composed of immigrants, mostly of French, African, Indian and Chinese descent. In line with historic influences, French and English are official languages, along with a French-based Creole.

A few facts about the Seychelles

Seychelles Time Zone: Seychelles is 4 hours ahead of GMT, 3 hours ahead of British Summer time and 2 hours ahead of European summer time. New York is 9 hours behind the Seychelles and San Francisco 12 hours behind.

Seychelles Currency: The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) which is divided into 100 cents. Banks are generally open Monday to Saturday and all process travellers' cheques and foreign exchange; ATMs are available at major banks and Mahé airport. For the latest exchange rate, we suggest you use a currency converter. (Type in codes 'GBP' for British Pounds or USD for US dollars, and the code for the Seychelles Rupee, which is 'SCR'.)

Seychelles Visas: Visas are not required for British passport holders, though passports must have a minimum of six months remaining validity. An onward/return ticket and proof of sufficient funds are also required.

Health in the Seychelles: No vaccinations currently required to enter Seychelles unless travellers are from or have passed through a yellow fever area within 6 days preceding arrival. There is currently no malaria in the Seychelles, and the authorities work hard to prevent outbreaks of other mosquito-borne diseases. Always check the latest recommendations with your doctor before you travel.

Seychelles Language: There are three official languages in Seychelles: Creole (a French-based dialect), English and French.

Seychelles Food: Local Creole cuisine is a fusion of French, Indian and Oriental influences, though lodges will usually cast a global culinary net. Fresh seafood and exotic fruits and spices are particularly recommended.

Seychelles Climate: See our page on the Weather and Climate in the Seychelles for our comments on the best time to visit these islands.

Our top picks for holidays to Seychelles

We'll always tailor-make your Beach for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.

Itinerary image

Boxfish Island Holiday

8 days • 2 locations

Discover Mahé and Praslin islands on this slightly offbeat and excellent-value Seychelles trip combining green mountains, local culture and time on the beach.

US$2,560 - US$3,380 per person

Itinerary image

Squirrelfish island holiday

6 days • 2 locations

Combine laid-back La Digue and a hidden corner of Mahé Island, staying in two very luxurious hotels with the option to simply do nothing or explore these stunning islands.

US$2,490 - US$2,930 per person

Itinerary image

Damselfish island holiday

5 days • 1 locations

Laid-back luxury on the private Denis Island. Surrounded by protected waters with commendable focus on sustainability, this is perfect spot to disconnect from the world after a safari.

US$4,040 - US$5,330 per person

Itinerary image

Triggerfish island holiday

4 days • 1 locations

Desroches is beautifully rugged and remote island atoll with stunning villas, slick Four Seasons service and exciting array of adventures above and below the waves.

US$3,380 - US$7,480 per person

Itinerary image

Hawkfish Island holiday

4 days • 1 locations

Frégate is an idyllic private island skirted by white sand and coral reefs that’s home to just 17 villas and incredible wildlife. The perfect mix of romance, indulgence, adventure and conservation.

US$12,890 - US$20,360 per person

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link

New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team