How do you get there? How do you get around on the islands, and from island to island? And when should you go to the Seychelles? I will try to answer these questions in this post. My boyfriend and I were in the Seychelles for two weeks in June last year (2018). An amazing and memorable journey. But even though the Seychelles consists of 115 islands we only visited three of them; Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Here we got to experience great nature, beautiful beaches, exciting sea life and coconuts out of the ordinary. In this post I’m going to give you some general information about the Seychelles that can help you if you´re going there one day. I will also write articles about the different islands we visited so you can get a few tips about where to stay and what to do.
The Seychelles is a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The majority of the population lives on the three biggest islands, that being Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. On the main island Mahé you can find one of the world’s smallest capitals, Victoria. About 90% of the population in the Seychelles lives there. There are three official languages on the islands; English, French and Creole, and the currency they are using is Seychelles Rupee (SCR). 100 SCR equals about 6,4 EUR / 7,3 USD (numbers from january 2019).
How to get there
Our flight was with the Emirates from Oslo to Mahé, where we started our vacation. We had a stopover in Dubai and had a couple of hours at the airport there. You can also fly with KLM (from Oslo) and then have a stopover in Amsterdam. But then you also have a stopover in Paris and also continue your travel with a new airline; Air France.
When you arrive at the airport you have to go through immigration. People from most countries do not need a visa for shorter stays at the Seychelles, but some documents need to be shown. For example a passport which is valid at the arrival and departure date, a valid return or onward ticket, accommodation(s), how you can be reached during your stay at the Seychelles, and last, but not least, you need enough money during your whole stay. You have to be able to show that you have a minimum of 150 USD per day, which is about 130 EUR. Is all of this in order you can stay there for up to 3 months, according to Immigration and Civil Status Seychelles.
Keep a pen in your hand luggage…
We got through the immigration control in no time, but be aware that the line can get much longer if you arrive in a fully booked airplane (our flight wasn’t). You get the immigration papers before landing so it is a good idea keeping a pen in your hand luggage. Fill out the papers you are going to show in immigration while you’re still on the plane, and save yourself a lot of time when you land. It can also be a good idea to have tickets and information from the hotel printed out and in your hand luggage. That will make everything much easier.
How to get around on the islands
From the airport we took a taxi to the hotel. There are taxis both at Mahé and Praslin, and also a few at «traffic free» La Digue. There isn’t a taximeter in the taxis so make an agreement on the price in advance. In addition to this, taxis aren’t particularly cheap either so we explored other ways to get around. It is possible renting cars at Mahé and Praslin, but we didn’t do this. It would probably be very handy to have a car at our hands, but in the Seychelles they drive on the left side of the road, the roads are small, and the traffic is not quite the same as home. We decided to stick to taking the bus, using bikes and our feet.
At Mahé and Praslin you can catch the bus to get practically anywhere you want and you only pay 7 SCR (about 0,45 EUR / 0,5 USD) per ride. If you want to go far you most likely need to change buses and then you have to pay another 7 SCR. But it’s still ridiculously cheap (at least for Norwegians). The buses goes several times a day, also on weekends, og they drive all over the island. It’s far from the standard we have in the buses at home, but for me that was part of the experience.
In La Digue we rented bikes. This was also an experience in itself. It was something charming about cycling around on old bikes from beach to beach. La Digue is told to be traffic free, but there is some golf carts that works as taxis. There is also smaller trucks that deliver goods to the stores and restaurants. Besides from that, most people are using bikes. We got to rent bikes at our hotel. You have to pay 150 SCR for one day, but 100 SCR per day if you rent for more than one day. For instance, are you renting a bike for three days you’re paying 300 SCR. But if you on the other hand rent from day to day, you pay 450 SCR. Hope this makes sense. It was absolutely worth it for an easy and fun way to get around the island.
How to get from island to island
Now I have written a little bit about how you get around on the islands, but to get from one island to another you can choose between taking the ferry or a plane (only between Mahé and Praslin). We took the ferry from Mahé to Praslin, from Praslin to La Digue, and from La Digue to Mahé. We travelled with an agency called Cat Cocos and payed a total of 130 EUR / 150 USD per person for all the trips (economy tickets). The trip from Mahé to Praslin takes about an hour, and about 15 minutes between Praslin and La Digue. It is possible to buy a «direct ticket» between Mahé and La Digue, but you still have to stop by Praslin on the way.
There is two boat companies, Cat Rose’s and Cat Cocos. We almost lost our boat from Praslin to La Digue because both the taxi driver and the lady that worked for the company we were traveling with pointed at the boat from Cat Rose’s and told us that «there is your boat». Of course we did not get on board when we showed them our tickets, and then we saw Cat Cocos right around the corner. Luckily for us they had to wait for another boat before they could leave, so everything worked out in the end after all.
In retrospect, one of our regrets were that we didn’t take the plane between Mahé and Praslin. We had read about everyone getting sea sick at the boat ride from Mahé to Praslin, «but we never get sea sick», we thought. But we did. Even on the first trip were the waves weren’t that big we got sea sick. The trip takes about 20 minutes by plane and costs about 70 EUR / 80 USD per person, but if we are ever going back I’m happy to pay a little extra taking the plane in stead of the boat.
When you should go to the Seychelles
The location of the Seychelles south of the equator makes it warm and humid all year round. The temperatures is between 24 and 31 °C, and in the ocean it’s between 27 and 29 °C. In my opinion it’s a good thing that it doesn’t get hotter than this. The temperatur is just right to be able to walk around outside exploring things. But some periods throughout the year is better than others. The months between May and October are the driest, abut July and August are also considered the coldest months (with the average temperature of 27 °C). There is thus little rainfall this period, but a little bit colder. The hottest period is between November and April. But this is also the rainy season, especially between December and March. April is considered the hottest month.
What was it like when we were there?
We were there, as I mentioned earlier, in June. This was a great time to travel, even with a little bit of rain a couple of days. It doesn’t rain the way it does back home in Norway were the rain doesn’t stop for days. It rains heavily for a couple of minutes, and then it’s over.
The most popular time to go to the Seychelles is between December and March, and i July and August. But the prices are turned up during school breaks. So if you want a cheaper trip and the beaches a little bit more to yourself I would definitely go between May and October.