Top tip: Carrying coco-de-mer causes back ache
The Seychelles Archipelago spreads over 150,000 square miles of Indian Ocean; located Northeast of Madagascar, there are 115 islands and islets divided into two groups: the Granitic and Coralline. Both groups differ from each other in their distinct geologies.
The Granitic is a unique dense cluster of 42 islands (the only mid-ocean granite rock formation in the world) with a lush green tropical landscape. Higher slopes sustain large areas of indigenous forest with cinnamon and tea growing areas.
The Coralline islands are relatively remote, comprising the outer islands lying between 230 and 1550km from Mahe. They boast many pristine habitats and untouched coastlines – currently only two of theses islands, Desroches and Alphonse, offer accommodation.
The largest of the Seychelles islands, Mahe, houses the international airport and bulk of modern tourist facilities. The capital Victoria is a port town set amongst the island’s lush vegetation and wide selection of classic white sand beaches. Mahe Island alone offers over 70 beaches.
The islands lie outside the cyclone belt but receive monsoon rains from November to February with the northwest trade winds. This hot and humid season gives way to a period of cooler weather, though the temperature rarely falls below 23°C, and rougher seas when the trade winds blow from the southeast (May to September).
Facts and Figures
|Area||455.3 sq km (175.8 sq miles)|
|Population||84,000 (2009 estimate).|
|Capital||Victoria (Mahé). – population 24,970 (2002)|
|Language||The official language is Seselwa; Creole, English and French are also spoken.|
|Religion||92 per cent Roman Catholic with Anglican, Seventh Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha’i and other minorities.|
|Time||GMT + 4|
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