Each island is a fabulous Seychelles archipelago, whether the island of Mahe, the capital or former pirate haven - Frigate Island coconut palms Praslin or La Digue is fantastic, attractive in its own way and has a magnificent natural beaches with white sand, picturesque hotels, fits perfectly into the landscape and disturb the harmony of wild nature. Visited here will see that such a country of amazing beauty and color did not become a victim of mass tourism.
The Republic of Seychelles is located in the Seychelles and Amirantskih islands lying off the east coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean, south of the equator and north of Madagascar. The structure of the Seychelles includes 115 islands of volcanic and coral origin, spread over 1.3 million. Sq. km. Ocean, and the area of land actually is only 280 m. km. (lagoons and reefs - 455 sq. km.).
The islands are divided into four groups: Seychelles, Amirantes (Amirantskie), Farquhar and Aldabra. The largest islands - Mahe, Praslin, Silhouette and La Digue. The highest point in the archipelago - of Morne Seychellois (907 m.) On the island of Mahe, with the majority of the islands rises above sea level is only 2-5 m.
The capital of Victoria, located on the island of Mahe.
Seychelles are considered to be "paradise on earth", preserved in its original form the flora and fauna of the archipelago, its endless sandy beaches, which are considered among the best in the world. On the islands, numerous endemic (native to the wild only in this area) of plants and animals. The beauty of these small islands is extraordinary, even the most vivid imagination often can not imagine the beauty of this exotic place. Clean ocean water and clean sand with a pinkish tinge, unique living world as the islands themselves and their surrounding waters, equable climate and beauty of the underwater world attracts thousands of tourists. Virtually every island of the Seychelles is unique both in its nature and by recreational opportunities!
Mahe Island - the largest island (150 square meters. Km.), As well as economic and political center of the country. Here is where 90% of the population and is the most modern of the Seychelles International Airport.
Victoria - one of the smallest capitals in the world, the only major port of Seychelles and the only city in the country - any other town of the archipelago, as if he had not called, is essentially a village. The island's capital and around the archipelago attracts tourists for its numerous Creole restaurants, souvenir shops and shops, traditional house with awnings and openwork balconies, art galleries, colorful fruit and vegetable markets. City surrounded by greenery of coconut palms (though lately growing rapidly and modern, almost devoid of greenery, quarters), it is surrounded by plantations of cinnamon, and from the tops of the surrounding hills signal Craven Coeur Niola and mountains "Three Brothers" (699 m. ) offers fantastic views of the other islands of the archipelago. The main street is called the Victoria Street Market. On it, in addition to numerous shops, souvenir shops and markets is the famous Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (the beginning of XX century.), Rising in the middle of the central square of the famous "Clock Tower" (1903) - a miniature replica of "Clock Tower" London Vokskhollsky Bridge, Museum of Natural history, the largest supermarket in Seychelles (no larger than the average store somewhere in Europe), Craft Village, where artisans sell their works, the Museum of the United Party of the Seychellois people (SPUP), tiny Historical Museum, the richest botanical garden of Mont Fleury (1901 ) and an orchid garden, and two traffic lights - only (!!) throughout the archipelago. One of the main attractions is the market, which dumped the gifts of land and sea from across the country. Also interesting glass building of the Bank of Seychelles, "a grand structure" of the National Library and the Parliament, welded from scrap iron statue "Zom Lieb" (free man), a small Anglican church, blue and white Hindu temple 'gopuram' and a modest mosque (built by the inhabitants of the Comoros Islands), the International conference Centre (1994) - the only one in the island nations of the Indian Ocean room of this magnitude. All major hotels have disco, and the hotel "Barbaronz Beach" is a casino.
Victoria is located near the village of artisans already mentioned close to the magnificent building Creole Institute (closed to visitors), "Tea Tavern" on the slopes of the foothills of the Morne Blanc, halfway from Victoria to Port Glaude, Royal Garden "Le Jardin du Roi "at the Royal bay, workshop of the famous artist Michael Adams in the lush undergrowth bay Blue Hens, as well as a magnificent National Marine Park St. Anna between the islands of Mahe, Deer, Long, Medium, and Round. Silhouette Island, which lies directly opposite the beach Beau Vallon, is considered the "owner" of the most beautiful forests in the entire equatorial Indian Ocean - the island is sparsely populated, but for tourists all conditions (Silhouette is an experienced island "of the Company for the development of the islands") - the local "lodge "though small, but well equipped.
Mahé has sixty eight beaches! The coastline is indented with many bays - from the smallest Kas, Coral, Karan Beach, Solar, Major, Anse Nord-Ost and Rice, to larger - Beau Vallon, Anse Royale, Anse-a-la-Mosch, Grand -Ans, Anse Intendans (famous for the most beautiful beach on the island), Anse Takamaka and totally deserted beaches of the bay of Anse Souillac. Anse-a-la-Mosh and Anse Forbans differ in their calm waters and quiet and Beau Vallon, stretching from Fisherman's Cove to Waco Village, is the most famous and "civilized" island beach - a three-kilometer wide strip of fine sand , furnished with the most modern standards. You can use any of the major "water" forms of entertainment - there are 3 dive center, excellent place for windsurfing, water skiing, snorkeling and so on. D. Clean water and bottom provide ideal conditions for swimming. For surfers particular interest is the beach of Grand Anse, which is famous for almost two-meter wave length of three kilometers each. Most of the outlying beaches deserted or almost deserted, so find a place here for secluded relaxation is not a problem. A move from the beach to the beach you can easily "on foot" - on the shores of beautiful laid a lot, and that is important - just furnished footpaths. From this perspective, good forest area in the Sanssouci and the top of the Three Brothers (699 m), paved road between the harbor Gogh Anse Etoile and the heights of states in the Riviera Grand Bassin and Varig with a small waterfall, as well as Bel Ombre to the bay of Major.
Praslin is the second largest island of the archipelago, it is often called the "Garden of Eden" - there are such wonderful places as a unique national park Valley de Mai ("May Valley", included in the UNESCO World Heritage list), which grow more than 7 thousand. palms "coco de mer" and lives such a rare bird, as the black parrot, as well as beautiful landscapes of the region Côte d'Or, Volbert, Consolacion, Gulf of St. Anne, Cape St.. Mary bays Lazio, La is good, Petit -Lans-Kerlan et al. Here are a factory for the production of copra and vanilla plantations, as well as the beautiful beaches of Grand Anse, We, Georgette, Ari Matelo, Ari Petit Cour et al. on the island there are 8 and 4 dayv- fishing center, luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants, but just around the corner from them, you can see a mountain stream, covered with a green canopy of palms and breadfruit trees, and walking around this small island deliver a lot of pleasure to many tourists. Located near the island Reserve Arid - the second most important natural reserve of the archipelago. It is home to more seabirds than all the other islands combined.
Cousin Island (Cousin) is protected by the International Committee for the Protection of Birds - here, right on the path, the unique species of birds hatching, and on the beach of the island rare sea turtles lay their eggs. Bird Island (Ile-a-Vache, private ownership) - a haven of approximately 1.5 million. Black terns found here from May to November. Here lives a local celebrity - a giant tortoise Esmeralda. Denis Island, the northernmost island of the archipelago, often called the "empire of coconut trees" - is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Seychelles. The island is known for its fishing (5 world records for catching tuna is set in the vicinity of the island!) And the development of related services with the most modern equipment.
La Digue Island is considered the most comfortable area of the Seychelles, life here has not changed over the past 200 years - perfectly clean seabed, clear water, lush vegetation. The only transportation here - ox cart. The best place for the archipelago "landscape" photography is considered a "business card Islands" - LAS-bay and cape Thurso d'Argent, and the bay area Petit-Ari, Grand Anse, Anse Coco, Reunion, North, Chambers, Goulette, Gros- Roche, Banana and Fourmies provide an excellent opportunity for a relaxing holiday and to behold the majestic rocky landscapes. In La Pass, the island's capital, concentrated a large number of old Creole wooden houses, as well as a unique (but quite modern) largest hotel of the island - "La Digue Lodge", which was built with the local color and even having its own dive center. 4 km. north of La Digue island lies Felicite ("bliss") with luxurious vegetation.
Aldabra - the world's largest coral atoll (inner lagoon area of almost 200 square meters. Miles, included in the UNESCO World Heritage list), and the narrow straits of the atoll is divided into four segments, providing a regular flow of clean ocean water. Bottom of the lagoon is almost completely exposed at low tide, revealing thickets of corals and marine life. Aldabra is one of the few places in the world where you can see such a colony of giant tortoises (more than 152 thousand. Individuals), as well as many birds. But to get a lot of tourists is very difficult - the island is managed by the Seychelles and is considered a science station.
Many small islands ("Zil elvannien") are not less attractive to visit than the larger islands, long and well chosen by tourists. Islands Koetivi won fame for shrimp cultivation. Desroches, the main group Amirantskih islands, famous for underwater sports center hotel "Desroches Island Lodge", is considered the best dive center of the Indian Ocean, while the local underwater "wall" and coral "gardens" indescribably beautiful. D'Arros has a magnificent lagoon and a large grove of coconut palms, surrounded by magnificent coral sand. Farquhar archipelago is a group of small islands spread over 15 km. in length with a width of less than 1 km, and forming an atoll of 720 hectares. Here is engaged in the production of copra and fishing, but most of the tourists come here for diving and fishing in the waters of the 30-kilometer shallow Providence. Muay island belongs to a private person, but is fully equipped for the reception, as many are attracted to this tiny plot of land is not only an opportunity to soak up the silence and solitude on the beach, but also hope to find a supposedly left on this island pirate treasure - everyone who wants to include this all the possibilities. Frigate Island - the most easterly island of the Seychelles archipelago and the ancient refuge of pirates, today is a haven for "fat wallets" (here is one of the best luxury resorts in the country), old fruit trees, birds and turtles.
Sub-equatorial sea. Taken to distinguish between the two seasons: hot (December-May, the average temperature is about 29 C) and relatively cool (June-November, the average temperature of about 24 C), but the monsoon winds form two intermediate season - from June to October, the south-east "Suettsky monsoon "generates more dry weather, and from December to April, the north-east" monsoon Nord "brings a hot and humid weather. The annual rainfall in low coral islands is 500-1500 mm, and at higher elevations of granite - from 2200 mm. on the coast to over 3000 mm. on the high places of the island of Mahe and Silhouette. May and October-December - the best time for a holiday in the Seychelles.
Ahead of Moscow for 1 hour in the summer and two hours - in the winter.
English and French, and Creole dialect "Creole seselva" which has developed on the basis of French and local dialects.
Seychelles Rupee (SR), which is equal to 100 cents. Outstanding notes of denomination of 10, 25, 50, 100 rupees and coins of 1 and 5 rupees and 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents.
Visa arriving to the island tour is affixed directly to the airport "Victoria" on arrival. You must have a valid passport and a return ticket. At passport control, you must specify the location where you will be staying, as well as to prove that you have enough money to stay in the country.
Religion: The vast majority (over 88%) - Catholics, 8% - Anglicans. However, Christianity gets along well with religious syncretism of African origin, containing the elements of the cult of the ancestors.
Official holidays and weekends:
1 and 2 January - New Year's Eve.
Easter holy Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
May 1 - Labour Day.
June 5 - Liberation Day.
June 10 - Corpus Christi.
June 18 - Day of National Reconciliation.
June 29 - Independence Day.
November - All Saints' Day.
December 8 - Immaculate Conception.
December 25 - Christmas Day.
Festivals and Events:
The most spectacular and colorful festival of the country - Week Creole and passing within it "Creole Festival" held in late October. Representatives Creole diaspora come these days to the Seychelles for a big festival dedicated to all sides of the French-speaking Creole culture - from literature to cuisine, from music to architecture, dance, crafts, theater, from public lectures and to the fashion show.
Official classification of hotels in the country not only five hotels are certified IATA, however the level of service is extremely high. Even the small hotels and lodges are guaranteed to provide the level of service corresponding to the world standards. At the same time hotel rates and restaurant bills in the Seychelles are among the highest in the world.
Pensions are relatively cheap (about 500 SR), but the level of comfort, there is often not high enough, and besides, many of them, especially on. Mahe, are not located on the beach. "The self catering apartments", are about the same for the price, but the room more spacious. These bungalows or small houses, mostly built recently and are close to the sea, there is always enough modern equipment and good cuisine.
To stay on the islands should be reserved repellent and sunscreen. For safe passage away from the beaches should have a strong, but light shoes and sandals or flip-flops - fragments of coral and granite often have fairly sharp edges. Marine life is also unsafe, so before diving should consult with locals and instructors about these features. From May to October should be wary of the south-eastern currents.
Traditional cuisine Seychelles
Local cuisine was formed based on traditional recipes of the islanders, but under the strong influence of European - especially French culinary traditions. The most popular dish of the Seychelles - "pvason nuts Deery" (fish with rice). Rice is a member of most of the dishes or as an integral component, or as a side dish, and is accompanied with a binding sauce cayenne pepper, lemon juice and vegetable oil or extra vegetable snacks. Vegetables in general Seychelles table at the forefront, and they are eaten as raw, and as many pickles and stewed. Commonly used steamed breadfruit puree zhiramona (round pumpkin), pathology (local variety of cucumber), fried bringel (eggplant) with spices, steamed and fried bananas (they are at least 15 species), fried crust green papaya, pickled and fried Chinese cabbage, cassava, broth of "delirium" (young shoots, stems, flowers or vegetables), chips and a salad of breadfruit, a variety of sweets and pancakes with various fillings, and so on. d. naturally, all this splendor is accompanied abundance of spices of all kinds. Fruits - virtually unlimited quantities.
In the territorial waters of Seychelles found about a thousand species of fish, so imagine Creole table without fish dishes is simply impossible. Especially popular baked fish-bourgeois, salty fish sauce, small crabs "trululu" lobsters with lemon sauce, Shatin shark, scallops "tech-tech" in all kinds of octopus curry vegetables, crab giraffe in coconut curry, "Zurita" - octopus in coconut curry, as well as all kinds of grilled, smoked, stewed and fresh fish. In this case, for the preparation of each fish has its own recipe, which takes into account the quality of the meat and the type of product - the influence of French cuisine here is especially noticeable.
Meat is much less widespread - felt insular location of the state and the lack of land for livestock, but there are many exotic dishes - stew bat, roast pork in banana leaf, curry chicken, small barbecue sauce and other local fruits.
Typical local drinks - beer "Sabre", fermented coconut juice "feces" strong enough "Bacca" - fermented sugar cane juice, and lemon balm tincture "Enter zitronel." Imported a large number of first-class South African and French wines as well as all kinds of beer and stronger alcoholic beverages from around the world. A large number of consumed tea (black or vanilla), and became all the rage lately coffee imported from Ethiopia, Colombia and Yemen.
Political system Seychelles
Seychelles - Democratic presidential republic, a member of the British Commonwealth. The legislature - the National Assembly. Administrative territory is divided into 23 districts.
About 82 thousand., Mostly Seychellois (Seychelles Creole) and mestizos of European, Chinese and Indian origin.
At passport control and customs, you must have a passport valid for at least six months, completed the customs declaration, air-ticket. On the import or export of local and foreign currency there are no restrictions. Prohibits the importation of: weapons (including air and underwater hunting), vegetables, fruits, plants, not the canned meat and meat products. The Government spends a very strict policy to eradicate drugs and strictly pursuing their distributors. The first thing that can be read by anyone arriving at the airport, it's a warning about a 30-year prison sentence for someone who tries to enter to any drug. Banned the export (without printing and certificate): coconuts "coco de mer", shells, coral, tortoiseshell products. When checking out, every tourist has to pay at the airport toll of $ 40.
Medical aid Seychelles
No vaccinations are required. Recommended for enhanced protection from solar radiation and biting mosquitoes.
Working hours Seychelles
Banks are generally open from 8.30 to 13.00-14.00 on weekdays, and on Saturdays - from 8.30 to 11.00.
Road and driving rules
Movement of the left. Maximum speed in the city - 45 km / h outside urban areas - 65 km / h, and only on the highway leading to the airport - 80 km / h. Roads in most cases are in poor condition, the local population does not comply with the rules of virtually! In this case, the fuel is not cheap - 1 liter. gasoline costs about 6 SR, and the whole of. Mahe only 6 petrol stations (on Praslin - 2) running from 5.00 to 23.00 (in Beau Vallon - from 6.00 to 21, 00). On the last Saturday of each month, people from all over Mahe gather in Victoria to squander just received a salary. Therefore pandemonium these days is just awesome (by local standards) as on the sidewalks and on the roads. And find parking in the city center these days is either impossible or have to park on the rather expensive municipal parking with meters.
The bus network is well developed for such a small area. Buses run from 5.30 to 19.00 every 15 minutes. on major routes, and from thirty minutes to an hour - on the other. The cost of the ticket from West to 5 SR, depending on the distance.
Communication between the islands, even the most distant, is regularly carried out by numerous ferries and schooners, performing the role of "long-distance" buses. Tickets are sold on board (about 70 SR fare one way).
Taxi. On the island of Mahe operate a taxi. All cars are equipped with meters. The fee for the first kilometer of travel - 15 SR, for each next - 5 SR, the same at any time. The fee for one piece of baggage - 5 SR. Taxi stand in Victoria working around the clock on Albert Street, behind the mail.
Supply voltage is 220 V, 50 Hz. Sockets 3-pin, square-shaped.
Tipping is not customary - they usually already included in the room rates of hotels and restaurants. In the restaurant you can leave a "tea" to 10% of the bill, a porter or a maid - a few rupees. Taxi drivers agreed to pay over the counter, but if the taxi is leased for a long trip, it is appropriate to agree in advance the amount of the expense or round in a big way.
Helpful information Seychelles
Inquiries about the weather - 37-30-01.
The Russian Embassy in Victoria - 26-65-90, 26-61-22, fax - 26-66-53.
Aeroflot office - (248) 22-50-05.
Police, fire, ambulance - 999.
Central Hospital - 999 or 38-80-00.