Post Summary: Where are the Seychelles Islands and What to Know About Them.
So, where is Seychelles Islands located, and what are they? The stunning 115 islands that make up the Seychelles should need no introduction. Upon landing in Mahe at 8 am after a red-eye flight from Abu Dhabi with multiple screaming babies, we should have been exhausted.
However, as soon as we walked out of the tiny airport, there was no time to be groggy – we were in a complete paradise. A paradise made up of sparkling granite, crystal waters, and lush green jungles, unlike anything we had ever seen previously. If you’re wondering where is Seychelles, we have you covered!
Where is Seychelles Islands?
So, where is Seychelles located? The Seychelles islands lie off the coast of East Africa in the warm Indian Ocean north of both Madagascar and Mauritius and just about parallel with parts of Kenya. Situated between latitudes 4° and 11° S and longitudes 46° and 56° E.
The capital is Victoria and is on the main island of Mahe.
So what country do the Seychelles island chain belong to? The Seychelles are its own nation! If you are looking for a continent to claim the Seychelles, it would be Africa. And yes, it’s one of the best places to visit in Africa!
There are 115 islands, but the three main ones frequented by tourists are Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. I feel like the Seychelles don’t need many words to be described, so here are a couple of photos to get started.
Needless to say, the coastlines are pristine and the inland jungles feel (and are) uninhabited. The white sand seen in these photos feels like heaven under your feet. We learned that the white sand actually comes from the excrement of the abundant and beautiful parrotfish, which chow down on all the coral.
The weather here is idyllic for a tropical holiday as the average yearly temperature sits at about 84°F. However, what makes Seychelles one of the most idyllic places in the world is its exclusivity. The Seychelles are not a budget destination; the resorts here are for the honeymooners, celebrities, and elite.
It’s possible to have an entire secluded beach all to yourself while visiting. Of course, it is possible to visit the Seychelles on a more mid-range budget, but we will get to that later.
General Info on the Seychelles
- Official language: French language referred to locally as Seychellois
- Capital: Victoria on Mahe Island
- Currency used: Seychellois rupee (SCR)
- Population: 97,625
What’s the Food Like in the Seychelles?
First and foremost – food! You won’t find yourself going hungry in the Seychelles. The islands boast a fascinating amount of fresh, tropical fruits at low prices. Common treats are mangos, bananas, coconuts, and starfruits. These can be found at many roadside stands by popular beaches, or any resort will have an abundant selection of fresh fruits.
We had about three coconut waters a day at 30 rupees each right from the side of the road. If you have coconut water, make sure to have the fruit vendors cut open the shells for you when you are done so you can eat the flesh.
One can find fried chicken shops near any grocery store for main dishes – this seemed to be the local and budget option on the island. For about 40 Rupees, you will find yourself with a nice size portion of fried chicken and chips.
At restaurants around the island, there is spicy curry available almost anywhere and fresh local red snapper. For quick snacks, it’s easy to get your hands on samosas at small convenience stores.
The Seychellois take great pride in their local brew, and I can’t say I blame them. SeyBrew Lager is the national beverage of choice and is perfect for drinking while relaxing on an empty beach. The cost of a bottle at a grocery store is 25 rupees a bottle.
Another must-try is the local Takamaka Rum. Buying the rum at the store and mixing your own cocktails will be much more cost-effective than paying for mixed drinks at the resorts.
Accommodation in the Seychelles
So now that we have answered where Seychelles is located, it’s important to note that Seychelles is not a backpacking or cheap destination. Resorts are scattered throughout Mahe and then become few and far between the more exclusive La Digue and Praslin.
However, no resort in Seychelles comes at a low price. If it is in your budget to stay at a resort, then it is worth experiencing the high life in a beautiful setting for a few nights, especially if you’re on a special trip.
Airbnb and private guesthouses are also an option in Seychelles, but at $75-$100 a night, they are not quite as affordable as private rentals in the rest of the world. BUT you’re in Seychelles; it’s expensive, so you may have to buck up and bear it for one of the most beautiful places in the world.
It’s also worth noting that Seychelles is not a place where you can show up and “wing it.” Customs officials want to see proof that you will be laying your head somewhere during your stay and will ask for confirmations and addresses before letting you into the country.
The Wildlife and Land in the Seychelles
You’re technically in Africa now, so chances are there will be a couple of wildlife sightings. We found Aldabross tortoises throughout Mahe, which are huge creatures that are indigenous to Seychelles.
There are 150,000 Aldabra giant tortoises roaming free on Aldabra island for more tortoise fun, more than the human population in Seychelles! Other common sights are fruit bats, monkeys, and many different bright birds of Seychelles. Underwater the marine life is endless, but we particularly got excited when we found stingrays and parrotfish on the ocean floor.
The forestry here is nothing short of amazing. The islands get plenty of rain, so everything is just so gosh darn green and lush! Varying flora and fauna make up the vast majority of the islands. Any Google search of “Seychelles” will yield many results with large rocks positioned ever so perfectly in the Indian Ocean. These rocks are actually granite which are fragments of Gondwana, a supercontinent broken up 75 million years ago.
Craving Adventure in the Seychelles?
If sitting on an unspoiled beach all day doesn’t suit your fancy, then there is plenty of outdoor activities to keep occupied. We enjoyed hiking through the jungle and found that to be one of the best things to do in Seychelles. The views are 110% worth the effort, and there is always something beautiful waiting around the corner.
Ziplining at SMAC Adventures is also another great way to get the adrenaline pumping in Seychelles. Located on Mahe at Constance Ephelia resort, these guys running the show here are fun, energetic, and can zip line across the jungle, like monkeys.
Many resorts will offer bodyboards, stand-up paddleboards, snorkel gear, and other various water activities to keep everyone active. On some of the more public beaches like Beau Vallon and Anse Royale, there is equipment to rent if you are not staying at a resort. I would recommend bringing some snorkel gear from home or buying it at a Supermarket if where you are staying does not have supply gear.
The Lovely Seychellois People
The locals here are delightful and trustworthy. I mean, it’s hard to be a grumpy liar when you live in paradise. Needless to say, we found that almost everyone had a smile on their face. Since the islands are so exclusive and cater to a different type of holiday goer, it seemed people were happy to have their home country at just the right tourism capacity. The locals speak Seychellois Creole, but English and French are widely understood.
General Advice for Visiting Seychelles
So now that you know where the Seychelles island is located here’s some general travel advice for you!
- Don’t arrive without a place booked or without proof of onward travel. You will be asked for both of these things at customs.
- We read on Wikitravel that you must carry a large sum of cash on you to prove to customs you could afford your stay. We were not asked for this, nor was anyone else that we saw dealing with immigration.
- A car is highly recommended if you want to travel around Mahe and don’t feel like dealing with the bus. We paid €35 a day for a pleasant compact car from Maki Car Rentals. Petrol is very affordable in Seychelles as well. Driving at night is not for the faint of heart here. Crime isn’t really a problem, but no streetlights, mountainous roads, and people walking everywhere are. The whole island of Mahe is driveable in a couple of hours. Read our rental car tips post here.
- Is Seychelles safe? A valid question as they lie right off the coast of East Africa. There is very little crime in Seychelles and we felt safer traveling here than many places in the US, Europe, and even parts of Australia.
- The Euro is a widely accepted form of currency, although the Seychellois rupee is the national currency.
- There are plenty of small supermarkets on Mahe. We also found everything we could possibly need at a jumbo hypermarket to the south of Victoria.
- The main airport is tiny and we found security to be a breeze. However, we arrived 55 minutes before our scheduled flight out and got grilled and threatened of missing our flight since we were not there one hour ahead. So don’t do that…
- Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue are the three main islands for people to visit. Cat Coco’s ferries run between all of them.
- Tap water in Seychelles is safe to drink, but we went the extra mile and made sure we only drank the water from our Lifestraw Go bottles to be completely safe.
- US Citizens can travel to the Seychelles visa-free up to 30 days. After that, visitors can apply for a visa extension of up to three months.
- When should you visit Seychelles? June – August are fantastic times to visit!
So where are Seychelles Islands? Never ask again now and just plan your trip!
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. Try World Nomads for competitive short term plans. Read our full review here.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel around the world for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.