A veritable Garden of Eden with its rare and unique flora and fauna, the islands protect more than 46 percent of its territory with conservation and natural reserves.
Its virgin beauty can be witnessed in the uncrowded white beaches, swaying palms, striking grey and pink boulders, untouched forests, bird sanctuaries, exotic hideaways and unspoilt underwater riches.
Ecological treasures the Seychelles boast include the world's smallest frog, the female Coco-de-Mer fruit, prehistoric beetles, the magpie robin, brush warbler, the white-throated rail, black parrot, giant tortoises, rare butterflies and flowers.
If you are looking for a natural paradise, the Seychelles will more than satisfy you, it will astound you with its splendour.
CAPITAL: Victoria CLIMATE: The Seychelles climate conditions in different areas can vary considerably, but in general the rainy season is Nov-Apr with high humidity and strong winds and the cool, dry season is May-Sep.
Rainwear is required throughout the year.
CURRENCY: 1 Seychelles Rupee = 100 cents.
Complete currency transactions at the airport for better rates than at banks.
It's illegal to exchange foreign currency with unauthorized money changers; penalties can be severe.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Pound Sterling traveller's cheques are recommended.
Only foreign currency is accepted in making payments in hotels, guesthouses and for other holiday-related expenses such as hiring of cars or boats, services of tour operators or travel agents, patronage of casinos and domestic transfers within the country.
Incidental purchases or payments to restaurants outside hotels, for shopping (excluding duty-free shops) and taxi fares are payable in local currency.
It's illegal to enter or leave the country with more than 2000 Seychelles Rupees without authorisation.
ELECTRICITY: 240 volts, 50Hz.
Plugs are 3-pin flat.
Adaptors are provided by most larger hotels.
HEALTH: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas or who have passed through partly or wholly endemic areas within the preceding 6 days.
You are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid.
Other health concerns are limited medical facilities, tetanus (recommended for rural areas), hookworm and other parasites (don't walk barefoot) and influenza (risk extends throughout the year).
LANGUAGE: The official languages are English and French.
Seychellois is a mixture of Seselwa and French Creole.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: New Years' Day (1 Jan); Good Friday (9 Apr); Easter Monday (12 Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Liberation Day (5 Jun); National Day (18 Jun); Independance Day (29 Jun); Assumption (15 Aug); All Saint's Day (1 Nov); Immaculate Conception (8 Dec); Christmas Day (25 Dec) SHOPPING: Commercialised souvenirs; unique natural artifacts and craftwork e.
g baskets, tableware and hats; Mother of Pearl, coral and shell rings and pendants; red and black coral necklaces; local wood boxes and walking sticks; paintings; jewellery; exotic local spices; strong black island tea; orchids dipped in gold.
Polite bargaining is acceptable.
NB: You need an official permit to purchase a Coco-de-Mer.
SOCIAL CONVENTIONS: Religion is mainly Roman Catholic.
Hand-shaking is the customary form of greeting.
The Seychellois are very hospitable and welcome guests into their homes.
Clothing is casual at dinner - for men, slacks and shirts are fine for the evening.
Swimwear is only for the beaches.
A shirt with a tie are suitable for business, no jackets are required.
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT +4 TIPPING: Tipping is not expected at hotels, restaurants and in taxis as bills include a service charge.
TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS DESCRIPTION: Mahé: In the capital Victoria and on the island, you can visit Creole plantation houses, Market Street, La Reserve palm forest, white coral sand beaches, Creole restaurants, craft shops, art galleries, cinnamon plantations, colonial mansions, the Cathedral, National Museum, Botanical and Orchid Gardens; Jardin du Roi; Morne Seychellois National Park; the best beaches are Beau Vallon, Anse Intendance, Anse Royale and Anse Takamaka.
Praslin: The island of palms and, in particular, home of the Coco-de-Mer palm; find huge granite boulders, coral reefs and over 900 species of fish; visit the nearby island of Curieuse (the only other place in the world where you can find Coco-de-Mer palms); the Vallee de Mai is a World Heritage Site; the best beaches are Cote D'Or and Anse Lazio.
La Digue: One of the world's most sought-after outdoor photographic and film locations, the island has striking, giant granite boulders, tall coconut palms and an intimate cluster of beaches; cycle or take a ride on an ox-cart; visit the Plantation House at L'Union Estate; about 30 minutes away by boat, you can visit the islands of Felicite and Coco where there is excellent snorkelling; the best beaches are Anse La Source d'Argent, Grand Anse and Petit Anse; see old plantation houses, a vanilla plantation and a copra factory; breeding ground of the rare Black Paradise Flycatcher.
Aldabra: A World Heritage Site and the world's largest atoll with 5 times as many giant land tortoises as the Galapagos; find a profusion of fish, dolphins, whales and rare birds; some 2000 green turtles breed here annually.
Vallee de Mai: In Praslin, a World Heritage Site; home to huge, granite boulders, the Coco-de-Mer palm and three of the world's rarest birds, the Seychelles bulbul, fruit pigeon and black parrot.
Mornes Seychelles National Park: Much of the central highlands of Mahe comprise this park; ideal for walkers and hikers who often enjoy a picnic at the isolated Anse Major; also visit tea plantations.
Anne Marine National Park: The park comprises 6 islands off the coast of Mahe near Victoria; the islands are Ste.
Anne, Cerf, Round, Moyenne, Long and Beacon; Long and Ste.
Anne are not open to the public, but the others offer underwater viewing through diving, snorkelling, glass bottom boats and semi-submersibles; great Creole restaurants and island-style barbecue lunches can be enjoyed.
Victoria Botanic Gardens: Established in 1901, this 15-acre park is home to exotic plants and trees from around the world.
Veuve Reserve: A small reserve in La Digue that protects the endangered Black Paradise Flycatcher, of which only about 50 breeding pairs remain in the world.
Baie Ternay & Port Launay: Marine National Parks Some of the best scuba diving in the world less than 25 feet deep, including coral encrusted wrecks, huge carpet anemone and a fantastic variety of fish; great for snorkelling and lying on the beach too.