The Seychelles' 115 granite and coral islands extend from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and lie between 480km and 1,600km from the east coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean.
This Indian Ocean republic occupies a land area of 455 km² and an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million km². It represents an archipelago of timeless beauty, tranquillity and harmony that is famous for its world-beating beaches and for its great diversity which rolls from lush forests down to the warm azure ocean.
Of these 115 islands, 41 The Inner Islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while a further 74 form the 5 groups of low-lying coral atolls and reef islets that are the Outer Islands.
Seychelles is home to no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin where the wondrously shaped Coco-de-mer nut grows high on ancient palms and the fabled Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll, first seen by early Arab seafarers of the 9th century A.D.
Seychelles, one of the world’s very last frontiers, promises adventure and breathtaking natural beauty in pristine surrounds still untouched by man.
The Seychelles' climate is one which is always warm and does not reach extremes of heat or cold. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. All but the remotest southern islands lie outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles’ a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers.
It is generally cooler when the north-west trade winds blow during the months of November to March. The sea is generally calm and the weather warm and humid, with average winds of 15 - 22 kilometers per hour.
A larger amount of the annual rainfall falls during the months of December to February compared to other months. The average number of rainy (days with 1 millimeter or more rainfall ) in December, January and February are 18, 17 and 11 days respectively. It is also fairly cloudy at times during those months and therefore less sunshine. The weather is hottest from December to April, and the humidity is high - often 80% or higher.
The months of May to October bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas - particularly on south-eastern coasts – and winds of 19 -37 kilometers per hour are common.
On average the number of rainy days during this period is 11 with long periods of sunshine. Dry spells of two weeks or more are fairly common.
Best time to visit
As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.
Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March when wind speeds average from 8 to 12 knots and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September with winds of between 10 to 20 knots, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.
The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.
The ‘SUBIOS Underwater Festival’, showcases Seychelles’ extraordinary underwater world through a series of film shows, talks and competitions, while the ' Festival Kreol' (a week-long celebration of Creole heritage and traditions) is held in October each year.
The Seychelles Sailing Cup, an international sailing event, is held in January and the International Fishing Competition in November. Further local fishing competitions are held throughout the year.
The Inner Islands which are mostly granitic, cluster mainly around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, forming the cultural and economic hub of Seychelles, as well as the centre of its tourism industry. Together they are home to the majority of Seychelles’ accommodation facilities as well almost the entire population of the archipelago. There are 43 Inner islands in total, 41 granitic and 2 coralline.
Islands with accommodation:
Round Island (Praslin)
Islands without accommodation:
The Outer Islands are those situated beyond the Seychelles plateau. They comprise 72 low-lying sand cays and atolls lying anywhere between 230km and 1150km from Mahé. Less visited than their granitic cousins due to their relative remoteness, these pristine miniature worlds, some little more than sand spits or lonely rocky outcrops, offer untouched habitats for many species of wildlife.
Only one island among the Outer Island groups, namely Alphonse, currently offers accommodation facilities. It boasts luxuriously appointed lodges as well as unparalleled opportunities for sailing, fishing and diving in places where few have gone before.
St. Joseph Atoll
Southern Coral Group
Read more at: www.seychelles.travel