Seychelles Destination Information
The Seychelles Islands
The Seychelles islands represent an ideal cruising destination with its 115 pristine islands. Spread out like glittering gemstones amid an economic zone of 1,400,000 sq kilometres this uniquely beautiful archipelago offers everything the super yacht owner can dream of; excellent moorings, easy sailing distances between the islands, secluded coves and a wide diversity of islands to explore.
Once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, today Seychelles remains Eden on earth. Situated approximately 1000 miles from the east African coast, the archipelago is an ideal cruising ground and stepping stone to Asia or Europe, with cyclone-free and predictable weather, unbelievably friendly locals and excellent technical support. The capital, Mahé, and its neighbouring islands of Praslin and La Digue and their satellites together form the cultural and economic hub of Seychelles as well as accepting the vast majority of its tourists in accommodation ranging from lavish five-star resorts and private island hideaways to smaller hotels, guesthouses and self-caterings.
Enjoying a modern infrastructure, the Seychelles islands are perfect for cruising whether it be around the granitic Inner Islands or further afield to the coral atolls and reef islands that extend like sparkling stepping stones south- westerly towards the coast of Africa.
The coral islands of Denis and Bird, situated roughly 100km north of Mahé, offer fine coral island experiences with silver beaches fringing clear azure waters that offer great opportunities for diving and fishing where relatively few have gone before.
The Amirantes group, 250 km south west of Mahé offer a taste of the exotic with their stunning natural beauty and relatively short sailing distances between the principal islands. The further flung atolls such as Alphonse, Cosmoledo and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra require more sailing time but offer the reward of a truly unique experience in waters still little visited by man.
Arabic travelogues indicate that the islands of Seychelles were well known to seafarers many centuries before the first French settlers arrived in the latter part of the eighteenth century. The Phoenicians and the Polynesians may well have called on the islands en route to Madagascar, but it was Portuguese navigator Juan de Nova who made the first recorded landfall in the Seychelles in 1501. This was closely followed by Vasco da Gama who discovered named the Amirantes Islands in 1502 on his second voyage to India. No attempt was made to settle any of the islands for more than 260 years, although there is evidence that the islands were a haven for pirates from as early as the 16th century.
The islands remained in French hands from the mid-1700’s until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. By the time Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Paris in 1814, the population had reached 3,500. Under British rule, Victoria was established as the capital. Seychelles was granted independence from Britain in 1976, and is today a Republic within the Commonwealth under the Presidency of Mr. James Michel. The predominant religion is Roman Catholic, with Creole, English and French the official languages.
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Useful links to Seychelles sites