Indian Ocean Islands
Relax on powder white sandy beaches and dive into crystal clear water as you discover the unspoilt paradise of the Indian Ocean Islands. Encounter exotic animals, jungle-clad mountains and charming little towns, taking in the pristine natural beauty of these exquisite islands.
Top Places to Visit:
The Seychelles is paradise on earth. With 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is just south of the equator. This island destination boasts the world’s most beautiful beaches, rare and exotic plants and animals, and vibrant coral reefs. A relaxing retreat from the world, the Seychelles is a year-round highlight with balmy weather and top resorts.
Highlights of a trip to the Seychelles include exploring the main island of Mahé, Praslin Island with the Vallée de Mai, cycling around picture-perfect La Digue, and getting away from it all to one of the exquisite private islands. The Seychelles boasts one of the most pristine natural environments on the planet. This paired with luxurious tropical hideaways, delicious fresh seafood, and friendly people makes it a romantic’s dream holiday.
The powder white sand, turquoise water and a wonderful tropical climate of Mauritius make for an idyllic beach getaway. Spend your days relaxing, diving and snorkelling coral reefs, sipping cocktails on the beach and enjoying sensual spa treatments. Those who venture inland will discover jungle-clad mountains, impressive waterfalls and charming little towns.
Tourism on the island is very well established, and there are plenty of accommodation choices from luxurious private hideaways to all-inclusive family resorts.
When to visit
- The Seychelles islands have a year-long warm, tropical climate.
- The hottest months are December to April while the wettest are January and February – but the rainfalls are short and the sun appears again soon after.
- Winter (May to December) - Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate with year-round heat. The summer months from December to April can be very hot and muggy, whereas in winter the heat is more comfortable with balmy days and warm evenings.
- During cyclone season (January to March) the winds are at their strongest. These months are best avoided by water-sport enthusiasts and divers.
With relatively short travelling times between the islands and/or places of interest, different modes of transportation and with a regular network of air and sea transportation operating out of the principal island, Mahé, moving around in Seychelles is easy and hassle-free.
The 4 main forms of transportation within the islands of Seychelles are buses, car hires, domestic flights and ferries.:
Consult a detailed bus schedule, which can be obtained from the bus depot, for exact departure and arrival times.
Independently operated taxis are available on Mahé and Praslin, and a handful on La Digue. You can hail one from the street, at designated taxi stands or by simply phoning a driver directly. It is advisable to request a metered ride, or if a particular taxi is not equipped with a meter, quotes should be negotiated and agreed prior to the trip. Many drivers will take clients on sightseeing tours for a set tariff.
Cars may be hired only on Mahé and Praslin with several companies represented at the International airport on Mahé and at the larger hotels. A valid E.U. or International licence is required to rent vehicles and most companies will deliver your rental to a location of your choice. Vehicles are driven on the left-hand side.
You can also discover the islands by bicycle, readily available for hire on La Digue and Praslin, where they are a popular mode of transport.
Island-hopping is made possible through a regular network of air and sea transport primarily operating out of the principal island, Mahé.
Air Seychelles operates a shuttle service between Mahé and Praslin, the second largest island. The flight lasts only 15 minutes with an average of 20 return flights every day. Air Seychelles also operates other inter-island flights, usually on the request of hotels to Bird, Denis, Desroches and Alphonse Islands. Also part of the air network is Zil Air, a helicopter charter company which is specialising in island transfers, excursions and chartered scenic flights throughout Seychelles.
Two types of sea ferry operate in Seychelles: the traditional and the modern. The traditional, sail-assisted schooner-type ferries operate from the BaieSte.Anne Jetty on Praslin to La Passe Jetty on La Digue. The modern modes are the Cat Cocos service, that operate transfers between the Inter-Island Quay of Victoria and the BaieSte. Anne Jetty on Praslin (less than 1hour duration), and the Kat Roses, a catamaran that operates mainly from the BaieSte.Anne Jetty on Praslin to La Passe Jetty on La Digue.
How to get around
Around the size of Surrey (45 x 65 kms), everything in Mauritius is within a two hour drive. All vehicles drive on the left, so it’s easy to hire a car or driver. Taxis are stationed at every hotel and car or scooter hire is inexpensive. Minibus excursions pick up from hotels, and most resorts have bicycles, and bicycle tours. Motorised pirogues, glass-bottom boats, catamarans and speedboats get visitors on the water.
Public transport is provided by a number of buses that operate throughout the island. Express bus services run from Port Louis to the north, south and to the main towns.
In the urban regions, timetables run between 5.30am to 8. 00pm. In rural areas, buses tend to run between 6.30am and 6.30pm.
You can easily get to where you want to be by taxi. All taxis have a yellow square box indicating their route on both sides of their car doors and a taxi sign on top. Taxis are available at the airport, at hotels and are also found at the bus stations.
Car / Bicycle / Scooter Rental
Car, bicycle and scooter rental services can also be arranged. You can easily traverse the different parts of the island in a car or on a scooter.
If you want to enjoy an aerial view of the island, why not opt for the helicopter ride which can also be arranged prior your trip.
Seychelles, enjoys a low level of crime. Nevertheless, like anywhere else in the world, visitors must always take reasonable precautions as opportunist crime does happen and it can be best described as when an opportunity presents itself and subsequently tempts a person to steal.
It is recommended that routine precautions are taken to ensure your personal safety and to protect your possessions. Most accommodations offer room or reception safes to secure your valuables.
Visitors are advised not to leave their belongings or personal property unattended in rooms, on the beach whilst swimming or visible in cars.
Do not carry large sums of money or valuables on your person. Walking alone on isolated beaches, nature trails or leaving hotel rooms and windows or yachts at their moorings unlocked is not advisable. Always buy your excursions from a licensed operator, your hotel or travel agent representatives can assist you with verification.
Refrain from offering rides to strangers as this may lead to personal belongings in your vehicles being stolen. Always let someone know your whereabouts and expected time of your return.
Safety and security tips for visitors
Just as you need to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety in your home country, you need to be mindful of the following useful advice so as to make your trip in Mauritius as enjoyable as possible.
At the airport
- Agree on the taxi fare prior to proceeding to your destination
At your accommodation
- Store your valuables, passport and money in the safety deposit box provided by the hotel/guesthouse/tourist residence.
In public places
- Do not leave your personal belongings unattended on public beaches/places.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money with you.
- Avoid displaying expensive jewellery and valuables whilst sightseeing.
- At night, avoid deserted or poorly lit places.
At the beach
- Avoid buying products and seeking services from unauthorised persons.
- Request price of products before any purchase.
- Be careful with those who demonstrate too much insistence.
- In shops, shopping malls, ask for a receipt for any important transaction.
- Request price of products before any purchase
- Remember that hitch-hiking is not practiced in Mauritius.
- Agree on the fare before embarking on any trip from the information desk of your place of stay.
- Be aware that advice tendered by some taxi drivers may be motivated by commissions that they receive from some traders.
- Before undertaking any sea-based activities, please remember that Pleasure Crafts bearing a "PC" registration number are meant for commercial purposes.
- Be environment-friendly and follow the codes of conduct for activities such as dolphin and whale watching, helmet diving and scuba diving.
Tips to ensure personal safety and security in the tourist accommodation
- Upon check-in, examine that all doors in your room are secured properly.
- Store your valuables, passport and money in the digital safe provided by the hotel/guesthouse/tourist residence.
- Lock the items you won't be carrying with you such as laptop or other electronics.
- Always use the peephole (if any) before opening the door.
- Before going to bed, check if you have locked the door of your room and that of your bacony or terrace.
- When leaving the room, always ensure that door of the balcony/terrace of your room is locked
- Never use codes like 1111,2222,3333 etc or birthday dates for the digital safes
- If you lose your room key or room entry card, report it immediately to your hotel/tourist residence/guesthouse and have the card deactivated immediately.
New Year’s Day 1st & 2nd January
Labour Day 1st May
Constitutional Day 18th June
National Day 29th June
Good Friday 30th March
Holy Saturday 31st March
Easter Monday 2nd April
Corpus Christi 31st May
National Day 29th June
Assumption Day 15th August
All Saints Day 1st November
Immaculate Conception 8th December
Christmas Day 25th December
There are 15 annual public holidays in Mauritius. Seven of these are fixed holidays: 1st and 2nd January; 1st February; 12th March; 1st May; 2nd November; and 25th December. The remaining public holidays are religious festivals with dates that vary from year to year.