Known as the smallest African capital, Victoria lies proudly in the shimmering western Indian Ocean. The Seychelles are comprised of 115 archipelagic islands that cluster around the main island of Mahé, home to Victoria which is the republic’s business and cultural hub. Victoria is the only port of the archipelago and the only town of any size in Seychelles. Some one-third of the people of Mahé Island live in Victoria. Here is your ultimate guide to this rare and exotic island:
Airlines: An international airport was built near Victoria in 1971. Seychelles International Airport has a number of international flights, for example with its national airline, Air Seychelles. It has flights to and from Bangkok, Johannesburg, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Port Louis (Mauritius), Rome and Singapore. Doha (Qatar Airways), Dubai (Emirates), Nairobi (Kenya Airways), Frankfurt and Munich (Condor) and Reunion (Air Austral) have flights to the Seychelles as well. From New York, airlines such as Emirates and Qatar have connecting flights to Mahé Island that have a flight sum of 24 hours.
Hotels/Accommodations: A wide range of affordable, new and refurbished hotels, self-caterings and charming Creole guesthouses are joining the ranks of existing 5-star hotels and exclusive island retreats to offer memorable stays among welcoming Creole people and stunning natural surrounds. Other major budgeted accommodations include guest houses, self catering apartments, and bungalows. While opting for self catering apartments, you need to take care of a few things. They do not provide meals, but have kitchen facilities. Famous hotels include Four Seasons Seychelles, The Hilton Seychelles and Rocky Bay Villa.
Attractions/Tourism: Though a small city, there is an infinite amount of activity on this sizzling island. The centre of the city is pinpointed by the clock tower, a copy of the Little Ben outside Victoria station in London, next to which stands the court house. Victoria’s botanical garden stretches over fifteen acres and gathers some two hundred exotic plant species including the famous coco de mer and the tortoise of Aldabra. The National museum’s seashell collections are also worth a peek. You can visit: the King’s garden, a 124 acre domain displaying exotic spices and birds.Visit the local art galleries and craft markets to soak up the city’s friendly charm. A more lively pleasure is to be found at the morning marketwhere the stalls are stacked with tropical fruits, spices and freshly caught fish. If you are interested in an adventure, stay on more than one island. That right, island hop! Island hop in close proximity to Mahé or carve across the Indian Ocean and head for parts less known. Only two percent of the Seychelles population lives on the outer islands. Just getting from one island to another is part of the fun. Motor boats connect adjacent islands, whereas ferries run regularly between public islands.
Cuisine: The Seychelles offer a unique blend of modern and cultural delight. Seychelles food is very rich and is exotically prepared having a mixture of French and Indian flavors. For example, the grilled fish or octopus basted with a sauce of crushed ginger, chilies, and garlic are the national favorites. There are dishes that are prepared with coconut milk and inventive chatinis prepared from the local fruits like papaya and golden apple. As can be expected, the seafood dishes will feature predominantly in the local cuisine because of proximity to the Indian Ocean which is known for its rich bounty of large and flavorful fish. The Tuna and King Fish are the favorites and are frequently fried or else grilled in the garlic butter sauce. Octopus is a big delicacy in the Seychelles. Often, a spicy curry of coconut is served with the Octopus, diced up and put into the seafood cocktail. One common Seychelles food method involves the mixing of shellfish with pumpkin cooked as soup. As Seychelles people come from numerous distinct backgrounds, arrays of various tastes are on hand. Chinese, Indian, French, and English food techniques are all incorporated in modern day Seychelles cookery.
For New Yorkers, a whirlwind vacation to the Seychelles might be perceived as a mere fantasy. However, it is reachable with the correct amount of research, planning and funds.
New York: the Seychelles are waiting!