The Seychelles 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. 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 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.
Seychelles’ enviable climate is always warm and without extremes. In this tropical haven the temperature seldom drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. All but the remotest southern islands lie comfortably outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles’ a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers.
Seychelles is a comparatively young nation which can trace its first settlement back to 1770 when the islands were first settled by the French, leading a small party of Caucasians, Indians and Africans. The islands remained in French hands until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, evolving from humble beginnings to attain a population of 3,500 by the time Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the treaty of Paris in 1814.
Today, the 81,000 strong Seychellois population continues to reflect its multi-ethnic roots. Traditionally, the islands have attracted a broad diversity of peoples from the four corners of the globe that has included freed slaves, European settlers, political exiles, adventurers, traders of Arab and Persian origin as well as the Chinese and Indians. Practically every nation on earth has been represented in this melting pot of cultures, each one contributing its special influence to today's vibrant yet tranquil society. There are three official languages in Seychelles: Creole (a lilting, French-based patois), English and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian or German.
Seychelles is a living museum of natural history and a sanctuary for some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on earth. With almost 50% of its limited landmass set aside as national parks and reserves, Seychelles prides itself on its record for far sighted conservation policies that have resulted in an enviable degree of protection for the environment and the varied ecosystems it supports.
Nowhere else on earth will you find unique endemic specimens such as the fabulous Coco-de-mer, the largest seed in the world, the jellyfish tree, with only eight surviving examples, the Seychelles’ paradise flycatcher and Seychelles warbler. Seychelles is also home to two U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden.