Seychelles: Local Travel Info

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Seychelles Local Travel Info

Internal flights and major international airports in Seychelles

The Seychelles International Airport on Mahé is the only international hub for air travel to and from the island nation. Carriers include Air Seychelles, Air Austral, Air France, Air Mauritius, British Airways, Condor, Emirates, Helicopter Seychelles, Kenya Airways and Qatar Airways.

Air Seychelles is the only inter-island airline, offering about 20 scheduled flights per day between the Mahé and Praslin airports, with a few more legs added in high season. Air Seychelles also provides charter trips from Mahé to resorts and hotels on Alphonse, Bird, Denis, Desroches, Frégate and North Islands. Helicopter Seychelles offers shuttle flights between Mahé and Praslin, Mahé and La Digue, and Praslin and La Digue. It also provides transfers to resort islands, organized by the hotels, as well as sight-seeing trips.

Getting to and from the airport in Seychelles

The Seychelles International Airport is about 12 km from the capital of Victoria. Your options for getting there and away are to catch a local bus for 7 rupees or to take a taxi for a fare that will vary depending on the distance of your journey. Cat Cocos ferry operates a free shuttle bus for those who are heading to or from the Victoria jetty; the shuttle's arrivals and departures correspond roughly with the ferry's schedule, but visitors should call ahead to confirm availability. Most tour operators schedule regular pick-ups from the airport – just head outside and look for a representative or tour bus with the appropriate sign.

Travel / transportation costs in Seychelles

Travel costs in Seychelles can add up but there are a few cheaper options if you need to economize. Car rentals are pricey at but will help you maximize your time on Mahé and Praslin. Expect to pay € 40 - 50 a day for a modest hatchback on Mahé; add about € 10 to € 15 per day on Praslin. Prices will be lower for mini mokes and higher for SUV's and chauffeured vehicles. Taxi fares can also put a dent in your budget, but if you have more than a backpack and you don't have access to a tour bus or hotel shuttle, they are your best option for travelling to and from accommodation and the airport/jetty on Mahé and Praslin. Be sure to agree on a price before you ride; meters are installed in Mahé and Praslin taxis but are not popular with the drivers and are usually switched off.

If you are on a leisurely schedule, forgo rental cars and taxis in favour of Seychelles' public buses, which are relatively efficient and very cheap at just 7 rupees per ride, regardless of the length of the journey.

On La Digue, abled visitors will walk and cycle everywhere with relative ease. Bikes can be hired quite cheaply on both Praslin and La Digue for around 200 rupees/day, but are difficult to find on Mahé. Note that Mahé and Praslin have much busier and steeper roads than La Digue.

Island-hopping costs, often payable in euros, can also affect your Seychelles holiday budget. If you're trying to save money, consider the ferry services between Mahé and Praslin, and between Praslin and La Digue, instead of flights or helicopter rides. Prices are lower and you won't have to contend with a luggage limit. However, if you're pressed for time, the flights will save you precious minutes in each direction and make more sense if you're heading for the international airport anyway.

Likewise, keep in mind that hiring small boats to take you to islands off Mahé, Praslin and La Digue can add to your Seychelles holiday costs, particularly if islands have marine park or landing fees.

Renting cars in Seychelles

Visitors who want the convenience of exploring at their own pace, who have limited time and/or who are travelling with small children may prefer to hire a car in Seychelles. There are over 550 cars and mini mokes (small, often open-air jeeps) for hire on Mahé, and a limited number on Praslin. Advance reservations are wise, especially during busy periods. Hire is on an unlimited mileage basis and the price usually includes Third Party insurance and tax.
If you're driving in Seychelles, bear in mind that road beds, while in relatively good shape, can be 30-40 centimetres above the shoulder. Mountain roads are very narrow and twisty, corners are often blind, and local buses come fast and furious – in fact, you may have to stop and reverse to allow buses past the most constricted points. Be prepared for a lack of road discipline and often oblivious pedestrians.
Although you have your choice of many rental companies on Mahé and Praslin, prices will be very similar. Check the condition of your vehicle, especially brakes and indicators, before you close the deal. Expect to pay € 40 - 50 a day for a modest hatchback on Mahé; add about € 10 to € 15 per day on Praslin. Prices will be lower for mini mokes and higher for SUV's and chauffeured vehicles. Victoria's tourist centre has a list of companies, or you can book through your hotel or guest-house. The major companies also have offices at the airport. Pay for your rental in cash, preferably euros.

To book car rental in Seychelles online, view our Car Hire section for Seychelles . We offer Ok Alpha users the latest special offers and best rates available for car hire in Seychelles . We advise you book your Seychelles hire car in advance so you can pick it up and drop it off directly at the airport.

Driver's license requirements in Seychelles

Those wishing to rent cars must be over 23 years of age and must have held a driving licence for at least a year. Most companies accept a national licence, but to cover your bases, bring an international licence.

Driving rules in Seychelles

Driving is on the left in Seychelles. On Mahé, the speed limit is officially 40kmh in towns, 65kmh outside towns and 80kmh on the route between Victoria and the airport. On Praslin, the speed limit is 40kmh across the board.

Buses in Seychelles

If you have a few days for sight-seeing, local bus transportation on Mahé and Praslin is a cheap and effective way to get around. Buses are also a good place to chat to locals and experience low-cost thrills as your driver pumps the wheezing brakes on the odd hairpin turn. Some may find the jerky driving and steep hills disconcerting. To catch a ride, look for bus signs and shelters; often the words “bus stop” are painted on the road. Buses have route signs posted in their front windows. Pay the driver 7 rupees per trip, per adult, regardless of the length of your journey. On Mahé, bus service is extensive and you can pick up a schedule at the information office, open from 8am – 4pm, Monday to Friday. A bus will come along once an hour, more or less, on the majority of routes, from 6am to 7pm. There is reduced service on Sundays and holidays.

On Praslin, schedules are available from the tourist offices located at the airport and at Baie St Anne. Buses operate in each direction along the main route every hour, give or take, from 6am to 6:30pm. You can catch one every half-hour between Baie Ste Anne and Mont Plaisir, helpful for those staying on this popular corridor. Anse Consolation and Anse La Blague are also serviced. To reach superb Anse Lazio, disembark at Anse Boudin and walk about 15 minutes to the beach.

Taxis / cabs in Seychelles

Taxis are readily available on Mahé, less common on Praslin, and very limited on La Digue. On Mahé and Praslin, meters are installed but are rarely used. You can ask the driver to switch it on, but he will prefer to agree on a price in advance. On Mahé, expect to pay around € 10, or 200-300 rupees, for a one-way trip between Victoria and the airport. You can hire a Seychelles taxi at the Mahé and Praslin airports, on the main streets of Victoria, and at most larger hotels. You cannot count on hailing a taxi in Seychelles at any time of day or night, especially outside of Mahé.

Cycling / biking in Seychelles

Cycling / biking in Seychelles is essentially limited to the three main islands, although visitors staying on smaller resort islands often have the option of renting mountain bikes for trail-riding. On La Digue, cycling is the main method of transport. Cyclists will share the pleasant, winding roads with ox carts and a small handful of vehicles. Most able visitors will be able to handle the gradual changes in elevation on this slow-paced island, perhaps with a little huffing and puffing at points. On Praslin, rent your two wheels at Côte d'Or (Anse Volbert) or through your accommodation. You'll face more hills and barrelling buses, but fit and confident bikers will have fun. On Mahé, cycling is not a popular transportation option. Cyclists must share the very steep, winding roads with considerable vehicle traffic, and since most visitors prefer car rental, it's difficult to even find a bike to rent. When planning a cycling trip to Seychelles, remember that (apart from La Digue) cyclists are relatively few, there are no bike lanes, and other traffic combined with difficult hills will present significant challenges.

Water Transportation in Seychelles

It's exhilarating to skim across the azure waters of Seychelles in a boat, whether it's an air-conditioned, high-speed catamaran or a local fisherman's rough n' ready motorboat. Frequent, daily connections between the three main islands are handled by two ferry companies, Cat Cocos and Inter Island Ferries. Cat Cocos offers two or three 50-minute catamaran trips between Mahé and Praslin every day. The cost is € 42/22 per adult/child, one way, and return fares are simply double the one-way prices. Inter Island Ferries operates a catamaran between Praslin and La Digue about seven times daily. The 30-minute trip costs € 12/6 per adult/child, one way, but in this case the return fares do work out to a bit of a discount. For the real money-savers, there's also La Belle Seraphina, a cargo schooner that travels between Mahé and La Digue Monday through Friday, with as many passengers as space allows. It's a rough but fun 3-hour ride for the staunch of stomach, and is easy on the wallet at just € 15/7 per adult/child. Call to make a reservation and inquire about departure times.

To take the regular ferries, get an inter-island schedule from the tourism office in Victoria or ask your accommodation to call and make you a reservation. Popular crossing times do book up, so be sure to take advantage of the free reservation service and arrive no later than 15 minutes before departure. Tourists must pay for tickets in euros or American dollars. The ferry terminal on Mahé is the Inter-Island Quay; on Praslin, the Baie Ste Anne Jetty; and on La Digue, the La Passe Jetty.

To get to other Seychelles islands, you need a private boat charter or tour. For do-it-yourself types on Praslin, for example, a small motorboat, piloted by a local in bare feet and shorts, can be hired at Côte d'Or (Anse Volbert) for a trip to nearby Curieuse or St. Pierre islands. Agree on the price and pick-up time before you leave, and expect to pay in advance. For a full listing of boat charter operators, contact the Marine Charter Association, drop into the tourist offices on the three main islands, or book an organized, multi-island tour through your hotel or travel agent.

Hitch-hiking in Seychelles

You'll see local Seychellois hitching rides, but your hitch-hiking prospects in Seychelles are unpredictable as a tourist. You'll be sure to attract some strange looks, but you may end up with a free ride and a story to tell if you persevere. Safety is probably not a concern, although solo female hitchhikers assume the risks that they would anywhere in the world.