Senior Citizen Travel to the Seychelles

May 4th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

It is rumored that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate) may be honeymooning at the Seychelles. So, I had to find out more about this archipelago. The “official” website refers to the islands as “Another World.” These photos give evidence that it truly is another world. The archipelago is home to two U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites: Aldabra – the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Vallée de Mai on Praslin – supposed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden. The link goes to a video that shows why. Don’t miss it.

Seychelles is officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles) and is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 900+ miles east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Seychelles, with an estimated population of 86,525, has the smallest population of any African state, so here seniors should not be bothered with an over flux of folks.

Victoria (sometimes called Port Victoria) is the capital city of the Seychelles (smallest African capital) and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island, which is the main island of the archipelago. The population of Mahé is 80,000. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 90% of the country’s total population. Undeniably, the beaches are the big attraction, and what beaches: exquisite ribbons of white sand lapped by topaz waters and backed by lush hills and big glacis boulders. And nary a crowd in sight.

The islands achieved independence in 1976, however free elections did not occur until 1993. The politics of this island group remain in something of a state of flux, although this should not bother the tourist seeking a relaxing beach vacation. A holiday in Seychelles can be arranged and booked through a tour operator or travel agent based either in your country or in Seychelles or directly with an accommodation provider. With its excellent scenic beauty and abundant flora and fauna, Seychelles attracts travelers worldwide.

Are you one who appreciates Mother Nature? Much of the Seychelles beauty lies in its natural wildlife untouched for centuries, making the islands a sanctuary for many rare and unique plants and birds. There are 81 unique species of plant life, which can only be found within the Seychelles.  Approximately 40% of the land area in Seychelles has been designated as nature reserves, national parks, and protected areas.

The Seychelles is listed among the “Best Tropical Islands” of the world. However, you need to know up front that the Seychelles is not a budget destination. Accommodation is regulated by the tourist board and prices are carefully monitored. If you keep to the less expensive guesthouses, avoid most activities and eat lean, you might be able to get by on US$100.00 a day. There are complex rules governing foreign exchange in the Seychelles. By law visitors must pay for all accommodation (including meals and drinks), excursions, car hire and transport in a major foreign currency, either in cash or by credit card. Prices for these services are nearly always quoted in Euro, UK pounds and US dollars.

Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral) in 1502. The principal exports today are vanilla, coconuts, coconut oil, soap, and guano.  Accommodations range from sumptuous 5-star resorts to rustic island lodges and cozy beachside bungalows. Travel Index focuses on the many aspects of travel to Seychelles and provides rates, a review and many additional details of the varied aspects of the islands. As always, Know Before You Go is great for any destination and the Seychelles can make you feel like a happy castaway living in a tropical paradise (just ask Tom Hanks). jeb



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