Pop over to paradise in the Seychelles
PUBLISHED: 22:01 02 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:39 20 February 2013
If the cold winter is getting you down head to the Seychelles for some warming R&R<br/>Photographs courtesy Sainte Anne Resort and Spa, Seychelles
Its always a good time to visit the Seychelles. Known for its pristine and uncrowded beaches with powder soft sand and crystal clear turquoise blue seas, this tropical paradise is a magnet for sunseekers of all descriptions.
However, theres much more on offer here than simply sunbathing. Visit the national parks and reserves; see the Coco-de-mer, the largest seed in the world and the jellyfish trees; visit Aldabra, the worlds largest raised coral atoll or Vallee de Mai, the original Garden of Eden.
Other popular excursions include glass bottom boats or you can indulge in a host of water sports including diving and snorkelling, as well as golf and horse-riding and thats all on top of great Creole and international food and a buzzing nightlife.
The Republic of Seychelles includes 115 islands, including the main tourist islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, however theres plenty of opportunity to island-hop between the others to get a true flavour of the place.
The Seychelles is always warm, seldom dropping below 24 or rising above 32. The hottest months tend to be March and April with average temperatures of 27 and 28 and the coolest months in July and August at 26. The most rain falls between December and February, with the driest months being June and July.
The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR), however there are some complex rules governing foreign exchange. Visitors must pay for accommodation (including meals and drinks at hotels), excursions, marine park fees, diving, car hire and transport in a major foreign currency (Euros) either in cash or by credit card.
English and French are spoken in the Seychelles as well as Creole, a French based language.
The Seychelles are four hours ahead of GMT, three hours ahead of British summer time and two hours ahead of European summer time. Visitors enjoy around 12 hours of daylight with sunrise just after 6am and sunset 6.30pm.
What to pack
Light clothing for the warm tropical climate as well as sunglasses, hats and sun cream - SPF 30+ is recommended. For dining out, entrance to casinos and hotels youll need to be prepared with casual eveningwear this means long trousers for men.
Things to do
The SUBIOS Underwater Festival showcases the Seychelles underwater world through films, talks and competitions; a week long celebration of the Creole heritage takes place in October (Festival Kreol); the Seychelles Sailing Cup is held in January and the International Fishing Competition in November. Visitors can also enjoy a host of watersports,
bird-watching, hiking and sailing all