Transportation - Get In
The only international gateway to the Seychelles is Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) near Victoria. Air Seychelles is the country's flag carrier and flies to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Paris, as well as Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Antananarivo in Africa. International service is also available from Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines), Nairobi (Kenya Airways), Dubai (Emirates), Abu Dhabi ([www] Etihad) and Doha (Qatar Airways), and regular charter services from Frankfurt (Condor [www]) and Amsterdam (Martinair [www]).
The strict controls imposed on cruising yachts in the early 1990s have been gradually lifted and rules and regulations are no longer so complicated. However, some restrictions remain in force, mostly for the sake of environmental protection as most of the islands are surrounded by coral reefs near the surface.
Transportation - Get Around
Air Seychelles [www] operates multiple daily flights between Mahe and Praslin. Over two dozen flights vary in frequency from 15 minute to 2 hour intervals, depending on time of day.
Air Seychelles also operates once daily or several times per week between Mahe and the islands of Bird, Denis, Fregate, Desroches and Alphonse. Assumption Island and Coetivy can be reached by air charter.
Zil Air provides charter helicopter flights to/from most of the inner and outer Seychelles islands. It is the only scenic flight operator in the Seychelles. Scenic flights can be booked to cover the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and the surrounding smaller islands of (among others) Cousine, Félicité, Grande Seour, Curieuse and Bird Island.
Cat Cocos operates 2 catamaran ferries (With a 3rd ferry coming into service in 2013) serving multiple daily crossings between Mahe and Praslin and a daily crossing extension to La Digue. The sailing normally takes one hour. Non residents should budget between €90 and €100 per person (price at July 2013, based on a single adult fare of 835rupees one way) for a same day return ticket from Mahe to Praslin. Tickets can be purchased from the Cat Cocos office, opposite the pier, on the same day before travel subject to availability.
Similarly, Inter Island Ferry operate a route between Praslin and La Digue with 8 daily departures taking only 15mins in crossing time. Tickets cost around €15 for an adult single (July 2013). The schedule usually allows for onward connections to Mahe with Cat Cocos at Praslin harbour.
Belle Serafina, a small schooner ferry makes the passage between Mahe and Praslin or La Digue in 3-4 hours, usually departing weekdays shortly around 12 from Mahe and heading back at 5AM from Praslin to Mahe. In October 2010 the price for the passage was 125 rupies. Schedules and routing need to be confirmed by phone.
It is also possible to take small boats from Mahe direct to La Digue, although departures can be unreliable, there is limited wet weather cover and the journey takes about 3 hours (but that's cheaper than an Indian Ocean Island cruise!)
As of June 2013, online bookings with live seat availability and e-ticketing are possible for Cat Cocos and Inter Island Ferry by Seychellesbookings.com [www].
Driving in Seychelles is on the left side of the road. The roads on Mahe are low-traffic, mountainous, narrow roads, so caution is generally advised.
Having a car is really a good idea and makes life much more simple. For as little as 100 rupees worth of gas you can see the entire island of Mahe in a couple of hours, including stops at beaches and whatever else catches your eye. There is free parking in 'downtown' Victoria on Mahe, and if you go with a B&B or self-catering option for accommodations its by far the easiest way to pick up groceries. A car will also allow you access to the stores where locals do their regular shopping, and the prices are more reasonable as compared to the small convenience stores along the beaches.
There is no substitute for running your vacation on your own schedule...
You can only rent on Mahé and Praslin. You can find a small car (e.g.: Hyundai Atos) for around €35-€45 per day, but keep in mind that renters must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license, and have at least three years of driving experience. There are several car hire counters outside the arrivals hall at Mahe international airport, which provide a convenient way to compare prices from different hire companies. Prices can be negotiated, with the better rate available for rental periods of 3 consecutive days or more. The 'excess' payable by the customer in the event of a claim, ranges from €300 to €1000 depending on the company, so choose carefully and ask the right questions.
Taxis are also a popular means of transportation for both short trips and day rental and can be obtained almost anywhere. Taxi prices for non-residents (approx. 20 rupees/1.3Euros per km at Sept 2010) on a relatively long trip, can easily exceed the cost of hiring a small car for a day.
Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) runs daily bus services on the islands of Praslin and Mahe from morning to evening on nearly every available road on the island. The bus usually passes by every 15 minutes. On Mahe you can easily use the SPTC bus to travel to and from the airport so long as you have local currency in small bills.
Although the bus will get you there, the schedules aren't tight and the drivers are a bit bold on the very narrow roads if you're a nervous passenger.