The History of the Seychelles

Uninhabited except for occasional pirates who used the islands as a secret hideaway, early records indicate that the islands were visited by Portugese explorers as early as 1609, but no claims were made on any island until 1742 when Frenchman Lazare Picault landed on Mahé Island. Around 1770 settlers began to arrive from Mauritius and in 1794 a formal French administrator was appointed.

There followed numerous skirmishes between the French and the British over who “owned” the Seychelles due to the recurrent wars that flared up regularly between these two aggressive opponents.

In 1814 at the treaty of Paris, both Seychelles and Mauritius were ceded to the British. After 1861, liberated slaves from East Africa were brought to the islands, swelling the population considerably, which was now becoming a homogenous mix of French, British, Mauritian, East African and Indian settlers.

1903 saw Seychelles become a British Crown colony and for the next 50 years life followed its simple way, almost oblivious to the outside world, despite the fact that two world wars had been raging.

In 1976 the Seychellois people won freedom from the colonial system and became an independent Republic headed by James Mancham. A year later, France Albert Rene became President of a one party state. Multi-party elections were introduced in 1993 and continue to this day.

The Seychelles Cuisine

Good local food and international style food can be obtained on all the main three islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Creole food is a wonderful blend of African, Arabian and Indian recipes that have simmered and evolved over the years with local specialities such as millionaires salad, home produced cinnamon, papaya, pineapples, breadfruit and mangos to name a few. 

Freshly caught fish is always on the menu so don't miss the opportunity to taste really succulent flavours and textures. Each restaurant will have its own speciality, so do try the local dishes. 

Seychelles Travel's Favourites:

Mahé Island

  • La Perle Noire, Beau Vallon
  • La Plage, Beau Vallon
  • La Scala, Bel Ombre

Praslin Island

  • Café des Arts, Côte d'Or
  • Chateau de Feuilles, Baie St. Anne
  • Les Lauriers, Côte d'Or

La Digue

  • Fish Trap
  • Le Nautique
  • Le Repaire

Did You Know...

Giant tortoises roam the islands. These amazing creatures can grow up to 1.3m long and live to 200 years.

Beach Bonfire and Champagne, Frégate Island

Beach Dinner at Four Seasons at Desroches Isalnd

Floating Sundowners at Hilton Northolme, Mahé

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