The island group is located in the Indian Ocean like sparkling sapphires. When hearing the name you immediately think of a paradise. Each of the islands will enchant you with its exotic and romantic flair.
The Republic of the Seychelles is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Oceas about 1.600 km east of Africa's mainland and northeast of the island of Madagascar. It is spread about 455 km² of land.
From the total 115 islands, 41 belong to the oldest mid-ocean granite islands of the world, the other islands are coral atolls and reef islands forming the popular "Outer Islands".
As the islands of Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated. Those of African, French, Indian, and Chinese descent are the largest ethnic groups. French and English are official languages together with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French.
Most Seychellois are Christians: 82,3% are Rooman Catholic, 6,4% are Anglican and 4,5% are of other Christian denominations. There are small minorities who practice Hinduism and Islam.
The islands of the Seychelles are divided into two main groups: The inner islands consist of granite and are mostly located within the relatively flat Seychelles plateau south of the Equator.
The coral atolls and -islands are located deeper and outside of the plateau. They form the outer islands, like the Alphonse group, the Farquhar group or the Aldabra group.
It is assumed that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. Remains of Maldivian mariner presence from the 12th century were found in Silhouette Island. The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral).
A transit point for trade beween Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756. But the British contested control over the islands between 1794 and 1810. Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903.
Elections were held in 1966 and 1970, independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth.
The main sector is the tourism with about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.