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The Seychelles is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, consisting of 115 islands, of which 42 are designated as granite islands and 73 as coral islands. These islands are classified amongst themselves into the so-called Inner Islands and the Outer Islands. The Inner Islands are mostly made up of granite, but also include the Northern Coral Islands, while the Outer Islands consist of the Southern Coral Islands, the Amirantes, the Alphonse Group, the Farquar Group, and the Aldabra Group.
Politically, the Republic of the Seychelles is divided into 25 separate administrative districts, all of which are located on the Inner Islands. In terms of physical location, the Seychelles islands are distributed in the Indian Ocean, south of the equator, between -4 and -10 degrees, and between 480 and 1,600 km from the eastern coast of Africa (300 - 1,000 miles). Despite this distance, the Seychelles belong to the African continent.
South of the Seychelles lie the island states of Madagascar, Mauritius, and Comoros, all of which are larger than the Seychelles, which has a land mass of just 455 km² (175 sq. miles), the largest portion of which is taken up by the uninhabited Aldabra Atoll. In total however, counting the total oceanic area of the Seychelles, they take up an enormous 390,000 km² (150,000 sq. miles).
The country is characterised by picturesque beaches, ecological diversity, dense tropical forests, and the deep azure ocean that surrounds it, all of which combine to make the archipelago world-famous. The entire area is contained within the UTC+4 time zone; therefore, in the winter months the Seychelles are three hours ahead of Central Europe, and two hours ahead in the summer.
The Seychelles are also home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the famous Vallée de Mai on Praslin, in which the rare Coco de Mer palm tree grows, and Aldabra, the world's largest raised coral atoll.Detailed map of the Seychelles