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Seychelles Travel Guide The Complete Guide to the Seychelles

Map of the Seychelles

History of the Seychelles

Approximately 200 million years ago, the supercontinent of Gondwana drifted apart, leaving behind it some splinters of rock in the Indian Ocean, which these days make up the region's island nations.

7th Century: It is believed that Arabic sailors probably found the first uninhabited Seychelles islands at this time.

1501: Portuguese explorer João de Nova discovers the Farquar Islands.

1502: Vasco de Gama spots the Amirantes during his second trip to India.

1506: The Seychelles are included on Portuguese maps for the first time.

1609: Alexander Sharpeigh of the East India Company lands on North Island by chance.

ImageAnse Cocos, La Digue

1742: Captain Lazare Picault discovers Mahé during a research expedition.

1756: The Seychelles officially fall under French possession, and are named for the French Minister of Finance, Jean Moreau de Séchelles.

1770: The first slaves arrive on Sainte Anne Island from nearby French colony Mauritius.

1772: The Jardin du Roi spice garden is planted at Anse Royale.

ImageAnse Royale, Mahé

1778: Victoria is established.

1794: The Seychelles are taken over by Great Britain. French administrator, Jean Baptiste de Quéau Quinssy, who had ruled up to that point, will continue in his role until 1827.

1811: The British conquer Mauritius. The Seychelles also change hands officially at this point. The first coconut plantations are set up on the islands.

1812: The slave trade is outlawed in the Seychelles.

1853: The Catholic Church establishes its first mission station.

1862: A landslide destroys parts of Victoria.

ImageThe capital city of the Seychelles, Victoria

1903: The Seychelles become an autonomous colony.

1948: The first Seychelles government is elected.

1964: The Seychelles Democracy Party and the Seychelles People's Party are established.

1972: The airport on Mahé is completed and opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1976: The Seychelles gain their independence from the United Kingdom. The President is James R. Mancham.

1977: Following a coup, new President France Albert René takes control and introduces a socialist party dictatorship.

1982: The Aldabra Atoll is added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

1983: The Vallée de Mai on Praslin is added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

ImageThe world-famous Vallée de Mai on Praslin

1993: A new constitution with a multi-party system is adopted. René is re-elected. He will also gain re-election in 1998 and 2002.

2004: René resigns. His deputy, James Michel, takes his place, and will be re-elected again in 2006, 2011, and 2015.

2008: The Seychelles Rupee depreciates by around 50%. Foreign tourists are no longer forced to use the currency.

2010: Somali pirates capture ships in Seychelles territorial waters. NATO and Russia make Mahé a military base for the fight against piracy.

2012: Etihad Airways take over 40% of Air Seychelles, and take over their European flight services.

2014: For the first time, the largest number of tourists visiting the Seychelles come from Germany.

ImageAn Etihad Airways flight preparing for takeoff on Mahé