It's worth renting car if you plan to explore Mahé, but it's also very easy to organise taxis or a driver for the day.
Air Seychelles (www.airseychelles.com) flies direct to Mahé from London two to three times per week, Air France (www.airfrance.com) flies via Paris, Emirates (www.emirates.com) has regular flights via Dubai and Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) flies via Doha.
Country code for Seychelles: 248
For an excellent overview of the islands' history, try Rivals in Eden and Hard Times in Paradise, both by William McAteer. Joseph Beuys: Diary of Seychelles is a fascinating account, through photographs, artwork and documents, of the time the German artist spent planting trees on the islands.
Do go / Don't Go
Because of its position just below the equator, the Seychelles is an ideal place to visit at any time of the year. The islands are at their driest between May and October, their wettest between December and February, and their most humid between October and April.
Seychellois cuisine is predominantly Creole, though many of the top hotels and resorts have French- and Asian-inspired menus. Creole food uses a lot of fish - so expect to see red snapper, tuna, shark, job fish and lots of other varieties cooked up with spices and coconut milk, and served with rice. If you're feeling particularly brave, then why not tuck into a delicious bat? Islanders love them roasted, curried or stewed with vegetables.
Taxis are fairly plentiful on Mahé, especially in Victoria, where there are several ranks (taxis are unlikely to stop for you if you attempt to hail them on the street). If the taxi has no meter, make sure you agree a fee in advance, otherwise this could lead to problems at the end of the journey. Drivers will usually give you their mobile number, and pick you up when you're ready. There are a few taxis on Praslin and La Digue, but such a service is non-existent on the other islands.
A five to ten per cent service charge is usually added to bills in the Seychelles, so tipping is not seen to be obligatory.
Seychelles rupee. £1 is approximately SCR16.
As the equatorial sun sets at about 6pm each day, make sure you bring a good book - your Seychelles holiday could be the ideal opportunity to finally tackle The Mill on the Floss. Alternatively, bring a giant lettuce leaf with which to tempt the giant tortoises.
Artists have always been drawn to the Seychelles and you will find a smattering of galleries, usually in the home of the artist, throughout the islands. Try Christy's Art Gallery on Quincy Street, Victoria, on Mahé or Café des Arts on Côte d'Or, Praslin (+248 232170; www.cafe.sc), for colourful Seychellois scenes and beautiful, sinuous wooden sculpture. The Seychelles Natural History Museum, Avenue 5 June, Victoria, Mahé (+248 321333), has exhibits on the Seychelles' various ecosystems, and the Victoria Botanical Gardens is home to around 500 species of exotic indigenous plants.
Traditional music, including 'seggae', a blend of Mauritian sega and Caribbean reggae, is popular on the islands, and can be heard in plenty of bars and restaurants outside the luxury resorts.
People don't really come to the Seychelles to shop, but that's not to say that the odd boutique - mainly incorporated into the archipelago's many luxury resorts - doesn't exist. Mahé is the largest island, so offers most of the region's retail opportunities. In Victoria, the Seypot Factory Co-op is great for local ceramics, while the Selwyn-Clarke market is the place to head to for silks, sarongs and sandals.
Survey the seas and surrounding islands, as pirate lookouts must once have done, from the mountain peaks in Mahé's Morne Seychellois National Park.
Far more exciting than the fish counter at your local Tesco, La Passe fish market on La Digue is as much of a spectacle as it is a chance to stock up on lobsters, shark and eels. It bustles with fishermen, straight off their boats, and offers perhaps the finest people- and seafood-watching opportunities in the Seychelles.
April The Seychelles National Fishing Competition is an explosion of friendly rivalry, as fishermen - and tourists - from all over the islands compete to discover who can find the biggest fish to fry. 29 June Independence day sees a procession of floats, and celebrations aplenty, in the capital Victoria. The Festival Kreol, which takes place in the last week of October, is probably the biggest event in the islands' calendar, celebrating, through food, art and performance, the ethnic diversity of the archipelago. November SUBIOS, the Indian Ocean Festival of Underwater Images, is when the world's diving experts come to the hotels of Mahé and Praslin to give talks and screen sub-aquatic delights.