Coco de mer, also known as sea coconuts, are certainly the most iconic thing to buy in Seychelles. You have to be really careful where you buy them from however, and ensure you have the right certification with it. Before you purchase, check for a holographic sticker on the coco de mer and an official permit – a new system which came into place in 2017 to help protect from counterfeits and illegal sales. If you get caught trying to leave the country with a coco de mer that doesn’t have proper certification you will be fined and possibly even sent to prison.
When you buy an officially licensed coco de mer it will be hollowed out to ensure that they are not replanted elsewhere. They still weigh up to 5kg even after they’ve been hollowed so check you’ve got the space in your luggage before you purchase!
Created by a French aromatherapist living on Mahe island, Yi-King is a brand of essential oils made from the finest Seychelles ingredients. Yi-King has created oil blends based on a person’s date of birth and the way it relates to the eight master elements recognised by Chinese medicine; sky, wind, water, mountain, earth, thunder, fire and lake. The range has now extended to include items such as traditional cold-pressed coconut oil, creams for mother and baby, as well as a range for kids.
You can visit Yi-King for a personal consultation and of course to buy the products. You will also find Yi-King products are used at a wide range of top hotel spas in Seychelles, including Denis Island Resort, Constance Aphelia, Constance Lémuria, and the Hilton.
Yi-King, Victoria, Mahe +248 2761 498
Founded in 1990, Kreolor’s roots are in jewellery inspired by the Seychelles. Following the success of this, they expanded into making crafts using local materials. If you’re looking for tasteful jewellery – that still carries the Seychelles spirit – this is where you’ll find it. They have five stores across Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
Kreolor, Mahe island Seychelles +248 4344551
Shark chutney is a traditional Seychellois dish that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s made with shark meat that has been mashed and boiled, and a tangy local fruit bilimbi, fried onion, turmeric, lime juice, salt and pepper are also added. It is usually served, like most Creole dishes, with lentils and shredded green papaya on rice. The best places to find shark chutney is at the various Creole takeaways.
Seybrew is the local larger. Produced on Mahe since 1971, it’s light and easy to drink. You can buy it everywhere in Seychelles, from corner shops to five-star resorts. It comes in a bottle, and many of the local corner shops will accept the empties back to be recycled in exchange for two Seychelles rupees per bottle (that’s about £0.11). It’s a bit of an unspoken rule to leave bottles for any cleaning staff at wherever you’re staying, particularly in self-catering places.
Seybrew, Mahe Island, Seychelles +248 4382 600
The local rum is amazing, particularly the dark spiced rum. You can also get coco rum, white rum, extra dark and aged varieties. Recently Takamaka has been available on some specialty websites selling spirits from around the world, but it will always taste much better with a view of the beach in the Seychelles. You can also visit the brewery, which offers tours and has a restaurant and bar which serves amazing food and cocktails – and most drinks, as you can imagine, have a rum twist!
La Plaine St Andre, Mahe island, Seychelles +248 2500 793
George Camille is a contemporary Seychellois artist who has a great ability to create work that appeals to tourists as souvenirs as well as a wider artistic community. With a strong environmental focus, his works include the use of many mediums – perhaps most famously embossed copper. His work was featured in the 2017 Venice Biennale for the second year running. This year, each of the Seychellois artists involved created their own design based on a sculpture of an Aldabra Giant Tortoise created by George Camille.
Island Souls is a book of sketches by Michael Adams, probably the most famous artist in Seychelles. Island Souls is a collection of more than four decades of sketches of Seychelleois people, which Adams had been drawing since he first arrived in Seychelles back in 1972.
Adams describes the pictures as ‘working drawings’, which were not originally intended for the public. These personal sketches had been taken for various reasons; for use in paintings or just when he liked the look of someone. This book can’t be bought online but you’ll find in boutique shops around Seychelles for around $115.