90 percent of the population of Seychelles lives in Mahe, making it the best place for shopping in the Seychelles Islands.
There are small markets all over the place, which are similar to dollar stores in the U.S., but without the big brands. For example, they have shampoo, but don’t expect to find a brand your familiar with.
Every Wednesday at about noon and on the last Saturday of the month around 6 pm, you’ll find an outdoor market on Beau Vallon Beach, near Baobab Pizza. At least 50 vendors set up booths and sell local food, drinks, jewelry, t-shirts, trinkets and a host of other reasonably priced merchandise.
Prices vary throughout the islands’ souvenir shops. You can also find cheaper souvenirs in the small food shops.
The seashells, coral, and tortoise shells you’ll find for sale in the Seychelles are illegal to import to most countries (according to the CITES treaty for protection of rare animals). You’re likely to have your souvenirs confiscated and will receive a fine if you try to transport them or leave Seychelles with them. Exceptions are made for simple jewelery of the traditional East African variety made from plain shells.
The Coco de Mer (sea coconut or double coconut) is available in almost every tourist shop, polished or unpolished. You must make sure the vendor gives you an export certificate to go with the nut, as you cannot get through customs without it. The small ones are not real, they’re made out of wood. Some are hollowed out to make them lighter and easier to carry.
The Craft Village is a former plantation that has been reinvented as a showcase for the arts and crafts of the Seychelles. However, the Seychelles were uninhabited until fairly recently in history, so there is not much tradition of indigenous culture and art. Consequently, the wares are mostly overpriced trifles, like wooden fish mobiles. Anything with any true artistic merit, like a hand-made model sailing ship is sold at a grossly inflated price. Still, it’s worth wandering around the plantation grounds if you’d like to get a feel for the history of the place.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Seychelles Shopping.
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