The Seychelles Archipelago consists of one hundred and fifteen islands in the Indian Ocean. There are forty-three Inner Islands and seventy-two Outer Islands.
The highest point in the Seychelles is Morne Seychellois (905 m) on the island of Mahé.
Mahé is the largest island and home to ninety percent of the population.
The island of Cerf, Mahe's closest neighbour, is part of the St. Anne Marine Park.
Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles Archipelago.
The Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, on the island of Praslin, is a World Heritage site.
The famous coco-de-mer, the world's largest seed, can be found growing in the Reserve.
Silhouette is the third largest of the Seychelles' islands.
La Digue, the Seychelles' fourth largest island, is famous for interesting shaped granite boulders on its beaches.
Aldabra Atoll, a World Heritage site, is part of the Outer Island group. Aldabra is the largest raised atoll in the world.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit the Seychelles (1501 and 1502).
French colonists settled on the island of St. Anne Island in 1770.
The Seychelles Archipelago was named after Jean Moreau de Sechelles, a French finance minister of the mid eighteenth century.
The French and the British vied for possession of the Seychelles.
In 1814 the islands of the Seychelles (along with Mauritius) were ceded to Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
Following the Treaty of Paris, the islands of the Seychelles were administered from Mauritius.
The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act began the process leading to emancipation).
The Seychelles became a separate British Colony in 1903.
Independence was achieved in 1976 and the Seychelles became the Republic of Seychelles.
France René led the Republic of Seychelles from 1977 until 2004.
The Republic maintained links with the United Kingdom through membership of the Commonwealth.
In 2000 the High Court in London ruled that the UK acted unlawfully removing the inhabitants of Diego Garcia from the island. Exiles from Diego Garcia (between 1,500 and 2,000) went to Mauritius and the Seychelles.
The tsunami of December 2004, which occurred as a result of a quake under the sea near Aceh in north Indonesia (8.9 on the Richter scale), caused some deaths in the Seychelles. There was damage to the infrastructure of the country and to homes and businesses.