A former British possession, independent since 1976, the Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 1100 kilometres north-east of Madagascar, 1600 kilometres north of Mauritius.
It comprises several groups of islands : the Seychelles proper, thirty islets of granitic and volcanic formation, surrounded in part by coral reefs; an area of 264 km2), the Amirantes Islands, and several other islands to the Southwest (Providence Atoll, Farquhar atoll, Adabra Islands, etc.); a total of 41 granitic islands and 75 coral islands. The total area is estimated at 455 km2,and in 2006 its population was 81540. The largest and most populated island is Mahé (117 km2), followed by Praslin (49 km2). Silhouette has 23 km2, the Dam, 8 km2; Curious, 4 km2. The capital is Victoria, on Mahé Island.