Home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Seychelles is a popular honeymoon spot along with Mauritius. Every year, millions of people flock to this country to explore the gorgeous islands here and spend some time with their partner, but what if you are traveling solo and want to visit the Seychelles on a budget?
What most people don’t realize is that it doesn’t have to be just a honeymoon destination. You can easily come here with your friends or even travel alone if you so desire. And, yes, I know that a lot of people say this is an expensive country which is somewhat true but there are many ways to reduce your costs and complete your trip in a reasonable and affordable amount.
I completed my entire trip to Seychelles for 730 USD and here is how you can also visit the Seychelles on a budget.
How to Reach the Seychelles
Since Seychelles is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, there is only one way to reach Seychelles …by flight. You will get both direct and indirect flights from most major cities all across the world to this country.
There are two major airports in Seychelles: Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) and Praslin Island Airport. The Seychelles Island Airport is situated on Mahe Island and is the hub for most international transfers to and from the Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The Praslin Island Airport is only used for transfers to Mahe and for chartered planes to explore other islands.
Book Flights in Advance
Usually, flights to Seychelles aren’t cheap since it is an island nation so it would be good if you book your flight tickets in advance. Compare the prices 8-9 months before your planned departure and wait until you come across an amazing flight deal. Trust me, you can save a lot on the flights if you are patient enough to research and wait for the right flight offers/deals.
How to Travel on the Seychelles Islands
One of the best things about Seychelles is that it has an amazing public transportation system which connects almost all parts of Mahe Island and Praslin Island.
Also, the cost of a ticket in an SPTC (Seychelles Public Transport Corporation) bus is just 7 Seychelles rupees (about 50 cents), regardless of your stop. There are defined routes and timetables which makes it easy to organize and plan your day while saving a lot in the process.
On La Digue, you don’t have the facility of a bus because this island is tiny in comparison to the other islands. However, you do have the option of renting a bicycle for the day and exploring this tiny island. A bike will cost you about 100-150 Seychelles Rupees and will allow you to cover the entire island in a single day.
It is also possible to get a cheap car rental in Seychelles. It’s easiest if you pick your car up at the airport when arriving. While it may not be necessary depending on the things you want to do, renting a car can mean greater freedom during your trip. Keep in mind that driving in Seychelles is on the left side of the road. The roads on Mahe are low-traffic, mountainous, very narrow and full of curves, so be cautious.
Traveling Between the Islands
There are helicopter and chartered plane services which can be opted for exploring the numerous islands in Seychelles but it is obviously going to be expensive.
So, I would advise you to stay away from these options.
Most locals and travelers take the inter-island ferries here which can cost about 128 Euros for a Mahe – Praslin – La Digue – Mahe ride. You can easily book this ferry online but if you want to save a few extra bucks, then ask the locals to purchase a ticket for you.
Apart from these major islands, you can also check out other islands like St. Pierre, Curieuse, and so on. You will need to take a day trip for these islands which will cost about 45 Euros for a Full-Day trip, including food and drinks.
Budget-Friendly Accommodations in the Seychelles
One of the trickiest things to figure out while planning a trip to Seychelles is the accommodation. Because, I kid you not, the accommodation is damn expensive here and can easily be 50 – 60 Euros for a night. However, if you plan and research carefully then you can easily save a few hundred.
One of the cheapest and most convenient stay options in Seychelles is to book a Self-Catering Apartment or an Airbnb flat. This will cost you the least, in terms of the stay cost and you will be able to save yourself some food and water cost too.
You can cook your own meals at these apartments, saving yourself the food cost. And most of the places have a water filter so you can simply fill your bottle before leaving the house.
A typical self-catering Apartment can cost you about 35 – 45 Euros for a night.
If you don’t find any Self-Catering Apartment then finding a cheap hotel is your second best option. A hostel would cost similar to a Self-Catering Apartment but it won’t offer you amenities to cook your own food. A typical hostel in Mahe should cost you about 35 – 40 Euros for a night.
Eating Cheap in Seychelles
Food is actually cheap and delicious in Seychelles if you stay clear from restaurants and resorts. Takeaways and Snack Shops will be your best friend here, offering you cheap yet delicious food to eat.
You will find several takeaway shops here selling food for 35 – 70 Seychellois Rupees which is going to be delicious and filling. You can get sausage with chips, fish with chips, chicken with chips, and so on.
You will also get Creole dishes like octopus curry, fish curry, chicken curry, etc. which you should definitely try here. Trust me, it is really tasty but, remember that it will be slightly spicy so keep lots of water with you when eating these dishes.
You will also find several snack Shops which sell rolls, bread, etc. which will cost about 10 – 20 Seychellois Rupees. These can act as your filler food when there are no takeaway shops nearby and you don’t wish to spend an fortune in the restaurants.
Cooking at Home
One of the best ways to save money on food is by cooking your own food if you are staying in an apartment. You can get the ingredients from your home or buy it from the local market.
Trust me, this will be much cheaper in the long run than getting a takeaway food parcel every day.
Top Things to Do in the Seychelles on a Budget
I know a lot of activities can be expensive here but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy this island completely. Here are a few ways to make the most of your trip here without running yourself dry.
Chill on the Gorgeous Beaches
I am not overselling when I say that Seychelles has one of the most gorgeous beaches ever. Be it Mahe, La Digue, or Praslin, you would be left awestruck by the beautiful beaches and their unique surrounding structures.
And don’t even think about missing on beaches like Sunset Beach (Mahe), Anse Georgette (Praslin), Anse Source D’Argent (La Digue), and so on. If you do, you would be missing out on the most beautiful sights ever.
Swim in the Crystal Clear Water
Yes, Seychelles is famous for its clear turquoise blue water which is why you should definitely spend time swimming in it. The water is so clear that you would easily be able to see the beautiful and unique corals which are found in the Indian Ocean.
So, take your swimsuit and make the most of the beautiful ocean water here.
Go for Snorkeling Trips to Observe the Unique Corals
Apart from swimming, there are several snorkeling spots in Seychelles which will offer you a magnificent view of the flora and fauna that exists underwater. There are snorkeling trips for 25 Euros which last for a couple of hours.
However, if you have your own snorkeling gear then by all means, go ahead and skip the snorkeling trips. Just go to the beaches where you can snorkel and enjoy a swim in the ocean while witnessing the most gorgeous underwater view, without paying a single penny.
Feed the Giant Tortoises in La Digue Island
Seychelles is quite famous for the Giant Tortoises which can be found on the islands and can often grow up to be 1.3m in length and can weigh more than 400 kg. There are only two places where you can see these Giant Tortoises: Aldabra Toll in Seychelles and Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
This is why these tortoises are such a big deal in this island nation. Although you can find these tortoises on all the three islands, with Curieuse Island is known as the Tortoise Island where the beaches are covered with the turtles. However, if you can’t afford the trip, don’t fret.
You can visit the Giant Tortoise Farm on La Digue inside the L’Union State and here, you can feed them leaves too. Also, there is a nursery where you can see these Giant Tortoises when they are just a small baby.
Take lots of Instagram-worthy Photographs
I am sure that I don’t have to tell most of you this but for the few people who don’t know, Seychelles is a paradise for photography enthusiasts. The unique and marvellous boulder-like structures on La Digue island makes it an attractive spot for several photographers.
And the palm trees on the beaches along with turquoise blue water certainly add a nice touch to it. So don’t forget to take your camera and click some marvelous pictures here.
Watch Beautiful Sunsets on the Beaches
Another popular activity to do here which won’t cost you a penny is to watch a few of the dazzling sunsets. Since this island nation lies near the Equator, you see the sun going “under” the ocean quite clearly while the sky turns a brilliant shade of purple, pink, etc.
I can assure you that it will be one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life and you would cherish those memories forever.
Hike on the Various Trails
Finally, you have numerous hiking trails here which will take you to the top to see a magnificent view of the island coast. Most of the hikes here are easy and the path is well-defined so you don’t need to hire a guide for them.
Just get your hiking equipment out and ready yourself to be dazzled by some stunning views. A few of the hiking trails that you should definitely try in Seychelles are the Morne Blanc Trail (Mahe), Fond Ferdinand Reserve (Praslin), Anse Cocos (La Digue), and so on.
Tips for Traveling Solo in Seychelles on a Budget
Apart from the basic information, make sure that you pay attention to these tips while traveling solo in Seychelles.
1. Avoid Purchasing the Internet Pack
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that Internet charges in Seychelles are quite high. So, if you get a SIM Card and enable the data pack on it, you will easily spend 200 – 300 Seychellois Rupees for 2-3 GB data.
Instead, you can make use of the free WiFi wherever available, like Victoria Bus Stand, or just make do without the Wifi for a couple of days and enjoy life and nature!
2. Avoid Purchasing the Water Bottles
Another major advice to heed would be to not purchase water bottles from the grocery stores. If you stay in a Self-Catering Apartment or a hostel then just fill your bottle from the water cooler over there.
Another good idea would be to buy a water can because it will be cheaper for you than buying a water bottle every day.
3. Take a Mosquito Repellant with You
It is no surprise but there are tons of mosquitoes in Seychelles, especially when you are near the ocean. So, it is always better to take 2-3 bottles/tubes of mosquito repellent if you don’t want your body to be covered in mosquito bites.
4. Take a Note of the Bus Timings
While the SPTC bus network on both Mahe and Praslin Island is amazing, there is a slight drawback in using this transportation. The last bus that goes around Mahe leaves at 7.30 p.m. while the last bus making the round in Praslin is at 6.30 p.m.
So, if you don’t have another mode of transportation to rely on, then you are pretty much stranded during the night. This brings us to our last tip.
5. Don’t Go Out Alone at Night
Avoid going out at night if you don’t have your own vehicle or if you aren’t going out with a local. Chances are that you won’t find a bus or ride back to your accommodation place.
Also, most of the restaurants and places close down around 7-8 p.m. unless it is a weekend. So, going at night without anyone to accompany you would be inadvertently pointless.
Seychelles is a little expensive but if you plan and research as mentioned above then you can easily make this trip happen on a smaller budget. So, don’t be scared and do go to Seychelles solo because trust me, you will remember this trip for your entire life.
Rachita Saxena is an Indian traveler and the co-founder of a travel blog named Nomllers which caters to budget travelers and aims to inspire others to leave their comfort zone and experience the unknown. You can follow her journeys on Instagram.