A Solo Traveler’s Guide for Exploring Seychelles on a Budget
Seychelles is a gorgeous island nation located in the Indian which lies in South East Africa. One of the most popular honeymoon and couple destinations, this place is not much popular among solo travelers and backpackers as it is often seen as a ‘tad’ bit expensive. But, I am glad that I didn’t let this deter me from visiting this place because truly, this has been one of the most beautiful countries that I have set foot in, till date.
And I did it solo. Yes, it cost a bit more than other countries but it was still manageable in 75,000 INR for 15 days (including flights). I know it might seem like a lot but it was money well spent and I definitely don’t regret going here.
If you are planning to attempt this place like me, solo, then here is a guide to help you plan your perfect Seychelles trip. Trust me, by the end of your trip, you will fall in love with the people over here and would have a hard time returning home.
How to Reach Seychelles
In order to reach this island, you will need to take a flight to the Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) which is situated on the Mahe Island
There are many airplane carriers like British Airways, Air Seychelles, Etihad Airlines, etc. which have daily flights to this airport from major cities of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East continent.
A to and fro flight from India (Mumbai) will cost you about 20k – 25k INR and can take anywhere between 5 hours to 10 hours, depending on the layovers.
If you book the flight 6-7 months in advance then you might also stumble upon a deal to reduce your flights costs so, make sure you compare the prices on different websites before booking your tickets.
Visa and Currency Information
Thankfully, Seychelles is an open and tourist-friendly island nation so you don’t need a Visa to enter this country. All you need are the following documents and you will get cleared by the Immigration officer in just 5 minutes:
- Proof of Return or Onward journey ticket
- Sufficient Funds in your Account
- Valid Passport which isn’t going to expire in the next 6 months
- Proof of Accommodation
Once you are cleared, you can stay here for 30 days for free. You can also get your visa extended for another 3 months for free but any extension after that will cost you some money.
The main currency which is accepted in Seychelles is Seychellois Rupees and a few places also accept Euros. But for local traveling and shopping, you need to carry the local currency with you.
Make sure that you carry enough Euros to cover your accommodation, ferry tickets, and adventure activities because you won’t find ATMs dispensing any Euros here.
There are several Barclays and Seychelles Commercial Bank ATMs dispersed throughout the islands where you can withdraw some cash. Both the ATMs accept VISA cards so you shouldn’t face any problem with your International VISA card.
How to Explore the Islands
Depending on your budget, there are several modes of transportations available on the islands.
One of the cheapest and most reliable modes of transportation to explore the islands is the public buses (Seychelles Public Transport Corporation buses) which ply through both Mahe and Praslin Island. The cost of a bus ride is 7 Seychellois Rupees, regardless of the stop which makes it a convenient option to travel.
You can also check out the bus timings and routes at the official SPTC bus website to plan your trip. But remember, the last bus leaving on the Mahe Island is at 7.30 p.m. while the last bus making the rounds on the Praslin Island is at 6.30 p.m. So plan your day carefully.
If you know how to drive a car and have a valid license, then you can simply hire a car and explore the islands. This won’t be cheap but it would be convenient and would allow you to cover more distance in a day. You will find several car rentals both online or at the airport so, make sure that you compare before choosing.
On La Digue, you don’t have car rentals or buses available so you have to either explore the island on foot or you can rent cycles here. A rental cycle will cost you about 100-150 Seychellois Rupees for 24 hours and will help you cover the entire island in a single day.
There are a few cabs and golf carts available here but they will cost you more than a rental cycle so, stick to cycling around here.
How to Travel Between the Islands
There aren’t many ways to travel from one island to another, especially if you are a budget solo traveler. Most locals and tourists use the local ferries which are available for Mahe to Praslin route, Praslin to La Digue route, and vice versa. You can book the tickets for these ferries online which will cost you about 128 Euros for a return trip from Mahe to La Digue.
One thing to keep in mind is that the ferries cost more if you book online. So, if you want to further reduce the costs then ask a local to buy the tickets for you.
Best Places to Visit in Seychelles
There are several interesting places in Seychelles that would make for an awesome addition to your itinerary. However, here are a few which should definitely be on your list when visiting this island nation.
Anse Georgette, Praslin Island
If you are planning to stay on the Praslin Island then you have to visit the Anse Georgette beach which is accessible through a private hotel property. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful and cleanest beach here and would make for a great place to relax for a while.
It is a small beach and is surrounded by rocks and greenery on both the sides which makes it a really beautiful sight for the visitors.
Beau Vallon, Mahe Island
One of the most popular tourist spots on Mahe Island is the Beau Vallon beach which is a paradise for beach lovers and shopping enthusiasts. Here, you can buy souvenirs for your friends and family or you can relax on the beach while watching the waves going up and down.
Also, you will find here Scuba Diving centers where you can book yourself a water adventure sports session and can truly enjoy the clear blue waters here.
La Misere Viewpoint, Mahe Island
One of the best spots on the Mahe Island is the La Misere Viewpoint which offers you the complete view of the Eden Islands and Victoria city. This place is especially popular for a night ride as you can see the entire city lit up from a high vantage point.
Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue Island
One of the most photographed beaches on the La Digue Island, Anse Source D’Argent is a paradise for all the photography enthusiasts. This is because this beach has a unique and attractive boulder structure surrounding it which offers a certain charm to this place.
Although you need to pay 125 Seychellois Rupees to enter this place, it is completely worth it and you can spend an entire day here on that single ticket.
Anse Fourmis, La Digue Island
This is a less popular beach on the La Digue Island which is why it is perfect for travelers who are looking for some quiet alone time. This is the end of the island and one has to hike to the other side to reach Anse Cocos and Petite Anse beach which is why this is mostly secluded.
Here, you can relax and have the entire beach for yourself. And, here is where you will find the famous bent palm tree that is taking Instagram by the storm.
Fond Ferdinand, Praslin Island
Finally, if you are interested in learning about the unique flora and fauna found in Seychelles then Fond Ferdinand is the place for you. Here, you can learn about the famous Coco De Mer and other endemic animals and plants that are present in Seychelles.
Things to Do in Seychelles on a Budget
Relax on the Gorgeous Beaches on Seychelles
Seychelles is known to have the most gorgeous beaches in the world. So, what better way to enjoy this island nation than chilling and relaxing on these beaches?
The best thing is that it doesn’t cost you anything and you can sunbathe and get tanned while enjoying a beautiful view of the ocean.
Feed the Giant Aldabra Tortoises
This island nation is quite famous for the Giant Tortoises which roam around the islands and are quite heavy and taller than a normal tortoise. They can often weigh more than 400 kg and are 1.3m in height which is why you should definitely see them when visiting this place.
In fact, on La Digue Island, you can go to the Giant Tortoise farm and feed them leaves over here to spend some time with them. Sounds exciting, right?
Cycle and Explore the Streets of La Digue
Personally, one of my favorite things to do in Seychelles was to cycle in La Digue and explore the island, especially during the night time. The roads are smooth and make for a fun ride and it is completely exhilarating when you ride by a beach when the moonlight shines on the ocean.
You have to see it and experience it for yourself to actually know what I am talking about.
Watch Some Mesmerizing Sunsets from the Beaches
On this island, you are going to witness some of the most gorgeous sunsets which will stay etched in your mind forever. These sunsets will be magical and nothing like you have seen before so, it would be a big mistake to miss out on them.
Just buy a beer bottle and sit down on the beach to watch the sun setting in the ocean while the sky turns a beautiful shade of red. Trust me, this is a sight you will cherish forever.
Hike to the Highest Viewpoints on the Islands
I know that a lot of people think that Seychelles is an island nation so there aren’t any mountains or hiking trails here but this is not true. Seychelles has a unique composition and you will find both mountains and beaches here, side by side, which makes it a truly beautiful place to visit.
In fact, there are some really amazing hiking trails like Morne Blanc, Mission Lodge, Ford Ferdinand, etc. which will offer you a proper top view of the island coast. And these hiking trails are easy so there is no need to hire a guide too.
Go for Swimming in the Clear, Turquoise Blue Water
Visiting Seychelles without swimming in the ocean is like going to Las Vegas without partying your heart out. So, make sure that you get your swimming costumes and goggles and go for a light swim in this big, beautiful ocean.
If you like snorkeling then you can also take your gear and see some really amazing corals and sea animals when swimming here.
Food Options Available in Seychelles
Seychelles is particularly famous for the Creole cuisine which consists of a vegetable or meat curry along with lentil and rice. Here, you would find Fish curry, Chicken curry, Octopus curry (Speciality), and so on. And trust me, this is damn delicious and a must-try dish when you are in Seychelles.
A Creole dish takeaway will cost you anywhere between 50 to 80 Seychellois Rupees and will be quite filling, although a little spicy.
Snacks and Fast Food
Apart from the famous Creole cuisine, you will also find here some fast food dishes like Sausages with chips, Chicken with chips, Burger with chips, etc. And you can also get small snacks like rolls, baked bread, and so on which will cost about 5 – 15 Seychellois Rupees and act as a great filler between meals.
You will easily find these food items at takeaways, grocery shops, and snack shops.
Note: Avoid eating at a restaurant unless you want to spend 300 – 500 Seychellois Rupees for a meal. Always go for takeaways as they are cheaper and convenient.
Accommodation Options Available in Seychelles
One of the biggest problems in planning a trip to Seychelles is to find a nice and cheap accommodation. If you are traveling solo then avoid staying in hotels or resorts because it will end up taking a huge chunk of your budget.
Personally, I would recommend you to book a homestay because it works well for both solo and family trips. A typical homestay in Praslin or La Digue would cost you 20 – 30 Euros for a night and will include breakfast, water, etc.
On Mahe, you would find a homestay for an even lower price at just 15 Euros which will be convenient and will offer you a variety of amenities. Homestays are a great way to save money on food and water as well which is why they should be your first option when looking for an accommodation in Seychelles.
You can also cook your own food at these homestays to avoid getting the takeaways and save some extra bucks.
In case you can’t find a homestay or a cheap homestay for yourself then finding a hostel would be the second best option. There are few hostels on Mahe which cost 25 – 30 Euros a night that you can find on booking.com or hostellers.com.
Although these hostels won’t allow you to cook your own food or provide you with water, they will offer you basic amenities at a budget-friendly price.
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.