Before I visited the Seychelles, I had read a lot about how this is one of the most expensive destinations in the world and not at all suitable for backpackers. Moreover, since it is termed as a honeymoon spot, I wasn’t sure if going solo here was actually a good choice or not.
Traveling can be difficult, especially if you are working with a shoestring budget, but it is not impossible. And yes, there are a few countries which are more expensive to travel to, but if you do proper research, then you can definitely reduce your travel costs greatly.
But, in the end, my love for traveling to islands won over my fear of traveling solo in an expensive country and I am really grateful for it. You know why? Because Seychelles is not as expensive as they claim it to be. Yes, it is still slightly expensive in comparison to South East Asian Countries but it is quite easily manageable. I managed my entire 15-day solo trip to this island for $730 USD, and here is how you can do it too.
Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, out of which only a few are habited and accessible to the tourists and travelers. Out of these 115 islands, a few have been turned into resorts and can only be accessed if you are staying in the resort. So, travelers (especially budget travelers like us) are left with 3 major islands to explore: Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue.
Yes, there are other islands like Curieuse, St. Pierre, Cousin, etc. which can be explored as 1-day excursions from the main islands. But, remember, your traveling cost increases as the number of islands you plan to visit grows.
In my opinion though, if you are planning to visit Seychelles then do visit Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. You can skip out on the smaller islands but these are the ones you should definitely explore.
Getting Around in Seychelles
Traveling in Seychelles is basically divided into two categories, i.e., the island traveling and the island hopping. Since I was on a tight budget, I opted only for the cheapest travel options to explore this country.
Opt for the Buses and Cycles for Traveling
Both Mahe and Praslin Island have an amazing bus network which will take you to all the major points on the island. And the cost of each bus ride (regardless of the stop) is less than a dollar. I know right, it is completely incredible!
I mainly used buses to explore Mahe and Praslin and found the timetable for Mahe on this website: http://www.sptc.sc/bus-schedule/
Since Praslin is relatively much smaller than Mahe, there are actually only two bus routes here which cover the entire island. You can find the bus route timetable at the place of your accommodation quite easily.
La Digue is only 5 km in length and 3.3 km in width which is why there isn’t any bus facility here. Instead, you can walk or hire cycles to explore this place. The cost of the cycle can vary between 8 – 12 USD, depending on where you are renting it from.
Walk or Hitchhike Wherever Possible
Another great way to save some money in Seychelles is by walking or hitchhiking to your destination. People are extremely friendly here and will easily give you a ride if they see you traveling alone. I certainly met a lot of wonderful people this way and saved a few extra bucks too.
Ordinary Ferries for the Island Hopping
There are two possible ways to travel between islands: ferries and helicopters. Needless to say, helicopters are expensive and not ideal for budget travelers. And while ferries are slightly expensive too, they are the best mode of transportation between the islands.
You will get ferries for Mahe – La Digue – Mahe for just 10 USD if you book it online. However, if you want to save a little more money, then you can ask a local to book the ferries for you, although the difference won’t be more than 2-3 USD.
Budget-Friendly Accommodation Options
Now, let me start with accommodation in this beautiful land. The reason why Seychelles is termed as expensive is due to the high priced accommodation options. And it is true, the hotels and resorts here are quite expensive which is why I avoided staying in them altogether. I suggest one of the following options: AirBnB’s in the Seychelles or Affordable Hostels/Guesthouses.
Yes, you can stay with a Couchsurfing host in Seychelles. It is not as commonly available as other countries but you will still find a few people on Mahe and other resort islands who participate in Couchsurfing.
So, when I started planning for my trip, I first searched the Couchsurfing app for any willing host to take me in. Luckily, I found one on Mahe island which saved me accommodation cost for 6 days. This way, I ended up saving around 180 USD on my trip.
I didn’t have much luck with Couchsurfing on Praslin or La Digue so I had to look at other options for these places.
While Couchsurfing was my first option, self-catering apartments like on AirBnB and budget hostels were my second choice of accommodation. Personally, I was more inclined towards Self-Catering apartment than hostels. This is because it allowed me to cook food for myself so that I could save a few extra bucks.
Also, I got free breakfast and water so I greatly reduced my food cost. In total, it cost 350 USD for my 8-nights stay in Praslin and La Digue. Yes, it is still a lot but it is quite less than the amount I would have paid if I was staying in a hotel or a hostel.
Meals and Drinks
Thankfully, food is not that expensive in Seychelles, especially if you opt for local food from vans and takeaways. Drinks, including water, are expensive here so it is always advisable to fill your bottle from the place of your stay.
You will easily get snacks here from takeaway vans under 2 USD which is quite cheap. Also, make sure that you try the Creole cuisine here from the takeaways, again it will cost you just 1-2 USD for a meal and it will be quite filling too.
Avoid eating at a restaurant or a fancy café because they would charge you more and will come around to be 15-20 USD for a meal.
If you want to save further, then cook your own meals in the self-catering apartment. You can easily get the grocery from the local market and can finish your trip by spending just 150 USD for 2 weeks on food.
Things to Do in the Seychelles on a Budget
Seychelles is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous countries that I have ever visited and certainly has a lot to offer, both in terms of views and activities. However, when you are on a budget, you have to be slightly careful while choosing the activities to try here.
Well, here are a few activities that I enjoyed here while being on a budget solo trip.
Exploring the Entire Island
As I mentioned earlier, one can easily explore Mahe and Praslin island on a bus which is both cheap and convenient. So, that is exactly what I did. I took a bus to all the parts of the island to make a note of the places that I would like to explore more. Then, the next day I took a bus to that spot and explored the area to my heart’s content.
It felt so amazing and incredible to be able to visit each and every corner of the island without having to shell a fortune.
Chilling and Tanning on the Beaches
It is no surprise that Seychelles is known to have one of the most exotic and beautiful beaches in the whole world. Anse Georgette, Anse Source D’Argent, Sunset Beach, etc. are just a few beaches which will leave you completely speechless.
Since all these beaches are free and publicly accessible, I spent my days just soaking in the view and chilling on the beach.
Watching Some Amazing Sunsets
I am not even exaggerating when I say that this place offers some really amazing sunsets (at least when it is not raining). Although I was unlucky to visit this country during the monsoon time, I was still able to witness a few gorgeous sunsets. And they were certainly out of this world (and free too!!!).
Hiking to the Highest Points of the Islands
Another free activity that you can do on these islands is to hike to the highest points like Morne Blanc, Fond Ferdinand, etc. to observe the coastline. The hiking trails are well-defined and certainly don’t require a guide for exploration.
And once you reach the top, you are just blown away by the coastline and the amazing view of the islands.
Snorkeling in the Clear Blue Water
If you have your own snorkeling gear and experience in snorkeling, then you can easily observe the fascinating marine life here. Since Seychelles is known for its diverse coral life, you will come across a lot of fascinating corals and fishes here.
In case, you don’t know how to snorkel or don’t have the right equipment for you, then you can always opt for a snorkeling trip here. It would cost you somewhere about 25 – 30 USD but you would be able to watch the unique underwater composition here.
Feeding the Giant Turtles on La Digue
One of the most fun things that I did in Seychelles was to feed and pat the giant turtles roaming the roads of La Digue. Yes, you heard me right! These giant turtles actually roam freely on the road and you can interact with them easily.
Apart from the giants turtles on the street, there are a few in the turtle farm of L’Union Estate (La Digue) as well. Here, you can watch the baby turtles in the nursery too. The entrance fee of this place is 9.5 USD and it gives you a full-day access to the Turtle farm, Art Gallery, Anse Source D’Argent beach, etc.
Observing the Unique Flora and Fauna
Finally, Seychelles is quite popular for its unique flora and fauna. The national fruit of this country is Coco De Mer, which is shaped like male and female genitalia and has a fascinating process associated with it. You can learn more about the special plants and animals that you can find here.
Suggested Itinerary for Seychelles (15 Days)
Day 1: Victoria, Mahe
Reach Mahe via flight. Take a bus to your accommodation and then spend the day exploring the streets and market of Victoria.
Day 2: North Mahe
Take a bus to Nord D’Est Beach and spend a few hours chilling here. Take another bus to Sunset beach and watch a gorgeous sunset here.
Day 3: Beau Vallon
Take a bus to Beau Vallon and spend a day, relaxing on the beach or exploring the place.
Day 4: Port Launay / Mission Lodge
Take a bus to Port Launay and spend a few hours here. Then, take another bus to Mission Lodge Point and observe the mountain and coastline views from here.
Day 5: Morne Blanc / La Misere Viewpoint
Take a bus to Morne Blanc Trail and then hike for 1 hour to reach the top. Spend 1-2 hours here and then head back to the starting point of the trail. Take a bus to Victoria and then another bus to La Misere Viewpoint.
Day 6: South Mahe
Take a bus to the South beaches and spend a day exploring here.
Day 7: Grand Anse, Praslin
Leave for Praslin on a ferry. Take a bus to Grand Anse beach and spend some time here. On the way back, take a complete bus tour to observe the various points.
Day 8: Fond Ferdinand/Cote D’Or Beach
Go to the Fond Ferdinand Reserve and then hike to the topmost point. Take a bus to the Cote D’Or Beach in the evening.
Day 9: Anse Lazio / Anse Georgette
Early morning, take a bus to Anse Lazio beach. Spend a few hours here and then take a bus to Anse Georgette beach.
Day 10: Praslin
Check out the remaining beaches and viewpoints which hold your interest.
Day 11: Anse Severe / Anse Reunion, La Digue
Leave for La Digue on a ferry. Hire a cycle and explore the Anse Severe and Anse La Reunion beach.
Day 12: Veuve Reserve / L’Union Estate
Cycle to the Veuve Reserve and watch the Seychelles Flycatcher birds here. Then, cycle to the L’Union Estate and spend the remaining day at the Turtle Farm and the Anse Source D’Argent Beach.
Day 13: Anse Fourmis / Anse La Reunion
Cycle to the Anse Fourmis Beach and spend some time relaxing at the beach. Go back to the Anse La Reunion beach and watch a sunset here.
Day 14: Grand Anse / Anse Cocos / Petite Anse
Cycle to Grand Anse beach (La Digue) and spend some time here. Then, hike to the Anse Cocos and Petite Anse beach from here.
Day 15: La Digue / Mahe / Home
Leave for Mahe island and take your return flight to your home country.
Exploring Seychelles on a solo budget trip is not impossible. All you need is a little planning but don’t even think to skip on this amazing place. I traveled solo to this place but I had the most amazing time here. On my trip, I met so many amazing people and other solo travelers and made memories which I am going to cherish for my entire life.
Rachita Saxena is from India and has been traveling and blogging for the past three years. She is the co-founder of a travel blog, 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 and Facebook.