First things first, Seychelles on a budget is still more expensive than other destinations, but it can be done without spending a fortune. And as expected, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Where to stay
The main islands to stay in are Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. The airport is located in Mahe, but they all have public ferry service, running several times a day.
In Mahe, I recommend Beau Vallon. It’s a small beach town, with both locals and tourists, less than 30 min drive from Victoria, the capital. The rest of the island is very beautiful as well, and definitely worth visiting, but more remote.
Unfortunately, there is not much of a choice for a low budget. The cheapest option I could find was a rental apartment. When I was searching to book my holiday, I could find 2-bedroom flats for about £600 for 10 days. If you book well in advance, it can get even cheaper. Also, Beau Vallon is a bit touristy as well, so other areas of Mahe may be cheaper.
There is one “budget” hotel in Beau Vallon, which is about £1,200 for a double room, for 10 days. It’s called Berjaya and it’s very busy all the time. The service is quite bad and the rooms modest. The overall quality doesn’t justify the price. However, it’s the cheapest hotel on Beau Vallon beach. They have a very good location, breakfast included, also offer free shuttle bus ride to Victoria.
The other hotels neighboring Berjaya were all about double the price. And that’s the most common pricing for hotels in Seychelles. But the good thing is, nature knows no difference.
I planned this as a family holiday, but if I were to do it by myself, I would have stayed a few days on each island. They are all similar yet different, and the landscape and beaches are absolutely gorgeous.
There are local buses to different parts of Mahe island. I don’t have much input here, but to bear in mind is that it’s getting dark around 6 pm and I haven’t seen so many street lights. If you take the public transport, best to plan it well or download the map. It’s very safe though, the locals are very relaxed and calm.
Taxis are quite expensive. It costs about £40 from the airport to Beau Vallon (around 30 min drive). Ferries are expensive as well. I think it costs about £40 from Mahe to Praslin (one way!)
On a positive note, in La Digue you don’t need a car, the island is so small you can walk or bike everywhere.
Where to eat
If you stay in Beau Vallon, the street food market is the cheapest option. Freshly grilled fish is one of the highlights, but there are other options too.
At the market, we (4 people) had dinner for about £15. At restaurants, dinner would start with £10 per person. Most of the restaurants are part of the resorts, but they are open to everybody. There is a good selection of restaurants, including local, Italian, Turkish, Indian or Japanese.
We stayed at the hotel and had breakfast included. Otherwise, I recommend buying fresh fruits and vegetables from the market. A coconut is about £1. They also have groceries stores and supermarkets, where you find pretty much everything you need.
What to do
Mind the sun! Seychelles’ sun is crazy hot, it burns everything. I’m don’t usually get burned, and after a day at the beach (mostly in the shadow), I was all burnt. Sun cream, sun hats, sunglasses, very light dresses or scarfs, everything helps.
Victoria is the capital and certainly the busiest area. The market is the best place to buy food and some locals say the cheapest for souvenirs as well. Walking distance from the market, there is a small Hindu temple.
What I noticed is that locals don’t like to haggle. Also, doubting their word makes them feel insulted. The general feeling I got is that the locals don’t mind having tourists around, but they are not too happy either.
If you like plants, the Botanical Gardens in Victoria and the Jardin du Roi Spice Garden in Anse Royale are both very beautiful. It’s also a good escape from the burning sun, because the high trees bring a cool shadow.
The promenade in Beau Vallon gets more animated during the evening. A few street food options, fresh fruits and juices, a bit of music. Wednesday night is the best, as locals gather here, play music and dance and the atmosphere is something you don’t want to miss.
Eden Island is a made-up island. When you get there, a small exhibition shows you the history of it and how it was built. It’s mostly expensive houses, with a shopping mall and yachts port.
Mission Lodge Lookout is one of the few historical places. It’s not only a great viewpoint, but it also tells the story of the rescued slaves’ journey and how their children grew up.
There are many mountains and hiking routes in Mahe. I was initially planning to do the hike to Anse Major, one of the easiest ones available. However, after the crazy sun knocked us all after the first day, we decided that 1h hike in the sun might not be the most enjoyable.
Praslin is the only place you can admire the coco-de-mer palm trees in their natural environment, at Vallee de Mai National Park. Those palm trees are huge! Their nuts are also huge and with a unique shape. Don’t worry, you won’t miss it, that shape is literally everywhere, on every advertising, every souvenir. Even on the passport stamp.
Anse Lazio is one of the most beautiful beaches and it has it all: lush exotic vegetation, white sand, turquoise water, random grey stones. The best part is that it’s not exploited by tourism, you don’t have restaurants, sun umbrellas or other stuff around. It’s all natural and it looks completely amazing.
Explore La Digue
La Digue is the smallest among the three and it can be explored by bike. There are bike rental places close to the port and they even have 3 wheels bikes (for those like me, who almost forgot how to bike).
On the way from the port to the beach, there is an old farmland converted to a national park. A few of the highlights include a vanilla plantation, the owner’s house, a traditional press for coconut oil and huge tortoises.
Anse Source D’argent is at least as beautiful as Anse Lazio. It’s debatable which one is the best, I think it’s more of a personal preference. But guaranteed, they are both incredible.
As I had only been around for 10 days, there might be things I missed or left off plan intentionally. I traveled with family, so it’s a bit different than traveling solo or as a couple.
I recommend checking Cory’s articles about Seychelles. There is plenty of information and as it helped me with my planning, I’m sure it will help you as well.