When people talk about their holiday in the Seychelles they were probably on a honeymoon or they have a shit load of money. That’s at least what I was thinking when people talked about this remote archipelago somewhere in the Indian Ocean. But even I visited this tiny country and I have not been married yet, nor did I win the lottery. That means it must be possible to visit these islands on a budget!
Seychelles on a budget
There are certainly ways to explore the Seychelles on a shoestring, but this is not Asia: transportation costs are not going to be super cheap. There are several ways to hop around the islands, but obviously that makes your trip more expensive. There is no reason to fly from island to island as there are several ferries options to and from Mahe. For the die hard backpackers there are also some cargo ship options. I once read about a cargo boat from Mahe to La Digue. I did not do it myself, but it does sound like an adventure! On Seychelles Bookings you can book your tickets online and compare the two different ferry companies: Cat Coco and Inter Island Ferry.
Where to travel if you are doing Seychelles on a budget
Staying on Mahe island is the cheapest way to visit this country, but on the other hand you are not visiting Seychelles every year. So probably you are willing to see some cool islands, rather than staying on the main island. La Digue and Praslin are the most common islands to visit. Renting a car is a good way to explore the numerous secluded beaches on these islands, but a cheaper option is the local bus. Mostly all beaches have shallow crystal clear water and are perfect for swimming and diving activities such as snorkelling, so beach hopping is definitely one of the best things to do in Seychelles.
5 free things to do in Seychelles on a shoestring
It’s not just a regular honeymoon destination; there is a lot of adventures to be found. Of course you make it all the way down here to relax on a stunning beach, float in crystal clear water and drink cocktails while enjoying an amazing sunset. Though these tiny islands offer more than this. From mountain trekking to nature walking and from swimming with whales to diving pristine coral reefs, the Seychelles has it all. Designated tours are not cheap, so try to organize them yourself as much as possible.
Diving and snorkelling in the Seychelles
Obviously diving trips are hard to organize yourself and ask around in the dive centers. Exploring the waters and the coral reefs around the 115 islands that form this archipelago is of course mind blowing. The islands of the Seychelles are scattered in the warm Indian Ocean and therefore diving is top-notch. Diving around La Digue and Praslin is supposedly the best as these islands are more remote than others. Marine life is abundant and there are sights of whale sharks if you are lucky. Expect to pay about $70 per dive incl. gear, but the more dives you buy the cheaper it gets. Snorkelling trips are obviously way cheaper, but I would not recommend doing them on a designated trip. Bring your own gear or rent it somewhere local and head out yourself. Ask around in the hotel for lovely bays nearby for great snorkeling. People are super friendly and will for sure help you how to get there as well. Remember the local busses are the cheapest way to get you to places!
Hiking in Seychelles
There are loads of hiking opportunities as 40% of the country is declared National Park. All of the three major touristy islands offer stunning walks with great views of the island and its beaches. Hiking in Seychelles is completely free and gives you back a lot. Rather than spending a lot of money on organised tours this doesn’t cost anything. Come upclose and personal with giant tortoises and climb up a mountain for spectacular island views. Here are the most popular hikes per island:
Hiking in Mahe
Mahe island has a mountain that is over 900 meters high and is located in the Morne Seychellois National Park. Different day hikes uphill can be made here. Though the most popular route is along the rocky coastline to the secluded beach of Anse Major.
Hiking in Praslin
Walking around in a tiny tropical forest is not what you think about first when booking a holiday to the Seychelles. But especially on Praslin you should consider doing it anyway. National Park Vallee De Mai is an amazing hiking spot and if you are lucky you can spot the rare black parrot. There are a couple trails that will guide you through the valley. Walks range from 30 min to 2,5 hours.
Hiking in La Digue
Wander your way to the largest beach on the island called Grand Anse. Get to see giant tortoises on your way and boulder your way to the beach. A spectacular activity which you should definitely do while on the Seychelles.
Cheap accommodation in Seychelles
Look around on the internet for budget accommodation in Seychelles and you will be surprised by what you will find. There are a lot of options on Agoda. I booked through here and found affordable guesthouses! There are actually plenty options, I did not expect that at all! When I was looking for cheap accommodation in Seychelles these options came out to be the most inexpensive at the time of research: Coral Strand, Chalets Cote Mer, Calou Guesthouse and Villa Elvis. They all go around for about $40 per person per night.
To enjoy the most of this archipelago try to stay on all three major islands for a couple nights. This way the transportation will cost you a bit more money, but then you have really seen the astonishing beauty of these islands while still traveling the Seychelles on a budget! Looking for a cheaper island destination? One of my best read articles is the ultimate guide for Island Hopping Thailand!
If you want to splurge a little but $75 p.p.p.n. is still within your budget then try the Colibri Guesthouse in Praslin. Here you get impeccable service, a beautiful room with an amazing balcony. The view here won’t get any better. For sure you will love it even if it’s only for 1 night!
And while most of us can’t afford to stay in Lemuria resort in Praslin, you can always go there to enjoy a simple lunch or watch the sunset while sipping a delicious cocktail.
How to get to Seychelles?
I flew through the Middle East with Qatar Airlines which was very smooth. Great connection, awesome airport, short layover, just perfect and great service! They constantly have great deals to fly you all over the world for sometimes surprising prices.
Or are you more interested in a stop over in Dubai and skydive above Palm Jumeirah?
I hope I proved that island hopping in this paradise is within reach and that Seychelles on a budget definitely is possible.