Port Launay beach, Mahe Island
Seychelles. Just saying the word conjures up images of pristine white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, exotic marine life and stunning sunsets. Imagine yourself lying in a hammock, a fresh coconut by your side, the sound of palm trees swaying in the breeze. Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? That all sounds nice, yet super expensive! Is it possible to visit Seychelles on a budget?
The Seychelles are known and sold as a luxury destination, it’s the place to go for honeymoons, cashed up couples and special occasions. Many believe that this destination is out of the question for cash-conscious travellers, but nothing is impossible.
What if I told you that you can stay in beautiful accommodation, get around and eat at low costs – and it won’t break the bank. You just have to be smart about it.
Let us share with you all the information you’ll need to visit Seychelles on a budget.
The Seychelles archipelago consists of 115 islands with beautiful beaches, lush tropical vegetation and a wide variety of marine life.
When to go:
Temperature varies from 24 to 32 degrees Celsius throughout the year. From December to March, expect hot and humid weather. From May to September, the temperature is lower and less humid.
Do you require a Visa?
A visa is not required for non-residents entering Seychelles. A valid passport (with at least 6 months validity), a return ticket and proof of accommodation will be required to show immigration officials upon arrival.
PLEASE NOTE: A Yellow Fever Certificate is also required for every visitor. You will not be able to enter if you do not have the original copy of this vaccination.
Seychellois Rupee (SCR). At the time of writing, 1 USD = 13.53 SCR
How to get to Seychelles on a budget:
Depending on where you are travelling from, the cheapest flights to Seychelles can be booked online. We researched a few different websites, however, skyscanner.com seems to always have the best connections and the cheapest prices.
The best connections can be found with Ethiopian Airlines via/from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. This country is definitely worth a visit, however, if your flight allows you a half day or one day in the capital city – consider joining a food tour here, it’s a great introduction to this delicious city.
Emirates also have some great flights deals from Dubai. If you do choose to stopover in this fantastic city, make sure you read this first.
Search for your flight to arrive at Victoria airport (Seychelles International airport). Using the Skyscanner website, you can view a whole week or month of flights to compare prices. This is ideal for this destination, as costs can vary greatly depending on the days of travel.
How to get around.
Seychelles has many islands on which you can stay. The main island, Mahe, also the biggest has a local bus which has many connections around the entire island.
The hub is Victoria, the capital city and quite the bustling one at that. This is where you can change buses and then travel to different beaches and destinations.
The bus station in Victoria – Mahe Island
Each ride will cost you 7 Rupee or $0.50c. You can take this bus from the airport to reach your destination, just pay the driver when you jump on. It’s a good idea to always have some small change with you to pay the driver.
How to take the bus from the airport to your accommodation:
Exit the airport, turn left and you’ll see a bus stop on the opposite side of the road. Depending on which direction you are heading, take the bus from here. We stayed near Beau Vallon beach.
We took the bus to Victoria station (changed bus), then caught a bus towards Beau Vallon beach. Our accommodation was a two-minute walk from the bus stop. It was ideal. It cost us $1 each. The other option would have been to take a taxi for approximately 45 euro.
The buses leave every 30 minutes around the island, so you may have to wait a little bit, but it’s much cheaper than other options.
Car Hire: You can also hire a car on the island. Click here for the cheapest car hire in Seychelles.
The island is quite hilly and lots of sharp bends – but a car can save you time exploring different beaches if you don’t want to wait for buses etc.
View from the bus on Mahe Island.
Where to stay in Seychelles on a budget:
Affordable accommodation in Seychelles is hard to find. It’s all about location and which area you’d like to stay.
We did lots of research for the best location, proximity to great beaches, small supermarket and bus stops to access the island. One beach or location had the best reviews from previous travellers, so we searched in this area.
This one bedroom apartment that we booked in Beau Vallon, Mahe Island was superb!
Bedroom in our apartment – Best bed ever!
We paid 80 euro per night, which is a great price considering the average rate of good accommodation on the island.
Our apartment was exceptionally clean, had fantastic reviews and was within our budget for Seychelles. It included a front terrace with table and chairs to eat, a sunbed, two very comfortable chairs to sit and drink our coffee and look out over lush mountains and banana trees.
Our living room and the sunbed with a balcony terrace
Inside we had a small kitchen with all amenities, coffee maker, fridge etc. A/C, fans in living room and bedroom.
Our kitchen – It had everything!
We enjoyed a very large bathroom with huge walk-in shower. The apartment was very light, secure, Wi-fi, cable TV. Two small supermarkets only two minutes walk away, bus stop very close by and Beau Vallon beach was only 400 m walk away.
Here you can find some great restaurants, epic sunsets, market food/creole cooking that you can buy and eat on the beach.
Airbnb is also a great option if you are looking for a real local experience as they specialise in homestay accommodation or private apartments. Click here for a discount of $55.00 off your first Airbnb stay.
– Why you should use Airbnb when you travel
Where to Eat?
We stayed in Beau Vallon, Mahe Island. A few great places to eat are mentioned below. Around the rest of the island, you will find lots of great restaurants, ranging in prices that cater to visitors.
You will also find cheaper home cooked food sold in small market shops for $10 or so for a meal.
A typical meal would include fish in some form: fish curry and rice, fish BBQ with rice and fried fish. It usually sets you back between $7-$12.
In the evenings, you’ll also find small food vans selling burgers and chips starting at $6.00
It can get very expensive eating out for every meal, so if you choose to book an apartment as we did, you will have a full kitchen to cater for yourself. We cooked the majority of our meals during our stay here, it was the key to visiting Seychelles on a budget.
Our portable coffee machine was our saviour! It’s hard to find a good coffee on the island, and if you do, you’ll be paying around $5 for one. We always travel with our espresso machine and a bag of freshly ground coffee.
– 7 Tips – How to find the best food when travelling
If you would like to eat out, we’d recommend these two places along Beau Vallon Beach
- Boabab Pizza – Great wood-fired pizzas from $13 each
- La Plage Fish Restaurant – Fresh seafood dinner for about $35.00 or $15.00 lunch specials
Things to do in Seychelles:
Seychelles has some of the best beaches and diving/snorkelling in the world. Most guesthouses and hotels can organise daily excursions or you can book directly with operators that have small set-ups along the beach-front.
The most popular day trips are below;
Excursion to Praslin and La Digue Islands – This day trip starts with a 06:30 pick up from your accommodation and ends when you’re dropped off around 12 hours later. A long day! It’s an expensive day too. Price starts from EUR 140-180 per person, depending on which boat you book. (some are nicer than others). Learn more about this day trip here.
Fishing trips – Fishing trips are available. Walk along Beau Vallon beach at night to check prices directly with the people selling packages on the beach.
Local Ferry – It is possible to take local ferries between islands, however, you must coordinate your schedule accordingly. Return ferry from the port to La Digue island is EUR 60 pp. Find a schedule here.
What other islands can you stay at or visit?
Praslin Island – As the second largest island in Seychelles, this island has some of the worlds best beaches.
La Digue Island – This is the island with the picture of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the picture used on all the postcards. The island is 3-5 km around, no cars, just bicycles to get around.
How much does stuff cost (in USD) from smaller supermarkets?
**Index of prices** Price shown in USD
5L bottle of water $2.20
Canned tomatoes 0.70c
Small bag red onions 0.80c
2 x tomatoes $3.00
Loaf of bread $1.50
6 eggs $1.50
1 x small bottle beer $1.80
Bag spaghetti 500g 1.00
Bag potatoes $1.10
Bag fresh garlic $1.20
2 min noodles 0.50c
Bottle of wine $10.00
We shopped at a small supermarket which was located across the road from our apartment, so it was very convenient. There is also a bigger supermarket at Victoria Bus Station, prices are a little lower here.
Victoria Market – We caught the bus into the city (15min bus ride from Beau Vallon beach) and visited the fresh markets. Get off at the Hindu Temple and walk across to the market.
Markets are open from 08:00 – 16:00. It’s a small market, however, you can find fresh fish, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables for half the price as sold in the supermarkets and find fresh cinnamon, spices etc for Creole cooking. Upstairs you will see some small shops selling tropical light beachwear, souvenirs etc.
Affordable or free things to do in Seychelles:
All of the beaches on Mahé are public access, which means that you can enjoy the same beaches as the people staying and paying for the luxury resorts. The more popular beaches will have free parking (if you have a car) and facilities.
Many of the smaller beaches you will have to yourself. Bring your own food/picnic, snorkelling gear, and a good book and you’re all set to go.
Us sitting on the beach in Port Launay
There are so many incredible beaches to explore here and too many to name; however, my favourites were Petite Anse, Anse Intedance, Fort Launay and Beau Vallon.
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Interested in visiting the Maldives on a budget too? Read more here.