Seychelles Travel Guide
When I think of what heaven would look like, I think of the Seychelles. I mean look at that picture above! It just doesn’t look real. But it is, and that’s what makes me salivate every time I think of these beautiful islands located off the east coast of Africa. Unfortunately, isolation and a pristine environment comes with a price, and a trip to the Seychelles will cost you mega amounts of money. This is not a budget destination. Ever. This country caters to honeymooners, celebrities, and high-end tourists. But if you have the money, then this place should be on the top of your list of places to visit.
Accommodation – On the main islands, you can find hotels on the low end between $55-$95 USD per night. There are many high-end places, with rooms starting at $175 USD a night. Most people come here as part of a package so accommodation tends to be included in the package you go. It’s rare that you would book accommodation separately.
Food – You can eat relatively cheaply here if you steer away from hotel restaurants. Price range will be anywhere from $24-125 USD.
Transportation – Bikes, the best way to get around the islands, cost between $10-32 USD for a day rental. A car is $70 USD per day and is only available on the main islands of Mahé and Praslin. High-speed catamaran rides between Mahé and Praslin run around $70 USD per person. A ferry schooner between Mahé and Praslin or La Digue will be about $20 USD (but it takes 3x as long). Between Praslin and La Digue, a ferry schooner runs around $28 USD. There are also small boat rides from Mahé to La Digue available.
Activities – Activities tend to cost about $50 USD or more depending on what you want to do. Expect to pay top dollar for most things here.
Money Saving Tips
Top Things to See and Do
Get sporty – There is plenty to do in terms of recreational activities. Golf, squash, badminton, tennis, biking, and hiking are all great ways to spend the day if you are tired of the beach. It is pretty cheap to rent a bike for a day and ride around the islands. There are also plenty of centers where you can rent sports equipment as well.
Nature Seychelles – Just over a mile southwest of Praslin, on Cousin Island, lies this great little reserve. There is a bird population here that exceeds 300,000 on an island that is less than a mile in diameter. It’s awesome to walk through the thick forest here and check out all the different species.
Do nothing on the beach – The beaches here are uncrowded, untouched, and void of any structures. They are beach heaven. The water is clear and bathtub-warm, so it’s always a great place to go swimming or snorkeling. The hike from Beau Vallon, along the coastline to Anse Major is awesome – it only takes about two hours and the beach at the end is magnificent and deserted.
Visit Aldabra Atoll – Stretching at over 20 miles in length, this is one of the largest raised coral atolls in the world. At the western end, there is a massive tidal lagoon, which is home to manta rays, tiger sharks, and thousands of sea birds. Aldabra is also considered the original habitat of the giant land tortoise.
Explore Vallee de Mai – This is a national park and world heritage site. It is home to a stunning array of flora and fauna, as well as the world’s largest seed—the Coco de Mer. This is one of two places in the world where the seed can be found. You can also see several varieties of latanier palms and screw pine.
Hike Nid d’ Aiglo – The highest point on La Digue, this hike is a great way to spend a day. The views of La Digue and of the neighboring islands are so magnificent, it is almost surreal. Remember to pack plenty of snacks and water.
Do some watersports – The Indian Ocean is known for warm water, and it is popular among watersports enthusiasts. Try anything from windsurfing and fishing to snorkeling or SCUBA diving. There are even glass-bottom boat tours available.
Dine – The food in Seychelles is delicious, and you will find an abundance of food here. Seafood, coconut, and curry are among some of the main ingredients on which you will feast. Coco Rogue is considered a ‘secret spot’ by locals and offers some of the best food around. Bonbon Plume, Tante Mimi, and Café Ognibar are also popular places to go.
Visit L’Union Estate – Back when coconut farming was the main industry on La Digue, this was the center of production. Just south of La Passe, this estate is now run as a sort of informal ‘theme park’. There are some interesting demonstrations to see and you can explore the Old Plantation House, the colonial-era graveyard, and the boatyard. There is even a pen housing giant tortoises.
Search for the Veuve Bird – La Digue is home to a wildlife reserve which was set up to protect the Veuve, AKA the black paradise flycatcher. There are under 20 pairs of birds in the reserve, but you can arrange guided tours which are supposed to guarantee a bird sighting.
Check out the Natural History Museum – If the weather is less than perfect (unlikely), you may want to get a break from the beaches and do something more educational. The Natural History Museum in Victoria is very small, but worth a stop if you’d like to learn a thing or to about the island wildlife. Entry is $1.70 USD.
Wander the Botanical Gardens – Also in Victoria, the Botanical Gardens give you a deeper look at local flora and fauna, with the infamous coco de mer palms as one of the highlights. You may also see some animals, such as fruit bats or giant tortoises.