The Seychelles, a group of islands off the east coast of Africa, really do live up to the hype. Although it’s perfect for honeymooners and those who are after a luxurious escape, we found that it’s within reach for people like us who have a slimmer budget.
The Seychelles are easily accessible from Dubai , Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg. We flew in with Emirates on a direct flight from Dubai and it was about 4 1/2 hour’s. Landing into Mahé and looking out the window I swear the wing tip of our boeing 777 was about to scrap the side of the hills. It was awesome seeing all the lush greenery the island is covered in, then landing next to the ocean.
When you arrive at the airport customs asked us for all our accommodation details, address etc. So have that ready or if you haven’t booked yet I suggest at least having your first nights locked in so you have something to show them.
The Seychelles have their own currency which is Seychelles Rupees. This is a restricted currency and cannot be imported or exported, so you can only get it & exchange it in the Seychelles. We learnt this the hard way when we left with about $200AUD worth of rupees and now have no way to exchange it haha… Oh well I guess we have to go back!
Other than their currency they quote a lot of things in Euros so if you want to take some cash I recommend Euros. We did that and also used the ATMs while we were there.
Internet throughout the Seychelles isn’t easy to come by if you’re staying in budget style accommodation. You can purchase pre-paid internet cards to use with your phone but everywhere we went they were out of stock of the smaller amount cards (and I didn’t want to buy a months worth of WI-FI) We did come across one little shop that sold WI-FI for about 100SCR an hour…. Expensive! So we only used it once or twice. It’s really not that necessary though as majority of people can speak English so if we ever needed advice or directions there was someone to ask.
We stayed on three islands while in the Seychelles; Praslin, La Digue and Mahé. They’re the main “tourist” islands. A lot of the other ones are for the big spenders, some you can only access via helicopter or the only accommodation option is 5 star hotel that cost thousands per night.
Seychelles can be a very expensive holiday but you can do it cheap and still get the most out of it. At the end of the day the main reason anyone would go to the Seychelles is for its incredible beaches – which are all free. No beach in the Seychelles costs money or is private, even if it’s surrounded by a giant resort it’s still free for everyone to access.
3 ways to make the Seychelles an affordable holiday:
Guest House Accommodation:
5 star hotels and resort weren’t an option for us (although I’m sure they’re spectacular) as they charged hundreds of dollars per night and we just weren’t interested in spending that much on accommodation. Some of the best beaches in the world are in the Seychelles so who wants to swim in a hotel pool anyway!!! I’d recommend staying in guest houses. These still range from about $80-$200USD per night – if you want one with your own bathroom.
I can’t complain about the ones we stayed at, they were clean; all the staff were so lovely and offered plenty of local insight on the island’s. We had our own bathroom and cooking facilities and they were all within a short walk to the beach. This style of accommodation is nothing fancy but really it had everything we needed and we didn’t spend too much time there anyway.
Food in the Seychelles was always delicious and in my opinion they serve the best fish in the world. I ate fish nearly every day in all kinds of places (take away stands / beach BBQ / restaurants) and it was always amazing. So fresh, marinated to perfection and cooked until it melted in your mouth.
Most restaurants weren’t ridiculously expensive or anything, most of the time a meal would cost the same as what I would be paying in a nice restaurant at home in (Sydney or Melbourne) Australia. But in a way to save money we only ate at a restaurant for 1 meal a day.
For breakfast we ate at our guest house, we brought food at the local supermarket and made full use of our cooking facilities.
For lunch or dinner (when we weren’t at a restaurant) we ate at take away places, Food trucks or little ‘hole in the wall’ shops. This was usually a meal pack of chicken or fish/rice/salad and cost around 50 rupees. It was so delicious, cooked right there and really fresh. Then we’d just grab a beer from the local shop (approx. 25 rupees) and generally took all this down to the beach. There wasn’t an issue drinking alcohol in public.
Catching the local bus was super easy and cost around 5rupees per ticket. The bus routes cover pretty much the whole islands of Mahé and Praslin, so you can get everywhere. If the bus stop wasn’t right where you wanted to go, it was never much of a walk to get to. Probably best not to get the bus if you’re ever short for time as the bus time table wasn’t overly reliable, it would be no surprise if the bus was late.
Anyway you choose to do the Seychelles I’m confident you’ll have an incredible Seychelles experience.
Click here to read more about each island stay!
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