Seychelles - Morning at Grand Anse Beach on La Digue

Seychelles: My Affordable Trip to Paradise (it’s possible!)

Derek Seychelles 30 Comments

Seychelles - Morning at Grand Anse Beach on La Digue
In March, as many of you might have known from my recent blog and social media posts, I traveled to my dream destination for my 40th birthday.

That dream destination was the Seychelles, a tiny nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of 115 islands and home to only 89,000 people.

I’ll come right out and say it…if you don’t have a dream destination, make it the Seychelles. Really. It’s like being in one giant, never-ending fantasy from the moment your plane begins its final descent and little islands start appearing down below.

This place is tropical paradise in every sense. I’ve never seen a paradise quite like this, with perfect, and I mean PERFECT, white-sand beaches everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, with gorgeous, lush jungle covering the semi-mountainous island interiors, and a truly laid-back, we’re in the middle-of-nowhere island vibe.

So, how do I talk about the Seychelles?

I could write a lengthy guide, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m just going to give you the main details of how you can visit this destination for far less money than you probably imagine.

After that there are photos, plenty of photos below, that will take you on a journey through this paradise!

Here’s a teaser…

Seychelles - Anse Petit 2

Seychelles Overview

The main island is Mahe. It’s the largest and most built up and this is where the main airport is located. We only spent 1 night here as we were more interested in the smaller islands that are home to some of the best beaches but it was still splendid. We spent the evening in Beau Vallon, watching the sunset from the beach, and realizing that, holy crap, we were actually in the Seychelles.

The second largest island is Praslin, and it’s small, at only 38 square kilometers and with only 7500 residents. Its interior is all jungle (some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen) and its beaches range from beautiful to unbelievably mind-blowingly beautiful. There’s also a good amount of places to eat, lots of shops to buy supplies and it’s an easy island to rent a car to buzz around.

The third main island is La Digue and this island is a mere speck. There’s only 1800 people living on it and apart from a handful of cars, everyone gets around on bicycle. You can bike across the island in less than 20 minutes. It’s also gorgeous in every way imaginable. The beaches were some of the most dazzling and exquisite beaches I’ve ever stepped foot on during my years of travel. (More about that below.) The atmosphere was also supremely laid-back and everywhere you looked was another breathtaking view, whether it be of white sand, turquoise water, thick jungle or other islands in the distance.

There are plenty of other islands too. You can see them everywhere. For our 12 day trip though, we stuck to the above three.

Seychelles - Swimming on La Digue

How Much Does It Cost?

The Seychelles is the kind of destination that is, without a doubt, worth every single dollar or euro or pound or kroner you spend on your trip. Of course, you still want to make sure you don’t spend all of your money and if you can do it all on a budget, then even better!

When I started thinking about a trip to the Seychelles, I assumed this country would be cost-prohibitive for anyone but the wealthiest segment of society. Luckily, this turned out to be completely wrong and so I continued planning.

Is it a cheap destination? Not at all. But it doesn’t have to be insanely expensive either.

Flights: From North America, airfare can range from $800 – $1500 USD. From Europe, on certain charter airlines, you can apparently fly here for as low as 600 Euros return at times. You could also get creative. Flights from Dubai, Qatar and even Nairobi to the Seychelles can be cheap so you could find an inexpensive flight to one of those locations and then another flight onward to the Seychelles. We flew from Nairobi to Seychelles for a mere $150 USD one way.

Accommodation: You can book a room on Mahe, Praslin or La Digue for as little as $50 USD per night (simple rooms in simple guesthouses) and you can book rooms for $2000 per night, and everywhere in between. As an example, on Praslin Island, we stayed at the excellent Villa Anse La Blague for 5 nights. For around $120 USD per night, the rooms were super comfortable, the large balcony had a sea view, the local family running the place were amazing people and the food that came out of their kitchen was some of the best we had in the Seychelles. A great breakfast was included too. The Villa was also located in a quiet, secluded corner of the island, only steps away from two awesome beaches, yet it was also only a short distance from everything else we wanted to see on Praslin. It’s not a hostel price but for what you get, and to be in the remote paradise that is the Seychelles, it’s a great value and very reasonable.

Seychelles - Villa Anse La Blague

Food: Normal sit-down restaurants (nothing fancy) cost about $20 – $30 USD per person. Yes, that’s a little on the pricey side for budget travel. But the three main islands also have plenty of “Take-Aways”, local eateries that cook up a collection of fresh dishes each day. You choose from the dishes in the buffet display and for about $4 or $5 you have a full local meal, usually two mains and some rice and salad. We probably ate at the Take-Aways for 60% of our meals and other restaurants for the remainder. Overall, dining can indeed be cheap here and some of the better food we had was actually from these cheaper options.

Activities: Beach hopping costs nothing and could keep you busy for weeks in the Seychelles. That’s pretty much how we spent our time. We did rent bicycles on La Digue throughout our stay there ($7 per day) and a car one day on Praslin ($40 USD) but apart from that, it didn’t cost anything to bounce from one unbelievable beach to another unbelievable beach, and then to yet another unbelievable beach. If you want to take a catamaran trip, go fishing, visit some of the outer islands, etc., it will cost around 75 – 200 Euros per person for a half or full day trip. But again, in the 12 days we were there, between the pristine beaches, biking through the jungle and exploring by foot, our days were full and we didn’t have time for anything else. Seychelles is known for the world’s best beaches so if you stick with that, you won’t be spending much money on activities at all.

Seychelles - Morning at Anse Petit

Ferries: To get around the islands, you’ll need to take the ferry. The main ferry company, Cat Cocos, offers twice daily trips from Mahe to La Digue, via Praslin. The cost is about $60 USD per person and it takes 1.5 hours to reach Praslin and another 15 minutes to reach La Digue. Make sure you book your spot in advance though as the ferries do fill up. You can easily book online and print out your tickets. The smaller company, Cat Rose, runs several trips per day between La Digue and Praslin for around $20 USD per person.

So that’s the guide. That’s really all you need to know. It’s easy once you get there since the islands are tiny, the people friendly and paradise is literally everywhere you look. And if you haven’t realized it yet, I mean EVERYWHERE!

23 Photos of the Seychelles (aka Paradise)

Let me take you on a photographic journey…

As our flight from Nairobi descended towards the airport in Mahe, islands began appearing below…

Seychelles - Arriving in Mahe

We arrived at our guesthouse and spent the evening in Beau Vallon

Seychelles - Beau Vallon

The following morning we boarded the ferry to the island of La Digue where we landed in the center of pretty much the only village on the island…

Seychelles - Downtown La Digue

Renting bicycles for the next five days, we biked all over the island, criss-crossing the jungle almost every day…

Seychelles - Praslin jungle

We visited Source d’Argent beach, often ranked as the most beautiful beach in the world (get up early and bike there before 8am to be the only people on this beach!)…

Seychelles - Walk to Source d'Argent

Seychelles - Anse Source d'Argent

And then on the other side of La Digue, there was Grand Anse, gorgeous and absolutely ideal for swimming…

Seychelles - Grand Anse Beach

Seychelles - Swimming at Grand Anse

Hike along the path behind Grand Anse, up the hill and back down again and you arrive at the even more stunning, Petite Anse

Seychelles - Petite Anse - La Digue

On La Digue, if you head to the north, you’ll pass Anse Severe (certainly no slouch of a beach!)…

Seychelles - Anse Severe

As well as views like this…

Seychelles - Biking around La Digue

And every evening, this was the sunset from our balcony, looking straight out at the island of Praslin…

Seychelles - Sunset from La Digue

On Praslin Island, we spent 6 days at the wonderful Villa Anse La Blague

Praslin Hotel - Villa Anse La Blague - room

Praslin Hotel - Villa Anse La Blague - the team

The guesthouse was only minutes from Praslin’s Petit Anse beach

Seychelles - Anse Petit - Praslin

Seychelles - Anse Petit view

Everywhere we looked was a crazy beautiful view…

Seychelles - Random view on Praslin

And then there was Anse Lazio, the beach that is always considered one of the best in the Seychelles…

Seychelles - Anse Lazio beach

Cote d’Or wasn’t such a bad beach either…

Seychelles - Cote d'Or

And then the almost too perfect Anse Georgette, which we visited on our final day and which required a decent hike to reach (one of several beaches that are only accessible by foot)…oh yeah I loved this beach!

Seychelles - Anse Georgette, Oh yeah!

Seychelles - Anse Georgette

After visiting Anse Georgette, we made it back to a barely noticeable, 5 meter wide stretch of beach near our guesthouse that offered the most perfect final sunset before we left the Seychelles the following morning…

Seychelles - Sunset from Praslin

We left Praslin by plane, flying to Mahe before continuing our onward journey. It was a very small plane and being in the front row afforded us this view…

Seychelles - Flight from Praslin to Mahe

That’s paradise. And it really can be affordable.

Any questions? If you need any information about traveling here, just get in touch!

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Comments 30

  1. Aniruddha

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks for the post! It had most of the information I was looking for.

    I had a couple of additional questions though, if you could help me with them that would be great!

    1. Did you do water sports in seychelles? Things like scuba diving etc and how much did that cost you?
    2. How much was the overall cost you incurred?
    3. Did the local eateries or the takeaways had vegetarian options for lunch & dinner?

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      Derek

      Hey Aniruddha – Thanks for the message. We didn’t scuba dive while there. Things like snorkeling were around $30 USD more or less to give you an idea. As for the overall cost, to be honest, I don’t know but it’s possible to spend $50 USD per day or so if you stay in budget accommodation and take the local bus around. Yes, there were some vegetarian options, mostly salad, at the local eateries. They do eat a lot of fish and meat though so not a ton of options but there always was something.

  2. Maarten

    We’re going there next year in April, and on a tight budget. Was a bit worried about the cost, until I read your post. Thanks for all the helpfull info!
    Can I bother you with a few more practical questions during our planning process the next months, via email? That would be really helpfull!
    Again, great post! Heaven has a name 😉

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  3. Jade D'sa

    Lovely pictures and great info! Thanks for sharing!
    I bet the seafood at seyshells would be pretty spectacular!

  4. Ray

    Those tips are great, especially staying at Guest Houses versus resorts or five star hotels. I am surprised that more people don’t apply that tip in general for all exotic islands around the World as it’s a great way to interact with the locals and eat their customary food. As for Mahe, was there anything on that particular island that you wish you had a bit more time to see for yourself or would recommend to others visiting to the Seychelles? Like any old forts or museums that highlight that history of the Seychelles so you have a better understanding of the country while visiting it?

  5. Alex Steven

    Wow! such an exotic vacation that too within the budget. This is such an amazing piece of information. Thanks for sharing!

  6. net connelly

    What a great 40th birthday! ‘ wish you all the best all year! thanks for sharing this beautiful paradise, i’ll definitely go there someday. The pictures are so beautiful, you two had the beach paradise all to yourselves,really amazing!

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      Derek

      Hey Glenn – Plenty of snorkeling options. Even if you just walk into the water at some of the beaches, colorful fish start swimming all around you and the water is so clear that you can see straight to the bottom. And then there are reef areas for even better snorkeling that are easily accessible, either by beach or boat, on most of the islands!

  7. Julia Horstmann

    I’ve been lucky enough to visit 3 times as my boyfriend grow up there. Certainly not pocket friendly but undoubtedly the most beautiful beaches in the world! My favourite is Petite Anse on La Digue! Glad you had a great trip!

  8. Katie

    What an amazing place to spend your birthday! I am loving the regular posting Earl, you seem so happy and I bet that has a lot to do with your new girlfriend 😉

  9. Linda

    Incredible ! How is it possible you thought of this when you were so young. How did you learn of this place ! Thank you for sharing and I so look forward to more experiences shared! HaPpy incredible 40 years of an amazing journey! Wishing you many more !

  10. Wendy Fann

    Wow! Brilliant! It’s always been my dream destination too, but I assumed it was only for the wealthy 🙁 Happy to know this is not the case! So dreamy…

  11. Jessica

    happy birthday! looks gorgeous! I heard there was only alcohol on the main island. is that true? for me, beach and cocktails go hand and hand.
    Glad you had a great time!

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      Derek

      Hey Jessica – That’s definitely not true! Alcohol could be bought in almost every shop and restaurant I came across on all 3 main islands.

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