Located off the coast of East Africa, Seychelles is one dreamy location laced with beautiful beaches, turquoise water, nodding palms and forest clad mountains, making it an ultimate tropical paradise. This island nation comprises of as many as 115 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean with Mahe, Praslin and La Digue being the most visited islands of the lot.
The trip will entail amazing ventures like hiking beautiful trails, exploring unique flora-fauna, and wonderful drives by the ocean in addition to strolling and chilling along the picturesque beaches. The country has the warmest people and their hospitality will make you want to keep coming back!
Best Time to Visit
Seychelles is a destination that you can visit round the year, with April to May and October to November being the best months to enjoy warm and beach-perfect weather. December and January are the wettest months of the year although sun usually comes out after short downpours. I would recommend checking the weather forecast before planning your trip. During our visit in late November, we experienced partial showers on a couple of days in Mahe.
VisaSeychelles offers visa free access to all foreign tourists. You must carry a valid passport, return or onward ticket, proof of accommodation and sufficient funds in your bank account to secure visitor’s permit which is valid for up to three months. Although, we were not asked for funds proof at the time of immigration.
The overall cost of your trip will vary greatly with the location you’re flying from and the type of accommodations you choose. In addition to your flights, expect to spend around €2000 (1.5 lakh rupees) for two people over a span of one week.
Seychellois Rupees is the local currency of Seychelles which will come handy for shopping, buying food, taking buses, etc. and can be easily withdrawn from a local ATM. Apart from Seychellois Rupees, Euros is the primarily used currency in Seychelles. It can be used for purchasing ferry tickets, renting self-drive cars and is also accepted by most of the hotels and restaurants. We were also carrying some US Dollars that we used for purchasing ferry tickets.
Getting Into Seychelles
There is only one international airport in Seychelles – the Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), Mahe. Direct flights to Mahe are currently only serviced from Mumbai.
Getting AroundYou can hop from one island to another using ferries. There is a ‘jetty’ located on all the islands that will help you board one. And for getting around within an island, renting a self-drive car is the most popular and convenient option. You can also hire a cab/taxi which are easily available near popular destinations or you can ask your hotel to arrange one. I would not recommend the latter option since it’s a lot more expensive. The last and the cheapest way is STPC buses which are quite decent and covers almost every motorable road of Mahe and Praslin islands.
Praslin – Le Relax Beach Resort, Acajou Beach Resort
Mahe – Coral Strand Smart Choice, Sunset Beach Hotel
Day 1 : Arrival in Mahe and Transfer to Praslin
Day 1 – 3 : Explore Praslin and La Digue
Day 4 : Transfer to Mahe
Day 5 – 7 : Explore Mahe
Day 7 : Departure from Mahe
Day Level Itinerary
Day 1 :Transfer to PraslinFly into Mahe airport. From here, take a taxi to jetty and hop on to a ferry which takes an hour to reach Praslin. The other and a little more expensive alternative is to take a 15-min flight to Praslin. Once you reach Praslin, rent a car from the jetty and head to your hotel. After relaxing for a while, drive to Anse Lazio beach, which is voted the sixth best beach in the world and boasts of beautiful white sand and turquoise water. Spend the afternoon mellowing out on the beach and soaking in the beauty that Seychelles is. In the evening, drive back to the hotel.
Day 2 :A Day Trip to La DigueGet up early because today you will be going for a day trip to a pretty little island called La Digue. After breakfast, drive to the jetty, return the car and hop on to a ferry to La Digue. Once you get there, do rent a bicycle- It’s the best way to explore the island! Bike towards L’Union Estate Park which is a natural heritage site and is home to giant aldabra tortoises (famous for their long necks). Slowly cycling through lush green coconut and vanilla plantations on those vintage bikes will take you back in time. Spend some time feeding the locals (tortoises) and then bike straight ahead to Anse Source d’Agent which is ranked as one of the most photographed beaches of the world and is a great spot for snorkeling. The beach has pink sand, clearest of waters and is studded with big granite boulders. After spending the day cooling off in water with the fishes, return your bikes at the jetty and head back to your hotel in Praslin.
Day 3: Visit to Fond Ferdinand
Hop on a bus to Fond Ferdinand Reserve to see rare and infamous Coco de Mer plants in their natural habitat. The seed of Coco de mer is the largest seed in the plant kingdom and is oddly shaped, resembling women’s buttocks. Fond Ferdinand is a better and cheaper alternative to see rare coco de mer with an entry fee of only €8 (which also includes a guide) as compared to Vallee de Mai reserve which has an entry fee of €20. There is also a 1.5 hours hike to the top which offers the gorgeous panoramic view of the islands. After the hike, head back to the hotel and enjoy rest of the day chilling by the pool.
Day 4: Visit Cote d’Or and Transfer to MaheThe last spot of Praslin before you head to Mahe is Cote d’Or beach where you can spend some quiet time while enjoying some drinks and lunch at Café de Arts. Post lunch, head back to the hotel and pack your stuff because it’s time to take a ferry back to Mahe.
Day 5: Hike Anse Major Trail
After having spoiled yourself over a last couple of days, maybe you would want to kick start your stay in Mahe with a hike to Anse Major Trail. Take a bus to Danzil bus terminal, walk up the main road to the left and continue on it till you spot the Anse Major Trail sign (lookout for the Batman Studio on your left). Just before the end of the trail, you would find a wooden shelter from where you will get the first glimpse of Anse Major – a perfect little crescent of a beach with turquoise waters. Make sure you pack some water and food since there are absolutely no facilities on this secluded beach. Spend the day picnicking on your very own beach before hiking back the same route.
If you don’t want to go for a hike, you can rent a car and explore some of the other beautiful beaches of Mahe like Anse Intendance and Takamaka Bay. If you get time, pay a visit to Eden Island, a man-made island which has luxurious villas, yacht facilities and some good cafes.
Day 6: Explore Beau Vallon
Spend a day relaxing at Beau Vallon which is a long beach lined with many resorts (including Coral Strand Smart Choice). If you get a chance, do check out Wednesday market on Beau Vallon beach to experience the creole culture and cuisine.
Day 7: Explore Victoria and Flight Back HomeLast day is reserved for exploring the capital city of Seychelles, Victoria which is also one of the smallest capitals of the world. Spend the day strolling the bustling and colorful streets of the city, trying out local food at small restaurants and buying souvenirs from the gift shops.
And, its time to bid adieu to this beautiful paradise!
Extension : Silhouette IslandA 20-min ferry ride away from Mahe lies the third largest island of Seychelles, Silhouette Island. You can extend your trip by a day or two to enjoy a luxurious stay at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa.
• Make sure you check ferry time table in advance and plan your day accordingly.
• Try creole food from small local restaurants and food trucks. Not to mention, it’s delicious and light on pocket too. Chicken curry with rice was our favorite and it costs only 50 Seychellois Rupees (€3.5) per meal.
• Since you would end up spending a decent amount of time at your hotel, I would really recommend staying in a resort by the beach that offers good ambiance and has a decent pool.
• You can save a lot by using local buses especially for places which are directly connected. The one-way cost is only 7 Seychellois Rupees (less than a euro) irrespective of where you get down. Make sure you ask your hotel for the latest bus time table. Also, I would suggest taking a cab or self-drive car to visit Anse Lazio beach because there is no direct bus to this place and last stop is around 2 km from the beach.
• For people keen on Indian food, Le Relax (Praslin) and Mehak (Coral Strand Smart Choice, Mahe) restaurants serve delicious authentic Indian food.
• I highly recommend renting a car, stocking some beer and driving through the Mahe Island. There are uncountable beautiful and secluded spots by the ocean where you can just sit and enjoy those beers.
Here is a rough breakdown of our expenses that might help you to come up with the budget of your next trip to Seychelles –
Taxi from Airport to Jetty : €30
Ferry from Mahe to Praslin (To and fro) : €200(50€/person one way)
Accomodation : €900(150€*6 days)
Meals : €32(restaurant)/€7(food truck) per meal
Car rentals : €50/day
Ferry from Praslin to La Digue (To and fro) : €54(€27 *2)
Bicycle rental in La Digue : €20(€10 per person)
L’Union Estate Park Entry Fee : €20(€10 per person)
Fond Ferdinand Entry Fee : €16(€8 per person)
Taxi from hotel to Airport : €30