Maldives has become a very popular destination especially among honeymooners from India. But there is another island nation that I think is better than Maldives that goes by the name of Seychelles. Not many people know about this place that is so close by and is cheaper and better than Maldives. So in this blog i’m gonna show how to travel this beautiful country.
Basics: Flights and Visa
There are many airlines that are running flights to and from the Seychelles. You can get direct flights from Mumbai to Seychelles via the airline Air Seychelles. Apart from Mumbai you can get connecting flights from anywhere in India. The cost of the flight depends on season and how early you book them. Yet, the average cost will be 20-25K. Which is just 10K more than flights to Maldives. If you do not know how to book cheap flight tickets online, i have a dedicated blog on it so you can check it out right here.
Now that you have booked your flight tickets, let talk about visa. The best part about Seychelles is that Indians do not require a Visa to visit Seychelles. All you need is a valid passport, return flight tickets, proof of accommodation for your time in Seychelles. That is it, no visa fees just a stamp on your passport and you are good to stay here for 30 days !
Geography: The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Mahé, a hub for visiting the other islands, is home to capital Victoria. The population of this beautiful country is just eighty nine thousand and they are spread across the three major islands Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.
Language:The most common languages that are spoken on the island are English and French. The locals also speak the language called creole, but you should be fine with English.
Currency: The currency used on the island is called as the Seychellois Rupee, but USD and Euros are widely acceptable on the island as well.
Best time to go: And although it is a great holiday destination throughout the year, there is a good and best time to visit Seychelles.
Situated just below the equator, Seychelles has none of the extreme weather that is typical of tropical destinations.
Temperatures rarely drop below 24 degrees Celsius or rise above 32 degrees Celsius and when the rain falls it is usually in brief showers that only last a few hours. The most rain falls between November and February.
Cost of Living: Seychelles is not a budget destination. Everything on the island is super expensive. From groceries to fuel everything is at very high price. This is because there is no production of any sort on the island. Everything is either imported from Africa or India. Even for basic electricity, they have massive generators running on the island that produce electricity. All this adds to the cost of living on the island so do not be shocked if a bottle of water costs you 70-100 INR.
Accommodation: Seychelles is not a budget destination and that is why there are tons of five start hotels and resorts. But there are also many Airbnbs and budget hotels which are good if you do not want to splurge on accommodation. In my experience people usually come here to enjoy these beautiful resorts. So save up little bit so that you can afford to stay at one of these places. We stayed at Le Meridian. Fisherman’s Cove and it was just out of this world. Check out this Time lapse from the hotel lobby from where you can also see the infinity pool ! ! !
Getting around : Like I mentioned before everything is going to super expensive, that is why the best of getting around the island is by renting a car. They drive on the left hand side so it should not be a problem for my fellow Indian travelers.
Renting a car will cost you 50-60 euros per day and fuel extra. There are public buses that run on the entire island of Mahe but they are not too frequent. Because the entire island area is just 157.3 km², you can practically drive around the island in an entire day. And the best way to see those secret hidden beaches is to drive to them and renting a car will be the best option.
For getting to other islands there are many your operators that take for day trip to these islands so you can ask the cost there as they keep varying from time to time.
Things to Do:
As Seychelles is an island the best things to do will be around water and water activities
So the first thing that I would recommend is for you to go for Scuba diving or snorkeling to any diving sight around any of the islands. The water is really clear and there is a large variety of marine life on the reef. There are tons of operators on the island that will take you for these tours. Cost depends from operator to operator and also the activity, yet nothing is under 100 USD.
Next thing that you must do is beach hopping by driving around the entire island of Mahe. You will need an entire day or even more if you want to go other islands like Praslin and La Digue. There are so many beaches on the island that you can discover by your self but still i’m gonna put down some of my favorite beaches in Seychelles
1. Anse Intendance, Mahé
2. Petite Anse, Mahé
3. Anse Louis, Mahé
4. Anse Major, Mahé
5. Beau Vallon Bay, Mahé
6. Anse Georgette, Praslin
7. Anse Lazio, Praslin
8. Grand Anse, La Digue
9. Anse Cocos, La Digue
10. Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue
Hiking is also a very popular thing to do in Seychelles as the terrain is both mountainous and tropical which makes for some of the best hiking routes in the world.
On one side you have the majestic mountains and on the other side you have a cliff that looks down on the pristine blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The hike usually ends into a secret beach where there are just a handful of people which makes for a very private tropical beach experience. In my travel experience, i have always noted that the places where you take the most efforts to go are usually the best things or they become the highlight of your trip.
There are many hiking routes on the islands are my favorites are
1. Anse Major Trail
2. Morne Blanc Trail
3. Mount Copolia Trail
4. Trois Freres Trail
Why is it better than Maldives ?
For me the main reason for this is the fact that there is fine balance between commercialization and the raw natural beauty of this place that makes it amazing. When it comes to Maldives basically you just have a resort which is on a island and it is even more expensive than Seychelles. Whereas Seychelles has it own cuisine, its own culture and so many things to do like hiking, fishing, shopping for its local rum Takamaka in the local markets and just the fact that you can roam around makes it a clear winner to me.