Inside Scoop: Traveling the Seychelles on the Cheap
Seychelles – Our black SUV skidded to a stop. As if we weren’t on a twisting island road with no shoulders, our guide to the Seychelles hopped out, excited. We smelled plumeria and saw graceful white seabirds. But Alrick Agricole was pointing out toward the ultra-blue Indian Ocean.
“I have to show you something special!” he called out, waving my husband and me over. “That’s North Island. Some people you know stayed there when they were in the Seychelles. You know William and Kate?”
Nope, we didn’t personally know the British royals. Nor could we spend the almost $13 000 per night that Agricole had heard they paid to rent the private island’s entire resort. (“In Seychelles, it’s never a secret,” he said, winking.) This was our first day in the Seychelles, and Agricole’s tour was making it clear that this 115-island chain was among the world’s most luxurious. George and Amal Clooney recently honeymooned there. David and Victoria Beckham chose it for their 10th anniversary.
I was daunted. Our budget was sub-royal. It was the Seychelles’ tropical ecosystem – headlined by giant tortoises and coco de mer palms – that had captured my imagination. So had the country’s African-European-Asian cultural mash-up. Located 1 000 miles off Madagascar, the Seychelles were a French and then an English colony, but its cuisine is Indian-influenced, too. It all sounded fabulous. But could commoners enjoy this trip without spending a fortune?