Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles, and all domestic and international flights originate here. While it’s a busy island compared to the rest of the Seychelles, it’s still quiet and sleepy compared to much of the rest of the world!
The hub of activity is in Victoria, one of the world’s smallest capital cities. Home to about a third of the population of the Seychelles, Victoria is the country’s main economic, political and commercial hub. The provincial-style town offers a bustling market, manicured botanical gardens and beautiful old colonial buildings alongside the more modern structures. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to exlore, the daily Victoria Market is a feast for the senses, and the backdrop of hills that seem to tumble into the turqoise sea gives it an almost other-worldly setting.
One of the most popular beaches for locals and visitors alike, Mahé’s Beau Vallon is a stretching bay with plenty of accommodation options, vibey restaurants and tours on offer. Its clear waters and coral reefs make it a popular base for diving and snorkelling expeditions.
Known as the Beau Vallon of the south, Anse Royale in the southeast of Mahé offers a variety of activities against the backdrop of spectacular scenery and a stone’s throw from a number of hotels and guesthouses. Aside from the popular beach, there is also the Jardin de Roi, which continues the tradition of the historic spice garden that was located in Anse Royale until the 1700s, when it was destroyed by a fire. The 25-hectare estate is home to fragrant cinnammon, vanilla, clove and nutmeg plants, as well as mango and orange trees, other endemic species, and numerous giant tortoises. The on-site restaurant serves up delicious Creole dishes fashioned with ingredients from the garden itself.
On more active days, hikers will love the 905 m high peaks of Mahé’s Morne Blanc, which offers a tour that trails through old tea plantations and tropical forests to a peak with a view so stunning that it makes the trek well worth the effort.