Mahé Island

Mahé Island is Seychelles’ bustling welcoming heart. With stretches of picturesque landscapes of flora & fauna, Mahé is an extraordinary treasure trove that has evolved over centuries of splendid isolation.

British first landed in Mahé in 1609 and then the French explorer Lazare Picault stepped foot in 1742. After that Corneille Nicholas Morphey claimed Seychelles for the King of France by laying a Stone of Possession, the oldest monument, now on display in the National Museum, Victoria.

Mahé is the biggest island in Seychelles; the vibrant and colourful Victoria is the Capital City of Mahé. This multi-ethnic city of Victoria and Mahé as a whole blends cultures from all corners of the globe including Africa, England, France, India, China, Sri Lanka, Arab countries, etc.

Almost 80% of people are Christians or Catholics echoed in the prevalence of number of Churches in and around Mahé. The South Asian presence is reflected in the vibrant Hindu temple located in the centre of Victoria.

This melting pot of cultures is spread throughout the quaint yet charming Mahé Island. It is a worry for some Seychellois that active tourism might diffuse their traditions and culture slowly into westernization.

From the time you land in Seychelles airport in Mahé, you wouldn’t stop noticing the blessings of perfect natural beauty in the country. Fringes of manicured trees and palms and a well-kept country is evidence to prove their genuine efforts of promoting tourism.

Mahé is the commercial centre of Seychelles where you can find all government offices, the banks, University, Museum, library, market, National Garden, International airport, places of worship, cinemas, shops, etc.

According to an officer from the National Botanical Gardens, group of birds were set free to track their direction of travel. Much of the birds landed further away in Sri Lanka rather than the closest Eastern parts of Africa, which is proven by the climatic conditions and prevalence of similar vegetation and the soil formation parallel to Sri Lanka rather than Africa.

There are no skyscrapers in Seychelles; the biggest shopping precinct is the Eden Plaza.

Interestingly, you can also find holiday homes of the celebrities and political leaders in the mountains of Mahé. The one that is strikingly beautiful is the Palace of Khalifa of Abu Dhabi.

This welcoming heart of Seychelles, is famous for its immense beauty which will definitely give you mesmerizing memories to behold and rave about forever.

 

  • Backdrop of Seychelles international airport
  • The Famous Clock Tower
  • Colorful and Picturesque town of Victoria
  • Lively colors embellished in Seychellois Dress
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
  • Navasakthi Hindu temple
  • La Domus residence for Catholic priests
  • Natural History Museum
  • National Botanical Gardens - Snapshot of Mahe's natural world
  • Giant yet gentle Aldabra Tortoises
  • Coco De Mer - World's largest sea coconut
  • Rose apple - a delicious tropical fruit
  • Forest Pineapple
  • La Misere viewpoint - Arguably one of the best viewpoints
  • Lush green vegetation in the middle of Turquoise waters
  • Gigantic mountain towers sliding into the beautiful coast
  • Fragments of Granite rocks from ancient supercontinent
  • Ferries are ready to set off for Island hopping experience
  • Crysal clear waters of Beau Vallon beach
  • Into the sea for water activity - Beau Vallon
  • Words cant describe this paradise backdrop
  • Shady Palms and manicured trees make the warmth more comfortable
  • Narrow, winding, sharp turns typical to a mountaineous region
  • Scaling these granite peaks can be challenging but worthwhile
  • Into the picturesque landscape of flora, fauna and magical creatures
  • Interestingly, you can find holiday homes of celebrities and political leaders in the mountains of Mahé.
  • Anse Royal - Tick off the bucket list
  • View from Eden Plaza platform - the place to lazy around and relax

Victoria Market: If you want to really feel and be part of the atmosphere of Victoria, it’s worth to see this bustling vibrant cultural Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke market, known to many as Victoria Market.

Although quite small for a market it’s not cutting back on the colour and liveliness. It’s great for a short stroll to do some browsing or shopping. You will not find huge variety but interesting nevertheless.

If you’re looking to cook your own meals which is a great way to save money when you are in Seychelles, you try out the variety of local fish freshly caught each morning.

It’s best to visit during weekends as more vendors are present, and you can see more things. Check out upstairs for souvenirs, clothing and a café to stop by.

It is a market and the entrance is Free.

Address is Market Street, Victoria, Mahé.

Seychelles National Botanical Gardens: Immerse yourself in greenery at the National Botanical Gardens which a great way to spend a pleasant few hours in nature.

With a unique tropical charm, it’s no surprise that this small garden space will impress you. This snapshot of Mahé’s character is an excellent introduction to the rest of the wild and beautiful island.

It doesn’t just stop at the flora as there are other animals to enjoy. Fruit bats are very common and roam the skies.  The standard and quality of the gardens exceed many around the world. The gardens are well manicured for a peaceful experience to the eyes with many different flora and fauna.

Key areas to focus on are Original spice corner, Dupont & Fitzgerald garden, Time capsule, Duke of Edinburgh garden, Torch ginger, Endemic plant collection, Aquatic plants, Giant tortoise enclosure, etc.

However above all the most famous resident of the botanical gardens is the intriguing Coco De Mer which has the largest seed in the world reaching around 20kg.

Also, this is one of the best places to see the famous stunning giant tortoises.

The gardens are beautiful all year round, and a must see when in Victoria.

Entrance is SCR100 for non-residents and children under 12 are Free to enter the gardens.

Address is Botanical gardens, Mont Fleuri, Mahé.

Victoria Clock Tower: The Victorian clock tower otherwise known as Lorloz acts as Victoria’s most famous national monument. This quaint, cute and charming testament to colonial Seychelles is an excellent introduction to Victoria itself.

It is nice to see it although there is no real place to see it as it is at the cross road at a roundabout.

This little silver iconic clock was erected in the memory of Queen Victoria who had recently died in 1901.

Big Ben Clock tower in London is such a familiar landmark, and it was first established near Victoria station in London in 1897. What we see in Mahé is the replica of the original Victoria Clock tower in London.

Although the Clock is still standing in the same place for over 100years, the mechanism is replaced in 1999. This little Big Ben of Seychelles only needs a minute or two to have a look.

Address is Independence Avenue, Victoria, Mahé.

Morne Blanc National Park: Nestled at the heart of Mahé Island is its majestic pride and joy, the Morne Blanc Mountain peering from the depths of the dense, rich vegetation amongst other peaks.

Walk through trail of dense vegetation that rises up to the height of 2,969ft. The last 90m steep climb is a challenge but well worth it. Remember to wear a proper footwear and take enough water.

This trail leads you straight into Seychelles diverse and unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world.

When you are immersed in the fresh green atmosphere, you could find from the rare, unique species of orchid to endemic and critically endangered plants.

At the top, you will be treated with stunning views of Mahé’s fascinating landscape of green murals. These rolling murals sliding down to sweeping swathes of gorgeous sand cay lapped by turquoise warm water is simply an unforgettable experience.

Entrance is Free, advisable to go as a group.

The Address is Sans Souci Road, Morne Seychelles National Park, Victoria, Mahé.(trail starts after the Tea Factory)

Seychelles Natural History Museum: Seychelles, due to its unique state of being a country like no other celebrates the uniqueness with the Natural History Museum.

As you might already know the geography and biology of Seychelles, it’s one true treasure. Millions of years of isolation has created something truly distinctive whether it be the endemic wildlife or the fact that this is the oldest islands in the world.

This small museum gives a great insight with its intriguing exhibitions detailing the flora, fauna and history that Seychelles holds so dearly.

Keep in mind that this is a tiny museum and doesn’t need long to have a look.

Entrance is only SCR 15 for non-residents, and your money goes to the environment.

The Address is Independence Ave near Albert street, Victoria, Mahé.

Navasakthi Vinayaka Temple: The vibrant small temple in the centre of Victoria is a colourful and ornate flare in town. This beautiful and serene Hindu temple allows any visitors to visit within the opening hours.

Dress code isn’t as strict as any other Hindu temples but wear culturally appropriate clothing like no shorts or sleeveless blouse.  Remove your shoes off at the entrance door and just walk in.

As you are aware, Victoria is tiny, so this temple cannot be compared with those of South Asia in terms of size, but it sure doesn’t lack in colour or ornateness.  Worth a visit to see the intricately designed idols decorating the temple.

It really is a beautiful representation of an amalgamation of culture that Seychelles is renowned for incorporating South Asian, East Asian, European and African cultures into Seychelles.

Address is Navasakthi Vinayaka temple – Quincy Street, Victoria, Mahé.

Cathedral, Our lady of Immaculate Conception & La Domus: This impressive white cathedral named Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is a testament to the French era of Seychelles.

Incorporating the charming French colonial style with a Seychellois touch was constructed in 1874. The first and single priest lies in peace in the cathedral whose name is Felix Paul.

The carved doors and tabernacle add to the peaceful space, filled with coloured light filtering through the stained-glass windows.

Sitting just west of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the Domus. This impressive architectural jewel is a sight to behold amongst the palm trees. La Domus serves as a beautiful residence for the Catholic priests and also the Swiss missionaries ministering the diocese.

Entry is Free.

The address is Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate Conception – diocese of port Victoria, Olivier Marsden Street, Victoria, Mahé.

St Paul Cathedral: The exceptional St Paul’s is both the Cathedral of the whole Diocese and the Anglican Parish Church of Victoria. Originally constructed in 1859, but a new tower was added in 1910, and the sanctuary in 1978.

As the people keep growing in number, so the efforts of the charismatic church to renovate and expand. Anyone can visit or join the holy prayers or sit there to appreciate the peaceful space during the opening hours.

Entry is Free.

The address is St Paul Cathedral, Albert St, Victoria, Mahé.

Mission Lodge look out: The Mission Lodge, which is a window into Seychelles past also is a window to the immense beauty the Seychelles is so famous for.

Formerly, serving as a school for the former slaves’ children, is now a peaceful retreat in the Seychellois wilderness encompassing a gazebo where Queen Elizabeth II once relaxed with her tea.

Along the path and dotted around the gazebo are several plants and trees having sign posts detailing their origin.

The lookout is mesmerizing with a 360-degree Vista of the rolling majestic landscape. The shelter at the end of the path shows cascading forestry all the way down to the coast is the main attraction, but the small century

old ruins adds to this special experience.

Amongst the flora, you might also see some wild forest pineapple.

Entry is Free

Mission Lodge look out – Sans Souci Road, Victoria, Mahé

La Misere View Point: This panoramic masterpiece is arguably the most beautiful viewpoint in Mahé, overlooking the creole suburbs of colourful tropical Victoria.

La Misere viewpoint overlooking the shores of the vibrant Indian Ocean is just magical and offers the best photo opportunities you’ll rave about forever.

This short stop also has an information board detailing and annotating all the spots to see as well as the surrounding green jewel like islands.

The dominating island in the distance is the majestic St Anne mountain island. Off the left, are the edges of other granitic mountains. And Of course, you won’t miss the luxurious Eden Island right in the centre of your view.

Entry is Free.

The address is The observation deck, La Misere Road, Victoria, Mahé.

Beau Vallon is a white soft stretch of sand located in the North-west of Mahé, claiming the title of the most preferred tourist coast lined with star hotels, chic beachfront resorts to the self-catering service apartments.

In its vicinity are the street vendors to the fine dining restaurants serving Western, Eastern and Creole food. You will also find picnic areas, bazaars, stalls and others. Diving, Scuba diving, jet-skiing, fishing, sailing and all water activities are popular here. However, compared to other beaches in the world, this is not crowded at all.

 

Anse Takamaka, at the bottom part of Mahé, accredits its name to the native Takamaka trees that inhabit the island. This beach is more wavy compared to other areas on the island, but this ultimately depends on the day. The beach also has the typical granite boulders and scenery.

 

Anse A La Mouche is a serene calm beach in the district of Anse Boileau. The water here is very shallow, so it makes it perfect for children. The water is always crystal clear, and the beach is easily accessible and is very pleasant for walking.

 

Anse Intendance is arguably the most beautiful beach in Mahé, and some say even in the world.

The beach is a an unmissable sight with a great view of the sunset and beautiful coloured water different to any other beach on Mahé island. With fine soft sands and irresistible background makes this quite a beach.

Remember to note that during southeast monsoon from Jun to Sep, the waves can get rough and have strong currents. So always be wise to take extra care during these periods.

Amenities are limited with very few eating/drinking/shower/toilet options available.

 

Anse Royale is once again a stunning beach occupying the south eastern part of Mahé.

Anse Royale stretches along the coast for quite a while and encompasses various smaller sections and bays.

The beach is also home to the enchanting pearly sand and granite boulders.

Just off the coast in the middle of the water is an amazing tiny rock island with a few trees in it.

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