Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. Its terrain is defined by white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and granite peaks.
Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, is located on the island of Mahé and is the smallest capital in the world. The island is also home to the Morne Seychellois National Park, a stunning nature reserve that covers more than 20% of the island’s land area.
Mahé is not only a paradise for nature lovers but also for those seeking adventure and water sports. Activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing are popular among tourists, and the island’s diverse marine life and coral reefs make it a must-visit destination for underwater enthusiasts.
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Attractions & Things to do in Mahé
1. Beau Vallon Beach
Beau Vallon Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Mahé, known for its white sandy shores, crystal clear waters, and vibrant sunset views. It’s a great spot for water sports enthusiasts, offering activities like snorkeling, diving, and jet-skiing.
Travel Tip: Visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds and have a more relaxed experience.
2. Morne Seychellois National Park
Morne Seychellois National Park is the largest national park in Seychelles, covering more than 20% of Mahé’s land area. It offers a variety of hiking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints, lush greenery, and hidden waterfalls.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water as some trails can be quite challenging.
3. Seychelles National Botanical Gardens
Located in the capital city of Victoria, the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens is home to a wide variety of plant species, both endemic and exotic. It’s a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss the giant tortoises and the orchid garden.
4. Anse Intendance
Anse Intendance is a beautiful, secluded beach on the south coast of Mahé. It’s known for its large waves, making it a popular spot for surfers. However, the strong currents can make swimming dangerous, so it’s not recommended for inexperienced swimmers.
Travel Tip: Bring your own snacks and drinks as there are no facilities on the beach.
5. Victoria Market
Victoria Market is the heart of the capital and a bustling hub of activity. Here, you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, fish, and local handicrafts. It’s a great place to soak up the local atmosphere and pick up some souvenirs.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds.
6. Anse Royale
Anse Royale is a long, sandy beach located on the southeast coast of Mahé. It’s protected by a coral reef, making the waters calm and suitable for swimming and snorkeling. There are also several restaurants and shops nearby.
Travel Tip: The beach can get quite busy on weekends, so visit during the week if you prefer a quieter experience.
7. Mission Lodge
Mission Lodge is a historic site located in the Morne Seychellois National Park. It offers stunning views of the west coast of Mahé and the surrounding islands. The site was once a school for freed slave children and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel Tip: Bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views.
8. Anse Takamaka
Anse Takamaka is a picturesque beach located on the southwest coast of Mahé. It’s surrounded by granite boulders and palm trees, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and photography. The waters are calm and suitable for swimming.
Travel Tip: There is a restaurant nearby where you can enjoy a meal with a view.
9. Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden
Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden is a beautiful garden located in the south of Mahé. It’s home to a wide variety of spices, fruits, and flowers. There is also a restaurant on site where you can enjoy a meal made with fresh, local ingredients.
Travel Tip: Take a guided tour to learn more about the spices and their uses.
10. Anse Major
Anse Major is a secluded beach located on the northwest coast of Mahé. It can only be accessed by boat or by a hiking trail through the Morne Seychellois National Park. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and relaxation.
Travel Tip: Bring plenty of water and snacks as there are no facilities on the beach.
Unique Activities in Mahé
1. Wild South Discovery Trip with Local Lunch
Discover the wild side of Mahé with this adventurous trip. Explore the southern parts of the island, known for its untouched beauty and natural landscapes. The trip also includes a local lunch, giving you a taste of Seychellois cuisine.
Day Trips from Mahé
1. Praslin Island
Praslin Island is the second largest island in Seychelles and is home to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also known for its beautiful beaches, such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette.
Travel Tip: Take a ferry from Mahé to Praslin. The journey takes about one hour.
2. La Digue Island
La Digue Island is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and granite boulders. It’s a great place to explore by bicycle and visit beaches like Anse Source d’Argent and Grand Anse.
Travel Tip: Take a ferry from Mahé to La Digue. The journey takes about 1.5 hours.
3. Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island is the third largest island in Seychelles and is known for its rich biodiversity and hiking trails. It’s a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy nature.
Travel Tip: Take a boat from Mahé to Silhouette Island. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
Where to stay in Mahé
Mahé, Seychelles is a tropical paradise offering a plethora of hotels for travelers. From luxurious resorts to budget-friendly accommodations, the island caters to every type of traveler. With its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and mesmerizing views of the Indian Ocean, Mahé ensures a memorable stay for its visitors. Here are six hotels from the region, catering to different preferences:
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Villa Panoramic Seaview (★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in Glacis, just 200 metres from Northolme Beach, this hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden, and a terrace. The staff, especially Florence and her team, are known for their exceptional service.
- Price: €250 per night
- Rating: 9.6 (Exceptional)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
Petit Amour Villa, Seychelles (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Situated in Victoria, this luxurious villa offers a breathtaking view from atop a hill. It is especially recommended for honeymooners.
- Price: €194 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
3. Budget Hotel
Beau Séjour Hotel
- Description: Located in Victoria, this hotel offers cozy rooms, a delightful breakfast, and a beautiful view from the balcony.
- Price: €122 per night
- Rating: 8.8 (Fabulous)
4. Hotel for Family
Crown Beach Hotel Seychelles (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Overlooking the Indian Ocean in Pointe Au Sel, this hotel offers an outdoor pool and a la carte restaurant. The staff, especially John, is known for making guests’ stays special.
- Price: €227 per night
- Rating: 9.0 (Superb)
5. Hotel for Couples
Laïla, Seychelles, a Tribute Portfolio Resort (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in Mahe, steps away from Anse Royale Beach, this resort offers an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and a terrace. It’s particularly recommended for couples due to its clean, organized, and quiet ambiance.
- Price: €342 per night
- Rating: 8.3 (Very good)
6. Hotel for Solo Travellers
Paradise Chalets Yoga & Wellness
- Description: Situated in Takamaka, this hotel is steps away from Anse Parnel Beach. It offers a peaceful and relaxing environment, making it perfect for solo travelers.
- Price: €319 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
Did you know? Facts about Mahé
- Mahé is the largest island of Seychelles, lying in the northeast of the Seychellois nation in the Somali Sea part of the Indian Ocean.
- The population of Mahé was 77,000 as of the 2010 census, and it accommodates 86% of the country’s total population.
- The island was named after Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, a French governor of Isle de France (modern-day Mauritius).
- Mahé’s tallest peak is Morne Seychellois at 905 meters, which lies in the Morne Seychellois National Park.
- The island is home to rare endemic plants found only in Seychelles, such as the critically endangered Medusagyne oppositifolia (the jellyfish tree), the carnivorous Nepenthes pervillei (Seychelles pitcher plant), and many unique species of orchid.
- Mahé’s economy is mainly dependent on tourism, and Air Seychelles has its head office on the property of Seychelles International Airport on the island.
- The Port of Victoria is home to a tuna fishing and canning industry.
- From 1963 to 1996, the United States Air Force maintained a satellite control network at the Indian Ocean Station on the island.
- Mahé was first visited by the British in 1609 and not visited by Europeans again until Lazare Picault’s expedition of 1742.
- The island remained a French possession until 1812 when it became a British colony. It remained a colony until 1976 when Seychelles became an independent nation.
FAQ about Mahé
What is the best time to visit Mahé, Seychelles?
The best time to visit Mahé is during the dry seasons, either from May to September or December to March.
Are there any endemic species on Mahé?
Yes, Mahé is home to rare endemic plants found only in Seychelles, such as the critically endangered Medusagyne oppositifolia (the jellyfish tree), the carnivorous Nepenthes pervillei (Seychelles pitcher plant), and many unique species of orchid.
What is the highest peak on Mahé?
The highest peak on Mahé is Morne Seychellois at 905 meters.
Is Mahé a good destination for beach lovers?
Yes, Mahé has several beautiful beaches, including Baie Ternay Marine National Park, Port Launay Marine National Park, and Anse Intendance beach.
What is the main economy of Mahé?
The main economy of Mahé is tourism, and it is also home to a tuna fishing and canning industry.
Is there an international airport on Mahé?
Yes, the Seychelles International Airport is located on Mahé.
What is the population of Mahé?
The population of Mahé was 77,000 as of the 2010 census, and it accommodates 86% of the country’s total population.
What is the history of Mahé?
Mahé was first visited by the British in 1609, claimed by the French in 1756, and became a British colony in 1812. It remained a colony until 1976 when Seychelles became an independent nation.