This post is part of the series Mahe
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This post is part of the series Seychelles
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Mahé is the biggest of all 155 islands of Seychelles, the home of the capital city Victoria and home to 86% of the whole population of the archipelago. Whenever you are travelling to Seychelles, your first stop will be the Airport of Mahé where all international flights are arriving at. Whether you are flying into Mahé before heading to Praslin or La Digue, the island is definitely worth exploring as it offers some of the best beaches of Seychelles!
Mahé Island was named after the French Governor, Bertrand Mahé de Labourdonnais. The island is home to the endemic flora and fauna found only in Seychelles. Some of the species, like Jellyfish tree, is growing only on Mahé Island.
Mahé Island offers a lot to its visitors. When you think of Seychelles, the islands are not really the most obvious road trip destination. BUT: Mahé is the biggest and the most diversified of all other islands. This fact makes Mahé the busiest island of all, but the word “busy” has a different meaning in Seychelles. When I say “busy” in this article, it means that you will see some people around you 😀 Not the “busy-busy” like an Italian beach in August!
With its 157.3 km², Mahé is a small piece of land, but you still need a car in order to explore the island at its fullest! Long story – short: The north of Mahé is where everything is happening. In the north, there is Beau Vallon Beach – the most visited beach of Mahe, and Victoria – the capital city of Seychelles. In the North of Mahé, the mountains are higher, and the weather is worse than in the south. It sounds ridiculous, but it is true! The clouds do not go to the south of the island 😉
So, if you are in the mood of a great road trip you must hire a car! Car hire costs around €45 a day and the route in Mahé covers about 100 km. From the furthest North point of Mahé to the furthest South point it will take you about 1h 15 min by car if you drive straight through. But why you should do that?! There are more than 20 beaches listed as the best beaches in the World, nature is unique, the viewpoints are stunning, the restaurants are good and there is a rum distillery on the way! So, it will take you more than 1h 15 min to explore the island, especially if you take the small, curvy roads through the mountains of Mahé.
Visit Victoria, The Capital of Seychelles
Victoria is the capital city of Seychelles where a third of the whole population of 90.000 citizens is living. Although that sounds a lot, Victoria is the smallest capital city in Africa and one of the smallest capital cities in the world.
Yes, Victoria is small and literally, you can see almost everything in one hour or less if you want to. Although everything is rather unspectacular than overwhelming, the city of Victoria is a good place to get a better idea and feel the Seychellois life.
Victoria is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé Island which is also Seychelles main island. Victoria City was originally settled in 19th century by French colonist and in the year 1814, the British colonial government gave it its name for what it is still known today. The economy of Victoria is primarily driven by the exports of vanilla, coconut oil, coconuts, soap and fish.
Things to see and visit when in Victoria: Victoria Clock Tower, Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, Hindu Temple, National Museum of History, Botanical Gardens, and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception -The Cathedral of Our Lady.
Find more information and tips about visiting Victoria City here:
Mahé Island has more than 20 tropical beaches that are listed as the best beaches in the whole world! Most of the beaches are secluded, almost empty and the synonym for paradise if you ask me. The South of the Island is wild, beautiful, empty, underdeveloped – everything I needed to be! Here you can find my favourite beaches of Mahé: Anse Soleil and Petite Anse both located in the southwest of the Island. The best beach (for me) in the north of Mahe is Sunset Beach.
Find The 10 (+1) Best Beaches in Mahé, Seychelles here:
If you have enough of nature, snorkelling and beach hopping you can visit the Eden Island located on the east side of Mahé. Eden Island is an artificial island completed in 2003. Eden Island is home to more than 70 luxury shops, restaurants and galleries. Here you can also enjoy Seychelles’ nightlife on Friday night.
Visit the Takamaka Rum Distillery
When in Seychelles, you will see, and you will drink Takamaka Rum EVERYWHERE! It is THE BRAND of Seychelles so if you are in Mahé you must visit the Takamaka Rum Factory! The Takamaka rum distillery was built and developed by brothers Richard and Bernard d’Offay in 2002. The two brothers wanted to produce a high-quality “Made in Seychelles” rum based on their grandfather’s original recipe.
So, the rum distillery is a great place to visit with a very interesting tour on Monday to Friday at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm (costs EUR 16 per person). Otherwise, you can visit the factory from Monday to Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm and you can walk around without booking a tour.
During the friendly visit of the only distillery in Seychelles, you can see the rum production, a colonial House and the beautiful garden. You can dine in a great restaurant which offers local and European dishes.
In the small shop, you can buy some rum and you can taste whatever you want to! The rum was delicious, and we brought 3 different rum bottles to Innsbruck 😀
This post is part of the series Seychelles Other posts in this series: Interesting Facts…
Drive on Sans Souci Road
Well, are you up for an adventure? Well, then you have to take Sans Souci road which connects the east side of Mahé with its west side. But if you are not a good driver or you don’t like driving on the left side of a steep, narrow mountain road with tiny bends – don’t do it!
The road will take you through the Mahé’s National Park which is a mixture between thick jungle and mangrove forest. I think it was totally worth it – the panoramic views are the best on the island and here you can visit the Mission Lodge and the Tea Factory of Mahé.
If you want to spend more time here there is a good trail from the tea factory up to the peak of Morne Blanc or up to the Trois Frères cliffs.
Visit the Viewpoint “Mission Lodge”
The most famous and iconic viewpoint of Mahé is Mission Lodge located on Sans Soucie scenic road. It is also the most culturally and historically important site in Seychelles. The Mission Lodge, also known as Venns Town and Capucin, became UNESCO world heritage site in 2013. Slavery was abolished in Seychelles in 1835. But until the late 19th century the children of freed slaves went to boarding school here. Nowadays you can see only some school ruins remaining.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Mission Lodge in the year of 1972 and enjoyed a cup of tea with a view here.
The smallest frog in the World is to found here in the mountains of Mission Lodge, as well as many many other endemic species of plants and wildlife.
Go Diving and Snorkelling
You are in the Indian Ocean which means Scuba Diving and Snorkelling is always a good idea! Some of the best diving sport around Mahé are Alice in Wonderland, Oscars Reef, Pirates Cove, Napoleon Inn, Grouper Point, Rays Point, Whale Rock and Sunset Rocks. What you can expect to see is whale shark, corals, turtles and rays, reef sharks, and many others.
* Just to have it mentioned: Compared to other diving spots that we have already visited in Southeast Asia, diving and snorkelling in Seychelles was not the most incredible underwater experience. Don’t get me wrong – the underwater life is beautiful but not as spectacular as we expected it to be.
Where to Stay in Mahé
If you are looking for a good and affordable place to stay near Baie Lazare, I can totally recommend these accommodations: Les Elles Guesthouse Self Catering, Hillside Retreat, Kanasuk Self catering Apartments
If you are looking for a good and affordable place to stay near Anse Soleil, I can recommend these accommodations:
If you are looking for a good and affordable place to stay near Anse Forbans, I can recommend these accommodations:
Enjoy the day!
*This post contains Affiliate Links. I only recommend high-quality items and services I am confident about. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Continue reading this series:
Travel Costs & Prices: How Expensive is Seychelles?