Don’t miss this 14 Attractions on Mahe
The island of Mahé is the largest island in Seychelles. Its length is about 27 kilometers and its width about 8 kilometers. You will find many scenic places, such as granite mountains, tropical vegetation, and beautiful beaches.
The species-rich flora and fauna can best be explored on guided tours or along the marked hiking trails. North Mahé at the famous Beau Vallon beach is considered a little busier.
Victoria, one of the smallest capital cities in the world, has retained much of its charm and character. Traditional architecture, a colorful market, shops, and boutiques line the streets. Mahé is a diverse island that offers the largest program of excursions. It is recommended to use a rental car to explore the island.
Victoria is the lively center of the island. The city on Mahé with its 20,000 inhabitants stretches across a large bay and lies at the foot of the Morne Seychellois, the highest mountain in Seychelles at 930 meters. It is worth visiting Victoria, as there are many small shops, boutiques, cafés, restaurants, and lovingly restored buildings from the colonial era.
1. Victoria is the largest City on Mahe island
Victoria is the smallest capital city in the world. At every turn, you can discover the unique historical objects here. A replica of Big Ben is placed in the city’s main square, and not far away is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – the island’s most important religious site and a unique architectural monument.
The capital of the Republic of Seychelles is Victoria, a city of about 10,000 people (over 24,000 if you include the suburbs) that thrives on tourism and the export of natural products. It is located on the north-east coast, the most urbanised of the island, between the sea and steep slopes.
It was founded by the French colonists in 1778 and received its present name in honour of the Queen of the British Empire in the 19th century after the islands came into English hands.
Victoria is certainly not a chaotic capital: it is a green and harmonious city with little traffic and a very welcoming atmosphere, thanks to the proverbial friendliness of Seychelles’ inhabitants.
The centre is made up of 20th-century houses of wood and stone with colourful façades, shutters and balustrades arranged along curved and winding streets that meander between the highs and lows. As you stroll around, discover the spicy flavours of Creole dishes.
2. Mahe has so many Beaches
One of the top attractions is the 70 beaches on Mahé, all of them impressive, but some are so beautiful that they have won awards. Anyone who has seen these beaches knows why. As soft, fine, and white as icing sugar is the sand on Mahé’s beaches, nestled in a fantastically beautiful exotic landscape, with palm trees swaying in the breeze and craggy granite cliffs forming the dramatic backdrop. But it is not only the beaches that have made Mahé the star among the islands of Seychelles; the country’s largest island has much
Which beach would you like? The choice is difficult because Anse Soleil is just as beautiful as Anse Takamaka or Anse Royal or is the beach at Anse Intendance the better choice? Perhaps the most popular beach is called Beau Vallon and it fulfills all wishes of what a dream beach in Seychelles should look like.
The water in the bay is crystal clear and wonderfully warm, there are no dangerous currents and divers can also explore Seychelles’ colorful underwater world off the coast.
3. St. Paul’s Cathedral
The rather inconspicuous Anglican cathedral is also located in Victoria’s center. The first church dedicated to St Paul the Apostle was built in 1859. Subsequently, the building was extended and remodeled several times. Between 2001 and 2004, a functional new building with a capacity for 800 worshippers was erected in place of the old church.
4. Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Hindu-Tempel
More than 80 percent of the inhabitants of Seychelles are Catholics. Only three percent of the island’s inhabitants believe in Hinduism. The only Hindu temple in Seychelles was built for them in 1992. It is dedicated to Vinayagar, the Hindu god of security and prosperity.
The colourful sanctuary is located in the city centre on Quincy Street and offers many photo opportunities inside and out.
5. Seychelles Botanical Garden
The Seychelles Botanical Garden was established in 1901 on six hectares of land. The original purpose of the garden was to show Seychelles farmers their dependence on vanilla and coconut production and to encourage them to grow other agricultural products.
As a park, the Botanic Gardens are now one of Victoria’s greatest attractions. The well-structured and extremely well-maintained grounds are located at the foot of Mont Fleuri.
A large number of tropical plants are presented in a thematically well-structured manner on the grounds, which measure approximately 120 by 500 meters. Several specimens of the unique Coco-de-mer palms, which can only be found on Seychelles, also grow in the garden.
The rare giant tortoises live in an enclosure. In February 2017, they numbered 36. There are also birdhouses and enclosures with flying foxes. For a refreshment in between, there is an airy cafeteria.
6. Sir Selwyn Clarke Market
An exotic-looking place in the heart of Mahé and a feast for the eyes (and cooking enthusiasts) is this market. Fish, fruit, vegetables, and spices are on sale in abundance. The market is located on Market Street, one block from the Hindu temple.
Commissioned in 1903, this clock tower is a replica of a similar clock erected in London at the junction of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge. It is dedicated to Britain’s long-serving Queen Victoria. The clock tower stands at the intersection of State House Ave and Francis Rachel Street.
8. Bel Air Cemetery
The extensive cemetery in the Bel Air district can already be seen from the upper decks of the cruise ships. From a distance, the grounds appear somewhat bizarre. It is not clear what the colorful area on a slope actually is.
Only from close up does one see that it is a burial ground. The inscriptions on the gravestones are weathered. Not only respectable citizens but also pirates found their final resting place at Bel Air, as did a certain Louis Poiret, who pretended to be Louis XVII while he was alive. However, genetic tests disproved this bold claim.
9. The colourful house “Jivan Imports
Not far from Victoria Market, there is a very colorful, eye-catching house at the intersection of Albert Street and Market Street that makes a very nice photo motif: Jivan Imports. The building dates back to the 1860s. The foundation and ground floor are made of coral blocks; the two floors above were built of corrugated iron and wooden frames. Our tip: The best view of the building is from the stairs on the opposite street corner.
10. Domaine de Val des Prés – Craft Village
A few kilometers south of the airport, in the community of Domaine de Val des Prés, the access road to the artists’ village branches off from the East Coast Road. The Craft Village is hidden in a large garden.
Mahé is rich in cultural elements that well illustrate the traditions, customs, and traditions, art, past, and present of the Seychelles islands.
The central focal point of the complex is the Gran Kaz Plantation House, built almost 150 years ago in the Creole style. It is complemented by the 20th-century workers’ house called La Kaz Rosa. Twelve shops sell local handicrafts. In the Maison de Coco, a house built from coconut products, visitors can buy coconut souvenirs.
The Domaine de Val des Prés (Craft Village) is part of the Patrimwann, the umbrella under which the attractions that bear witness to the archipelago’s Creole heritage are grouped. The word Patrimwann belongs precisely to the Creole language and means “path of heritage”.
It was chosen to identify four sites that bear witness to this important cultural component: the Creole Institute, the Bastille, La Plane St. André Ecomuseum, and the Domaine de Val des Prés, the village of artisans.
A visit is worthwhile to explore the life of the people of Seychelles from different angles: At the typical Grann Kaz farmhouse (1870), you can experience local art, craftsmanship, and gastronomy in the twelve workshops where local products are made and sold.
11. Baie Ternay Marine-Park
The north-western tip of the island of Mahé is a paradise that the authorities have rightly protected with the creation of a nature reserve, Baie Ternay Marine National Park. It is one of the most beautiful places not only in Mahé but in all the Seychelles, a bay with turquoise waters framed by tropical vegetation.
Although there is a road leading up to the south, the best way to reach this part of the island is by boat, as the road is often closed. The beach is therefore frequented by few visitors, mostly sailors, and it is from here that you go up to discover it.
The coast is a large expanse of fine white sand where you can spend a relaxing day snorkeling.
As well as the larger bay of Cap Ternay, Baie Ternay Marine National Park stretches north to other unspoiled bays such as the smaller and more intimate Anse du Riz and Baie aux Chagrin.
12. Eden Island
Heading south-east from Victoria, along the old coastal road, we come to Eden Island, an artificial island built in the 1990s to house a residential development. Eden Island is as flat as the Maldives and resembles the famous Palm of Dubai, only smaller (not surprisingly, its construction was financed by a Dubai fund). The 56-hectare complex is connected to Mahé by a bridge and has a large marina.
Eden Island has restaurants, bars, and boutiques as well as private homes: in general, the facilities are exclusive and have private beaches accessible via the canals. The opposite is Cerf, a small granite island that is part of the Sainte Anne Marine Park, where you will find a sheltered, lush environment: a perfect oasis to relax.
13. Le Jardin du Roi
At the level of Anse Royale Bay, in the southeast of the island, in the hills of Les Canelles, lies the Jardin du Roi spice garden. Spices have been grown and traded there since the 18th century. Mainly vanilla, citronella (lemongrass), cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper; medicinal and endemic plants of Seychelles are also grown.
A small museum and a “spice shop” complete the complex. Visitors are free to browse and roam around the grounds, which are open daily between 10 am and 5.30 pm.
To reach the garden, turn off at the end of Anse Royale in the direction of Les Canelles. In the following village of Sweet Escot, follow the sign to the Spice Garden.
14. Morne Seychellois
Just south of Victoria is Mahé’s most famous road, the Sans Souci Road. This scenic and winding road climbs into Morne Seychellois National Park and takes you into the heart of Seychelles’ tropical scrubland over an area of 40 square kilometers, which is 20% of the entire national territory.
Via this road, you can do some beautiful hikes in the park, such as the Copolia Trail and the Casse Dent Trail. Experienced hikers can try the Morne Blanc Trail, a trail for experienced hikers that leads from the tea plantation to the highest point in Seychelles, Morne Seychellois (905 m), with magnificent views.
More or less in the middle of Sans Souci Road meet the ruins of Mission Venn’s Town. Built-in 1875 by the London Missionary Society church organization, it served as a school for the children of freed slaves.
Today it is a place of hospitality for tourists and one of the most famous viewpoints in Seychelles. Sitting here with a cup of spiced tea in hand, as the Queen of England did in 1972, you can enjoy a wide and exciting view of the reliefs in the southern part of Mahé.