The largest island of the Seychelles, Mahe is also the most modern and best prepared for touristic activities and yet still seems untouched and untamed by man. It combines the beauty of rugged wilderness with the comforts of modern life. Did we mention it’s also a tropical paradise?
You’ve probably never heard of Mahe, but you most certainly heard about the Seychelles, those tropical islands off the African coast, a favorite holiday destination. Well, Mahe happens to be the largest island (with a surface of 9 square km) of the archipelago, home to the capital city Victoria and with the largest population.
The beauty of Mahe lies not only in the lovely beaches outlining the light blue waters of the Indian Ocean, but also in the mountain range which runs like a backbone down the island and also provides some spectacular views from the 905m high peak point. Most of the vegetation is made up of tropical forest, which awaits any daring explorer to find out its secrets and beauty.
Unfurl your sails in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean as you embark on an unforgettable sailing adventure. With its tropical climate, lush green landscapes, and crystal-clear waters, this corner of the world is a dream come true for sailors. The location is home to abundant marine life, making your sailing journey feel like a private expedition into a natural aquarium. It also boasts one of the oldest oceanic islands on Earth, offering a unique and diverse ecosystem, both above and below the waterline.
As you sail, keep an eye out for the distinctive shape of the Coco de Mer palm tree, which is endemic to these islands. The extensive coral reefs and marine parks also make snorkeling and diving a must for any visitor. Explore these underwater worlds to discover a myriad of colorful fish, spectacular coral formations, and maybe even a friendly sea turtle or two.
Take the opportunity to moor at secluded bays, where you can enjoy the pristine beaches and take a refreshing swim in the clear waters. Don't forget to sample the local cuisine, a delightful blend of African, Chinese, French, Indian and English influences, offering an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Fresh seafood, fruits, and the local staple, rice, make up the majority of the dishes, with Creole spices providing a tantalizing touch.
Travel & Arrival
The main connection of Mahe to the outside world is its airport, Seychelles International which can be found on the eastern shore, near the capital city of Victoria (11 km separate the terminals from the city). Taxi services are available when you touch down and can take your group virtually anywhere on the island. The operators that fly to this destination are Air Austral, Air Seychelles, Condor, Emirates, British Airways, Air France, Eurofly and Neos.
There are also busses and shuttle services that connect with Victoria but also with the port where tourists can take ferry trips around the archipelago.
Avant & Apres Sail
Being the largest island in the archipelago and also where the capital can be found, Mahe is the main focus of all incoming visitors. And there is plenty for them to see and do despite the relative small size of the island. The city of Victoria is the main urban center where you can see Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens which house some very interesting endemic species and the Clock Tower built in 1903 when the colony became independent. Another focal point for tourists and locals alike is the market held every day except Sunday.
Accommodation in Mahe isn’t scarce and varies from self-catering guest houses to fancy five-star hotels. After you’ve checked in, you can take your gang to have a bite to eat. The cuisine served in local restaurants is varied and encompasses most international gastronomic cultures. However, most establishments try to have their own culinary identity so be prepared for a little twist in any recipe.
Nighttime in Mahe is a busy time. Locals and tourists alike flock to the many bars and clubs. The focal point of nightlife entertainment is the old port (Vieux Port) where you’ll find the best clubs. All major hotels have live entertainment and bands in case you don’t feel like mingling with the local populace. Another option would be the two casinos, one in Beau Vallon Bay and the other on the south side of the island.
Events & Activities
There no less than 75 beaches on Mahe, and exploring them pays off, because some are virtually empty meaning you can sunbathe in privacy on the soft golden sand that is covered from place to place by groups of swaying palms. After all, who wouldn’t like a tropical beach just for themselves? Also, there are several dive centers and watersport facilities at different locations on the island.
Mahe is also home to the Morne Seychellois National Park, an area 30 square kilometers wide, and if you’re a real adrenaline junkie then why not go hiking up the mountains through the rainforest?
What unique sailing routes are available?There are numerous islands to explore, each with its own charm. Head to Praslin for beautiful beaches and the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, or visit La Digue, famous for its granite boulders and laid-back lifestyle. Further afield, the Outer Islands offer more remote and tranquil sailing experiences.
What are the sailing conditions like?The area boasts a tropical climate with a warm, year-round temperature. The northwest trade winds from October to April make for gentle, relaxed sailing, while the southeast trade winds from May to September offer more challenging and exciting conditions.
What facilities are available at the local marinas?Marinas are well-equipped with water, electricity, and Wi-Fi. Repair services, fuel stations, and waste disposal facilities are also available. Nearby, you'll find restaurants serving local and international cuisine, and shops where you can purchase supplies.
What are some must-try local dishes?Seafood is a staple here, with dishes like grilled fish, octopus curry, and Ladob (a dessert or savory dish made from bananas or sweet potatoes). Also, try the refreshing local beer, Seybrew, and the potent local rum, Takamaka.
What natural attractions should I not miss?The Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé, Vallée de Mai on Praslin, and the Veuve Nature Reserve on La Digue are must-visits. Don't miss out on the opportunity to snorkel or dive among the spectacular coral reefs.
What historical and cultural sites should I visit?The Seychelles Natural History Museum, the National Botanical Gardens, and the Kenwyn House are worthwhile stops on Mahé. In Victoria, the capital, the Clock Tower and the colourful Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market are notable sights.
What water sports can I partake in?The clear, warm waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Other activities include fishing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. On land, consider hiking and bird watching.
When is the best time to sail?Sailing is good year-round due to the tropical climate. However, April-May and October-November are the calmest periods, with light winds and calm seas.
Experience the ultimate sailing escape. Enjoy sun-drenched days on the water, island-hopping between idyllic tropical paradises. Unwind on secluded beaches, immerse yourself in unique ecosystems, and savor tantalizing local cuisine. This is more than just a sailing trip - it's your private voyage into paradise.