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.
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?