Mahé is the largest and most populous island in the Seychelles, home to 90% of the country's population and its largest airport. It is home to the national capital, Victoria. The island is named in honor of the 18th century governor of Mauritius. Mahé is dominated by the granite peaks of Morne Seychellois National Park.
The key reasons for visiting are the white sand beaches such as Beau Vallon and Anse Royal, the waters of St Anne National Park, the numerous hikes available, and the colonial architecture.
Mahé is the main hub for Seychelles island hopping.
- 1 Victoria — the national capital.
- 2 Beau Vallon — probably the most popular beach in the islands
- Cerf Island
- Marnelle Island
- Sainte Anne Island
- 1 Morne Seychellois National Park
- 1 Seychelles International Airport (SEZ IATA). - The airport is located near the capital Victoria. The airport is the home base of Air seychelles. You will find a bus station in Victoria and taxi outside the terminal.
- Cat Cocos, Flamboyant Ave, Victoria, Seychelles, ☏ +(248) 4297165, [email protected]. The ferry leaves from La Passe Quay in La Digue and Baie Sainte Anne Jetty in Praslin and arrives in Victoria Pier in Mahé. It takes 1h30 to cross from La Digue to Mahe and 1h to cross from Pralin to Mahe. . It is best to book in advance to ensure availability. You can select your seat type: on the main deck for an indoor air-conditioned seat, on the upper deck for an outdoor seat, or in business class to get your own cabin.
It is possible to book your tickets on Seychellesbookings.com.
The island has a good and cheap public bus system. The buses are easily recognisable with their blue colour. The bus fare is Rs. 7 regardless of your destination. Make sure to have Rs. 25 or less. Bigger bills are not accepted on the bus. You can view and download the timetable in SPTC website. Bus services operate throughout the day, from 05:30 to 20:30.
Taxis are the most expensive way to get around, but they can still be the best option in some situations. Taxis are a good option for those who opt for a "static" vacation: if you booked a room in a large resort, and only want to go out one or two days of your vacation.
Getting around on Mahé can be quite a time consuming exercise without your own vehicle. On average a rental car in Seychelles costs SR1,200 per day. It is often possible to arrange car pick-up / drop-off from the airport, your accommodation or the ferry terminal.
Mahé is only 28 kilometres (16 mi) in length. Biking around the island will get you where you want to go at your own pace. You can find bike rental places. However, streets can be narrow and the island is hilly. Si it might be tiring and time consuming.
- Victoria - This is the island capital. You will find the Victoria Clock Tower, which is now a national monument. Sir Selwyn-Clarke Market is a colorful market, where you will find stalls of fresh fish, exotic fruits and island spices. It is best to visit the market early in the day. The city is also home to museums such as the National Museum of History and the Natural History Museum.
- Morne Seychellois National Park - The park extends on 20% of Mahé land area. It was created in 1979 and is made up of variety of habitats. You will find the Morne Seychellois which is Seychelles’ highest peak (905 m). 12 trails are available for hiking (from 1 to 2 hours), If you do not have time for a walk, you can take a scenic drive from Victoria to Port Glaud, which cut through the park.
- Ste. Anne National Marine Park - just 5 kilometers off Mahe's northeast coast, these 6 small islands are very popular. Glass-bottom boats are available in Victoria and will transport you in about 20 minutes to the clear waters of the marine park. You will be able to see corals and fishes. Ste. Anne Island was Seychelles’ first settlement over 240 years ago.
- Beau Vallon - The bay is home to Mahé's most popular beaches. It is a 2 km stretch of white sand from Bel Ombre to Mare Anglaise. You will find dive centers and other aquatic activities as well as hotels, restaurants and bars.
- Seychelles National Botanical Gardens - Located just outside Victoria, in Mount Fleuri, this is one of Seychelles’ oldest national monuments. You will find native plants such as Coco de Mer, giant tortoise and fruit bat colonies.\
- Craft Village - visiting the Craft Village is a good way to experience traditional Creole culture. The property focuses on Creole architecture, arts and craft, and gastronomy. You will be able to visit the "Gran Kaz" Plantation House built around 1870, "La Kaz Rosa" a typical 20th century working class home and the "Maison de Coco", a house built of coconut products You will also be able to participate in craft workshops.
- 1 Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino (On the Northwest Coast), ☏ + (248) 4287 287, toll-free: +1 800 88 3236 (Malaysia only), fax: +60 (3) 2145 7190, [email protected]. 232 rooms and suites, 3 restaurants and 3 bars, 2 meeting rooms, business centre, travel agent desk, car rental, children services: baby-sitting services (upon request), laundry, massage, gift shops.
- Sue-Etoile Self Catering, ☏ +248 2531813, +248 2574513, [email protected]. Self Catering apartments, 2-bedroom, ideal guesthouse for families, fully equipped kitchen, sitting area, air-conditioning, sea view, parking available. Airport pickup possible, also reachable by bus from airport (15 mins).
- Snorkeling - Mahé has a lot of great snorkeling spots such as the National Marine Parks: Ste. Anne or Port Launay. However, the parks will ask you an entrance fee. Anse Major, Petite Anse, Anse Diri in Bel Ombre are also great snorkeling spots. It is best to bring your own equipment, but if you forget, masks and fins are available to rent.
- Go to the beach - Mahé is known for its beaches around its coastline. You could head to Anse à la Mouche and Anse Soleil, which are ideal for swimming.
- Diving - There are over 30 dives site around Mahé! You will find granite boulders, reefs, shallow banks, and plenty of fishes. Whale sharks and manta rays can be encountered. Dive operators are offering courses for all levels: from half-day dive to a certification program. Check out Ennerdale wreck and Shark banks.
- Surf - Mahé is home to a variety of reef and beach breaks. Water is warm all year round. Popular surfing spots are Grand Anse, Anse Gaulette, Anse Poules Bleues and Beau Vallon.
- SMAC Adventures, ☏ +248 2 518 864, [email protected]. If you like adrenaline, you could go zipling and rock climbing. Located at the Constance Ephelia resort, SMAC Adventures has created a series of aerial Ziplines that are suspended both within and above the forest canopy. They have also developed the possibility to climb an 18-meter high natural granite rock face.
- The Tea Factory, Latanier Road, Mahe, ☏ +248 4285000. They offer a guided tour through the scenic terraces of tea plants at Morne Blanc. You will learn how the leaves are picked, blended, processed and packaged. You will also be able to buy tea!
- La Perle Noir, Beau Vallon, Seychelles, ☏ +2484620220. Located in Beau Vallon, this restaurants offers International and Creole cuisine. They have a veranda, overlooking the tropical garden.
- Windsong Beach Restaurant, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Baie Lazare, Mahe Island, Seychelles, ☏ +248 4 386 666, [email protected]. Right on the white sandy beach. The atmosphere is laid-back, and you can enjoy cocktails and snacks.
- Maria's Rock Cafe, Anse Gouvernment, Baie Lazare, Baie Lazare, ☏ +248 4 361 812. You can cook your own meat fish or seafood on hot stones for a "hot rock" barbecue.
- Eden, Bel Ombre Road, Beau Vallon, Mahe at The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach, Bel Ombre, ☏ +248 4 387 000, [email protected]. The restaurant is nestled between the greenery of the gardens and the beach. It serves a delicious selection of fresh seafood and prime cut meat.
- Marie Antoinette, Serret Rd, ☏ +248 4 266 222. This restaurant offers an authentic creole experience. The menu has remained unchanged since the restaurant first opened in 1972. You will taste traditional Creole Seychellois dishes such as curries, parrotfish and tuna steaks. They use local organic ingredients. They have a good selection of wine.
Mahé's nightlife is concentrated in Victoria. Most hotels and resorts have their own bars