With 154.4km², the island of Mahé is the largest of the 115 individual islands of the Seychelles and is home to Victoria, the world’s smallest capital. The island, which is 28 kilometres long and just 7 kilometres wide at its widest point, is home to 77,000 inhabitants, about 90% of the population of the Seychelles, which corresponds to a population density of just 465 inhabitants per km². The highest mountain in the Seychelles is also to be found on Mahé – with a height of 905 metres above sea level, the Morne Seychellois invites you to climb it.
To make sure you don’t miss anything during your stay, start by discovering its main island, “Mahé”. Mahé has a thousand and one surprises in store for you.
History of Mahé
Mahé, today’s main island of the Seychelles, was originally discovered by the English in 1609, but it was the expedition of the Frenchman Lazare Picault in 1742 that led to the settlement of the island. Incidentally, the popular island owes its name to the French admiral Bertrand-Francois Mahé de La Bourdonnais.
The island was under French influence until it was annexed by the English in 1814 as part of the British Empire and only gained its independence in 1976.
The island of Mahé is the largest of the Seychelles islands and is home to the capital city Victoria. It is a charming city to discover, offering a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Mahé is also the economic and cultural center of the Seychelles. From north to south, the island has everything to seduce travelers who venture there. Its grandiose landscapes, its fine white sandy beaches, its lush nature, its natural sites, its smiling and friendly inhabitants… make it an island of choice during your holidays in the Seychelles!
The foundation stone for the tourist development of the Seychelles archipelago was laid above all by the island’s international airport, which was opened in 1972 and since then has made it possible to spend holidays in the Seychelles without major travel problems.
From the airport there are numerous buses and taxis available to take you to your accommodation. These also operate within the island’s interior. So you are free to explore the island and its attractions. Be aware that buses DO NOT allow luggage, so you will have to take a taxi or rent-a-car upon arrival on Seychelles.
What to see and what to do on Mahé Island?
Make your Seychelles holidays on Mahé an unforgettable experience with numerous highlights. Whether you prefer relaxation on the beach, culture or hiking, Mahé offers highlights for all groups of tourists. Due to its size and the variety of activities on offer, Mahé is also a perfect destination for traveling the Seychelles with children. How about exploring one of the 75 or so sandy beaches on Mahé and the numerous bays that go with them? White sand and palm trees gently swaying in the wind make you want to dive into the crystal clear water and explore the sometimes beautiful coral reefs around the island.
Those who want to travel to the island of Mahé to spend their holidays will most likely ask themselves in advance what activities the island has to offer. First of all, it can be recommended to every visitor of Mahé to explore the underwater world around the popular holiday island. The numerous coral reefs invite you to do so, and diving centers are available – either directly connected to the hotel or bookable by the public. As a rule, diving courses are also offered for beginners, although for reasons of health risk prevention, it is only recommended to have your diving fitness checked before the start of the trip.
By the way, it is also the great flora and fauna that attracts numerous photographers to the island of Mahé for holidays every year – so: It is best to pack your camera straight away so that you can archive unforgettable impressions of the largest island of the Seychelles long after your holidays are over and still be able to remember them.
The bay of Beau Vallon should also be visited on a trip to the Seychelles. The bay is located in the northwest of the island of Mahé and is the ideal starting point for trips to the Morne Seychellois National Park, which can be reached by following the coastal road in a northerly direction. Hikers also get their money’s worth here – from Morne Seychellois you not only have a fantastic view over the national park, you can even see as far as the capital of the Seychelles – Victoria. At this point, you should make sure to take sturdy shoes with you on holiday – otherwise the hike can quickly end up in the hospital wing.
Takamaka Rum Distillery – Located on the Saint André plain on the island of Mahé, the 3 Brothers distillery developed its first Seychelles rums in 2002. Called Takamaka, these rums take their name from one of the 23 districts of the island to which they belong.
They have the unique characteristic of coming from a granite soil, unlike the other rums from the Indian Ocean, which come from a volcanic soil. Takamaka is made from organic sugar cane produced in small quantities by local cooperatives, which is then crushed on site in the St André plain. The Trois Frères Distillery uses 3 copper stills, two of which are iron stills to exalt the flavours, and one column still to control the purity of the rum. The rum is then aged in French and American oak barrels.
There are so many things to see and do on Mahé that a single trip would not be enough to explore the island at length. One of the must-see places on Mahé is Victoria. Indeed, it is one of the main attractions of the island. The capital of Seychelles is full of curiosities, especially if you visit it during certain events. It is located in the north-eastern part of Mahé. To better discover the city and its attractions, there is nothing like a walk. Lose yourself in the heart of Victoria city and admire its incredible architecture.
Victoria – Capital of Seychelles
Victoria is very small but you should try to visit and spend at least few hours there during your holiday. The capital of Seychelles is made up of just a dozen short narrow streets and you can walk through most of the city within few hours, especially recommend if you are waiting for Cat Cocos ferry from the nearby port. If you do rent a car to explore an Island, remember that they are driving on the left, so get ready for some adaptation, especially if you rent a car with manual shifting (automatics are also widely available). But to be honest, for Victoria alone it’s best to walk, especially during busy times.
Dine in one of the best restaurants in the capital to sample the many Creole specialities. The cuisine is varied, colourful and, above all, rich in taste. Don’t miss a visit to Market Street and the Victoria Museum. If you are in the mood for beaches and relaxation, head to the south of the island where most of the most beautiful beaches on the island, and even in the Seychelles, are concentrated. Some of the most popular and popular beaches include Anse Royale, Takamaka Cove and Forbans Cove. The latter will certainly leave you speechless with their natural beauty, authenticity and dreamlike setting. A beautiful holiday in the sunshine is in prospect!
BEACHES OF MAHE
The most beautiful beaches on Mahé include Petite Anse, Grand Anse, Baie Lazare and Anse a la Mouche.