Nestled in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles archipelago keeps holiday seekers around the world fascinated. Pure white sand beaches and wonderful lagoons, characterise the Seychelles archipelago, but along marvelous beaches, the generous nature of the Seychelles is praise-worthy as well.
Among the 115 islands of the Seychelles, there is one particular island that remains among the must visit destination and that is- Mahé Island. Let us explore this fascinating island.
Lying in the northeast of the archipelago, Mahé Island is best described as a mix of mystery and beauty. The Island measures 157.3 km². Being the largest island of the archipelago, Mahé is also the most populated. It is home to nearly 90 % of Seychelles population.
The highest point of the island is known as the Morne Seychellois. It is the highest peak of Mahé and proudly measures 905 m (2969 ft.)
Description of Mahé
Mahé Island is undoubtedly the most developed island of the entire Seychelles archipelago. Mahé is home to an International airport that has been inaugurated by Her Majesty herself. The airport welcome over thousands of tourist every year. So, Mahé becomes the starting point for every Seychelles travellers.
In terms of scenery, Mahé is no less than the other islands. The island boasts over 60 beaches and every single one of them has something that is sure to capture your attention. If you like to mix your beach break with some nature exploration, Mahé Island invites you to explore its mountainous, forested interior décor which hid some amazing waterfalls, jungle, mountain walks and striking viewpoints.
The bustling Capital of the island is also worthy of mention. The famous Victoria Capital, as you must have guessed it, was named after the Queen Victoria. This vibrant city acts as the main administrations and commercial institutions of the Republic of the Seychelles. It should be noted that Victoria City is the smallest capital in the world, nevertheless, it hosts one of the biggest Carnival on earth.
For those planning on staying on the island, that is fairly easy task. Worry not, as Mahé has an abundance of hotel catering for long term tourists as well as for people who are just stopping over.
Let us step back some thousand years ago and consequently learn more about Mahé’s rich history. In 1609, the British was the first to visit Mahé, however, they did intend to settle the island. Mahé was revisited in 1742 by the French explorer Lazare Picault.
The next French expedition did certainly add to the island history. In November 1756, the French navy arrived at Port Victoria and the leader of the French expedition which was at that time Corneille Nicholas Morphey claimed the island for the King of France by laying a Stone of Possession on Mahé- this historical heritage is one of the oldest monument and you might eventually spot it during your visit at Mahé’s museum.
Mahé remained a under the French flag until 1812 when it became a British colony. However, this will end in 1756, when Seychelles became an independent nation.
The best way to commute around the area remains by car. However, depending on your budget you can also opt either for taxis or bus.
Bus service on the island literally goes everywhere- it will be difficult to find a tarmacked road without a bus stop. Even the prices are affordable but like any other services there is always ups and down. If you are travelling during peak times, it evident that it will be more crowded. Good timing will be primordial!
To make the best of your trip though, the preferred transportation is car. There are many car rental companies throughout the island, so it will be quite easy to rent a car.
In terms of beaches, Mahé Island offers plenty of choice for holidaymakers. We have listed some of the best for you.
Enclosed by a lush tropical vegetation and clear azure waters, Anse Interdance and its half-mile arc shaped milky white sand beach is probably one of the most striking beach in Mahé. Displaying a vibrant and colourful scenery to its visitors, Anse Interdance has all the qualities that one might expect from a tropical islands of Seychelles. It is also a great surfing spot, thanks to its surging rolls of waves.
Located on the north western coast of Mahé, Beau Vallon beach is among the most appreciated beach by both tourists and locals alike. Spreading over 3.5 km long, with white powder-like sand and blue turquoise waters, Beau Vallon is indeed a real delight for beach lovers. Good news for swimmers, the beach is a safe swimming area, with no strong currents and bounded by beautiful coral reefs.
Located in the complete south corner of the island, this outstanding beach is must visit beach to add on your list. Anse Takamaka is the longest beach of the Seychelles and that’s probably one of the many reason of its popularity. Greatly revered for its white sand and sparkles of turquoise water, Anse Takamaka is better suited for surfing. Even though swimming is not advised there, you could still have a good bath close to the shore.
Part of a national marine park, Port Launay is situated in the northwest coast of Mahé. It is accessible through Port Glaud. In the warm waters of Port Launay, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.
The area is greatly appreciated by divers for its rich underwater fauna and flora. You will discover a plethora of colorful fish and natural coral sights, however, the collection of corals and shells along the shore is strictly forbidden.
Places of interest
Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market
The colourful market of Mahé is the best place to get a feel of the Seychellois culture and eventually mix with locals. Built in 1840, the market is certainly where you will find the best fresh fruits, fish, spices and original Seychellois souvenirs.