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Welcome to Mahe


Mahé, the main island, is 27 km long and 7 km wide, with dramatic mountains and sheer peaks. 85% of Seychellois live here, mainly in the north. Victoria, one of the world’s tiniest capitals, has 24,000 residents and retains much charm and character in its traditional architecture. Here you will find small shops and a bustling market. The vivid green countryside of Mahé is ideal for trekking and for guided nature tours.  It has a 9 hole golf course. Hidden coves and bays are dotted around the island’s 70 beaches, making it perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Despite the fact that it is heavily populated and well-developed, the island of Mahé, the largest of the Seychelles archipelago, contains plenty of hidden treasures, not least of which is a legendary pirate's cache purportedly buried at Bel Ombre. The southern end of the island still sports deserted beaches, and even the busy northern urban enclave, which includes the international airport and capital city, Victoria, exudes laid-back charm.

Forming the backbone of the island is a spectacular mountain range that includes Morne Seychellois, the island's highest peak. Around the peak is one of the island's beautiful national parks, offering good hiking and stunning scenery. More than 60 idyllic beaches fringed with swaying palm trees can be found along the shoreline, offering a host of activities from excellent dive centres to various watersports operators. There are several interesting sights to see, particularly in friendly Victoria. Although not renowned for its nightlife, Mahé is the liveliest island after dark and resorts like the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort and Casino, several nightclubs and restaurants that serve up traditional Creole delights provide the evening entertainment.

Information & Facts


Mahé may lie close to the equator, but the annual temperatures remain fairly constant with average daytime temperatures at about 80°F (27°C). At higher altitudes, temperatures are lower, especially at night-time. Mahé's dry season runs from May to October but this is the period when the southeast monsoon winds can bring brief showers every few days. From December to March the monsoon arrives bringing heavy rainfall and high humidity, especially in the coastal regions.


Creole, English and French are all spoken in the Seychelles.


The Seychelles currency is the Rupee (SCR), divided into 100 cents. The country's foreign exchange regulations require visitors to pay for all services provided by hotels, guesthouses and self-catering enterprises, as well as things like car hire, entrance fees to parks and reserves, scuba diving and boat charter, in major foreign currency notes (Euros are the most widely used) or by credit card. Taxis and restaurant bills (not connected to hotels) are payable in foreign or Seychelles Rupees. Rupees can only be used in local shops, markets, and bars. Credit cards are widely welcomed throughout the Seychelles. Money can be exchanged at banks and the airport on Mahé, or at hotels, and banks process travellers cheques. To change Rupees back into foreign currency on departure requires the official receipt from the initial transaction. ATMs are available at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.


Local time is GMT +4.

The mile-long beach encircling beautiful Beau Vallon Bay on the northern coast of Mahé Island is the most popular beach resort area in the Seychelles, boasting several hotels, a casino, and a selection of dive and watersport centres. Beau Vallon also has a number of dive sites within the bay, including two wrecks and several coral reefs. The Marine Park of Bay Ternay is also easily accessible from the bay.

Praslin artist, George Camille, is famed not only locally, but his works have been exhibited extensively in London and Paris. He works in a variety of mediums in an effort to capture the colour and excitement of Creole life. His works may be viewed or bought at his popular studio at Cote d'Or on Praslin Island.

The largest national park in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois National Park takes up over 20 percent of the area of Mahé. The park is made up of a number of habitats and ecosystems ranging from coastal mangrove forests to misty mountain peaks, and contains no settlements (although you can find the ruins of old cinnamon distilleries). Dominating the landscape is Morne Seychellois, the highest peak on the island at 2,970 feet (905m). Morne Seychellois National Park has a network of 12 well-marked hiking trails covering more than 9.3 miles (15km). Maps and other information are available in Victoria.

An oasis of green shade, ideal for a stroll, the century-old Botanical Gardens at the south end of Victoria extend for six hectares (15 acres), planted with a wide variety of indigenous and exotic trees, including the Seychelles islands' unique 'coco de mer' palms. The orchid garden is particularly lovely. There is a restaurant and souvenir shop in the Gardens.

Step back into the days of the buccaneers at the Seychelles National Museum of History, which features excellent displays of historic artefacts relating to the cultural and natural history of the islands. Exhibits include a range of interesting objects from shipwreck salvage, coral, voodoo dolls and old household objects to items that belonged to well-known pirates in days of old. Though the museum is small, its single gallery offers a fascinating glimpse into the culture and history of the Seychelles.

A treat for nature lovers, guided tours are offered from Victoria harbour to the St Anne National Marine Park, which covers six islands off the coast of Mahé near the city. The park encompasses one of the most important nesting sites for Hawksbill turtles, and beneath its clear waters, ideal for snorkelling, the glory of the coral reefs can be enjoyed. Glass bottomed boat trips are also available.

Having the dubious honour of being the smallest capital city in the world, Victoria can also be considered one of the most charming and quaint, easily explored on foot. The best place to soak up the friendly atmosphere is at the busy daily market (closed on Sundays), where local crafts are on sale along with fish, fruit and vegetables. A hint of French and British colonial days still remains, reflected in buildings like the courthouse and main post office. Among the colourful houses there is also a cathedral and a clock tower built as a copy of the one housing Big Ben in London. The city is also something of an art centre, and works by local artists are popular buys at local galleries.

Looking for something a bit different?  Check out our selction of cultural & adventure holidays or if you're looking to go it alone then see our selection of solo holidays.

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