Mahé is the largest island and the administrative center of Seychelles archipelago on the Eastern part of the African Continent. Around 80% of the total population of Seychelles lives in Mahé. The country’s only international airport is located here, that’s why Mahé is considered the gateway to the tropical paradise of Seychelles. Compared to other islands, Mahé also has more facilities such as bars, restaurants, and entertainment. There are many things to see in and around Mahé, that’s why you should stay here at least 3-4 days or longer. I recommend staying here at the beginning or at the end of your vacation, depending on your flight schedule.
Morne Seychellois National Park – Morne Blanc Trail
If you, like me, can’t lay all day long on the beach and need some action, I highly recommend checking out Morne National Park. It covers more than 20% of Mahé island. The main attraction in the National Park is the highest peak in Seychelles, the Morne Seychellois 905m (3,000 ft) mountain. There are many beautiful hiking trails in the park and probably the best in Seychelles. Here you will find indigenous flora and fauna and breathtaking views.
Anse Major Trail
Anse Major Trail is a 6.0-kilometer coastline trail that leads to the bay of Anse Major. It was built during the 19th century and was used mainly to transport locally produced vanilla and cinnamon oils. During the day it can get very hot and humid on the trail, so I recommend starting your hike early in the morning and bringing enough food and drinks. There are no shops and restaurants on the way. You can enjoy stunning views throughout the entire hike.
The tea factory in Mahé is responsible for the tea production for the entire Seychelles. It is located on the foothill of the Morne Seychellois (the highest peak of Seychelles,) within 20 minutes from Victoria. You can freely walk around the tea factory and see the whole tea making process. The factory is quite small but it offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the western slopes of Mahé. There is also a nice gift shop at the entrance where you can buy some tee and take it home.
Beau Vallon Beach
Even though Mahé doesn’t have such beautiful beaches as Praslin and La Digue, it doesn’t mean you should give up on the beach vacation while in Mahe. Beau Vallon is probably the most popular and one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Unlike most of the other beaches in Seychelles, Beau Vallon beach has some restaurants, takeaways and even some bars with live music where you can chill in the evenings. I recommend staying around the Beau Vallon beach area while in Mahé and use it as your base to explore the island.
If you want to buy some fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish than there is no better place than Victoria Market. Here you can also buy some souvenirs and local spices and herbs. Considering the high prices in Seychelles, this is probably the cheapest place to buy some souvenirs or have a quick lunch in a local bistro.
Seychelles National Botanical Gardens
Located on the outskirts of Victoria, the Botanical Gardens of Seychelles provide a good opportunity to see the endemic island species such as famous coco de mer and giant tortoises. It has a huge palette of exotic plants which you can see during a relaxed walk through the gardens.