Mahe Island is the largest of the Seychelles islands and is the economic and cultural hub of the inner islands. This spectacular island is only 27 km long but is dominated by a mountain range that forms the backbone of the island. The highest peak, Morne Seychellois, reaches a height of 905 meters and provides a perfect backdrop to the capital city Victoria.
Although Mahe is the economic and political centre of the Seychelles it has still retained its natural charm and beauty. In many ways, Mahe travel is the most spectacular - the lush tropical vegetation provides an inspiring sight. There are over 75 beaches scattered around the island. The beaches are idyllic, soft beautiful sand, fringed by swaying palm trees and a warm and inviting sea to help you cool off from the tropical sun.
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. The mile long beach encircling beautiful Beau Vallon Bay on the northern coast of Mahe Island is the most popular Mahe travel area, boasting several hotels and a selection of dive and watersport centers. 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.
Your Mahe travel will first bring you to Victoria. All overseas visitors arrive on Mahe either by the port -- which is next to Victoria -- or at the Seychelles International Airport, which can be found on the east coast of the island. Victoria is small enough that it does not take too long to walk around; it is the best way to see the city and to get a feel of the place and the people. The market is a hive of activity daily except Sundays. Here it is easy to see why the Seychellois are often called the friendliest people in the world. The market sells locally made crafts, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables.
An oasis of green shade, ideal for a stroll, the century-old Botanical Gardens at the south end of Victoria extend for six hectares, 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.
The Clock Tower is the focal point of Victoria; it was erected in 1903 to mark Seychelles "coming of age as a separate colony". It once stood at the harbor front but with resourceful land reclamation it is now back into the heart of the town. Although 90% of the total Seychelles population lives on Mahe (65,000) it still has a quiet and informal atmosphere. Parts of the island look as they did twenty years ago and parts are modern with high tech facilities.
There are lots of nature walks and trails to take on your Mahe travel - amongst the Morne Seychellois National Park which covers an area of 11 square miles. It is as if walking around an art gallery or an artist's studio.
During the day Mahe has an unbelievable amount of activities to choose from with several well run dive centers and watersport's operators scattered around the island. There is also a wide range of accommodation from self-catering and small guest houses to large and sophisticated hotels.