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Mahé may be the largest island in the Seychelles, but measuring only 28 km by 8 km, it is perfectly petite. Home to the international airport and the national capital, it’s the central tourism hub and the stepping stone to even tinier tropical pockets of Seychelles.
Yet, despite this, Mahé remains a sleepy slice of paradise with a lush, wild interior and sparkling sweeps of white sand that will leave you speechless. So, if you’re only spending a few days in Seychelles, Mahé makes a great base for exploring this exotic little Eden.
Mahé is a spellbinding combination of lofty granite peaks, deep green jungle and gorgeous sandy bays. The highest peak in the Seychelles - Morne Seychellois - is found here and the west of the island is lined with on and off shore National Parks. Mahé’s mist forests and mountains are home to some truly extraordinary flora and fauna, such as the Jellyfish Tre! It’s an island steeped in sizzling mystery and magic.
Mahé’s beaches take the tropical biscuit. Beau Vallon is the best known, and is the island's main aquatic water sports centre, offering both motorised and non-motorised watersports including parasailing, skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing and banana rides.
Grande Anse is perhaps the most impressive, a vast stretch of soft white sand sliding into a clear azure ocean. The currents make it unsuitable for swimming, but it’s a wonderful spot for solitary walks and a slumber in the shade of a palm tree.
There are small sandy coves and bays scattered all along the west coast, including Petite Anse, Anse Louis, Anse Soleil and Anse Intendance. Each one is a little nook of beach nirvana. The Sainte Anne Marine National Park lies just offshore, a stunning underwater world just begging to be explored.
Over 85% of the entire Seychellois population lives on Mahé and the nation’s capital, Victoria, sits on the northeast coast. Victoria is a quirky place to take an afternoon wander, with beautiful Botanical Gardens, an eclectic local market and a replica of Vauxhall’s clock tower! When you need a break, grab a local Seybrew beer at the Pirate’s Arms or sample some tasty Creole cuisine. Outside of Victoria, you can visit hilltop spice gardens, stroll through tea plantations and take a tour of the islands’s rum distillery.
Despite being the most densely populated island in the Seychelles, Mahé is by no means crowded. Wherever you go, a practically-abandoned pristine beach will be no more than 15 minutes away.
As the Seychelles’ main hub, it’s also a brilliant base for all kinds of ocean-based activities. From Mahé, you can take island-hopping day tours, explore the marine parks by glass-bottomed boat, try your hand at some totally tropical fishing, snorkel through translucent waters and visit tiny, uninhabited islands.
If you’re only spending a few days in the Seychelles, Mahé is a great choice. It’s got it all - great beaches, stunning wildlife, spectacular scenery, quirky local culture and delicious local cuisine.
It’s a natural jumping-off point for day tours and a gateway for all kinds of exotic adventures. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you leave plenty of time for swinging in a hammock and snoozing on the beach.