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Discovering Mahé, Seychelles: Your Ultimate Tropical Getaway

Welcome to the last stop of our Seychelles trip: the island of Mahé, the largest and most populated of all the archipelago. Similar to Praslin and La Digue, that we had previously visited, Mahé is a place where azure waters meet pristine beaches and lush rainforests. As the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, Mahé beckons with its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture. If you are interested in visiting the Seychelles make sure to check out this Mahé Seychelles Travel guide!

Mahe, Seychelles Travel Guide: Practical Information

Getting there: The main international airport is on the island of Mahé and is connected with direct flights to some main airports in Africa like Nairobi, Mauritius and Johannesburg. There are also flights to the middle east like Dubai, Istanbul, Doha and Abu Dhabi and a couple of seasonal flights to European cities like Frankfurt, Zurich and Bristol.

Length of your stay: The main attraction of these islands are their beaches. Most of the visitors come here to relax, however the internal part of the main islands is tropical rainforest with waterfalls and several trails of different difficulty. The length of your trip also depends on which islands you wish to visit. We stayed for two weeks and stayed on the 3 main islands: Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. We spent our last 6 nights on the island of Mahé splitting them between north and south.

Cost of living: these islands are far from being on the cheap side. There are no hostels for backpackers and the cheapest accommodation you can opt for, are guest houses or holiday homes. Dining out is extremely expensive so cooking your lunches and dinners will help you save money. Most of the food here is imported from far away and the only products that are ‘cheap’ are local fruits and freshly caught fish.

Getting around: The 3 main islands are connected by ferries that offer an excellent service. If you wish to know more about the ferries you can check out their website here. Mahé and Praslin have a good road infrastructure as well as public transport, so getting around can be done through buses or by private transport (taxis or car hire). There are no highways and getting around is very easy. It is very difficult to get lost.

Where to stay

3 nights in the North: Beau Vallon

We chose Beau Vallon, for the first part of our stay on Mahé mainly because we found an incredible apartment which I am still dreaming about. The moment we stepped foot in it I immediately thought: Wowwww I would love to live here forever! Modern, elegantly finished, fully equipped with all the appliances but most of all a terrace with the most beautiful view one can wish for! One of the most magical moments was when we were able to see dolphins dancing in front of us directly from the kitchen. Lastly, this apartment had direct access to the rocky part of the beach, which was absolutely fantastic for snorkeling! We even saw a rare Porcupine ray here. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Check out the link below to book your stay at Beau Vallon in this beautiful apartment.

View of Beau Vallon beach from the apartment terrace:

The sandy beach of Beau Vallon in itself was not as wow as previous beaches we had visited. Maybe because it is the most popular beach in Mahé and it was relatively crowded. Here, you can soak up the sun, partake in water sports activities, or simply unwind with a refreshing cocktail while admiring the sunset painting the sky in hues of orange and pink. There are a couple of restaurants as well and some beach shacks cooking local dishes that are worth trying out.

3 nights in the South: Baie Lazare

For our last 3 nights in the South, we opted for Baie Lazare. I always do a lot of research beforehand and we opted for this place because it is also good for snorkeling. We stayed at the Kempinski Resort which I also highly recomment for the following reasons: excellent service and amenities, delicious and varied breakfasts, a kids club that our daughter still speaks about and finally the cherry on the cake – on our last day we were able to see the baby turtles released in the ocean. Moreover we were able to get discounted rates since parts of the hotel were being refurbished. If you are interested in booking this hotel, I have put a link below.

View of the lake in the hotel grounds:

Book your stay in Baie Lazare

I wouldn’t recommend dining in the hotel though; prices are expensive. Nearby there are good restaurants where you can eat very good food at a cheaper price. As explained above the beach of Baie Lazare was fantastic.  We were not disappointed as here I was able to spot several species of fish and also a stingray! Actually I don’t think it is very difficult to find a good snorkeling spot in the Seychelles, as the marine wildlife seems pretty abundant. Below is a photo during the low tide of the beach in Baie Lazare:

Things to do in Mahé

Unveiling Natural Marvels

Mahé is a haven for nature lovers, boasting an unparalleled array of natural wonders waiting to be explored. When thinking of the Seychelles, the first thing that comes to mind are the beaches. However the heart of the island is made up of  rugged granite peaks, cloaked in verdant foliage. One of the must-visit attractions is the Morne Seychellois National Park, encompassing more than 20% of the island’s total land area. Here, adventurous souls can trek through dense forests, discovering hidden waterfalls, endemic flora, and fauna along the way. The summit of Morne Seychellois offers panoramic views that are nothing short of spectacular, rewarding hikers with glimpses of the island’s breathtaking beauty.

If you wish something more relaxing which is different from beach hopping you may wish to spend a few hours at the Victoria Botanical Gardens. These gardens are not very large, however are home to over 280 species of plants and trees. Moreover if you do not wish to hop off to other islands to see the giant tortoises, there is an area where they can be seen closely here as well.

Sandy Shores and Crystal Clear Waters

No visit to Mahé would be complete without indulging in its pristine beaches and crystalline waters. From secluded coves to bustling strips of sand, the island offers a diverse range of coastal paradises to suit every preference. There’s a beautiful beach around every corner and most of them are completely empty! Below are some photos of the beaches we visited: the Lagoon of Port Glaud, Anse Royale and Anse Boileau.

Another fun activity you can do on Mahé (especially with younger kids) is go on a submarine cruise to admire the underwater wildlife. We opted to go with Semi Sub Seychelles and it was safe for all of us including our 4-month old baby. It is not the same thing as snorkeling or diving obviously, but it was fun and was one of the highlights for our 5 year-old daughter.

Immersing in Culture and Cuisine

Mahé is not only a feast for the senses but also a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions. The island’s vibrant Creole heritage is evident in its cuisine, music, and art, creating a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors to immerse themselves in. Indulge in a culinary adventure as you savor Creole delicacies infused with spices and flavors unique to the Seychelles. From freshly caught seafood dishes to succulent tropical fruits, every bite is a celebration of the island’s rich culinary heritage.

A must when visiting Mahé are the colorful markets of Victoria, the capital city, where you can browse handmade crafts, sample exotic fruits, and mingle with friendly locals eager to share their stories and traditions.

Another interesting place to visit is the Rum distillery in Takamaka. Entrance is free of charge and you pay only for the tasting. The distillery is also home to a museum and you can unwind in the gardens where there is a bar and a snack truck. On selected nights there is also live music.

Do not forget to check out my previous posts about the previous islands we had visited in Seychelles archipelago:

Visiting the Seychelles – Part 2 La Digue

Visiting the Seychelles Part 1 – Praslin

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