7 Best Things To Do in Mahe Island in Seychelles | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Feb 3, 2019

7 Best Things To Do in Mahe Island in Seychelles

The Seychelles is made up of 115 paradise islands. The largest of which is Mahe, where the nation's capital and the international airport are located. Mahe basically connects the world to the exotic islands and the popular honeymooners' haven. However, it shouldn't be considered as merely a gateway.

Mahe is a destination on its own.

things to do in Mahe island

Here are 7 things to do in Mahe Island:

1. Chill in a popular beach... that beach you've only once seen in postcards.
Mahe, the economic center of Seychelles, has no shortage of pristine beaches. The dazzling shores are open to the public by law, regardless of the 5-star properties adjacent to them. Ed and I visited two famous beaches in Mahe - Anse Royale and Beau Vallon. 

Anse Royale has a long stretch of white sand beach lapped with clear turquoise waters. It is famous for its towering granite boulders, the one that graced postcard-perfect shots. Situated 20 km away from the capital, Anse Royale has a remote vibe to it. Ed and I went there at noon and the beach was calm, almost empty!   

Beau Vallon, on the other hand, is lively and crowded. Lined with resorts, beach houses, and restaurants, it is a famous beach destination of both locals and tourists. We stayed in a guesthouse tucked at the far end, hence we saw how vibrant Beau Vallon is on the peak hours and how serene it can be early in the morning.         

Ed and Lady in Anse Royale Seychelles
"Forever Honeymooners" in Anse Royale

how to get to Anse Royale in Seychelles
How to go to Anse Royale?
From Victoria Bus Station, take bus route 5 or 9 to Baie Lazare. Inform the bus driver to drop you in Anse Royale or refer to Google Maps. Download an offline map if you're not on roaming.

One fine morning in Beau Vallon
One fine morning in Beau Vallon

Ed and Lady in Beau Vallon
How to go to Beau Vallon?
From Victoria Bus Station, take route 22 or 24. Beau Vallon beach bus stop is near Boathouse restaurant.

2. Visit Seychelles' Botanical Garden and look for the famous Coco De Mer.
Mahe boasts a treasure trove of flora. Due to time constraint, Ed and I were not able to go on a hike, yet we were able to see a glimpse of the island's lush vegetation at Seychelles Botanical Garden. This massive garden is located in the capital. It can easily be reached by bus or by foot, so it is definitely shouldn't be missed.

Coco De Mer - a rare palm tree native to Seychelles - is abundant in the Botanical Garden. It is known for its enormous fruit with a seed that resembles a woman's buttocks. That explains why it is fondly called as the "butt nut" by many. 

Coco de Mer in Seychelles
Coco De Mer

male and female coco de mer
Female Coco De Mer on the left. Male on the right.

One of the exotic trees we spotted in Seychelles Botanical Garden
One of the exotic trees we spotted in Seychelles Botanical Garden

Lady in Seychelles Botanical Garden
Blending in to the island life

Ed and Lady in Seychelles Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden Timings: 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Entrance Fee: 100 SCR

3. Feed the giant tortoises.
Seychelles National Botanical Garden is also a home to Aldabra giant tortoises. They are kept in an enclosure where visitors can meet them up close and even feed them for 50 SCR!

Mind you, the gentle-looking, slow-moving creatures are strong and very eager to devour the green leafy branches aka their food! We had quite a funny experience feeding them. Ed, who was busy taking photos of me, barely noticed a tortoise reaching out for a leaf in his hand! It only came to our attention when other tourists shouted "Watch out. Be careful!"   So, yeah, they are harmless but you have to be mindful while in their territory.

where to see giant tortoise in Seychelles
Feeding time!

tortoise in Mahe Seychelles
These gentle giants love their greens!

tortoise feeding in Seychelles
And it's funny how they followed Ed (with or without the leaves) around! Maybe because of his green shirt?

4. Eat traditional Creole dishes.
Because of its location in the Indian Ocean, seafood is prominent in Seychellois cuisine. Great news for a seafood lover like me! For 48 hours, I feasted on nothing but on fruits of the sea cooked in vibrant and delectable ways! I had the must-eat Octopus Curry which sounds exotic, but tastes homey - like a warm Seychellois hug! It is creamy, a little spicy, and really really tasty.

If you are not keen on having a seafood feast, fret not because Creole cuisine is not just all about fish, prawns, and octopus! Another must-try in the islands is a pork dish called Sausage Rougail. Ed had it for lunch one time and he loved it. It is made of pork sausage cut into bite-size pieces, smothered with tomato sauce and lots of herbs!   

lunch in Kafe Kreol in Seychelles
Lunch in Kafe Kreol: 810 SCR for 2

Creole dinner at The Coffee Club in Seychelles Airport
190 SCR for Tuna Steak. 170 SCR for Prawn Garlic Creole

5. Experience the local scene in Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market
Built in 1840, Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market is probably the best place to experience the local life. It is a colorful market tucked in Victoria -  the bustling capital of Mahe. Here, you can purchase vegetables, fresh fruits, and meat if you prefer to cook in your self-catered villa. There are also stalls selling souvenirs, sarongs, and handicrafts. 

Historical local market in Victoria, Mahe
Historical local market in Victoria, Mahe

colorful Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market
Vibrant island colors!

Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market on Saturday morning
Best time to visit: Saturday morning!

6. Walk around Victoria - one of the smallest capitals in the world.
A visit to Seychelles is incomplete without visiting Victoria. This small town was founded by the French colonist in 1778, and was established as Victoria by the British after the Treaty of Paris in 1814. With that said, the capital (although considered as one of the smallest in the world) is dotted with historical sights and tourist attractions.

Victoria is a walkable city. The attractions we visited by foot from Victoria Bus Station are the Clock Tower, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, pastel-toned traditional houses along Albert Street, Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clark Market, Sri Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple, and several museums.

Clock Tower of Mahe
Clock Tower of Mahe: modeled on Vauxhall Clock Tower of London

museums in Victoria in Mahe island
one of the museums in Victoria

colorful street in Mahe
pastel-toned traditional buildings along Albert Street 

Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mahe
Church of the Immaculate Conception

Sri Navasakthi Vinayagar in Mahe Seychelles
Sri Navasakthi Vinayagar Hindu Temple

7. Get lost and find a hidden cove.
Mishaps is inevitable when traveling, especially if it's a spontaneous one. But, you know what I love most about Mahe? It's finding something special despite the wrong turn. 

A few hours before our flight back to Dubai, Ed and I had trouble in finding Sunset Beach in Glacis. We were about to give up and call it a day when we found a pathway from the main road leading down to a white sand cove. The beach was empty, it was just us and a group of local teens frolicking around. 

Until now, we still don't know the name of this hidden gem. I have to say, it is the most beautiful beach we've seen in the island and it's yours to find! :)   

Life's a beach in Mahe Island!

Beach in Seychelles
It is full of surprises. It is warm. It is inviting. It is beautiful.

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