Mahe

The “Inner” Granitic Islands

Mahe is the main island in the Seychelles group. This is where most of population lives and where most of the colorful history of the archipelago has unraveled. It is home to one of the smallest capital towns in the world with basically four main streets criss-crossing the central Clock Tower. It has a bustling early morning market, especially on Saturdays, and the little capital of Victoria offers many sports facilities.

Home to the Worlds’ smallest capital – Victoria, where historical and cultural landmarks, spot the heart of the island, such as the ‘Big Ben’ replica, the colourful market, galleries displaying the works of local artists, craft boutiques and the only traffic light in the Seychelles!

With a backdrop of towering 1000m granite peaks, Mahé is an extraordinary treasure trove of flora that has evolved over centuries of isolation. Rare endemic plants found nowhere else in the world adorn Mahé’s mist forests, such as the Jellyfish Tree, the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid.

Victoria Marine Park Islands

Ste. Anne, Cerf, Moyenne, Round and Long Islands

This cluster of small islands that were once only Sunday picnic spots for the local population and lunch breaks for glass-bottom boat trips have sprouted a desirable number of hotels without spoiling their natural feel. Typical of Seychelles tourism, they now serve both Seychellois and visitors in harmony.

Mahé’s tallest peak is Morne Seychellois at 905 m, which lies in the Morne Seychellois National Park. The northern and eastern parts of the island are home to much of the population and the Seychelles International Airport which opened in 1971. The southern and western parts have Baie Ternay Marine National Park and Port Launay Marine National Park. The Ste Anne Marine National Park lies offshore, as do Conception Island, Thérèse Island, Anonyme Island and Silhouette Island.

Mahé was first visited by the British in 1609 and not visited by Europeans again until Lazare Picault’s expedition of 1742. Mahé remained a French possession until 1812 when it became a British colony. It remained a colony until 1976 when Seychelles became an independent nation.

Tours within Mahe

Famous North Discovery Tour
The Northern part of Mahé still has towering granite peaks lavish vegetation, enchanting villages and splendid beaches which makes it renowned for the greatest contrast in scenery in the archipelago. It includes a visit of the Botanical gardens-home of the giant land tortoises and endemic plants including the famous Coco de Mer. Discover the panoramic view of the Ste. Anne Marine National Park. Visit of Victoria & its colorful market with a variety of souvenir shops.
Mountain Drive
Drive through the spectacular Sans Soucis road to the historical Mission Lodge and discover the plantations of the wild cinnamon along the way. Known as Venn’s town, the place is home to the ruins of the schools for the children of the freed slaves. Further down the road, the mountain slopes adorned by tea shrubs provides a wonderful scenic drive right through the west coast of Mahe to visit the plantation of the famous spice garden Jardin du Roi.  Situated high in the rainforest valley of south Mahé, this working plantation grows a splendid variety of spices, tropical fruit trees, essential oil plants and endemic palms and has an interesting history.
Anse Major Nature trail
This relatively easy trail winds its way along the rocky northwestern coastline of Mahé, leading to the small secluded beach of ‘Anse Major’.
Much of this trail lies within the boundaries of the Morne Seychellois National Park, with spectacular rock slopes (called ‘glacis’ in Seychelles) and native vegetation typical of the drier areas of Mahé.
Take a breather every 100-200 meters along this trail to take in the different granite ecology, mountain landscapes and the sea view.
The beginning of the trail boasts beautiful views of Beau Vallon Bay while the viewpoint from the sheltered bench towards the end looks down on Anse Major.

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