Facts About the Seychelles Island of Mahe
The island is roughly 1,000 miles off the eastern coast of Africa. Kenya and Tanzania are the countries closest to its shores.
The Seychelles Island of Mahe is almost 17 miles long and 4 miles wide.
Almost 90% of the island nation’s 89,000 citizens live in and around Port Victoria Seychelles, one of the world’s smallest capital cities.
With more than 66 beaches dotting the shoreline, there will always be the beautiful secluded Mahe beach for you to discover.
The Seychelles archipelago is called the Republic of Seychelles. It consists of 116 islands in the middle of the Western Indian Ocean.
Mahe is a mountainous island, with its highest peak, Morne Seychellois, rising to 2,969 feet.
The unique creole character is intertwined with influences resulting from the occupation of the Seychelles Island of Mahe by other nations throughout the centuries. Among others, there were British colonialists, Arab sailors, French settlers, African slaves, and Chinese traders.
5 Things to Do In Port Victoria Seychelles
1. Visit the Market for Unique Souvenirs
This colorful and vibrant market is a great place to soak up the atmosphere on the Seychelles Island of Mahe. Even with a name like Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clark (it doesn’t fit, right?), the market is filled with island spirit.
Things to look out for at the Victoria market are fresh fruit, local herbs and spices, and pareos (sarongs). It’s also an experience to watch the fishmongers display the catch of the day in the early mornings.
2. Find Peace in The Seychelles National Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful extension of the nature you see all around you on the Seychelles Island of Mahe. It’s a quiet retreat only a 20-minute walk from bustling Port Victoria.
The 15-acre garden is more than 100 years old. You will immediately be impressed by the lane of Coco de Mer palm trees greeting you after entering the garden. And don’t forget to go looking for the Cannonball Tree, with their round and heavy fruit resembling (you guessed it) cannonballs. Unlike the indigenous Coco de Mer palm tree, the cannonball tree is exotic to the Seychelles Island of Mahe. It’s believed to be native to India, the Caribbean Islands, and South America.
Tip: If you get bothered by mosquitoes in the Victoria Botanical Gardens, simply rub some of the fruit of the cannonball tree onto your skin or clothes.
3. Take A Tour of the National History Museum
The Seychelles don’t have a very long history compared to the continents, but the short history it has is incredibly interesting. It is so worth visiting the National History Museum even though it’s not something you’d generally associate with an island holiday.
The National Museum of Natural History can’t be missed in the center of Port Victoria Seychelles. These are just some of the things you will see nowhere else in the world:
The Queen Victoria statuette, the smallest representation of Queen Victoria’s likeness in the world, measuring only 27 cm.
Black and white photographs of the 18 British governors who ruled the Seychelles between 1903 and 1976.
The Stone of Possession, a concrete slab with which the French claimed possession of the Seychelles in the 1700s. The story of how it almost left the Seychelles Island of Mahe is fascinating.
4. Explore Morne Seychellois National Park
When you get tired (if that’s possible ?) of lying on a Mahe beach, there’s 3,045 of magnificent nature to explore in the Morne Seychellois National Park.
The national park takes up 20% of the Seychelles Island of Mahe, covering a variety of habitats. Most of it is only accessible via a well-developed network of 12 hiking trails totaling more than 12 miles. You can stay in the mangrove forests near the coast or you can work up some sweat to reach the top of Morne Seychellois.
Tip: The best way to explore Morne Seychellois National Park and learn all about the fauna and flora of the Seychelles Island of Mahe is to go on a guided walk with a park ranger.
5. Laze Around on A Mahe Beach
Almost every Mahe Beach is up there with the best. Here is my Mahe Beach list to bookmark for your visit:
Beau Vallon – We spent most of our time on this Mahe beach at the Hilton Northolme. The resort is at the northern tip of the stunning Beau Vallon Bay. The long, sandy beach is probably also the liveliest on the Seychelles Island of Mahe, with many hotels and restaurants threaded along the road behind it. Therefore, the beach is also a popular departure point for all kinds of water sports.
Anse Intendence – This Mahe beach is less crowded than Beau Vallon and on the southern side of the island. It’s easily accessible by car, with parking meters away from the beach. The perfect white beach is around 0.6 miles long and 100 to 120 feet wide, depending on the tide. It’s a perfect spot to take beautiful pictures without anyone photo bombing your shot.
Anse Takamaka – Also in the south, this is the Mahe beach to go to for views and pictures of overhanging palm trees. More character is added to the beach by some Takamaka trees and granite rocks. And if you want to eat fish straight from the sea, there’s no better place than the Seychellois restaurant at the southern end of the beach which belongs to the Chez Batista hotel.
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is one the smallest Hilton hotels. In fact, it’s the smallest Hilton in the world. It’s also one of the oldest hotels on the Seychelles Island of Mahe, dating to before WWI.
The 5-star Hilton Northolme of today is a far cry from the pre-WWI version. But while the facilities have been updated to include only the best modern comforts, it’s still the same beautiful beach and views over azure waters that inspired Ian Fleming to write his For Your Eyes Only James Bond short stories.
We stayed in one of the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa’s 36 treehouse-style villas. They are tucked away among the pandanus palms and breadfruit trees behind Beau Vallon Bay. The villas are connected to the restaurants, pool, and spa by narrow pathways.
Our bedroom in our Hilton Northolme villa was very colonial in style. Think four-poster beds draped in mosquito nets. Brightly colored cushions and typical island artwork add a happy touch to the rooms.
If you are lucky enough to stay in one of the 15 grand ocean view pool villas of the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, you can watch the sunset over Silhouette Island from your deck and pool.
The food at the Hilton Northolme didn’t disappoint. From breakfast in the Ocean View restaurant to lunch and dinner with typical Creole dishes complimenting western cuisine.
Note: The Hilton Northolme Resort & Spa is mainly an adults-only resort. Children are only accommodated from the age of 14.
It takes only 25 minutes to get to the Hilton Northolme from Seychelles Airport. From the hotel, you can either explore the Seychelles Island of Mahe on your own or book one of the organized excursions. There are many different ones, both on land and in the water, to choose from. They include:
Visiting Domaine de Val des Pres for Creole crafts and gifts.
Hiking to the Sauzier Waterfall in Port Glaud.
Paddleboarding and surfing lessons in Baie Lazare.
Watching giant tortoises on Moyenne Island.
Secluded beaches, botanical gardens, and even a museum of natural history – the Seychelles Island of Mahé is a tropical island destination filled with contrasts. The variety of things to see and do in such a relatively small area is surprising indeed. We loved the buzz in Port Victoria Seychelles just as much as we loved retreating to the tropical paradise that is the Hilton Northolme.
Have you ever visited the Seychelles Island Of Mahe? Have you ever stayed at the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa?
What was your favorite moment there? Comment Below!