Mahé / Seychelles sights


La Réunion, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles are among the dream destinations of the Indian Ocean. When cruise ships head to the Seychelles, they primarily call at the main island of Mahé, which is 28 kilometers long and eight kilometers wide. The ships dock in the industrial port of Victoria. The city lacks a separate cruise terminal. The first thing the passengers notice is the cranes, warehouses, silos and the tuna factory located off to the side. The first impression does not send passengers into a storm of enthusiasm.

Mahe - Port of Seychelles

Mahe - Port of Seychelles


Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, is also one of the smallest capitals in the world. It lies between the sea and a towering rock massif. The well-kept, well-arranged and clean small town is the starting point for effortless city tours and shore excursions on Mahé as well as for trips to the neighboring islands of La Digue and Praslin.

Mahé - Victoria - National Library


Mahé is also one of those cruise destinations where visitors can safely forego organized tours. There is no more than one and a half kilometers between the cruise ship's berth and the city center. The city's main sights cannot be missed. Taxi drivers wait for passengers at the sealed port exit, and rental car companies offer their vehicles or hand over cars booked in advance over the Internet to renters. 

Renting a car makes sense, especially for overnight stays, as the easiest way to explore the 157 square kilometer island is with a rental car. Large parts of the island are covered with tropical cloud forests, in the north there is an extensive mangrove area, and fine sandy beaches and bays bordered by rocks are spread across the entire island. Mahé's highest mountain, the 905 meter high Morne Seychellois, is located in the 30 square kilometer national park of the same name.

Mahé - Foret Noire serpentine road


Note: Rental cars are available in abundance. Traffic flows slowly on Mahé and the roads are in good condition. In the Seychelles you drive on the left! The signage of places and destinations is often inadequate. Individual tourists often find their destinations by chance.

Attractions in Victoria

Catholic cathedral

The Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception stands in a well-kept green area. The church was one of the first churches built on the Seychelles islands. The cathedral was consecrated in 1874. It received its current appearance as part of a complete renovation between 1993 and 1994. The airy building offers space for around 700 believers. The architectural style is reminiscent of cathedrals in the Caribbean region.


Victoria - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception



Victoria - Catholic Cathedral - Nave 


Behind the church there is a small bell tower rising up on a slope. Due to its hillside location, at first glance it appears much larger than it actually is. In his book, “Where the Clock Chimes Twice,” English author Alec Waugh describes a special feature of the tower. The bell supposedly rings twice: the first time to wake people up. The second hit should show you the exact time. Due to time constraints, we were unable to verify this finding.

Mahé - bell tower of the cathedral


The elaborate building next to the cathedral serves as the headquarters for the episcopal administration and as accommodation for the Capuchin monks. The cathedral is located on Olivier Maradan Street.


Victoria - Episcopal Administration



Victoria - Episcopal Administration 


St. Paul's Cathedral

The seemingly inconspicuous Anglican Cathedral is also in the center of Victoria. The first church dedicated to the Apostle Paul was built in 1859. As a result, the building was expanded and redesigned several times. Between 2001 and 2004, a functional new building capable of accommodating 800 believers was built in place of the old church.

Victoria - St Paul's Cathedral


Victoria - St Paul's Cathedral


Victoria - St. Paul's Cathedral - nave


Victoria - St. Paul's Cathedral - nave 


Hindu temple 

More than 80 percent of Seychelles' residents are Catholics. Only three percent of the island's residents adhere to the Hindu faith. The only Hindu temple in the Seychelles was built for them in 1992. It is dedicated to Vinayagar, the Hindu god of security and prosperity. Located downtown on Quincy Street, the colorful sanctuary offers plenty of photo opportunities inside and out.

Victoria - Hindu temple


Victoria - Hindu temple


Victoria - Hindu Temple - detail


Victoria - Hindu Temple - detail 


Botanical garden

The Seychelles Botanical Garden was created in 1901 on six hectares of land. The original aim of the garden was to show Seychelles farmers their dependence on vanilla and coconut production and to encourage them to grow other agricultural products.

Mahé - Botanical Garden

Mahé - Botanical Garden


As a park, the botanical garden is now one of Victoria's greatest attractions. The well-structured and extremely well-maintained complex is located at the foot of the Mont Fleuri mountain. A variety of tropical plants thrive on the site, which measures approximately 120 by 500 meters. The garden also contains several specimens of the unique Coco de Mer palms, which only occur in the Seychelles.

Victoria - Botanical Garden - Coco de mer fruit


Victoria - Botanical Garden - Coco de mer fruit


Victoria - Botanical Garden


Victoria - Botanical Garden 


The rare giant tortoises live in an enclosure. There are also bird houses and enclosures with flying foxes. An airy cafeteria is ideal for refreshment in between. The park is accessible from Mont Fleuri Road. The rental car can be parked in front of the complex.

Mahé - Botanical Garden - the giant tortoises

Mahé - Botanical Garden - the giant tortoises


Sir Selwyn Clarke Market

This market is an exotic looking place in the heart of Mahé and a feast for the eyes (and the cooking enthusiasts). Fish, fruit, vegetables and spices are on sale in abundance. The market is on Market Street, one block from the Hindu Temple.

Victoria - Entrance to Sir Selwyn Clarke Market


Victoria - Entrance to Sir Selwyn Clarke Market


Victoria - Sir Selwyn Clarke Market - fish market


Victoria - Sir Selwyn Clarke Market - fish market 


Clocktower

This clock tower, commissioned in 1903, is a replica of a similar clock erected in London at the intersection of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge. It is dedicated to Great Britain's long-time Queen Victoria. The clock tower is located at the intersection of State House Ave and Francis Rachel Street.

Victoria - the clock tower

Victoria - the clock tower


Bicentennial Monument

This monument, consisting of three pairs of white wings and made of masonry, is much more recent. It was built in 1978 to mark the 200th anniversary of the city's founding. The three wings of the monument, created by the Italian Lorenzo Appiani, symbolize the origins of the people living in the Seychelles: Africa, Asia and Europe.

Victoria - the Bicentennial Monument


Bel Air Cemetery

The extensive cemetery in the Bel Air district can be seen from the upper decks of the cruise ships. From a distance the terrain appears bizarre. It is not clear what the colorful area, located on a slope, actually is. Only up close you can see that it is a burial ground. The inscriptions on the gravestones are weathered. Not only honorable citizens, but also pirates found their final resting place on Bel Air; just like a certain Louis Poiret, who, as long as he lived, considered himself Louis XVII. issued. However, genetic tests refuted this bold claim.

Victoria - Bel Air Cemetery


Victoria - Bel Air Cemetery


Victoria - Bel Air Cemetery


Victoria - Bel Air Cemetery 


Attractions outside of Victoria

Morne seychellois national park

A 1979 hectare national park was established in southwest Victoria in 3.045. Mahé's highest mountain, the 905 meter high Morne Seychellois, rises in the national park. Four other mountains on Mahé reach heights of more than 600 meters.

The Foret Noire serpentine road, also called the Sans Souci Road, runs through the park and connects Mahé's east coast with the west coast. A drive along this mountain road, which leads through dense rainforest, is an absolute must in good weather because of the unique landscape and the views it offers.

Mahé - View from the Foret Noire serpentine road

Mahé - View from the Foret Noire serpentine road


South of the Morne Blanc, which is more than 660 meters high, the road passes a tea plantation. From its viewing terrace, visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding mountain landscape and the sea. The production processes can also be viewed and tea products can be purchased.

Mahé - tea plantation


Jardin du Roi

The Jardin du Roi spice garden is located at the level of Anse Royale Bay in the southeast of the island in the hills of Les Canelles. Spices have been grown and traded there since the 18th century. Mainly there are vanilla, citronelle (lemongrass), cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper; In addition, medicinal and endemic plants from the Seychelles are grown. A small museum and a "spice shop" complete the facility. Visitors can look around the facility, which is open daily between 10:00am and 17:30pm, and move around freely.

To reach the garden, turn off at the exit of Anse Royale in the direction of Les Canelles. In the following town, Sweet Escot, follow the sign to the Spice Garden.

Domaine de Val des Prés – the Craft Village

A few kilometers south of the airport, the entrance to the artists' village branches off the East Coast Road in the community of Domaine de Val des Prés. The Craft Village is hidden in a large garden. The central focal point of the complex is the Gran Kaz plantation house, which was built almost 150 years ago in Creole style. It is complemented by the 20th century workers' house called La Kaz Rosa. Twelve shops sell local handicrafts. In the Maison de Coco, a house made from coconut products, visitors buy coconut souvenirs.

Mahé - Gran Kaz plantation house


Mahé - Gran Kaz plantation house


Mahé - House in the Craft Village


Mahé - House in the Craft Village 


beaches

There are fantastically beautiful Seychelles beaches, especially on the neighboring island of La Digue. Their beaches are regularly used for relevant product advertising. But Mahé's beaches also stand up to comparison with Caribbean or South Sea destinations.

Mahé - one of the many beaches

Mahé - one of the many beaches


We especially liked these beaches.

Anse royale

Anse Royale is one of the most popular beach sections not only among holidaymakers but also among the Seychellois. The long Anse Royale bay, protected by an offshore reef, is divided into several sections. The natural barrier is particularly advantageous when the southeast monsoon blows. The water is crystal clear, the sand resembles powder, and the water depth is two to three meters. Anse Royale beach is located in the lower half of the island on the east coast.

Mahe - Anse Royale


Mahe - Anse Royale


Mahé - Anse Royale - Ile Souris


Mahé - Anse Royale - Ile Souris 


Anse Forbans

This beach area, located in a quiet bay, extends in the southeast of the island in front of the Anse Forbans Neighborhood. The narrow, little-crowded beach is approximately one kilometer long. The waves are generally weak. The beach is suitable for swimming, snorkeling and fishing.

Mahe - Anse Forbans

Mahe - Anse Forbans


Consider Intendance

Opposite Anse Forbans is Anse Intendance in the southwest of Mahé. The popular beach section offers wide, fine-grained, white sand. The long beach is framed by impressive granite rocks on both sides. Anse Intendance is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. However, there is no protective reef offshore. The sea is therefore rough between May and September, during the southeast monsoon period, and swimming is prohibited between June and October for safety reasons. Surfers really appreciate the terrain; By the way, turtles too. They use this beach to lay eggs.

Mahé - Anse Intendance


Anse soleil

We leave Anse Intendance and visit the wide, 200 meter long sandy beach of Anse Soleil, lined with coconut palms, further north. Crystal clear water, fine-grained beaches and lots of shade make Anse Soleil a paradise-like piece of earth. Villas are hidden in the hills and the “Chez Julien” café offers food and drink.

Mahe - Anse Soleil


Beau vallon

In the northwest of Mahé is the 1,7 km long, wide and gently sloping dream beach of Beau Vallon. Tourists and locals alike praise it as the most pleasant beach in the Seychelles. Beau Vallon is a tourist center with hotels, water sports and some diving centers.

Mahe - Anse Beau Vallon


Sainte Anne Marine National Park

Established in 1973, the first marine reserve in the Indian Ocean rises out of the ocean within sight of the island's capital, Victoria. The center of the national park is the island of Sainte Anne Island. The first French colonists landed there in 1770, before they opened up the nearby, at that time still marshy and crocodile-dominated, larger neighboring island of Mahé.

Mahé - Sainte Anne Marine National Park


The private island of Sainte Anne and its four beaches are used by a luxury hotel resort. The highest point on the island is approximately 250 meters.

Mahé - Sainte Anne Marine National Park


The marine reserve also includes five more islands. They are all nesting areas for hawksbill turtles. Since fishing is forbidden in the protection zone, more than 150 species of fish cavort underwater.

Glass bottom boats travel to the islands from Victoria. The day tours, available at prices starting at 100 euros, include stops on two of the islands. Other islands are circumnavigated. The price includes the high entrance fee to the national park and a Creole buffet is offered at lunch. Tour participants spend their day sunbathing, snorkeling or lazing around. You can book the tours both online with German agents and on site in Mahé.

Update March 2024

Excursions & Activities Mahé - GetYourGuide