The largest of the Seychelles islands, Mahé is the international gateway to this sun-soaked archipelago and home to the country’s capital, Victoria. Around 90% of the Seychelles’ population live on easy-to-explore Mahé, a destination that offers its visitors both a quintessential tropical beach vacation as well as a taste of local Creole culture.
A mountainous interior with densely forested slopes forms a beautiful backdrop to the island’s best known features: its beaches. Beau Vallon, on the west coast just opposite Victoria, is the longest and most popular beach on the island. Its clear, current-free water is ideal for swimming, water skiing, wind surfing and parasailing. Another beach worth visiting is famous Anse Intendance with its rolling breakers and palm-lined shore, but with so many picturesque coves to explore, you’ll soon find your favourite.
Most of the popular destinations on the island are easy to reach and roads are well signposted so for at least part of your Mahé Island holiday we’d recommend hiring a car; if narrow streets and hairpin bends make you nervous, consider hiring a driver as well. Set aside some time to visit the attractions away from the coast too: Morne Seychellois National Park covers an impressive 20% of the island and is home to great hiking trails while tiny, attractively laid-out Victoria is a fun place to shop, dine and explore.
There is plenty of holiday accommodation on Mahé Island: families are sure to love Ephelia Resort with its choice of beaches, host of watersports and world-class spa; for romantics we’d recommend the luxurious Four Seasons villas, each with an infinity-edge plunge pool overlooking a pretty bay, Banyan Tree Seychelles or Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa. Those on more of a budget can opt for Kempinski Seychelles Resort.
Those visitors short on time could happily spend their whole Seychelles holiday exploring the island of Mahé but for longer stays we’d highly recommend a bit of island hopping. Include a few days on the smaller public islands of Praslin and La Digue, or for true exclusivity and genuinely empty beaches, consider one of the Seychelles private islands.