You will most probably land on Mahé island as the only International airport and the port in the whole of the island nation lies in Mahé. So, we suggest you should start your trip from the largest island in the Seychelles Islands.
Don’t rush. Take a leisurely walk around the town of Victoria. Victoria is the capital of Seychelles islands and is located in the northeastern coast of Mahé Island. You will not find any other town in Seychelles as Victoria is home to almost 27% of the total population of Seychelles.
Victoria has the only International airport as well as the only port in the entire nation. Internal transportation is made quite easy by paved roads that join every important corner of the city. Out of 26 districts in Seychelles, 4 districts make up Greater Victoria. Greater Victoria includes the old city of Victoria: the Victoria proper and the suburbs.
The English River, Saint Louis, Mont Fleuri, and Bel Air are the four districts in Greater Victoria.
It was inaugurated on 1st of April 1903 by Ernest Bickham Sweet Escott who happened to be the first governor of Seychelles after it was separated from Mauritius. The Clock Tower in Victoria, Seychelles is an exact replica of the Vauxhall Clock Tower in the UK which was placed in 1892 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.
However, the Clock Tower in Seychelles islands was erected in memory of the same Queen Victoria after she died in 1901. And just like it’s elder twin in the UK, the Clock Tower was painted in black. But In 1935 it was painted in silver to commemorate King George V’s jubilee.
The clock tower stands at the intersect of Francis Rachel Street, State House Avenue, Albert Street and Independence Avenue giving you a sense that you stand at the heart if the city. It remains an important monument and also a reminder of the colonial past of Seychelles.
Built-in 1840, in early Victorian-style architecture, the market was renovated in 1999. It is named after Sir Percy Selwyn Clarke who himself had life not any less than a blockbuster movie.
Don’t expect to be awed by the size of the market as like everything else in Seychelles, cozy and small is the theme and demand of the land. But do make sure you carry your best camera because the market not just offers you fresh seafood, appropriately priced souvenirs, fruits, and vegetables but also an exorbitant array of colors and sights.
The market is bustling early in the morning on weekdays and opens up to 4/5 PM. Saturday brings the largest crowd and it usually is closed on Sundays.
It was built in 1855 and was formerly the Supreme Court of Seychelles, making it one of the oldest buildings in the entire archipelago. It contains sections, where you can find information on the flora and fauna of Seychelles islands. Most importantly, it contains the remnants and preservatives of Seychelles’ colonial past. The story of the slave named Pompée and the slave collars containing bells are particularly harrowing.
Nearby the Clock Tower, in Revolution Avenue, lies St Paul’s Cathedral.
The cathedral also serves as a church with 800 seats. It was erected in 1859 by Bishop Vincent William Ryan but has seen frequent renovations.
The Arul Mihu Navashakti Vinayagar Temple might just be the most unique piece of architecture in the whole of the island nation. It’s situated in Quincy Street and you can’t miss it because of it’s bright colours and remarkable design.
Nowhere near the grandeur but close to the artistry and colorful design of the Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu, India, the temple reminds you that Seychelles is a melting pot of culture despite it’s small size. Built-in 1992 the temple has been an ever-growing tourist attraction site .
The Kovil Sangam festival is celebrated here.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Mosque lies just off Francis Rachel Street. The golden
The dome of the mosque makes quite a striking and beautiful vista especially on the background of a lush green Tres Freres mountain top. It was made in 1982 and was recently renovated in 2012 and a second mosque was made in 2013. Currently, it’s the only mosque in the island nation and can house upto 600 worshippers. Naturally, it’s busy on Fridays.
Alright, alright, alright. I will, finally talk about the beaches! I mean it’s the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they hear the name Seychelles. Seychelles offers you beaches that are absolutely incomparable to anything and anywhere else in the world. Though it’s almost impossible to make a perfect list of beaches to visit, we have some kind of semblance of beat beaches in the Seychelles islands.
Where else could we start other than Beau Vallon, perhaps the most popular beach in Mahé. This beach is popular among tourists and locals alike. The Beau Vallon has absolutely no lack of bars, restaurants, resorts to luxury hotels by it’s waterfront.
It’s waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kitesurfing, and for the less adventurous, just pristine view of Silhouette Island and the Indian ocean. For people who like the hustle and bustle and crowds, the Beau Vallon provides with weekly Food Market on Wednesday where you can experience the local taste at a bargain price.
The Anse Intendance is located on the southwestern coast of Mahé Island. The beach is under the property of Banyan Tree Resort but is open for everyone. In stark contrast to Beau Vallon, the only semblance to infrastructure on this beach is the Banyan Tree resort and nothing else.
The beach also flaunts the island’s granitic rocks and has a backdrop of lush Mangrove vegetation making it absolutely perfect for your Instagram feed. The tides here are higher as compared to Beau Vallon thus making it suitable for surfing and not so much for swimming.
What more do you need when the beach is named “Royal Beach”? Anse Royale is located on Mahé eastern coast in a town of around 5,000 people that has the same name.
It is one of the rime spots for snorkeling and opens at 10 AM and closes at 5PM. However, the Anse Royale’s biggest attraction is the Garden of the King or Jardin Du Roi. Spread across an area of 25 hectares, this spice estate grows exotic varieties of spices.
If you are looking for something more than just lounging on the beach, something more physically taxing then Anse Major is for you.
The beach located on the Northwest of Mahé is only accessible through a short hiking trip or through boat trip. The way here can be exposed to strong sunlight and the water can be at times too difficult for a swim.
Other beaches in the island of Mahé include Grand Anse, and Anse Takamaka whose name is derived from the native Takamaka trees and has the popular Ros Sodyer Rock Pool, and the pristine Anse Petite.
Anse Lazio is constantly makes recommendation lists when asked about the best beaches in Seychelles islands. It has your trademark white sand, cobalt blue waters, and the enviable lining of lush green forest. Mind you, it’s quite popular so you might want to visit early in the morning if you are looking for privacy.
About 3 miles north of Praslin Airport, situated in the Northwest coast is Anse Georgette. This beach gives you what Anse Lazio can’t: privacy. But the privacy comes at a cost, well, not exactly monetary cost but the cost of exclusivity.
To get to the beach you have to go through the Constance Lemuria Resort which guards the beach. You need permission from.the resort to get here and they only allow 30 guests at a time.
Other stunning beaches in Praslin include Anse Matelot, Anse St. Sauveur, Bois de Rose and the children friendly Cote d’Or.
Well, the word hiking could mean a lot of things for you. If you are a hardcore hiker looking for days long, arduous trails that test the limits of your existence, then my friend you are in the wrong place. The very make up of the island nation makes vast stretches of land rare, so, hiking trails are rather short here. But that doesn’t mean they are dull. Here are some hiking trails you can stretch your legs with and more.
Seychelles’ most famous hiking trail is the Copolia Trail and it stretches along the east coast of Mahé. The trail begins barely 15 minutes away from Victoria and is barely 1.6 kms long. It starts at an altitude of 300 meters and reaches up top to 500 meters above sea level. It starts at the Morne Seychellois National Oark and ends on a high at Mount Copolia. On the top, you will be greeted with the mesmerizing 360° view of St. Anne Marine National Oark and the capital Victoria.
Vallée de Mai Trail
Vallée de Mai, a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, has three hiking trails and numerous small sub trails. The trails start from 1 km long and the longest is 2 km long. But, it’s nit the length of the trail that you come for, it’s the surrounding. The trails are engulfed in mysterious and over bearing trees that will transport you to a different time. There is a fee of €26 per person.
Morne Blanc Trail
Slightly difficult but anyone could do it. The trail starts at Sans Soucis Road and lies in the Morne Seychellois National Park. This trail offers you a climb from the get go, the elevation gain remaining constant throughout the trail. On the summit of Morne Blanc, you get a breathtaking view of the west coast of Mahé.
Where do you start with Curieuse Island! This island offers everything for everyone. The history, the tales associated with the island. The flora including the very rare Coco de mer plants make it a must visit. And not just the plants but also the animals here are absolutely exclusive to the region. Curieuse is famous for it’s giant tortoises and also has it’s breeding programs. The island can be explored through a day trip or through boat from nearby Praslin island.
In 1881, General Charles Gordon of Britain went on a voyage to East Africa where he happened to land on the archipelago of Seychelles islands. A devout Christian and a Christian cosmologist, General Gordon described the “Heart of Praslin” as the Garden of Eden. It is one of the smallest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world but in no way the least.
The Vallée de Mai is one of only two places on earth where the rare coco de mer palm grows, the next being Curieuse island next to Praslin. The shape of the seeds of the coco de mer is the root of so many fables that expand far and beyond just Seychelles. The male palms that grow next to only female palms, seeds of which resemble the shape of the female waist and hips, lending more to the name “The Garden of Eden”. Apart from the fabled and exclusively endemic palm trees, Vallée de Mai is also a bird-watching hotspot. The forest that has trees that grow into dizzying heights are home to Seychelles bulbul, blue pigeon, Seychelles warbler and endangered black parrot.
Other than the ones mentioned above, there are loads and loads of things to do in Seychelles islands, things that no single list could ever cover. But we tried to make one, brief but informative article for you about the best of the lot. Hope you enjoyed it and we will see you again.
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