Mahé Island is a small, idyllic island in scenic Seychelles that plays home to beautiful beaches and majestic scenery, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation, a honeymoon with your other half, or an adventure-fuelled trip for all sorts of travelers.
There are many fantastic things to do in Mahé Island, from snorkeling at one of its many pristine beaches, indulging in some fresh seafood at one of its many restaurants, or hiking to the highest point on the island.
With so many great Mahé tourist places, there’s no way you’ll be bored during your stay, and in this guide, I’ll be going into greater detail on the best things to do, how to get around, the best time to visit, and much more so that you can make the most out of your visit!
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WHERE IS MAHÉ ISLAND?
Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles archipelago, is nestled in the Western Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. The island is 4 miles wide and 16 miles long.
Port Launay Marine National Park is located on the island’s northern side, while Sainte-Anne Marine National Park lies to the northeast. A thin coastal plain surrounds much of Mahé Island’s perimeter.
Click here for an interactive map of Mahe Island Seychelles
BEST TIME TO VISIT MAHÉ ISLAND SEYCHELLES
Seychelles are best seen between April and May or October and November when the island is not hit by the two trade winds that strike it each year.
The northwest wind blows from the end of November to March, and it’s generally not a great moment to visit.
HOW MANY DAYS IN MAHÉ?
Although the island is quite small, there are many Mahé Island attractions and things to see. Because the island is primarily a relaxing travel destination and you’ll probably want to take it easy, I’d recommend staying 4 to 5 days at least.
This way, you’ll be able to wander around Victoria, the capital city, enjoy the different beaches across the island, and learn about the Seychellois culture.
In addition, if you’re planning to spend a more extended period in Seychelles and go, for instance to the nearby islands of Praslin and La Digue, then you could extend your stay.
In that case, I’d recommend spending 2 or 3 days in Mahé when arriving in the country, then hop over to Praslin for a few days, La Digue for 2 or 3 days, and then returning to Mahé for another day or so before departure.
HOW TO GET AROUND MAHÉ ISLAND
RENT A CAR IN MAHÉ
Renting a car is the most practical way to explore Mahé. To give you an idea, the cost of renting a car at the airport during the high season is from $70 to $110 depending on the car and agency. While it may sound expensive, it’s a much cheaper way to get around than local taxis.
It’s common to forget things when renting a car, so make sure to prepare carefully – these are the most useful accessories to take on a road trip.
TAKE THE PUBLIC BUS
The public bus is the most affordable way to get around Mahé Island Seychelles but not the most practical option. The flat rate for a bus ticket is 5SCR (about $0.40 cents), and they run every day from 5.30 am until 8.30 pm.
If you can’t rent a car, I’d recommend buying a SMART card and loading it so you won’t need to have some change everywhere you go. You can hold up to 500SCR (about $40), which is very convenient if you’re staying in town for a week or more.
CALL A TAXI
This is the last and undoubtedly the most expensive option I do not recommend. For example, a 30-minute ride in a local taxi will cost you approximately the same amount as renting a car for a day.
That being said, if you don’t rent a car, then it’s the most comfortable option to get from and to the airport.
HOW LONG DOES A ROAD TRIP AROUND MAHÉ TAKE?
Mahé isn’t vast, but it takes a good 3 hour-ride to drive around the island. That is, naturally, without exploring any site.
It’s essential to consider that, with over 20 beaches on the island, some restaurants, Instagrammable spots, and a rum distillery, you’ll spend lots of time on the road.
You will want to leave in the morning and stop on the road a few times to photograph the beaches, have breakfast and lunch, and eventually come back to Victoria in the evening.
BEST TOURS IN MAHÉ ISLAND SEYCHELLES
Discover the marvels of the St. Anne National Marine Park on this fun-filled day trip full of adventures. Reach Mahé’s islands to explore the depths of the Marine Park.
Next, board a semi-submersible boat and descend into the ocean to discover the wonders of the park’s vibrant coral gardens for some much-needed snorkeling or swimming.
After a morning on the water, explore Moyenne Island and its ancient ruins before returning to Mahé.
If you’re willing to explore some of the best places to visit in Mahe including snorkeling with an abundance of marine life, this tour is your safest bet.
Click here to check availability and rates on the Get Your Guide website.
This is another must-do tour when in Mahé. Start the day by exploring market street and looking at the local products. After that, take a short drive around Victoria and see the famous monuments, for instance, the clock tower.
Once finished, the guide will take you to north Mahé, more specifically Beau Vallon Beach (read below to know more). On this tour, you’ll get to visit a local rum distillery as well as a brief look at the stunning west coast.
If you need to save some cash while still enjoying a professional tour around Mahé, this is the one.
Click here to check availability and rates on the Get Your Guide website.
In case you want to not miss out on the best places to visit in Mahe, this customizable private tour of the island is the perfect one for you.
You’ll start the day by meeting your driver at the pickup point, and you’ll decide the attractions you want to do together.
You can pick everything you want to see on the island and the most popular spots. If you wish to visit a beach or hear local stories in Victoria’s streets or even enjoy some rum at a hidden gem location, everything is possible in the air-conditioned van.
Click here to check availability and rates on the Get Your Guide website.
IS MAHÉ ISLAND EXPENSIVE?
All things considered, yes, Mahé Island is indeed expensive. However, while it’s certainly possible to spend hundreds or even over $1000 per day, you can travel on a relatively small budget.
If you book your hotel, tours, and activities in advance, you could get around and have a great time for $150 to $200 per day.
When you book your accommodation ahead of time, you can find great deals for sometimes less than $100 a night. It will cost you an average of $90 per day for the car.
And finally, some restaurants are pricey, but others (for instance, The Boat House, read at the end of this guide) are for budget travelers.
15 THINGS TO DO IN MAHÉ ISLAND
Now that we have gone through all the nitty-gritty details about Mahé Island Seychelles, let’s dive into the best activities, recommended places to eat, and all the must-sees.
VISIT BEAU VALLON BEACH
To kick things off, Beau Vallon is one of the top places to visit in Mahé and it also happens to be the most visited beach in Seychelles and
It can be easily reached by a 10-minute drive from the center of Victoria and the beach is known for being the main beach on the island. It’s the perfect place to unwind, have a swim, and ultimately catch an incredible sunset.
The white sand and clear turquoise waters make for a perfect postcard-perfect beach scene, while the watersports happening make it a fun day out with friends and family.
You’ll find many locals playing music, lots of fruit sellers, and plenty of hotels nearby. There’s also a convenient supermarket right next to the beach.
Last but not least, if you’ve rented a car, you’ll be able to park at the free parking nearby for the day. You’ll find it right in front of the Beau Vallon Street Shopping.
WATCH THE SUNSET ON SUNSET BEACH
Sunset Beach is one of the most stunning beaches on Mahé Island. It’s known for its incredible sunsets, and it’s worth a visit if you’re hunting for a romantic spot to watch the sun go down.
You can snorkel and observe lots of underwater life and palm trees all around which gives the beach a tropical look in every corner.
But the tricky thing about Sunset Beach is that it can get pretty tough to park, and that’s a downside if you rent a car. On the other hand, you can take a bus from Victoria, and that’s the easiest option to get here.
For sunset on Sunset Beach, you’ll find the colors in the sky to be excellent. Oranges and reds and yellows all blended in beautiful contrast against the deep blue of Seychelles’s waters.
You’ll undoubtedly enjoy walking around the beach and noticing the sun go down whether you’re with your other half or with friends.
HIKE THE COPOLIA TRAIL
This 1.4-kilometer Copolia hiking trail is a series of cut-offs that take you through some of the most picturesque parts of the island.
You can explore these trails either on foot, and it won’t take you more than one hour to reach the top. From the summit, you’ll be greeted with astonishing views on Sainte Anne Marine National Park and lots of white-tailed tropicbirds.
Make sure to bring a bottle of water and, when possible, hiking shoes since this is a medium-difficulty trail and not an easy one. Of course, taking your landscape camera to the Copolia Trail is a must to shoot excellent photos at the top!
There is an SCR100 ($7.50) entrance fee, and it’s free for children younger than 12. There’s also a toilet access fee of SCR5 ($.40).
Lastly, you’ll find some parking spots right at the trail entrance, and you can leave your car there for the entire duration. Taking a bus is possible from Victoria, and the bus stop is right at the Copolia Trail entrance.
HIKE THE MORNE BLANC TRAIL
The Copolia Trail is a doable hiking trail for pretty much anyone, but the Morne Blanc one takes things to the next level, and it’s more challenging. It is 1.6km-long with an elevation of 630m, and it should take around one hour to reach the top.
Hike through rare flora and fauna you’ve never seen anywhere else, such as Sooglosid frogs and Seychelles’ black snail.
I’d recommend bringing water and wearing proper hiking shoes as normal ones will complicate the challenge even more since the trail is partly muddy.
Once you get to the top, you’ll have stunning views on the Grand Anse makes the hike up totally worth it.
So what are you waiting for? You won’t be disappointed! The Morne Blanc trail offers something for everyone, so make sure to check it out when looking for what to do in Mahé Island.
TAKE A DIP AT SAUZIER WATERFALL
Sauzier Waterfall is the main and most easily accessible on the island of Mahé. You can reach the waterfall along an easy trail from the parking lot that takes no more than 5 minutes.
Unlike the hiking trails listed above, you don’t need hiking shoes or a guide as it’s straightforward to roam around. The entrance fee is SCR50 (about $4) which is reasonable to spend some time here, have a swim, and relax.
It’s deep enough to jump from the rocks and swim for 30 minutes or so. You’ll also find locals outside selling fresh coconuts and snacks that you can take with you to the waterfall.
WANDER THE STREETS OF VICTORIA
It’s impossible to list the best things to do in Mahé Island without talking about Victoria’s streets.
In fact, Victoria is the capital of Seychelles, and it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The streets are always lively, with people and cars going by constantly. There are a lot of shops and restaurants here, so you can easily find something to eat or buy.
On top of street markets and restaurants on every corner, you’ll also find museums like the Natural History Museum and the Old Supreme Court. When in Victoria, make sure to stop by the Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Hindu temple. It’s a must-do on the island, and its colors make it stand out from afar.
It’s located right next to the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, and you can easily see both at the same time.
All things considered, I’d recommend spending at least a full day in Victoria before starting to explore the rest of Mahé Island Seychelles.
CHECK OUT GRAND ANSE BEACH
The beaches of Mahé Island generally offer a wide range of water sports, including kayaking, diving, and many others. But this isn’t the case with Grand Anse Beach.
Instead, this is the perfect place to relax, and you can spend the whole day swimming, working on your tan, walking or running around, and enjoying a picnic.
The main advantage of Grand Anse is that you won’t find many people here and you can take in the whole ambiance quite easily for a day of relaxation.
DRIVE THE WEST COAST ROAD
The West Coast Road is a stunning coastline that you can’t miss on your trip to Seychelles. You’ll reach the famous west coast in just 30 minutes from Victoria’s city center.
First of all, you’ll find some of the best beaches in Mahé on the way, such as Anse Boileau Beach and Anse Takamaka Beach.
Secondly, the West Coast Road is full of Instagrammable spots, and it’s just some of the most beautiful places to see in your lifetime. Besides that, it’s tranquil, and you won’t see many other cars on the road, which I appreciated.
Before going further south, make a quick stop at Kapatya restaurant and enjoy their Creole specialties with Western touches. It’s hands down one of the best places to eat on the coastline.
On the way towards the southern end, you can stop and discover Petite Anse Beach, a fine sandy beach with incredible turquoise waters. No people, stunning views, and free entry are what describe Petite Anse the best.
Lastly, at the very south of West Coast Road, you’ll find Anse Intendance, and that is one of the best snorkeling and relaxing places in Mahé Island. Let’s go more in-depth on this in the following paragraphs.
GO SWIMMING AT ANSE INTENDANCE
Next on this list of what to do in Mahe is visiting the beautiful Anse Intendance, the southernmost beach on Mahé that features a huge cove, stunning white sands, turquoise blue water, granite boulders, and even a small beach bar.
This beautiful beach is the perfect place for a swim to cool down after driving all around the island.
If you’re hungry or thirsty and didn’t get the chance to stop at a restaurant on the way, the local Summer Bar has everything you need. From refreshing coconut water to great cocktails and fresh fish dishes, it’s the perfect place to eat and drink with a view.
All in all, coming and swimming Anse Intendance is one of the best things to do on Mahé Island, and you should definitely include it in your itinerary.
GET SURF LESSONS WITH SURF HOUSE SEYCHELLES
Surf House Seychelles is a surf school located next to Petite Anse Beach, and it’s managed by friendly and professional owners that will make you become an expert in no time.
Their beginner classes cost EUR250 ($280) for 2 hours, while their intermediate ones will set you back EUR200 ($225) and their advanced courses EUR150 ($170).
The waves aren’t as impressive as other surfing spots worldwide, but you’ll have a great time. After the class, you can go around Mahé Island and practice your skills. What else do you need from a holiday in Seychelles?
DISCOVER PARADISE AT ANSE ROYALE BEACH
Anse Royale Beach is nestled in the south of the island along the East Coast Road. Whether you’re planning to drive through West Coast Road and extend your route or drive through the eastern coastline, it’s one of the best things to do on Mahé Island.
The water is crystal clear, providing for a picture-perfect experience. It is a small beach, and it may get crowded quickly during the peak season, which is something to keep in mind.
It’s worth noting that Anse Royale Beach is one of the best places to snorkel in the whole of Mahé.
Apart from that, you’ll find a lovely local restaurant nearby offering Creole food called Kafe Kreol Cafe & Restaurant. While I highly recommend it, be aware that it can be expensive for some budgets with main courses averaging SCR400 ($30).
I liked the area since there’s everything you need from a pharmacy to nice hotels to spend the night, to a supermarket and more.
Last but not least, you can walk from Anse Royale Beach up to the other side of the island and get to West Coast Road, discovering some local places on the way. One way will take you about an hour.
VISIT TAKAMAKA RUM DISTILLERY
Takamaka Rum is the local rum distilled in the country, and you can see it everywhere in restaurants and cafes. For this reason, visiting the distillery is a must, and you’ll be surprised to know that they have a lot of choices available.
From the regular white rum to their Dark Spiced with tropical spices to Zannannan and pineapple flavors and even the coconut flavored one, you’re in for a treat.
They pressed the sugar cane locally to make their famous rum, and they’ll tell you everything about it on the free tour that starts at 11.00 am and 1.00 pm. After the tour, you can get a tasting session for SCR100 ($7.50) per person and try five different rums.
If you want to take a pleasant memory back home, a small bottle will cost you SCR150 ($11) on average and a one-liter one around SCR285 ($21).
You should also know that the place is nice with a lovely garden where you can sit and enjoy their rum for a while surrounded by palm trees.
CHECK OUT EDEN ISLAND
Eden Island is the perfect place to spend a day having fun or before taking a flight since it’s relatively near the airport. It’s different from the rest of Mahé since it’s modern, has plenty of facilities, and has just a touch of the Western world.
At Eden Island, you can enjoy restaurants and bars, go shopping, buying souvenirs at the supermarket, they have a pharmacy and hotels/villas to stay in for the night. In addition, they have a couple of PCR testing facilities if you need to get one before traveling back home.
On the way here with the car, drive over the bridge and look around to enjoy a magical view. You can park for free for 30 minutes and pay SCR10 ($0,75) per hour.
Alternatively, you can get on a local bus from Victoria at 7.00 am, 9.00 am, 3.00 pm, and 5.00 pm.
HIKE THE ANSE MAJOR TRAIL
The Anse Major Trail is the most picturesque coastal walk on the island that begins near Beau Vallon and ends on the beautiful Anse Major Beach
I consider it one of the best and accessible hiking spots in Mahé Island since there is not too much elevation and it’s, therefore, suitable for all levels. Also, you won’t need to take any guide since it’s pretty well signposted and shouldn’t take more than 1 hour to reach Anse Major Beach.
This secluded beach at the end of the trail boasts stunning turquoise water, glistening white sand, and shady palm trees. It’s the ideal spot for snorkeling, swimming, or relaxing after hiking.
If you’re not into hiking, then you can jump on a boat trip from Beau Vallon or Bel Ombre which will cost you around SCR200 ($15) per person. I recommend Taxi Boat Happiness to take you to and from Anse Major Beach and other spots along the coastline.
TRY THE BUFFET AT THE BOAT HOUSE
For only SCR450 ($33) per person, The Boat House is one of the restaurants with the best value for money, located in Beau Vallon, Mahé Island.
While they offer the standard a la carte menu during the day, they have a buffet every day from 7.00 to 9.00 pm with delicious dishes including:
- Mango Salad
- Pumpkin Salad
- Smoked Fish
- Chicken Curry
- Red Lentils
- Fruit Salad
- And more!
WHERE TO STAY IN MAHÉ
There are hundreds of accommodations to choose from on Mahe Island Seychelles so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of luxury travelers, budget backpackers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: HILTON SEYCHELLES
MID-RANGE: CROWN BEACH HOTEL
BUDGET: BEAU VALLON RESIDENCE
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
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So there you have it! These are the top things to do on Mahe and if you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.