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Mahé, the main island of Seychelles, is the perfect size for a short trip. We spent nearly three months in Seychelles, mostly on Mahé, but the island can be seen in a day or two. There are heaps of beaches to see and great food to enjoy!
Victoria is the capital of Seychelles and is the home to about a quarter of the population – not really saying much as Seychelles has 100,000 residents.
There’s not too much to see in the “city”. Most people come to Seychelles for the water and the beaches, not for the museums or local culture. However, it’s great to spend half a day in Victoria.
Victoria’s Little Ben
I had no idea London had a Little Ben to go with Big Ben – they sit on opposite ends of Victoria Street in London. Well, Seychelles has its own duplicate, and it’s a common landmark in Victoria.
Sir Selwyn Clarke Market
If you’re looking to bring home spices or preserves from Seychelles, Sir Selwyn Clarke Market is the place to pick it up. Plus, you can buy ready-to-eat plantain or breadfruit chips and gawk at usual produce like the bitter melon or jackfruit.
While wandering around shopping, we had a hard time finding what we really wanted – local products and crafts. Most of what we saw were t-shirts with “I [heart] Seychelles” and cheap plastic items made in China.
But then we found Camion Hall. There is Kreolor, which is a Seychellois chain of jewelry featuring local materials and designs – like the coco de mer. We also stopped in Caprice des Iles, where one of our friends was able to buy a mug featuring the artwork of Michael Adams, Seychelles’ most famous artist.
Takamaka Rum Distillery
Half an hour south of Victoria is the Takamaka Rum Distillery. Tours & tastings are offered twice a day (11:30 AM and 1:30 PM) for 150 SCR. We didn’t attend a tour but arrived just after the 1:30 tour finished and got to do a tasting in the shop for 100 SCR. Then we popped over to the restaurant for a drink – more on that below!
There is also a boutique gift shop attached to the restaurant which is well worth poking around.
Hiking on Mahé
Thanks to the volcanic nature of Mahé, hiking is extraordinary. We hiked Copolia, but there are many other trails. If we had done another, I would have done Morne Blanc.
Port Glaud Waterfall
We would have missed the turnoff if we hadn’t known what to look for – the church – but we turned our car up the very narrow road – only one lane for both ways and found the Port Glaud Waterfall. We paid 25 SCR each for access and made the short hike.
Definitely bring your swim gear. Even though the water doesn’t get much air time, it’s got a lovely pool at the base perfect for a refreshing swim.
Beaches on Mahé
The quality of the beach can be very dependant on the season. During our visit (June – September) the winds were blowing from the SE. This meant that the beaches on the southeast side had bigger waves and more debris (like seaweed) washed up on the beach.
Most of the beaches were pretty empty when we went in the afternoon. Even Beau Vallon wasn’t too bad, because the beach is so big!
This small, quiet beach would probably be great during the NW winds. There are a surf shack restaurant and the iconic granite boulders.
This is a nice wide beach, less crowded than Beau Vallon. We even saw a wedding taking place!
Anse a la Mouche
This is a local’s beach, and there are several fishing boats moored here. The beach is broken up by stone walls, too. I’m not sure why.
Beau Vallon is an ideal place to enjoy at the end of the day. The beach is wide and long, and in the SE wind season, it’s well protected. You can people watch and enjoy the sunset. There are plenty of great places to eat at Beau Vallon, everything from beach bbq tents to fine dining restaurants.
Where to Eat
Seychellois food is a lot of African and South Indian influence. Primarily, we ate curry dishes and seafood. Octopus curry is the national dish.
Eat Like a Local: Takeaway
If you want to visit Seychelles on the cheap, dine out like the Seychellois people – eat takeaway. All over, there are small shops that advertise takeaway, and usually, the meal is set up as a hot buffet where the staff serves you into (compostable!) takeaway containers. It’s easy to dine on less than $5 USD per person with some local rice and curry!
Takamaka’s La Grande Maison
The Takamaka Rum Distillery as an attached restaurant in the plantation home. La Grande Maison is open for lunch and dinner. It’s one of the more expensive places to dine – outside of a resort – but the menu is upscale local cuisine. The drink menu is to die for – even if you don’t want to stay for a meal, pop into the bar to order a drink and sit out on the veranda.
Our taxi driver on the way to Marie Antionette’s in Victoria was negative about it, calling it a tourist trap. We went anyway and were glad we did. Lunch was a set menu, and the four of us were served at least half a dozen communal plates of local dishes. We even ordered the extra fruit bat curry, which was very good! It’s got a stewed, red wine flavor with the tender meat.
If you aren’t getting out to Curieuse Island to see the giant tortoises, Marie Antionette has their own tortoise pen so you can see some of this special animal.
This beach-front restaurant is at Anse a la Mouche on the west side of Mahé. The view is gorgeous, but the menu is a bit expensive and the portions are small. The local currys are 350 SCR each. We went with our friends Carlos and Linda. I had the local fish curry, but I tried Carlos’ octopus curry and it was the best one I’ve had in Seychelles.
Renting a Car
We rented our car from Golden Apple Car Rental. We paid 1,350 SCR for a two-day rental.
Taxis are very expensive. One day (before we knew better) we hired a taxi to drive us from Eden to Victoria to Takamaka and back to Eden. It was 1200 SCR.