Mahé is the largest island and the gateway to Seychelles Islands. While some tourists choose to spend their holiday on other Seychellen islands and visit Mahé only on a day trip, I dare to say that Mahé deserves much more attention. It is a gorgeous island with so much to offer: beautiful sandy beaches, lovely coastal roads and trekking routes, great takeaways, and friendly people.
My recommendation would be to spend at least five nights on Mahé, rent a car, discover everything that this island has to offer, and indulge in the local cuisine served by many takeaways on the route. I hope this guide to Mahé Island in Seychelles will help you organize your holiday better!
We stayed at Fler Payanke Apartment, near Anse Royale, and from here, we explored the whole island, choosing a different route every day. This place is a hidden gem, surrounded by nature. Beautiful, big, open space apartment with everything you wish for: a fully equipped kitchen, a big walk-in shower, and a great terrace! We especially loved the evenings spent on the patio and the silence of the area.
Renting a Car on Mahe Island
Renting a car through accommodation is a common thing in Seychelles. Prices tend to be around 40€ (45$) in Mahé, insurance included. We asked our host to book a car for us, so we didn’t have to struggle to find a rental company. The best part was that the car was delivered to our door and we could leave it at the airport, at no extra cost. The rides along the cliff edge on the narrow roads are stunning, and you might discover many beautiful places. Beware where you park as coconuts are falling from trees, and they may cause severe damages to your car.
The East Coast
Takamaka Rum Distillery
It is a great place to book a small tour to learn more about rum-making and do some tasting. Although this place has a restaurant, I would recommend trying the Simply Delicious Takeaway, 400metres away. Try the local tuna dish, and you won’t be disappointed.
Le Jardin Du Roi
A walk through this lovely garden with different kinds of trees like cinnamon or pineapple and many spices and fruits is a great alternative to spend some time away from the beach and the sun.
The East Coast Beaches
Mahé has around 70 sandy beaches, not all of them easy to access, like Anse Soleil, Anse Capucins, or Anse Petite.
Anse aux Pins – Anse aux Courbes – Anse Royale
ANSE AUX PINS is a long bay on Mahé’s east coast with calm and shallow water, ideal for families and snorkeling.
A tranquil beach with shallow water, not crowded at all, is ANSE AUX COURBES. It is the perfect choice for everyone looking for a quiet place.
ANSE ROYALE is a beautiful sandy beach, great for families. The water here is excellent for snorkeling! Thanks to its proximity to some accommodations, the beach can get very crowded.
TIP. If you are in the area, you should definitely try the food selection of OLE RESTAURANT & TAKEAWAY. Situated near the beach, the restaurant offers delicious and fresh local food. You can sit on their terrace or enjoy the meal on your balcony. Try the smoked fish salad or the grilled fish from the takeaway corner, and you will love it. So so delicious.
Anse Baleine – Anse Bougainville
ANSE BALEINE is a beautiful hidden beach with many coconut trees and plenty of shadows, although with rocks in the water. You might have to walk a little bit along the road to reach the beach.
ANSE BOUGAINVILLE is a small and tranquil beach, great for families and snorkeling. Although difficult to spot from the road, the bus stop is near the beach so you should find it with no difficulties.
Anse Forbans – Anse Marie Louise
The access to ANSE FORBANS is done through an alley near the Hotel Hilton. Not crowded at all, you can shelter under the trees during the mid-day heat. Be aware; there are rocks in the water, so bring your water shoes!
ANSE MARIE-LOUISE is an extension of Anse Forbans, so the two beaches share the same features.
The South Coast
ANSE CAPUCINS is a wild and spotless beach at the end of a 45-minute hike through a lush forest from Anse Marie-Louise. Once you reach a house, take the small pathway down to Anse Capucins. This hike is not suited to everyone, so I suggest planning well.
PETITE POLICEis not a great beach for swimming due to rocks: on the shore and in the water. Also, the wind is quite strong here. It is more a beach for landscape. After snapping some pictures, head to Police Bay, and you will understand why.
POLICE BAY is a gorgeous, long, white sandy beach that resembles a lot to Grand and Petite Anse from La Diqué. The currents can be rough sometimes, so be vigilant. Just park your car at the end of the road, near the old police building, and follow the path until you reach the beach. Not very popular among the tourists, it is for sure one of our favorite spots in Mahe. Most of the time, we had the beach only to ourselves.
ANSE PETITE BOILEAU is the nearby beach of Police Bay in the very south of Mahe, challenging to access but impressive, calm and peaceful. We had the beach for ourselves all day long, and we can say it is our favorite beach in Seychelles. You can reach the beach eighter from Petite Police beach, which is the easy way, eighter from Anse Capucins. The trail from here is rough, unmarked, and goes through a lush forest. If you want to find out how to get to this beach, read more here.
The West Coast
Anse Intendance – Anse Takamaka – Anse Gaulettes
ANSE INTENDANCE is a one kilometer long, gorgeous, wild beach. The water is free from corals and rocks. Ideal for swimming and families so you will find many people here.
ANSE TAKAMAKA is another beautiful beach with coconut trees and plenty of shadows, ideal for swimming and families.
ANSE GAULETTES is a one-kilometer long beach, with shallow and clear water, also ideal for families.
Baie Lazare – Petite Anse – Anse Soleil
BAIE LAZARE is an easily accessible long bay and an excellent beach for swimming, snorkeling, and families. If you are looking for shadow, here you’ll find many palm trees.
If you want to reach PETITE ANSE, you’ll have to drive to the Four Seasons Hotel and park your car outside the gate. Sign in with security and walk 15 minutes down to the beach. Surrounded by the Four Seasons Villas, the area is beautiful, and the clear water makes the perfect spot for swimming. You’re allowed to use the hotel’s facilities so that you can take a shower, right on the beach. Remember, the way back to the car is steep, but the beach is well worth the effort.
The trendy beach among tourists, ANSE SOLEIL, is a beautiful, calm area suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Anse a la Mouche – Anse Louis – Anse Boileau
ANSE À LA MOUCHE, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, is a great place for families. You can find some sand strip where you can relax under the coconut trees.
ANSE LOUIS, a tranquil bay near Maia Resort, is suitable for families.
ANSE BOILEAU, 200m away from Anse Louis, is suitable for swimming and snorkeling. You will see plenty of boats and local fishers fishing here. You can buy the catch of the day from them and cook it at your accommodation.
Grand Anse – Port Launay
GRAND ANSE is a long and beautiful beach. The water is free from corals, rocks, and seaweed, but the currents can get rough. Just grab a spot of shade and relax.
PORT LAUNAY is a quiet bay next to the Constance Ephelia Resort. The water is so beautiful, excellent for swimming.
The North Coast
The several kilometers long BEAU VALLON is the most popular beach in Mahé, offering many accommodation options, restaurants, and watersports. The water is crystal clear, free from rocks and seaweed. You can always find shelter under the trees. Unfortunately, you will see vendors or hawkers on this beach. Be vigilant and never leave your valuable belongings unattended.
ANSE NORD D’EST is a wild and beautiful beach, great for taking photos but not suitable for swimming.
TOP SOLEIL BEACH is a sunny, lovely bay with gorgeous golden sand and the most turquoise-blue water. Just try the smoked fish from the bar nearby. Delicious!
VICTORIA, the Capital of Seychelles
Victoria, Africa’s smallest capital city, only 5 kilometers from Beau Vallon, is a great place to spend half a day:
- Start with VICTORIA CLOCKTOWER, a mini replica of Big Ben, brought in 1903 when Seychelles became a British colony.
- NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM, a restored old building with new interactive displays, is just nearby. You’ll get a glimpse of Seychelles history, learn about pirates, Aldabra tortoises, or creole culture.
- After that, make a quick stop at ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, a prominent mark of Seychelles.
- Buy some fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, tea, and spices from SIR SELWYN CLARK MARKET, open daily Monday through Saturday. Wander the streets and embrace the place and the people.
- VICTORIA BOTANICAL GARDENS, only two bus stops from the main bus terminal in Victoria, is worth visiting. You can see the endemic island species, including the famous coco de Mer and the Aldabra giant tortoises.
Morne Seychellois National Park
Leaving the capital, head out of Victoria, and follow the SANS SOUCI ROAD. There are a few places to stop along the way:
LES TROIS FRÈRES TRAIL, quickly reached from Victoria, offers a fantastic view of Victoria and the east coast of Mahé. The hike takes about 5 hours.
COPOLIA TRAIL is a must-do, especially for nature lovers. It’s a moderately challenging trek that goes through dense, lush forest and takes about 1.5 hours roundtrip. The view from the summit is simply stunning.
MORNE SEYCHELLOIS TRAIL, for experienced hikers, takes you to Mahe’s highest point at 905 meters. The hike takes 5 hours.
At TEA PLANTATION you can take a free tour of the factory and enjoy some lovely views over the bay.
MORNE BLANC TRAIL is another must-do along the road. Leave the car at the tea plantation, walk down the road, and you will see the sign. The hike takes about 1.5 hours roundtrip.
A Complete Guide to Mahe Island in Seychelles – Interactive Map
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