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By Maddie 07 January 2020

The three largest islands in the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, are Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue. They provide the perfect mix of an entertaining, bustling atmosphere and calm relaxation. Choices of activities are endless on these stunning islands with their sensational mix of culture, history, and raw natural beauty.

Mahé is the most developed and populated island in the Seychelles, and this brings with it an abundance of activities and places to visit. I cannot talk about Mahé without mentioning Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. A day on foot is plenty of time to see one of the smallest capital cities in the world. Victoria has interesting and quirky monuments and architecture dotted around its streets, including the Clocktower (modelled on London’s Big Ben), Fontaine jubile de diamant (Diamond Jubilee Fountain), and the stunningly beautiful, multicoloured Tempio hindu. Wander the streets, shops, and cafés, and embrace the mixture of cultures and of old and new in this bustling tropical city.

When I was living and working in the Seychelles, I only had weekends to make the most of the islands and explore the archipelago, but during my time here, I discovered some of the most incredible sights, spots, and activities that aren’t always in the published guide books.  I describe them all below:

1. Explore Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles

Victoria is known for an abundance of restaurants, cafés, bars, shops, and markets, and is highly tailored to both the city-worker locals and tourists alike, making it a really fun and great place to spend time on Mahé. However, to have a break from the busyness of city life, or simply to take in all of what Mahé has to offer, the Victoria Botanical Gardens is worth a visit. This lovely haven of rare tropical flora is a fantastic place to walk around and relax in. The lush and vibrant gardens are beautifully maintained and really highlight some of the rarities that this tropical paradise is known for.

2. Hit the beach, particularly Beau Vallon

There are over 50 beaches on the island, one of which is Beau Vallon. This could be considered a ‘touristy’ beach due to nearby luxury hotels and businesses selling activities including jet ski hire and parasailing. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic beach for getting the buzz of Seychelles life. With market stalls and fruit sellers lining the edge of Beau Vallon, and luxury hotel restaurants and bars opening out onto the sands, it is the perfect location for relaxing in tropical paradise, with ease of access to the comforts of home.

3. Go stargazing

Another great activity to do whilst on Mahé Island, is to make use of the landscape and go stargazing. This is possible on your own – just hike at night, and then look up! Additionally, for the best experience in terms of weather conditions and star positioning, a number of tours are available. The night skies of the Seychelles are truly stunning due to very little light pollution, and the moon is sometimes so bright on a clear night that you almost don’t need a torch. This is a fantastic night activity, especially if you have had a ‘lazy’ day on the beach.

4. Get stuck into the local cuisine at the famous street market Bazar Labrin

There are so many great places to eat near Beau Vallon and on Mahé in general, all of which celebrate different cuisines – from authentic Indian, Creole, Asian, to Italian and Spanish. One activity that is ideal for a lover of hearty home-cooked food is visiting ‘Bazar Labrin’, held every Wednesday on Beau Vallon. Bazar Labrin is perhaps the most famous of Mahé’s street markets, with locals basically moving their home kitchens to a market stall. Liveliest between 4:00pm and 8:30pm, the market offers dining and dancing with the locals to live music, all with the smell of freshly prepared Creole cuisine delights wafting around. Enjoy some traditional Creole delights such as banana St Jacques fritters, papaya chutney, mango salad, spicy and flavourful curries, as well as marinated and grilled meats and fish. With so much choice and such delicious food on offer, you will never go hungry on Mahé.

If you would like more information on exploring these beautiful areas in the Seychelles feel free to call us on 020 8547 2305 or send us an email at [email protected].

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