With its sparkling seas caressing beautiful beaches and thriving forests shouldering majestic mountains, Mahé makes for a dream destination for families, friends and couples alike. Many of its hotels and resorts offer the ultimate in luxurious living, not least Banyan Tree, Four Seasons, and the sprawling resort of Constance Ephelia.
The history of Mahe Island
Mahé is named after Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, though some accounts claim that the name of the island was bestowed upon La Bourdonnais! This man was a lieutenant in the French East India Company, created under King Louis XIV to trade in the eastern hemisphere. In 1724, he fought bravely to capture the island.
In 1812, Mahé became a British colony, remaining so until 1976, when the Seychelles gained independence. Today, it accommodates a wide range of nationalities – African, European, Indian, Arab and Chinese. Its port services the economy via tuna fishing and canning, but the bulk of its revenue stems from tourism.
Beaches on Mahe
Our favourites on Mahé include Anse Intendance (in the south) and Anse Takamaka (south-west). Part of Anse Intendance is home to the popular Banyan Tree Hotel, but you need only move from the northern region to the southern region to shake off the crowds and experience your own private paradise, in the cool shade of coconut palms! At Anse Takamaka, there are forests of palms and takamaka fringing 2km of white sands, creating a picture-perfect setting. And the beach even boasts its own rustic restaurant, Chez Batista, for fish, curries and cocktails! It is a little busier than Anse Intendance, but the sheer size of Anse Takamaka is enough for everyone to enjoy some quiet time.
Due to its plentiful public beaches, Mahé is able to provide a full menu of watersports from the majority of its properties – but there are restrictions, such as the policy of no motorised watersports at Maia and limited activities at Banyan Tree from May to October due to rough seas.
Seychelles capital city Victoria is located on Mahé, brimming with tourist attractions such as the Seychelles National Museum, Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, Clock Tower and botanical gardens. Walks are available around Jardin du Roi, a spice garden featuring interesting exhibits, while Le Village Artisanal intrigues with its old plantation house and craft workshops stocked with souvenirs.
All in all, Mahé is a brilliant option for a beach vacation, with plenty of extras too! For inspiration on things to do whilst on the island check out our blog.