Mahe is the largest of the “inner islands” and the home to about 90% of the entire population of the Seychelles. Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, is found on Mahe, as is the international airport, so a trip to the Seychelles will almost certainly begin and end on Mahe. On Mahe, visitors will find a wide variety of accommodations, beaches and a culturally-rich restaurant scene, which isn’t surprising, given that the Seychelles retains European, African and Asian influences.
UNESCO World Heritaage Sites
The Seychelles are home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve – Located on the inner island of Praslin, this reserve boasts the vestiges of a natural palm forest, preserved in a nearly original state. Vallee de Mai is also home to the famous coco de mar, the largest seed in the plant kingdom.
Aladabra Atoll – A raised coral atoll comprised of 4 coral islands thought to be at least 125,000 years old.
Due to the staggering number of islands that make up the Seychelles, visitors can experience a wide range of geographies, activities and cultural attractions in a single visit. Trips from Mahe to various islands can be done by plane or boat, and depending on time and distance, can be day-trips or over-night excursions. A few of our favorites include:
Bird Island – A 30-minute flight from Mahe, Bird Island is an eco-tourist paradise. Home to over 1,000,000 terns when the trade winds blow, Bird Island is also known for its large population of giant tortoises, including one weighing in at over 650 pounds and said to be at least 200 years old.
Cousin – A popular day-trip destination, Cousin Island is a nature reserve featuring rare birds, tortoises and turtles.