A comprehensive overview of Mahe Island in Seychelles for tourists. I will share information about the island’s infrastructure, the best places to stay, which beach to choose, what to see on Mahe, and the activities available. Get a mountain of useful tips that will help you organize your dream trip and answer all your questions.

Mahe Island in Seychelles: General Information

Mahe is the most popular Seychelles island among tourists. Below is a concise overview of the island to give you a proper understanding:

  • Mahe is the main, largest, and most densely populated island in the entire archipelago, which consists of 115 islands.
  • Approximately 80% of the country’s population, around 70 thousand people, resides here. The capital, Victoria, is located on this island.
  • The dimensions of Mahe Island are approximately 30 by 10 km.
  • The only large supermarket in the country is located in Victoria.
Mahe Island in Seychelles
Here is the capital of Seychelles, Victoria, as seen from one of the viewpoints. It may seem large, but only 20 thousand people live here, making it the largest city in the country.


The most crucial point is that the only international airport is located on Mahe, and with a 99.9% probability, you will arrive in Seychelles here. That’s why most tourists stay on Mahe. After a 10-hour flight, reaching the neighboring islands seems like a daunting task.

Getting to Seychelles, how to buy cheaper tickets, the best route today.

Transportation on the Island: Car, Bus, Taxi

Mahe is the most infrastructure-rich island in Seychelles; there is simply no more developed island. However, it is important to understand that Seychelles itself is like a large village, and Mahe is just the center of this village.

There are three types of transportation on the island, and I’ll briefly describe each:

  • Bus: The only public transportation is buses. If you don’t plan to explore the island, visit beaches and landmarks, and just want to take a short trip to the market/supermarket in the capital, then buses are more than enough

For those heavily relying on buses, be aware: buses do not allow luggage, so you won’t be able to take them to/from the airport. Also, you cannot buy a ticket from the driver and pay in cash; only transport cards are accepted. For more information on buses, routes, and where to buy tickets, check the article via the link

mahe is;and
Public transport on Mahe is the only buses. There are no trains, trams, metro, tuk-tuks, nothing else at all 🙂
  • Taxis: In short, taxis are very expensive. A ride from the airport to any hotel costs around 50 euros. Even if you need to travel just 10 minutes between beaches, it’s unlikely to be cheaper than 30 euros. All about taxis and how to book a cheaper airport transfer can be found in the linked article

Therefore, people use taxis when reaching the hotel after a long flight is necessary, and renting a car is not an option. However, driving around the island by taxi is not the most budget-friendly option.

  • In my personal observation, 90% of active tourists rent a car on Mahe. Only those who are willing to spend entire days on one hotel beach and those without driver’s licenses refuse this means of transportation. Renting a car in Seychelles is inexpensive (40-50 euros per day) and very convenient. The mobility you gain is incomparable to buses.

Below are the attractions of Mahe, and you can’t get to half of them by bus. Car rental in the Seychelles: all the subtleties and pitfalls.


Scooter rentals are prohibited by law on Mahe. Read more about it in the linked article. Bicycles and electric scooters are not available because all roads lack shoulders, run along cliffs, and have challenging terrain. There’s physically nowhere to ride a bike. This applies to both Mahe and Praslin.

Personal opinion of the author: If you have a driver’s license and don’t plan to stay in a beach hotel all the time, renting a car on Mahe is essential. Without a car, you won’t even be able to go to a decent store.

Where to Stay, or Mahe Beaches: Overview

Now, let’s move on to the most interesting part. Beaches are the symbol of Seychelles. There are many, they are beautiful, and each one is different. On Mahe, there are about 3 dozen beaches. One common feature of all the island’s beaches is their solitude.

mahe best beach
This is Beau Vallon Beach – the most popular and infrastructure-rich beach on the island. If you are not interested in exploring the island and don’t plan to rent a car, this is the best beach. Look for accommodation here.

Even the most popular beach here will be without crowds of tourists. There are no banana and parasailing rides, no corn vendors, no one rides jetski in front of you, and no music playing from a speaker on the adjacent towel. There are so many beaches, and so few tourists that there is plenty of space for everyone, and there are no crowds of vacationers anywhere.

You can read a detailed overview of Mahe beaches in this linked article. Below will be a list of the best beaches on the island that you should pay attention to. This list will help you make a choice.

Two important points:

1. From November to March, Mahe experiences western winds, resulting in strong waves on western beaches. From May to September, the situation changes 180 degrees, with eastern winds and waves on eastern beaches. This is especially important for those traveling with children.

2. If you have a car, it doesn’t matter much where to stay. With a car, within half an hour, you can reach most of Mahe’s amazing beaches. Only those without a car need to be much more careful in choosing a place to stay.
mahe map seychelles
There are many beaches on Mahe. The southernmost beaches of the island have no people at all, just you and the ocean. In the photo is Police Bay Beach.
BeachLocationChild-friendlyHotels/storesEasy accessibleGood for snorkeling
Beau Vallon-4.614278,
Port Launay-4.653083,
Grand Anse-4.677667,
Anse Soleil-4.744944,
Anse Takamaka-4.775924,
Anse Intendance-4.783750,
Police Bay-4.802694,
Anse Royale-4.737056,
North East Point-4.573139,
Anse Marie-Louise-4.782900,
Popular beaches on Mahe

For example, my favorite beaches, Takamaka and Intendance, are beaches without infrastructure, with almost no accommodation within walking distance and almost nowhere to eat. These are on the east coast, meaning strong waves from November to March. It’s also quite challenging to get here without a car. But these are beautiful beaches. Therefore, the cons in the table don’t mean that the beach is bad; all the beaches in the list are fantastic and perfect for tourists.

For independent travelers with children who need a maximally infrastructure-rich beach on Mahe with accommodation within walking distance, shops, and restaurants, Beau Vallon is undoubtedly the best choice. If you don’t have a car, don’t even look at other beaches.

Mahe Attractions, or What to See

The pride of Seychelles is its beaches and nature. The history of the islands, when they began to be populated, spans only 300 years, unlike Europe with cities that are 2000 years old. When you ask locals about the attractions on Mahe, they answer beaches and the ocean, and in a sense, they are right. The island lacks a dozen artificial must-see attractions.

  • Detailed information about all the top locations for tourists can be found in the article: Seychelles Attractions: TOP 20. It includes descriptions, prices, opening hours, maps, and tips for visiting. There, you’ll find all the attractions of Mahe from the ranking below.
mahe attractions seychelles
The central part of Victoria, the main intersection, and the mini-Big Ben. You should come here for a tour. You can cover all the attractions in 2-3-4 hours. Half a day in Victoria is more than enough

Below is a list of all the island’s attractions to give you an idea of what to expect and what you can see on Mahe besides the beaches.

  • Victoria: It includes the central square, the main market, the national museum, and the main Hindu temple. An overview of Victoria and all its attractions.
  • Seychelles Botanical Garden
  • Kot Man-Ya Exotic Flower Garden
  • Jardin du Roi Spice Garden
  • Takamaka Rum Factory Tour

These are essentially all the attractions on Mahe for a peaceful and measured vacation. There are no dozens of churches, museums, castles, and fortresses like in the old world cities.

Activities on Mahe Island

There are more activities on Mahe than attractions. Here’s what awaits you:

  • Snorkeling and Diving: While diving requires financial investment and training, snorkeling near beaches is entirely free, requiring only fins and a mask. There is a detailed article on snorkeling in Seychelles with coordinates of good snorkeling spots on Mahe. Not every beach is suitable, and not everywhere has a reef.
  • Fishing: From the shore or from a yacht. Sometimes it seems that Seychelles fish bite on a bare hook on any beach. Catching fish for dinner is not the most challenging task. Many people come to Seychelles with their fishing rods. Everything about fishing on the islands.
mahe sights seychelles
Almost every hiking trail in the mountainous part of the island ends with viewing platforms like these. The routes are not difficult: about 2 km long, the elevation gain is about 300 meters. In 2 hours you can walk all the way there and back.
  • Hiking: A dozen hiking trails through the jungle in the mountains, leading to panoramic viewpoints and wild beaches. Some routes are paid, some are free, but all are equally fantastic. The routes, descriptions, difficulty, can be found in the article: Hiking in Seychelles.
  • Numerous Tours and Water activities: To neighboring uninhabited islands, to turtles, yacht trips, and large catamarans, barbecue at sunset, and so on. The largest selection of such activities is on Mahe and, in general, in Seychelles via the link.

Travel Tips

I hope you have a general understanding of the island now. But this is not the only tourist island in Seychelles. There are also Praslin and La Digue. And when choosing where to spend your vacation, it’s necessary to decide between these three islands. To make it easier:

A few general tips:

  • Mahe is an excellent island, and you can see the whole thing at a leisurely pace in about 5 days.
  • Often, tourists stay on each of these three islands for their entire vacation. I personally recommend spending another 5 days on La Digue. It’s an entirely different island and nothing like Mahe.
  • If you have a car, you can choose to stay on almost any beach. Very cool beaches on Mahe: Anse Soleil, Anse Intendance, Takamaka, Anse Royale.
  • There are many villas and apartments with kitchens that you can rent on Mahe. And the farther from popular beaches, the cheaper it is.

In conclusion: Mahe is the main tourist island in Seychelles and the most popular among tourists. The vast majority of travelers spend their entire vacation here, and it’s wonderful. However, if there is an opportunity, consider dividing your trip into two parts and explore other islands – they are also incredibly cool.

IMPORTANT: essential links to organize your dream trip to the Seychelles:

  • FLIGHTS: Aviasales – direct flights and best deals.
  • CAR RENTAL: Mahe and Praslin, no deposit required – DiscoverCars.
    • GetYourGuide – 75+ activities on land and water in the Seychelles.
    • Viator – 150 + activities in Seychelles.
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • PACKAGES: from budget to luxury – Expedia.
  • INTERNET: eSIM of local telecom operator – Airalo.