The largest island in Seychelles, Mahe lies to the north east of the nation and is also home to the country’s capital, Victoria. The city was named after the French governor Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais and currently more than 90% of the country’s population resides on this island. Spreading on an area of 155 km2, the highest elevation is at 905 meters and as per the data collected in 2010, 78,539 residents live in Mahe. Some of the major cities located on Mahe are – Victoria, Beau Vallorn, Takamaka, Cerf Island, Marnelle Island and Sainte Anne Island. The history of the island dates back to the year 1609 when the British first stepped on the island and it was under the European rule till Lazare Picault's expedition of 1742. After the expedition, the island came under the rule of French until 1812 when it became a British colony and remained so till the country gained independence on 1976. French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole.
All the flights coming to Mahe land at the Seychelles International Airport, which is 11 km from Victoria City and it is the major airport in the country. Currently Air Austria, Air Seychelles, Condor, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Kenya Airways, SriLankan Airlines and Transaero Airline operate flights to and from the Seychelles International Airport. The island experiences tropical type of climate. The months from May to October are generally dry and temperatures average 27°C. While the island receives pre-Northwest Monsoon during the month of November, the months from December to March is extremely wet accompanied by cyclones, and best avoided. April marks the beginning of the dry season and precipitation remains low. The island can be visited all year round; but the months of April, May, October and November are the peak tourist months. Creole Festival (one of the oldest festival in the world) in October, National Fishing Competition in April, Bazar Labrin (takes place every Wednesday) and Subios in March are the major festivals and events celebrated in Mahe.
Beaches are the most important attractions in Mahe and some of the main beaches where you can enjoy a relaxed day or indulge in some activity and water sports are - Anse Forbans, Anse Parnel, Anse Intendence, Police Bay, Petite Police, Ansa Parnel, Pointe Au Sel, Fairyland Beach, Grande Anse, Anse AMrie Louise, Anse Gourvernement, Anse Soleil, Anse Nord Este, AnseParnel, Anse MAchabee, Baie, Azare, Cap Treany Beach, Anse L'Ilot, Anse La Mouche, Anse Barbons, Anse Louis, Anse L'Islette, Port Glaud and Anse Boileau .
Baie Ternay Marine National Park is a major attraction in Mahe and allows tourists to enjoy some of the most picturesque sight and adventure options like snorkeling and diving. This park delivers an exciting experience with possibilities for spotting whale sharks, dolphins and sea turtles. Port Launay Marine National Park, which is known for offering excellent opportunities of snorkeling, is another charming marvel you cannot miss in Mahe. A horseshoe shaped arc of white sands, the beach which one has to cross in order to enter the park is very beautiful. The Sainte Anne Marine National Park situated offshore is another important sightseeing option in Mahe. Conception Island (famous for housing a wildlife reserve), Thérèse Island (offering watersports including scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing and deep sea fishing), Anonyme Island (privately owned resort with luxury chalets) and Silhouette Island (boasts of having richest biodiversity hot-spots) are also among the major sightseeing places which are located off shore of Mahe.
Eating and Shopping
Mahe island is the most densely populated island in Seychelles and it goes without saying that it is specked with some of the most luxurious resorts and restaurants to enjoy an out of the world experience. Combining the best of French and British food, Creole cuisine is the staple of Seychelles and is famous for using the freshest sea food, which is base of most of the dishes. The island is exceptionally popular for its Tuna and red snapper which are the crowd favorites. Coconut and chilies is generously used in most of the dishes. The island is known for its indigenous fruit called the Jamalac, which you should try here. The beach side of Mahe specializes in regional dishes some of the most popular restaurants are - Anse Soleil Restaurant, Baobab, Boat House, La Perle Noire, Le Corsaire, Le Reduit Restaurant,, Marie Antoinette and Opera Restaurant, Café and Bar.
Authentic crafts and indigenous souvenirs like coconut oil-scented bath soaps, coconut shell handicrafts, beautiful paintings on silk, hats, baskets, bags and handmade ceramic pottery are some of the things that you can buy in Mahe. Anse aux Pins, Antik Colony, Campion Hall, La Kaz, Seypot Factory and Street Markets are the major shopping destinations in Mahe.
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