Mahé Island in Seychelles is the largest island in the archipelago with lush tropical hillsides rising to around 3000 feet and also location of the International Airport.
Although there are many modern hotels on Mahé, most have been constructed to blend into the Seychelles tropical scenery, so the island still remains relatively unspoilt. Hiring a car is the best way to explore the island at your own pace. Roads are quite good with driving on the left, but take care at hair-pin bends especially at night. The spectacular scenery in the north of the island has to be seen to be believed, followed by a leisurely drive along the west coast, taking in many picturesque bays. A drive over the mountain peak of 'Sans Souci' and through the Tea Plantations, also affords spectacular views.
The best way to explore Victoria, Seychelles' capital, is simply to wander around. The market - selling fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, spices as well as arts & crafts - is open every day except Sunday, but the best time to get a feel for the place and the people is to visit on a Saturday morning when locals descend for their weekly shopping! Opposite the Cable and Wireless building you will find small arts and craft kiosks, while to rest your weary legs why not enjoy a Seybrew (local beer) at the 'Pirates Arms'? A visit to the Botanical Gardens in Victoria is the only other location apart from the Vallée De Mai on Praslin, where the 'Coco De Mer' tree grows, and here you can also see Giant Tortoises.
The north west coast by Beau Vallon, is often regarded as the best beach on Mahé, but there are of course numerous other stunning beaches such as Grand Anse, Anse Takamaka, and Anse Intendance, to name but a few. Whilst on Mahé Island, why not go for a Glass bottom boat trip in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park; or visit the tiny Moyenne Island, also in St. Anne Marine Park? Another must is to take a drive around Mahé, either in your own hire car, or with your own personal driver. For the ultimate experience, take a scenic Helicopter trip around the island's coast.
For authentic Creole cuisine, why not visit Marie-Antoinette in the capital Victotia; this long-established restaurant, owned and run by Madame Fonseka, is well worth a visit. Alternatively, one of Mahé Island's most popular restaurants is La Scala, run by Sylvana and Gianni, and always serving delicious fresh fish (usually caught personally by Gianni!!).
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