Of the islands of Seychelles Mahe Island is the most populated. Victoria, the capital and also the only major port in the country, is located on its east coast. This has deep-water berths to accommodate large ocean-going vessels.
The port is well sheltered and has 3 major quays - one for inter-island traffic where you take the ferry to Praslin and La Digue, one for tuna fishing vessels and fish transhipment, and the third is a container-port terminal where cruise ships also dock. There are also several marinas in Port Victoria.
In the last 25 years major improvements have been made to the port facilities of Victoria. Dredging has enlarged and deepened the harbour so allowing more and bigger ships to enter and dock in port Victoria.
On the flip side this has also resulted in new land being reclaimed from the sea for a distance of about 7 miles along the east coast thereby creating an ideal environment for the sprouting of mega construction projects like those on Eden Island and Dawn Island.
The projects on these two new islands, both reclaimed land, include marinas and luxury accommodation in the form of hotels, apartments and condos. And special deals have been struck with the government to facilitate these projects - Among them passport deals for foreign investors!
Mahe Island has a population of some 74,000 of which 24,000 live in and around Victoria. Although it is the most populated island of Seychelles where 85 % of the population live and where most of the economic activities take place it is in fact only the second in size. Aldabra atoll, a nature reserve, is the biggest landmass in the Seychelles almost 700 miles away.
The economically important areas of Mahe are the east coast around Victoria stretching from the seaport to the airport at Pointe Larue - 6 miles away, Beau Vallon in the northwest 3 miles from the capital across the mountains, and Anse Royale 12 miles to the south on the east coast. The island is 17 miles long and about 3 miles across with an area of 55 sq miles.
Beach on Mahe Island Seychelles
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The island of Mahe is very mountainous with a central ridge running all the way from the northern extremity to the southern end with several peaks approaching 3000 feet high. If you like hiking you'll find the mountain trails of this island a real pleasure, and the vistas from the hilltops are quite breathtaking and definitely worth the trek.
There is little flat land here and most people live near the sea in villages connected by a circular coastal road that runs almost round the island except for a distance of about 3 miles at the north-western tip but there is a hiking trail there with beautiful sceneries, so trekking that stretch from Dansziles to Port Launay is a real joy.
There are more than 70 beaches around this island and most hotels are located on the coast usually beside a beach. But please do take notice that all the best beaches are on the west coast. Many visitors to Seychelles see only Mahe and the nearer islands, so they assume that the rest of Seychelles is similar and hilly too, but that's far from the reality.
There are over 100 completely flat coral islands in the Seychelles - and that is something else altogether. Examples are: Bird Island, Denis Island, Desroches, Daros, Providence, Cosmoledo... You can see a full list of Seychelles islands here.
So after you've stayed a few days on Mahe Island and been to some of the nearer islands you should take a day trip to at least one of those sand cays. My own favourite happens to be Bird Island but the others are just as charming.
How about you? Have you been to Seychelles? Do you have an island that you love? Rave about your favourite island here and read what others say about their own preferred island. What's yours?
Islands of Seychelles
La Digue Island
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