Curious in the Seychelles: Mahé

Pointe au Sel, our home for nine days

The celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary made us returned to the Seychelles exactly after one year.  It was the right pick!  The fortnight spent between Mahé and Praslin turned to come up with one highlight after the other.  There is so much to discover in these two beautiful islands.  We loved to be back!

This post is exclusively about Mahé.   See the write-up on Praslin under the separate Sneak Peek:  ‘Curious in the Seychelles:  Praslin’.

In Mahé we spent eight nights at Villa Dorado, a very comfortable guesthouse offering B&B, located right at the beach in Pointe au Sel, on the east coast, just 15-min drive from the airport.

There are five spacious rooms.  We loved the fact that we were in one of the two rooms on the ground floor (Room 1) and had the beautiful, sandy beach at our doorstep.

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Certainly, the highlight of this place was waking up every morning to admire the most spectacular daybreaks almost from bed.  I tell you, it is all worthwhile setting the alarm clock for 05:40.  Yes, even if you are on vacation!  You cannot miss such an awe-inspiring scenery.  If you think that sunsets are breathtaking, these sunrises over the Indian Ocean enchanted.  Eight daybreaks, eight different magic moments …

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From 7:00-10:00 Martha has everything ready for breakfast on the veranda.

You can sit back, and enjoy the view and the tranquil atmosphere.  You may have to share the moment with the few other guests and a couple of regular patrons …

It was very interesting to see the variation between low and high tides.  While we were there, the daytime low tide was usually around 13:00.

Low tide @Pointe du Sel

We took the chance to experience how it feels like to stroll on the ocean floor.

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Note that approx. six hours later the water will be back!  Below is a sequence of the tide coming in–when it is high tide, you can only see the top of some boulders.

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Though happening in another hemisphere, I like this post describing the feelings during low-tide walks.

The exploration walks were fascinating, having ‘encounters of the first kind’ with interesting sea creatures.  Of course, we also wondered how many others were cleverly hiding, trying to survive the dryness.

We found some feathered ones as well.

In the picture below, can you spot a red stain on the seabed?

It was red ink squirted, at least twice, from a little hole.  Now I know that it might have been a sea hare squirting ink as a defense.  I might have stepped on it!  Fortunately, it was hiding, and I did not see it, because I have a phobia about snugs, snails, and worms.

If you are staying at the Villa Dorado, you can go for lunch/dinner to the next-door hotel, the Crown Beach.  We found it really convenient as we did not have a car during the first three days.  The restaurant serves good food.  We loved the curries, but everything we tried was fresh and tasty.

The staff was always really friendly and helpful.  If you are more the hotel- rather than the B&B-guest, consider this ****hotel as an option.

But, what can you do in Mahé when the sky is a bit overcast?  Leave for once your swimsuit and change into dry clothes.  Undertake the tour and rum tasting at the Takamaka Rum Distillery.  It is located 15-min walk from Villa Dorado.

The tour of the distillery and gardens was entertaining, but you will not be alone if it is a cloudy day …

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The tasting was fun.

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Within the same premises of the distillery there is a colonial, plantation house that hosts a nice bar and a fine-dining restaurant.

Most of the bar cocktails are rum-based, of course.  We tried the Beached Mojito and the St Andre Sour, and they were both delicious.

In the evening the restaurant, La Grande Maison, is perfect for a romantic dinner.  Its terrace at the back offers a splendid place to enjoy the wonderful food, drinks, and live music (only Wed and Sat), surrounded by the beautiful tropical garden.

To begin

The Belgian head chef, Christelle Verheyden, delivers lots of innovation to the dishes. The fusion with Creole cuisine is well crafted.  Each plate served is a tasty, pleasant surprise.

The staff is as it has to be in the Seychelles:  relaxed but kind and friendly.

Last but not least … dessert!

Now what is the core of why the Seychelles are a must-visit destination:  The beaches are one of a kind!  Mahé, being the largest of the islands with 26×8 km, showcases endless beaches to explore.  Here, again, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I am just featuring a few of the beaches to inspire you through the images.

South East Coast:

Pointe au Sel

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Fairyland/Relax Beach

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Anse Forbans

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  • Surfers Beach Restaurant – A nice, casual spot right on the beach. Lovely for a drink or meal, or even for a wedding …  Open daily from noon to 22:00.

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  • Le Jardin du Roi – 2 km up in the hills of Anse Royale, following a very steep road, you will find this spice and endemic plants garden. They also run a restaurant that I will love to try next time.

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South West Coast:

Baie Lazare

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Wherever the road takes you …

Anse Takamaka

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Anse Intendance

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North West Coast:

Port Glaud

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Port Launay (North Beach)

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Beau Vallon

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    • For a first approach to the three main islands, be sure to look into my previous posts on eight days touring the Seychelles. These are the two Foodie Routes with lots of useful information:
      ‘Island Hopping in the Seychelles – Part 1:  Mahé’
      ‘Island Hopping in the Seychelles – Part 2:  Praslin and La Digue’
    • Edelweiss offers direct flights to the Seychelles (approx. 10h) from Zurich: to Mahé (Sat), from Mahé (Mon)
    • Car Rental: We used Generation Cars, which was recommended by Villa Dorado.  Contact Michel, who was really helpful (+248 2814041 or 2812511,  Note that driving is on the left!
    • Pack a small flashlight to stay safe on the road. Make sure the drivers will see you when it is dark.
    • There are also exciting trails for hiking fans. One nice and easy is that from Bel Ombre to Anse Major.  I will tell you how we experienced it on another post …

Don’t miss the second part of this trip:  The Sneak Peek ‘Curious in the Seychelles:  Praslin’ that is already available.

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