ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Revel in floral wonder
One of the jewels in Victoria’s crown is its Botanical Garden, which has been delighting visitors for more than a century. Here you’ll stroll through five acres of tropical gardens, with features including orchid species native to the Seychelles. There’s also a colony of giant tortoises, some of which are over 150 years of age - and keep an eye out for the local fruit bats!
2. Take a hike through stunning scenery
A short drive from Victoria will take you to the breath-taking Morne Seychellois National Park. Covering an area of more than a fifth of the island, here you can walk through mangrove forests up to Mahé’s highest peak, after which the national park is named. Depending on your route, you may chance upon the ruins of old cinnamon distilleries and the first school for freed slaves.
3. Browse the stalls at Victoria’s market
To immerse yourself in the life of the Seychellois people, a visit to the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market in Victoria is a must. Always lively, you can sample locally-produced fruits and vegetables, try out fragrant spices and check out the handmade souvenirs on offer. You can also snap up a unique piece of Mahé art at this bustling bazaar.
4. Watch out for dolphins and turtles
For a spot of dolphin watching, take a leisurely 20-minute boat ride to the Marine National Park on neighbouring St Anne. The island saw the first Seychelles settlement in 1770, and has since been a whaling station and a wartime base for the Royal Marines. You’re likely to spot green and hawksbill turtles, while you indulge in some delicious Creole fare.
5. Celebrate Mahé’s Hindu heritage
Victoria is the home of the only Hindu temple in the Seychelles. The Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple was built in 1992 and named after the Hindu god of safety and prosperity. It is a popular draw for visitors due to its charming, colourful architecture and continues to be an active place of worship for Mahé’s Hindu community.