Originally called “ Ile d’Abondance” by Lazare Picault (1742 Compagnie francaises de Indes orientales) it was renamed in 1756 after Mahe de La Bourdonnais, governor general of Mauritius then known as “Ile de France”. Mahe is the largest island of the Seychelles covering about 150 sq km and is home to 90% of the population which originates from Africa, India, China and Europe.
In the north East part Mahe is the capital, originally called “Etablissement du Roi” (1778) and renamed Victoria in 1838 after Queen Victoria. At that time there were only a few hundred wooden houses and some of the buildings today still have traditional wooden windows. While being one of the world’s smallest capitals, Victoria is very lively and is best experienced on foot. Victoria is at the foot of two high mountains, the Morne Seychellois, at 905 m, the highest peak in the Seychelles and the Trois Freres peak.
Victoria is the administrative, business and cultural centre of the islands and is also where the only port is situated.
From Victoria, there is a coastal road which practically rings the whole island, going past some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, a major attraction of the island.
Snorkelers and divers are constantly amazed at the fantastic sites that are quickly reachable. Big game fishing, for those in search of excitement on the high seas, is a very popular tourist activity. Nature lovers will not be disappointed. Thanks to years of isolation, Mahe still has an exceptional natural environment and very well preserved flora. The mountains occupy the heart of the island and there are numerous nature trails winding through them. (eg Morne Seychellois National Park).