The island of Mahe is about 17 miles long and only two to five miles wide. The highest point is Morne Seychellois
, at around 2,969 feet. A chain of mountains runs along the center of Mahe, with only a narrow ring of land around the island which is relatively flat. Most of the residents of Mahe live on this coastal strip. The mountainous interior of Mahe is not only steep, but also thick with forests and large boulders made of granite. The most remote beaches are on the south and west coasts of Mahe, while the east coast is more developed. The north coast has the best of both worlds: beautiful beaches plus great restaurants and lodging establishments. There is a main highway that follows the coastal contours of the island, hugging the coast around almost the entire island. There are some smaller roads that cut across the island, so it's easier to get from east to west. Most tourist accommodations in the Seychelles are on Mahe.
Beau Vallon have gorgeous white sands, and is found on the Northwest part of Mahe. It was once the best and most popular beach in the Seychelles, but over the years tourists have discovered the more private and natural beaches of the smaller islands of the Seychelles. Now Beau Vallon is a very quiet beach, and the water is deeper here than most beaches. Snorkelling and diving are good off Beau Vallon, and swimming is great.
There are lots of places to stay in Beau Vallon, from small guest cottages to larger lodging choices.
This largest city of the Seychelles was named after Queen Victoria during British colonial rule. Victoria is the largest settlement on Mahe, and also the capital of the Republic of Seychelles. However, even though it's the national capital, the feel of Victoria is a smaller, quieter town rather than a bustling city. About one third of Seychellois live in Victoria, whose population is 23,300. There's a hospital, a Barclays Bank and some smaller banks, a pharmacy, a tourist office, and soem travel agencies in town as well as book shops, the Central Post Office, a movie theater, supermarket, and some internet cafes.
There are small guest houses in and around Victoria, as well as some good restaurants.
North Mahe is where most of the local residents of Mahe Island live, and it is also where most of the island's develoment has taken place. The island has a severe housing shortage, so the government is reclaiming land in this part of Mahe, to be used for housing developments. Nevertheless, there are gorgeous beaches, plus Morne Seychellois National Park