Victoria, which is also sometimes called Port Victoria, is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé Island, the archipelago’s main island.
The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government, and in 2009, the population of Greater Victoria was 25,000 out of the country’s total population of 87,972.
Victoria proper is composed of parts of three Districts of Seychelles, the English River, Saint Louis and Mont Fleuri.
The city’s economy is driven by the principal exports of vanilla, coconuts, coconut oil, soap, fish and guano.
Although one of the largest bridges in Victoria was destroyed by tsunami waves from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, it still has a lot more tourist hotspots to offer.
Victoria Botanical Gardens
Victoria Botanical Gardens
The Victoria Botanical Gardens, also called Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens Seychelles, was established in 1901 by Mr. Paul Evenor Rivalz Dupont, a Director of Agricultural Services and Naturalist of Seychelles.
Today the Ministry of Environment is responsible for the Botanical Gardens and has its headquarters in it. The main objective of the gardens is to contribute towards the national efforts in environmental education, plant conservation, landscape management, passive recreation and eco-tourism.
It is home to approximately 500 species of exotic and indigenous plants, and also to a large number of caves, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
The landscape is of a remarkable beauty with the huge granite boulders well-integrated in the landscape architecture. Among the major attractions on the site are the Palm Collection, the Seychelles fruit bats and birds, and the Commemorative Monuments.
Enjoy Coco de mer
Coco de mer
The Coco de Mer is the most interesting species of the six monospecific endemic palms in Seychelles, and looking like a large nut, it definitely taste good too.
From Mahe, you can take a ferry over to Praslin and once you get there, take a taxi ride to the Praslin Vallee de Mai, as the reserve is home of these famous Coco de Mer palm trees.
Ask your guide to get you a Coco de Mer, and enjoy the juice within it, just like a coconut.
The Victoria Clock Tower
Victoria Clock Tower Seychelles
It is the oldest historical feature in Seychelles and the most popular landmark in the city. Inaugurated on 1st April 1903, it was Ernest Sweet Escott’s original idea for a memorial to Queen Victoria, although some dispute that notion.
The erection of the Clock Tower took nine days to complete by dozens of immigrant workers from Madras, India. Winches and pulleys were used to lift up, assemble and connect the various parts.
At the turn of the century the Clock Tower was more than just a sublime structure with Corinthian motifs and Victorian heraldry, it became a symbol to its people.
Take a picture or two of this historic monument reminiscing about the city’s colonized past.
Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market
Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market
Sir Percy Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke was the Director of Medical Services of Hong Kong, and Governor of the Seychelles.
He was sentenced to death in a formal trial by the Japanese but his sentence was reduced to three years and the capital charges against him were dropped. In December 1944, he was reprieved, and went on to become the commander-in-chief of the Seychelles for four years.
In order to commemorate him, many buildings were named after him and the main fruit and fish market in Victoria, which is a popular tourist attraction, is one of them.
The Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market is Mahé’s main market, and it’s the best place to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and fish, while experiencing the Seychellois way of life. There are also shops selling local artwork and clothing to be found and the market is at its busiest on Sundays.
Beau Vallon Seychelles
To end your journey of Victoria, the Beau Vallon bay is perfect place to do so. This bay on the north western coast of Mahé is much frequented, and maybe the most popular on the island.
It is known as a base for diving and snorkelling due to its clear waters and coral reefs. Stay in for the day at its many hotels and bask in the beaches surrounding it.
To complete your day in Beau Vallon, shop for souvenirs at the bazaar of small food and souvenir stands, which are open every Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
Things to do in Victoria, Seychelles - Review