The best time to visit Victoria, and the Seychelles in general, especially for those looking to save on airfare and hotel costs, are the periods of April and May, and October and November. Those months fall before and after the peak season of June to September, which sees higher prices and more crowds. The rainy season occurs December to March, but this time period doesn’t necessarily mean lower prices and there are still many visitors who come to the Seychelles during this time. Anyone visiting during both the peak season and the rainy season should book well in advance.
Victoria is the capital of the Seychelles and is situated on Mahé Island, the biggest island in the Seychelles. Visiting Vitoria means being in close proximity to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, as well as having the opportunity to island hop around the Seychelles. However, Victoria itself has a lot to offer in its own right, from bars and restaurant, to museums, shops, and markets.
Plant-loving visitors should make a point of seeking out the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens, which were planted more than 100 years ago. Spread out over five acres, the botanical gardens offer a quiet place to walk around, and a chance to see plants native to the islands. Regal palm trees, fruit trees, spices, orchids and more make up the worthwhile collection. There are also giant tortoises on the premises as well as fruit bats. Another itinerary-worthy stop in Victoria is the covered market. Wander through the stalls to take in the colourful displays of spices, fresh fish, and produce, and shop for souvenirs.
The closest beach to Victoria, Beau Vallon, also happens to be one of the nicest on the island of Mahé. The water here is very calm and ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Equipment for various water sports can be rented on site and there are many restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area. Diving excursions can also be booked here. Beau Vallon is easily accessible by bus from Victoria.
Other sites in Victoria include the clock tower, which is a replica of one that was once located on Victoria Street in London; the National Museum of History, which provides a good overview of the history and culture of the Seychelles; and the array of colonial buildings. There are also a good range of restaurants and hotel options in Victoria.
Victoria itself is tiny so getting around is best and easily done on foot as many of the main sites can be accessed by walking. Anyone planning on seeing more of Mahé Island can do so via the reliable and well-organised public bus system, which runs daily from early morning till late evening and serves the entire island.
To get from the Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), which is on Mahé’s east coast, to Victoria can be done by taxi or bus. Taxis are easily accessible, and buses go from the airport into town every 20 to 30 minutes.