Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Seychelles part 5 - Seychelles Mahé

Seychelles Mahé
By Marco Petruzzelli

The Seychelles have always been a favourite holiday destination for travellers looking for a vacation in paradise. Pure white beaches, crystal clear waters and lush vegetation are the ingredients that characterize the Seychelles.

The Seychelles archipelago consists of 115 granite coral islands. The Main island is Mahé, with its capital Victoria -- one of the smallest capitals in the world with around 83,000 inhabitants. This is the first stop for tourists visiting the Seychelles. 

Mahé offers various itineraries to its visitors. With a surface of 152 square kilometres, the island measures 27 km in length and 8 km in breadth, and is home to 90% of the Seychelles' population.
The two official languages are English and French, spoken by most of the population, although the most widespread tongue is French Creole.

Victoria is the administrative and commercial heart of the island. On an important crossroads in the centre of town, above the only traffic light in the entire archipelago, rises the Clock Tower - a copy of London's Big Ben and a memory of the times when the islands were under British rule.

The characteristic, colourful market offers a broad range of local products, from many varieties of fish to fruits and vegetables, as well as all the many spices used in the local cuisine.

Not far from Victoria the tourist area of Beau Vallon overlooks the sea with its many hotels and famous restaurants. 
Beau Vallon beach is the favourite haunt for lovers of water sports.

The island's spectacular botanical gardens house a large collection of plants and flowers. Tours with expert local guides can be arranged through the gardens, which are also home to beautiful giant tortoises. Many species of flora are endemic to the Seychelles and a visit to the botanical gardens is an excellent way to get to know the dazzling vegetation that covers the entire archipelago.

Visitors to the southern part of the island can tour its crafts centre and watch craftsmen at work on their creations.

The island's countless white sand and granite rock beaches are utterly unspoilt and easily reachable by car.

One of the first beaches you will come across to the south is Fairy Land. Many of the island's residents love to bring picnics here at weekends.

A little further south, fishermen return with their day's catch. Fishing is a major resource for the Seychellois and growing exports to countries across the globe have placed the Seychelles among the world's leading producers of tinned tuna fish.

The beauty of the beaches is bewitching... you'll often find you're alone as you walk over pure white sand stretching as far as the eye can see -- with all this indescribably beautiful scenery all to yourself...

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