Today we looked at Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, and discovered the sights of the city during a walk.
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Interesting facts about Victoria
The capital of the Seychelles is located on the northeast coast of the main island of Mahé and is called Victoria. The city has about 26,000 inhabitants and is thus not only the largest city of the Seychelles, but also the economic and cultural center of the island republic.
Over the island of Mahé, the 17. and The 18th century was still the French, but they were expelled by the British in 1812. For a long time, the Seychelles were a British colony – it was not until 1976 that the island nation gained its complete independence. Walking through the streets of Victoria, you can still see the traces of the colonial past at one or the other corner, such as court house or Clock Tower. But Indian influences also shaped the island, because in the 19th and In the 20th century, many Indian workers came to Mahé to build a new life here. Nowadays, in the Seychelles, there are small kiosks on almost every corner, which are in solid Indian hands. By the way, the shops are highly recommended, as they are cheaper on the one hand and you can really find everything here.
Victoria is a very important port for cruise ships. So it is not surprising that on almost every day there was a cruise ship in the port (e.g. AIDA, Costa, Phoenix) when we were on Mahé. Some even fix here for two days.
The best things to do in Victoria
Since Victoria is relatively manageable and does not have so many sights, you can explore the town on your own with a short walk.
Parking in the city centre
We parked our rental car in a public car park (Google Maps) located behind the Esplanade Craft Kiosks on Francis Rachel St. It wasn’t that easy to figure out how to get your parking ticket here. A local helped us nicely and gave us the information that you have to go to a small shop opposite the colorful craft kiosks – there the parking tickets are sold. You have to decide in advance how long you want to park. For exploring Victoria, 2 hours is enough.
Clock Tower & National Museum of History
Our first port of call was the landmark of Victoria: the Clock Tower, which is placed in the middle of a small roundabout in the centre of the city. The Clock Tower was built in 1903 by the then English governor and is a replica of the clock tower on London’s Vauxhall Bridge. At the same crossroads is the National Museum of History, which was founded in 1964.
A special highlight of our visit to Victoria was the umbrella sky “Absa Boulevard”, which was only installed for a short time on Independence Avenue in February 2020. The background to this action was the change of name of Barclays Bank Seychelles to Absa Bank. We love such umbrella roads and have already seen such installations in Athens,the Bahamas or Mauritius, for example.
The colorful house “Jivan Imports”
Not far from Victoria Market is a very colorful, eye-catching house at the intersection of Albert Street/Market Street, which is a very nice photo motif: Jivan Imports. The building dates back to the 1860s. The foundation and ground floor are made of coral blocks; the two floors above were built of corrugated iron and wooden frames. Our tip: The best view of the building is from the stairs on the opposite street corner.
Victoria Market (Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market)
A visit to the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, which has been around since the mid-19th century, is not to be missed during a walk through Victoria. We like to stroll through such markets and just see what’s there. Even though the Victoria Market was not so crowded in the early afternoon, there were still all sorts of fruits & vegetables, fresh fish, tropical spices and souvenirs.
Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple
The Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple with its colorful colors is also an eye-catcher. The temple, built in 1992, is the only Hindu temple in the Seychelles and a place of prayer for the nearly 5,000 Indians who live in Victoria today.
Eden Island & La Misere Viewpoint
The population of Mahé is growing and the inhabitants have an ever-increasing demand for living comfort – especially on the sensitively steep mountain slopes. In order to provide relief for these places, an artificial island was built about 50 meters off the east coast of Mahé,which is connected to the main island by a dam. Investors from South Africa and the Seychelles have bought the island and built more than 500 luxury apartments and single-family homes on Eden Island with beach access and jetties. There is also a marina, which is also designed for large yachts, as well as a hotel, shopping centre, doctor’s offices and restaurants. Eden Island is a new victoria’s part of Victoria that is reminiscent of the great model The Palm in Dubai.
There is a beautiful view of Victoria, Eden Island and Sainte Anne Marine Park from La Misere Viewpoint above. At the viewpoint there is a small parking bay as well as an information board about the points that can be seen in the distance.
More things to do in Victoria
The first colonial rulers of the Seychelles were buried in the Bel Air cemetery in 1794. In the cemetery there are only a few tombstones to be seen, which are scattered on the grounds. In Victoria there are two churches that we have looked at. On the one hand, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception from the 19th century, which is the largest Catholic church in the Seychelles, and The Cathedral of St. Paul’s Cathedral from the English colonial period.
Also worth seeing is the priestly residence La Domus, which was built in 1934 by Swiss missionaries and has since been declared a national monument of the Seychelles. On the southern edge of the city, about one kilometre from the centre, is the Botanical Garden,which spreads on a six-hectare site at the foot of Mont Fleuri. There are over 500 native and exotic plants on display, including 40 palm species with the famous Coco de Mer. It’s colourful on Francis Rachel Street. Here, near the National Library, there are colourful wooden cottages, the so-called Esplanade Craft Kiosks,where locals sell souvenirs.
In the middle of a roundabout is the Bicentennial Monument (or Bicentenary Monument), which was designed to mark the city of Victoria’s 200th anniversary. The three white curved wings are intended to symbolize the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe from which the present population of the Seychelles originates.
A map with all the sights in Victoria
On the following Google MyMaps map we have mapped all the sights of Victoria.
Our travelogues from the SeychellesWhite dream beaches, crystal clear water, sun and palm trees: the Seychelles are the epitome of an island paradise. For 2 weeks we explored the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and saw the most beautiful sights: From gorgeous beaches, fascinating nature parks to hidden photo spots, animal islanders and beautiful viewpoints. Seychelles: Things to know & Travel Tips (Mahé, Praslin & La Digue)
Seychelles: Travel Planning, Flight & Rental Car
Mahé: Things to know & places of interest
Mahé: Tropical Hideaway Apartement & Beau Vallon Beach
Mahé: Victoria – Things to do & beautiful photo spots
Mahé: The Rock Pool (Ros Sodyer) at Anse Takamaka
Mahé: Top 10 most beautiful beaches on the island
Cerf Island: Snorkeling in Sainte Anne Marine Park
Praslin: Things to know & places of interest on Praslin
Praslin: Acajou Beach Resort on the Cote d’Or Beach
Praslin: Fond Ferdinand – Coco de Mer Nature Reserve on Praslin
Praslin: Vallée de Mai – UNESCO National Park on Praslin
Praslin: Top 5 most beautiful beaches on the island of Praslin
Curieuse Island: A trip to the giant tortoises
Félicité: The luxury resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon
La Digue: Things to know & Travel Tips from the island of La Digue
La Digue: Cat Cocos Ferry & La Diguoise Guesthouse
La Digue: Crystal Water Kayaks – Transparent kayak tours on La Digue
La Digue: Anse Marron – Hike around the south coast of La Digue
La Digue: Top 10 – The most beautiful beaches on La Digue
La Digue: The resort Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie