The small – but great – capital of the Seychelles
When you arrive to the Seychelles with an MSC cruise, you will dock in Victoria, the capital of this country composed of 115 islands dotting the Indian Ocean. As you will discover during your holiday, Victoria is located on Mahé, one of the archipelago’s largest, most important and busy islands.
Victoria is one of the smallest and youngest capital cities in the world; founded as late as 1770 by a group of Frenchmen, whose influence is still strongly felt on the island, in spite of the long occupation by the British, which ended with the islands independence in 1976. Victoria has been reconstructed several times but its original colonial style can still be seen in the lines of the Palace of Justice and of the Clock Tower of the Roundabout, a reduced-scale reproduction of the Big Ben constructed in 1903 in honour of Queen Victoria.
For those who prefer not to venture into the forest but would still like to learn about the local biodiversity, we suggest an excursion to the Victoria Botanical Garden. The park spans six hectares of land and is home to the Aldabra giant tortoises as well as to 200 species of plants, including interesting examples of trees not found anywhere else, such as the coco-de-mer.
While in Victoria, also don’t miss out on the centre of every-day life: the bazar, a market offering typical local products, spices, fish, fruit and vegetables; and on the delightful shops selling crafts flanked by beautiful Creole houses.
If you would like to drink a local cocktail, the place to go is the Pirate’s Arms: located at the top of a hill, it is the most famous bar of the entire archipelago. Next, go on an excursion to the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, which covers six islands. Here, mangroves, tropical trees and even the infamous crocodiles are abundant. To relax in the sun, go to Mahe Beach; here, a few kilometres from the city, you will find everything you need to pass a pleasant day by the sea.