The cutest little capital city in the whole wide world - that's what they call Victoria, capital of the Seychelles. It's spotlessly clean, virtually crime-free, a melting pot of cultures and filled with the happiest people I've ever met. It may be small but it has a lot of heart.
Don't stay here though, you'd be better of somewhere in the south where the great beaches are - our Mahe Guide explains more. Our choice is the Sunbird Bungalow or the Four Seasons Resort, nonetheless we always make time for a trip to Victoria. It's also the best place on the island to buy groceries - try the STC supermarket in Albert Street
I like the local takeaway places where you'll get Creole food at an affordable price. The one at the market, which I mention in the Victoria Market Section further down the page is great. There's also a good one in Olivier Maradan Street, opposite the Catholic Cathedral and next door to a money exchange place.
For something more formal try the excellent Marie Antoinette in Serret Road.
I said Victoria is a cute little place and they even have a cute little clock - no Big Ben here but only...Little Ben. It was given to the Seychelles by Britain in 1906.
The first thing you notice about Victoria is the beautiful setting. The city is a multi-coloured jewel, set amidst rolling emerald hills, with seas of azure lapping at its feet while the houses of the suburbs dot the hills above - peeping out at the city from the thick tropical forest.
Heading into the city on June 5th Avenue you'll see the Bicentennial Monument celebrating the 200 years of Victoria's history. The three wings represent the Asian, African and European origins of the people of the Seychelles. For a little island and a little city there seem to be a lot of cars around this circle. Victoria is the only place in the entire Seychelles archipelago with traffic circles and traffic lights (two of them) so maybe people drive across the island to experience the joys of driving around them or stopping at the lights?
The National Cultural Centre houses the reference library, archives and an art gallery.
Dating back to 1855, Kenwyn House is one of the oldest buildings on the island. The house is now home to beautiful diamonds, pearls and art from local artists. If you've more money than me then you could really get yourself a beautiful keepsake. I love the paintings of Evelyn Fanchette and George Camille but, sadly, have never been able to afford one. I'm happy to accept gifts though ;-)
The old seashore (the land was reclaimed and the sea is farther away now) is marked by colourful little kiosks - the perfect place to buy souvenirs.
The Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market , commonly known as Victoria Market, is the oldest, biggest and most vibrant market in the entire Seychelles. Get here early to enjoy the hustle and bustle and bright colours. Everything on sale is bright, dresses and shirts that'll make any Hawaiian feel dull, fish matching the clothes and fruit you've never heard of in all shades of bright and beautiful. There's also a restaurant/takeaway upstairs that does a fantastic Creole curry.
Outside of the market the narrow pedestrianized lanes are filled with fascinating little shops and great value takeaways.
Most of the people of the Seychelles are Catholic or Anglican and Victoria has two cathedrals - one for each religion. The city is also home to the only Hindu temple in the Seychelles.