Dozens of snorkeling spots to explore all around the island

Mahé is the largest island in Seychelles. With more than 110km of coastline, it is home to many snorkeling spots, mainly concentrated on the west coast, protected from the wind.

Mahé snorkeling locations have varied profiles. You can explore around the island shallow lagoons, narrow fringing reefs, or even mineral underwater landscapes dominated by granite boulders.

Snorkeling Anse Soleil coral reef, Mahé
The seabed in Anse Soleil is partly covered with fine patches of branching coral.

The coasts of the Victoria region are very artificial and offer few options for getting into the water. The closest spot to the capital is Beau Vallon Beach, just on the other side of the island, but the seabed is rather average.

Instead, we advise you to go as far as Cap Ternay, the westernmost point of Mahé. This region is home to two famous spots, both protected by marine parks: Port Launay and Baie Ternay. They are often considered the most beautiful on the island, although their coral reefs are in variable condition.

The south of the island undoubtedly offers the greatest concentration of snorkeling spots on Mahé. Along the portion of the west coast that goes from Anse Boileau to the Pointe du Sud, a dozen coves, more or less bordered by coral reefs, follow one another.

From north to south, Anse Soleil, Baie Lazare, Petite Anse (which is accessed via the Four Season Resort Seychelles), and Anse Takamaka are the most famous for snorkeling.

Snorkeler at Baie Lazare
Snorkeling on Baie Lazare reef flat, in front of Kempinski Seychelles Resort.

The southeast coast of Mahé, bordered by lagoons, also offers some good options for snorkeling. The lagoon of Anse Forbans and, north of Anse Royale, the spot of Fairyland Beach, are the most recommended.

Mahé is surrounded by several small islands, which can be visited by boat.

For snorkeling enthusiasts, Ste Anne Marine National Park, 3km off Victoria, is a great option. In addition to its coral reefs and seagrass beds, the Park is known for its manta rays, which frequent its waters from April to December.

It is possible to stay on 3 of the 6 islands in the Marine Park: at Club Med Seychelles in Sainte-Anne, at Cerf Island Resort at Cerf Island, and at JA Enchanted Island Resort on Round Island.

Most visitors, however, choose to get to the Marine Park on half-day or full-day boat trips from Victoria.

Angelfish species spotted at Anse Soleil, Mahé
Several angelfish species can be spotted while snorkeling around Mahé, for example, the semicircle angelfish (on the left, seen in Fairyland Beach) and the emperor angelfish (on the right, photographed in Baie Lazare).

Around Mahé, you’ll generally find well preserved coral reefs, particularly on the west coast. Hundreds of species of reef fish can be observed here, such as angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, sweetlips and damselfish.

Groupers and octopuses are also easy to see in protected areas. To see rays, we especially recommend Ste Anne National Park – where manta rays, stingrays, and spotted eagle rays are often reported – because they are rarely seen elsewhere.

Turtles are rather rare on the reefs of Mahé. If you want to see some, also plan a few days on the nearby island of La Digue, which is one of the best places in the world to swim with hawksbill turtles.

Raie manta à Sainte-Anne
Ste Anne Marine Park is one of the best spots in Seychelles to see manta rays. These are numerous on this spot from April to December, attracted by currents loaded with plankton.

When to go snorkeling Mahé Island

Mahe Island, like the other granite islands of the archipelago (La Digue and Praslin in particular), enjoys a tropical climate and pleasant temperatures.

Unlike other groups of islands in Seychelles (Aldabra or the Farquhar islands), they are not in the path of cyclones. Snorkeling is possible all year-round, with average water temperatures of 82°F/28°C.

From October to March, rains are more frequent (with a peak in January), the temperatures are highest (+/-86°F/30°C) and there is most humidity. From April to September there is a cooler and dryer period, but it is also windier (+/-75°F/24°C).

As the wind has a certain amount of importance in snorkeling, you should remember that the prevailing wind is north-westerly from October to March and south-easterly from April to September (choose the most protected sites).

The inter-seasons (March to May and September to November) are the best periods for snorkeling, particularly since they are outside the peak tourist periods in December and in July and August.

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