Anse Soleil, nestling in tropical vegetation, is a small haven of peace that the people of the Seychelles adore. The 300 meter-long beach, lined on either side by granite rocks, opens on to a small bay with calm, turquoise waters. With its perfectly preserved coral beds and a rich and varied undersea life, Anse Soleil is one of the best snorkeling spots on the Mahé coast.

View of Anse Soleil Beach, Mahé

How to get there?

Anse Soleil is on a small peninsula at the far south-west of the island of Mahé. From Victoria, cross the island from east to west via Fairview and Souvenir towards Anse Boileau, then continue south along the West Coast Road. Just after the Anse à la Mouche, Anse Soleil is well signposted on the right. From the airport, the shortest route goes through Anse Royale. It takes about thirty minutes by car in both cases. The Anse Soleil Café is on the Anse Soleil beach. It is a useful landmark if you can’t find your way.

Anse Soleil snorkeling map, Mahe, Seychelles

Water entrance

The left part of the little cove, as you are facing the sea, has the best reputation for snorkeling. Get into the water on this side of the beach, near the rocks.

Exploration

In Anse Soleil, the beach is not sheltered by a barrier reef, and so the spot is directly open on the sea. From the beach towards the sea, the water level rises progressively, while the sea bed slopes gently downwards. The water level quickly reaches 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6 metres) in the central part of the area, as far as the rocky point encircling the bay.

Snorkeling with semicircle angelfish at Anse Soleil, Mahé

The spot includes varied sea beds: superb branched coral beds of fluorescent blue, sheer granite rocks next to the sandy sea floor or immaculate sandy sea beds, where only a few jacks venture to swim. Anse Soleil contains a wide range of multi-coloured coral. Get closer to admire the green or pink polyps, a favourite subject for underwater photography.

Try to spot the three kinds of angelfish living in Anse Soleil: the semicircle angelfish, the highly colourful emperor angelfish or the more discrete threespot angelfish, with its lemon yellow outfit. Shoals of silver moony and sergeant major fish live near the shelter of the granite rocks, while surgeonfish and wrasse dart above the coral. It is also quite common to see a spotted eagle ray venture into the bay.

Coral reef snorkeling at Anse Soleil, Mahé

From June to October, this side of the island is exposed to winds, and sea conditions deteriorate. Snorkeling is not recommended in this period. Don’t hesitate to combine this visit with an exploration of Baie Lazare, a few minutes’ drive from Anse Soleil. It is only a mile away, but on foot it can be gruelling due to the steep climb.

Restaurants & accommodation

The Anse Soleil Café is located right on Anse Soleil beach. Here you will find a fair choice of dishes, snacks and cold drinks. A good deal of mid-range accommodation is available in the area, but the Anse Soleil Beachcomber is the best placed, just next to the snorkeling spot.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Anse Soleil
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Semicircle angelfish Pomacanthus semicirculatus  
Emperor angelfish Pomacanthus imperator  
Threespot angelfish Apolemichthys trimaculatus  
Spiny cushion sea star Culcita schmideliana  
Chocolatedip chromis Chromis dimidiata  
Sulphur damsel Pomacentrus sulfureus  
Yellowtail sergeant Abudefduf notatus  
Checkerboard wrasse Halichoeres hortulanus  
Silver moony Monodactylus argenteus  
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus  
Spotted wrasse Anampses meleagrides  
Green birdmouth wrasse Gomphosus caeruleus  
Scissortail sergeant Abudefduf sexfasciatus  
Indo-Pacific sergeant Abudefduf vaigiensis  
Blackspot sergeant Abudefduf sordidus  
Green Chromis Chromis viridis  
Melon butterflyfish Chaetodon trifasciatus  
Barred filefish Cantherhines dumerilii  
Snubnose pompano Trachinotus blochii  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth15ft (4.5m)
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, inexpensive
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.