Victoria, Seychelles

Port Victoria has a friendly, small-town feel and provides an interesting contrast to the Seychelles' many paradise-like beaches. The Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market is a bustling landmark to behold.

Despite its relatively small size (It is one of the smallest capitals in the world), Port Victoria has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping, parks and religious sites. It is best explored on foot, and a day is plenty to experience the best of what Victoria has to offer.

Start with a visit to the compact indoor market, a multi-sensory experience you will not want to miss. Treat your eyes to the kaleidoscope of produce on display, from the luminescent scales of parrot fish to the burnt reds and oranges of local spices. Let the cacophony of aromas surround you. Listen as the locals shout and haggle while you pick up a souvenir or two. Saturdays are the best time to visit the markets but they have a vibrant buzz every day of the week.

Visit the Botanical Gardens on your Port Victoria cruise. Well-kept and only ten minutes’ walk from the center of Victoria, they are the perfect place to seek some temporary respite from the hustle and bustle of the town. While you are there, do not miss the monstrous leaves of the rare coco de mer plant, the aromatic spice grove and the pen of giant tortoises.

When you are ready to head back into the center of Victoria, visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Simultaneously elegant and imposing, this cathedral is one of the first churches in the Seychelles. It is particularly distinctive due to its attractive façade, tabernacle and carved doors – which were fashioned by Seychellois sculptor Egbert Marday during the cathedral’s latest renovation in 1995.

Discover the history of Port Victoria

On your Port Victoria cruise, there is plenty to do and see to help you learn more about the history of this small yet perfectly formed city. For instance, the Clock Tower – the focal point of the city center – is a downsized replica of the Vauxhall Bridge clock tower in London. It arrived in Victoria in 1903, when the Seychelles became a crown colony.

On your Victoria cruise, make time to check out the Old Courthouse, a fantastic example of Creole architecture right next to the clock tower. Many more old colonial buildings can be found along Francis Rachel Street and Albert Street.

To learn a little more about the history of the Seychelles in terms of its geology and nature, head to the Natural History Museum. Find out more about the unique flora and fauna as well as the environmental concerns of these incredible islands. Do not miss the top floor – It is dedicated to marine life.