Where to Shop and What to Buy in Mahe
Mahé Island is the most significant island of the Republic of Seychelles. Among the 115 islands that make up this country, Mahé holds the majority of the population (almost a third of the whole) and is also home to the capital town of Victoria.
French colonization in the 1700s and British colonization from the 19th through 20th century has left a strong European influence on the culture of the Seychelles as well as the architecture and society here. It was only as recent as 1976 when Seychelles gained independence.
Although the economy primarily depends on fishing (tuna being the most popular for packing and exporting) tourism has been playing a major role in sustaining the livelihoods of many natives here.Read More
Due to its rich cultural background, the Seychelles is a shopper’s paradise if you are looking for indigenous souvenirs and authentic artifacts. Of course the best place to shop is the capital of Victoria on Mahé Island.
Anse aux Pins
Anse aux Pins is the perfect place to shop on the east coast of Mahé. Not only will you find handicraft items made from local coconut shell but you will also find art created by local artists at the Craft Village located here. Each shop is like a Creole bungalow in which artists can be seen at work. Some make coconut oil-scented bath soaps; others make beautiful paintings on silk and coconut shell handicrafts.
Judging by the name it is pretty clear what sort of gift items are available at the Antik Colony. Located at the Pirate Arms Arcade in Victoria, this is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs indigenous to the Seychelles.
The best place to shop for art is the Campion Hall since it houses some of the best local artwork and there is something for everyone’s price range. Therefore, if you are on a budget you can simply buying a coconut shell carved into a smiling human face! Local artwork is what makes this place a must-visit.
At La Kaz you can buy hats, baskets and bags as gift items to take back home. This place lends the experience of shopping at quaint, cheap shops that are abundant all over the Seychelles.
This factory in Mahé Island is famous for its handmade ceramic pottery. If you want to take back something authentic to the Seychelles art style, this is the best place to visit.
Coconut Shell artifacts
Most tourists who come to visit the Seychelles want to take something back home for their family and friends as souvenirs. Some of the most popular souvenirs are the coconut shell artworks that are found all over the Republic. Coconut shell female pelvis -shaped souvenirs known as the coco de mer is the most sought after gift item here.
Other coconut shell and coconut extract souvenirs include the coconut shell face which has a smiling man’s face carved on it. Bathing soaps, oils and fragrances made from coconut are hugely popular among locals as well as tourists.
Gallery Art Collection
A lot of galleries here exhibit artwork by local artists. Some of them are even up for sale to tourists as well as locals. If you want something from here that is authentic then you must visit some of these galleries including the National Art Gallery, Michael Adams’ Studio and Studio Gallery Baie Lazare.
Shopping is an integral experience during vacations. However, most tourists are worried about carrying the newly bought items back home due to luggage weight limitations, customs duty conditions and restrictions upon bringing foreign objects in at the international terminal. However, most markets and shops at Seychelles provide the international postage options to solve this problem.
The best place to get local souvenirs at reasonable prices is at the street markets and villages which sell local artifacts made by the people of the Seychelles. Other popular local gift items include spices, jewelry made from beads and seashells. Shark’s teeth artifacts are another example of local souvenirs that are popular among tourists here. Tortoise shells were previously sold at the local markets as well until they were banned.
Souvenir Shops at Hotels
Most hotels in the Seychelles have their own souvenir shops to make things convenient for tourists. Those who don’t want to brave the street markets can buy their gifts from here as well. Tea, spices, coconut shell souvenirs, shark teeth artifacts, spices, perfumes, oils, soaps and scrumptious local snacks are available here to take back home.
The best experience of shopping at Seychelles is the one on the streets. There are rows of tiny shops where local artists make and sell souvenirs. They sell anything from coconut shell artifacts, jewelry, spices, seashells and fragrances. The other advantage of buying from the street markets is the reasonable price.