The best markets in Mahé, Seychelles

Breathing in the scents of local foods and spices amidst the vibrant colours and frenetic hustle and bustle of a street market is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the spirit of a place.

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Here’s our round up of the best street markets on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles.

1. Sir Selwyn Clarke Market, Victoria – Daily (especially good on Saturdays)

Set at the bustling heart of the island’s capital Victoria, this daily food market is frequented by locals buying everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to spices, herbs and fish. If the market whets your appetite for shopping then visit the local clothing and craft boutiques that surround the market place.

2. Victoria Bazaar, Victoria – Every Friday

A lively weekly bazaar held beside the capital’s iconic clock tower with everything from snacks of fresh grilled fish to local arts and crafts all set to the sound of live Seychellois music. A vibrant treat for all the senses.

3. Bazar Labrin, Beau Vallon Beach – Every Wednesday (and last Saturday of the month)

Probably the most famous of Mahé’s bazaars, stalls are set out along the beautiful, popular beach of Beau Vallon. The weekly market is a big draw for locals and tourists alike and is guaranteed to be buzzing from 4pm to around 8.30pm. Here you can buy everything from fresh produce, fish and spices to local arts and crafts. Highlights include the barbeques selling fresh fish, grilled breadfruit, banana St Jaques fritters and local dishes such as mango salad, papaya chutney and red lentils and rice. Live music comes from impromptu bands of musicians and sound systems.

Fresh passionfruit in market

Fresh passionfruit in market

4. Bazar Ovan, Baie Lazare – Last Sunday of every month

This vibrant bazaar offers visitors the chance to mingle with the locals on the quieter southern side of the island. The beach-side market specialises in local produce and artefacts. As always where groups of Seychellois gather for fun, you’ll find live music and dancing.

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Sea creatures of the Maldives: the Pyramid Butterflyfish

Marine biologist Robin Aieilo shares her insight about the sea creatures of the Maldives and the beautiful Pyramid Butterflyfish found in the calm water around Constance Halaveli.

Butterflyfish in the Indian Ocean

The varied fish in the reefs around Halaveli

I can’t believe it has been over a month since I left Halaveli Resort – I had such a fantastic time and cannot wait until I return in the near future.

Arctic Adventure

But before I come back to the resort I have another exciting adventure – 3 months sailing above the Arctic Circle. I will be onboard a small Expedition Cruiseship working as a marine biologist lecturer and zodiac driver (you know those small black rubber boats). We are exploring around Svalbard, Norway for over amonth then making our way across the Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland and then into Hudson Bay.

This will be my fifth season up there – for me, it is a little like coming home for a visit every year. So stay tuned – I will be writing monthly blogs from the Arctic and sharing my experiences with polar bears, whales, walrus and the northern lights.

Ongoing Marine Life Blogs

But my heart remains in the Maldives… There are just so many fascinating animals to tell you about. This month, it’s the turn of the Pyramid Butterflyfish.

Pyramid Butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis)

When you get into the waters on any of the reefs around Halaveli Island, the first thing that catches your eye is colour – splashes of blue, yellow, white, orange, black. Fish of every shape and size darting around you – sometimes so quickly that you only see a flash of colour, then the tail as it disappears into the reef.

Sometimes it is almost overwhelming – where should you look first?

Butterflyfish in the reefs around Halaveli

A Butterflyfish in the Indian Ocean

Beautiful Butterflyfish

One of my favourite fish of all is the butterflyfish. They are aptly named because they are small, colourful and ‘flit’ around the reef. There are 32 species in the Maldives and as a group, they are relatively easy to identify.

They are hand-sized, laterally compressed (discus-shaped), swim in pairs (they mate for life, which can be about 25 to 30 years), and generally cruise along close to the reef as they feed by nipping off coral polyps and grabbing tiny invertebrates.

Their shape is perfect for quick maneuvering – they can turn and dash off in milliseconds – and for tucking into little nooks and crannies in search of food.

Almost all butterflyfish (there are, of course, exceptions) are white and yellow with black stripes. They are certainly striking, and hard to miss. Most of them have two key deceptive features – black eye-stripes that hide their real eyes, and what we call ‘false eyespots’ near their tails. The theory behind these eyespots is that they confuse predators into thinking the fish is moving in the opposite direction, making it harder to attack.

The Black Sheep of the Family

But, as with all families, there is one that is the ‘black sheep’ – the one that behaves and looks a little bit different. In this case, it is the Pyramid Butterflyfish.

Instead of cruising near the reef in pairs, these colourful fish form massive groups, or schools, just off the edge of the reef. They can form groups of many hundreds of fish, forming a beautiful shifting curtain of black, yellow and white.

Butterflyfish

A school of Butterflyfish

Planktivores

This species does not feed on reef invertebrates like the other butterflyfish, but is a planktivore – eating zooplankton (small animals that float in the water). So, for them, it is better to hang out in the open water where there is more current and more plankton.

The other difference is that this species does not have the typical black stripes of other butterfly species. Instead, they have a large triangular shaped white patch on either side. Young fish have lighter coloured heads, and they darken as they mature.

At dusk, this large school of fish disperses – each individual fish wanders off over the reef looking for a small hole to use as a hiding place for the night while they sleep. Just before entering the hole they change colour – the bright white patch fades away and turns dark, making them less visible to nocturnal hunters such as sharks and moray eels.

How Pyramid Butterfly fish communicate

Scientists have only recently discovered that just before they head off to find their nighttime refuge, and only at this time, they communicate with one another. How? By sound! Yes…many fish are able to make sounds by using their air bladders and the muscles that surround it like a drum. So the next time you do a dusk dive or snorkel, listen carefully to these beautiful little Pyramid Butterflyfish.

Find out more

Learn more about other sea creatures you’ll see when diving at Halaveli:

Luxury suites and villas in the Indian Ocean

For some luxury accommodation is an elegant water villa floating above a lagoon, to others it’s a spa villa complete with treatment rooms and a pool, and to others still it’s a villa with ample space for all the family.

Suite on stilts, Le Prince Maurice

Suite on stilts, Le Prince Maurice

With so much choice on offer across our seven Indian Ocean hotels and resorts here’s a glimpse at some of the options each location offers.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Relish the ultimate richness and elegance of a deluxe modern boutique hotel built to perfectly blend with the beauty of the white-sand beaches and lush foliage of Mauritius.

The traditional thatched roofs with ceiling fans and warm wooden floors of the accommodation create an intimate atmosphere and reflect the island’s spice trade history while the modern stone-tiled bathrooms ooze style and opulence.

  • Suites – warm wood and stone create an inviting colonial-style elegance.
  • Villas – spacious splendour in large beachfront villas with their own private swimming pools. Refined décor and stylishly furnished outside spaces make this accommodation to luxuriate in.
  • Princely Suite – regal elegance abounds in this private villa within a hotel, complete with staff, 2 pools and 3 terraces.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

As with everything at Belle Mare Plage, the range of accommodation is about offering you the flexibility to find the perfect fit for you. Cool stone flooring combines with rich woods and warm fabrics to create comfortable, understated luxury.

  • Suites – the Junior Suites at Belle Mare are some of the most popular, beautifully furnished and equipped with private balcony or terrace. The Deluxe Suites face the sea, and include a living room and option to connect to a Presitge Room making them ideal for families.
  • Villas – elegant beachside villas celebrate Mauritius’ architectural traditions with wide thatched roofs on the villas and outside dining areas. Each spacious villa has a private pool and garden a short walk from the beach.
  • Presidential Villa – for the ultimate indulgence drink in the opulent charms of cool polished-stone flooring, high-rafted ceilings and rich woods in this stylish 2-storey villa. Enjoy the peace of your own pool and garden, and let the two villa masters take care of everything.
Deluxe villas at Constance Lemuria

Deluxe villas at Constance Lemuria

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Everything at Lémuria exudes an elegant, sedate Seychellois luxury. The accommodation emanates refined modern style combining cool marble, limestone and local pink granite with elegant warm rich wooden furniture.

  • Suites – lie in bed and watch the ocean from your beachside suite or relax at the end of the day on your private terrace or balcony.
  • Villas – enjoy the seclusion of romantic in-villa dining in a sunken dining area set at the heart of the villa’s wrap-around pool. The verdant green of the Seychellois foliage is reflected in the waters around you to create a tranquil space of elegant luxury.
  • Presidential Villa – nestled into the island’s granite rock this 2-tier villa provides access to your own stunning Seychellois beach, 3 swimming pools and staff to take care of you.

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

The laid-back luxury and open spaces at Ephélia guarantee that all the family can come and relax here, and there’s a great choice of stylish accommodation.

  • Suites – unwind in sleek modern suites with chic boutique-style bathrooms and elegantly furnished outside areas set against the stunning mountainous backdrop of Mahé.
  • Villas – at Ephélia choice is everything and that includes the villas. Guests can choose from Beach and Family Villas offering privacy and space as well as access to the beach and resort activities. Or if you’re looking for a more intimate, secluded experience then our Spa, Hillside and Presidential Villas are hidden away from the rest of the resort offering a peaceful retreat.
Water villa at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Water villa at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The accommodation at Halaveli reflects the elegant, open air luxury of the hotel. From its Water Villas to the Presidential Villa, expansive glass doors are flung open to create a space where the interior blends seamlessly with exquisite outdoor terraces looking out over ocean views.

  • Water Villas – these elegant wooden villas are suspended over the tranquil lagoon with steps leading from your private terrace down to the ocean. Also included is your own private infinity pool.
  • Beach Villas – choose a single or double storey villa to fit all the family and enjoy your own private corner of this luxury island. Your own walled garden, a short walk from the ocean, will contain a swimming pool, furnished terrace and dining area. Embrace the outdoors in the stunning open-air bathroom.
  • Presidential Villa – the ultimate in opulent accommodation, this villa includes a spa room with treatment tables, private gym and swimming pool. A vast, luxurious space for you and your guests or family.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

The elegant rustic charm of the accommodation at Moofushi blends traditional Maldivian crafts with rattan, bamboo and wood to create an inviting, laidback Robinson Crusoe-style luxury.

  • Beach Villa – enjoy the peaceful sensation of swinging on your own hammock in the privacy of your own beachfront terrace before padding barefoot to the huge, comfortable bed.
  • Water Villas – the Crusoe-chic continues in the high palm-thatched water villas where the massive wooden deck surrounds the villa giving ocean views on every side and making the living space outside as inviting as in. The Senior Water Villas include a sumptuous outdoor bath on stilts over the ocean.
Beach villa at Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Beach villa at Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Barefoot elegance and charm off the beaten track epitomise the laidback vibe of Tsarabanjina and that includes its accommodation.

  • Beach Villas – This small, intimate resort is all about peace and seclusion so the handful of 25 villas are spaced out over two of the island’s beaches. Rustic wooden furniture complimented by Malagasy craft items create an aura of castaway chic while the air conditioning of the sleeping areas adds a welcome touch of modern luxury.

Luxury breakfasts at Constance Hotels & Resorts

Start your day at Constance with a healthy breakfast from the sumptuous buffet, or enjoy a private champagne breakfast for two on your own terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Breakfast at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Breakfast at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Lavish breakfast buffets

Visit the breakfast buffet at any of our resorts and experience the rich abundance of fresh food beautifully presented at separate stations, offering a plethora of tropical fruits, pastries and speciality cooked dishes.

Watch as world-class chefs prepare a 5 star breakfast in front of you, and breathe in the delicious smell of freshly baked pastries and bread straight from the oven.

Breakfast in bed

Indulge in the ultimate luxury of a champagne breakfast brought to you in your room or villa.

Constance Hotels & Resorts

Room service breakfast at Constance

Nothing says idyllic, paradise holiday more than lying in bed on crisp white sheets and enjoying the chill of champagne with fresh fruit and a view of the sun sparkling on the ocean.

Or sit back and relax at a home-away-from-home breakfast with your family on the terrace of your own villa. Let the kids come and go as you take your time to really enjoy that second cup of coffee.

At our hotels and resorts

Breakfasts are served daily until 10.30am, which means you can wake up at your own pace and make your first meal of the day a leisurely affair.

Enjoy the sand between your toes and the gentle sun on your face as you enjoy a 5 star breakfast outdoors at Constance Halaveli’s buffet restaurant Jahaz.

Watch the light trickle through the lush foliage as you greet the day in the open-air, cool, tiled elegance of Constance Ephelia’s Corossol or enjoy the barefoot chic and Malagasy charm of a buffet breakfast on the beach at Constance Tsarabanjina.

Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Savour the freshest tropical fruit bought at the local market that morning under the shade of an umbrella on the terrace of Archipel at Le Prince Maurice and enjoy views across the infinity pool to the beach and ocean beyond, or drink in the view across to the ocean at Constance Lemuria.

At Constance Moofushi you can indulge in a private champagne breakfast for two with waiter service on your very own secluded sandbank, perfect for romantic moments.

Golfers booked in for an early tee-off time can tuck into a hearty pre-golf breakfast at the Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage from 6.30 to 9.30am and enjoy views across the championship golf course. You might even spot the resident deer breakfasting on the greens.

Sunrise yoga

If you’re keen to kick start a new approach to healthy living, our energising early morning yoga sessions are designed for beginners through to advanced. Enjoy the feeling of awaking your senses against a backdrop of gentle sunlight, calm clear water and tropical vegetation.

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Working with local fishermen at Constance Tsarabanjina

At Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar you can enjoy fresh fish caught from the ocean in the same traditional way it has been for hundreds of years.

Local fisherman in his pirogue

Local fisherman in his pirogue

One of the many delights you’ll discover on the remote Madagascan island of Tsarabanjina is watching the daily arrival of the local fishermen delivering their catch to our chefs.

Mitsio fishermen

The fishermen live on the neighbouring island of Mitsio, the only other inhabited island in the archipelago, and they travel and fish in traditional boats called pirogues.

The pirogues are hollowed out wooden boats powered by oars. It’s from here that the fishermen cast their nets into the waters around the archipelago. Following the catch they make the 3 to 4 hour journey to Tsarabanjina.

Fishing in pirogues has been a way of life in Madagascar for hundreds of years with fishermen teaching the family craft to their children, and passing their skills down through the generations.

We at Constance are proud to support such a long held tradition and our guests enjoy the freshest fish caught from just beyond our own shores.

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Flying by seaplane over the Maldives

Get your camera at the ready, and experience the exhilarating thrill of arriving at your Maldivian hideaway by seaplane.

Constance Moofushi from the air

Constance Moofushi from the air

Prepare to have the cabin fever of a long-haul flight cleared from your mind as you take in the awe-inspiring 360º views, and vibrant shades of blues and greens that make up the beauty of these islands.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the larger species of marine life such as giant manta rays gliding by beneath you. And as you approach Constance Halaveli or Moofushi, you’ll be able to see the whole island beneath you.

Taking the seaplane from Malé

Boarding the seaplane couldn’t be easier. A Constance airport host will meet you at Malé International Airport and guide you to the seaplane check-in before a short luxury bus journey that takes you to the seaplane airport.

See the Maldives from the air

Watch the video from Trans Maldivian Airlines and experience the beauty of the islands from the air.

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