• Distance 59 km
  • Elevation gain 1510m
  • Difficulty
  • Epic rating

This is an undulating ride on good quality tarmac that takes in the demanding Sans Soucis climb across the island.

It then heads towards Victoria, giving you glimpses of real island life in the more populated areas of the island as well as the long sandy beaches of the northeast peninsula.

If you’re feeling strong, there’s an option to extend this ride to the La Gogue reservoir, accessed via La Gogue Road on the north eastern side of this ride.

While in Victoria, there are options for a café stop, visiting the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke market and seeing the famous Queen Victoria Clock Tower, before heading back over the Sans Soucis climb to the west side of the island.

All metrics in this article are approximate.

Highlights

We loved the variety of terrain on this ride, from the epic climb up Sans Soucis Road, over the spine of the island with jaw-dropping views, to the glorious beaches and turquoise waters of the north of the Seychelles.

Cyclist looking at view over SeychellesView from Sans Soucis Road
Beach at Port Launay SeychellesPort Launay beach
Cyclist cycling through jungle on Sans Soucis Road SeychellesDescending the awesome Sans Soucis Road

Route notes

1. Port Launay to Victoria via the Sans Soucis climb: 0-15 km

Be warned, there’s no easy warm up on this ride: after two kilometres, the route heads straight up Sans Soucis Road, with some 480m of climbing and 15% gradients.

However, having cycled all six of the roads that cross the island (check out our Seychelles mountains loop), this was our favourite! The views on the descent over Victoria and out to the Saint Anne Marine National Park are awesome.

At the top of the main climb, around the six kilometre mark, there’s a tea factory and associated tea plantations. It’s a reasonable place to stop and get your breath back, but unfortunately, the café at the Plantation is closed and has been for a few years.  There is a shop down a steep ramp – we’d only suggest venturing down if you’re short on water, and you may well need to get off the bike.

Nine kilometres into the ride is the Venn’s Town Mission Lodge where Queen Elizabeth II had tea in 1972 on her one and only stop in the Seychelles. If you arrive when it’s not misty you should get a great view but, otherwise, there is next to nothing to see here except a board giving historical information and some ruins.  This used to be a missionary school for slaves liberated in 1861.

Go slowly on the descent and take in the view.  Look out for a small hotel/restaurant on the right hand side called The Station – we recommend stopping here on the way back.

View down Sans Soucis RoadClimbing Sans Soucis Road from the west coast 
Cyclists at Mission Lodge Seychelles Mission Lodge, Sans Soucis Road
Misty day on Sans Soucis RoadMisty morning on Sans Soucis Road
Cyclist filling water bottle from waterfallEven the locals don’t drink the tap water – the exception they make is water from waterfalls right at the top of Sans Soucis Road
Near the bottom of Sans Soucis road, near VictoriaNear the bottom of Sans Soucis Road, near Victoria

2. Loop around North Seychelles: 15-43 km

From here you head northwest to Beau Vallon and St Louis Road. What looks like a turn off left down Bel Ombre Road actually follows the road naturally down Bel Ombre Road from St Louis Road. It’s a dead end, out and back 1.5 km which is worth doing as it gives a decent view back down to Beau Vallon (one of the better places to take photos is when you see a tree growing in the middle of the road and some large granite rocks on the right hand side). On the way back from the dead end, watch carefully for the turning left so you head north on the North Coast Road rather than back the way you came.

You follow the coast road past the delightful Tequila Boom Nightclub, the Labriz Market (Wednesday afternoon/evening) and the evocatively named Sunset beach.

On the northern tip of the peninsula, Machabee Beach is noteworthy but you can’t really see it from the road. Good news is that a little further on is Anse Nord d’est, a long sweeping stretch of sand by the side of the road. From here you head down the coast road back towards Victoria.

At around the 37 km mark, after a sharp bend, there is a road on the right hand side called La Gogue Road. The road passes through a residential area up to the one and only storage of fresh water on the Island: La Gogue dam. On the way back down, on the right hand side after only 100 metres, is a road called Maldive Road which also takes you back down to the coast road. If you add on this little extension you’ll do an extra five km or so on the overall ride. Be warned, the gradients hover around 8-10% on the way up and at the bottom of Maldive Road, you’re hitting some 15% gradients. We didn’t check this out – let us know if you have in the comments below.

You soon enter the suburbs of Victoria. The new buildings on your left hand side on Perseverance Island are the Justice Courts and the National Assembly.  Once past the cement crocodile and whale at the Museum of Natural History, you will be at the famous Victoria Clock Tower.

A little further west (maybe 75m) along State House Avenue is an ice cream shop called La Dolce Vita. The courtyard behind the cafe is a very good place to sit down for a coffee and pizza (keep your bikes in this courtyard).  If you fancy a little diversion, two streets north on Market Street is the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market offering fish, fruits and souvenirs (but we didn’t find it that impressive).

Fresh coconut drink overlooking Beau Vallon beachFresh coconuts at the Labriz Market, in front of the Savoy Hotel  at Beau Vallon beach. They should cost around 50 Seychelles Rupees (3 Euros) – not the 150 they ask for!
Cyclists at Nord d'est beach on the way to Victoria, SeychellesAnse Nord D’est on the way down to Victoria
Victoria Clock Tower, SeychellesThe Victoria Clock Tower, Victoria,originally made in Croydon, UK by Gillet & Johnson

3. Victoria to Constance Ephelia Resort: 43-59 km

From Victoria, you are heading nine kilometres back up to the Sans Soucis tea plantation. The climb is some 480m so it’s best to take it steady and take in the views. You may also fancy a stop at The Station hotel/restaurant on the left hand side towards the start of the climb.

From here it’s another six kilometres down to Port Glaud on the coast road and again it is worth taking the descent slowly as the views out to the Therese and Conception islands are stunning.

Once back at the Constance Ephelia, after 59 kilometres and 1,510m of climbing, grab a Seybrew beer and keep grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Cyclist helmet and smoothie at The Station, Seychelles

The view from The Station on Sans Soucis Road and the best smoothie ever

 

 

Tea plantation on Sans Soucis RoadThe Seychelle’s well-known tea plantation is at the top of the Sans Soucis climb  
View at Port Launay, SeychellesView over Port Launay

Café stops

La Dolce Vita in Victoria (on State House Avenue near the Clock Tower) has ice cream, coffee and pizza and is a good place to people watch/refuel.

You could also travel a little further south from Victoria and go to the Eden Island Mall which has loads of upmarket coffee shops and big yachts to gape at: however, whilst good, there’s little difference between this and going to a marina coffee stop in say Southampton, England.  The Dolce Vita in Victoria old town has a more authentic feel.

Whilst in Victoria it is also worth making a brief note of the famous Victoria Clock Tower which is unarguably the oldest and most veneered structure in the Seychelles – apart from the living giant tortoises of course.

Halfway back up the Sans Soucis climb (after 225 m elevation coming back from Victoria East to West) is the well-regarded restaurant/café/boutique six room hotel called “The Station” on the left hand side. This used to be a Christian/Feba Broadcasting Station for the whole of Africa and has been converted into a small hotel. This is definitely worth stopping at for the wonderful coconut and banana smoothies as well as the sublime views over Eden Island and the St Anne Marine Park. When entering The Station go all the way through to the café / restaurant at the back with the great views.

Tea plantation cafe behind rusty iron bars - very much closedPlantation café looking rather closed…
Pizza at La Dolce Vita restaurantLa Dolce Vita Café, Victoria
Yachts at the Eden Island Mall, SeychellesYachts at the Eden Island Mall

Accommodation

We loved our stay at the Constance Ephelia. It’s a five star, family friendly resort spread across 296 acres overlooking the Port Launay Marine National Park on the west side of the island.

There are full details of this and other accommodation options in our ultimate guide to cycling the Seychelles.

 

Tips

Read our tips for cycling in the Seychelles before you set out.

The roads tend to be narrow, very twisty and sometimes very steep with deep rain drains on both sides of the road.  Utmost care is needed.

In addition, as you approach Victoria there are some tell-tale rainbow signs of diesel on the steep roads, so please be careful.

Avoid Victoria between 7-8 am and 4-5 pm as this is rush hour and the streets get very busy.

If you need a bike shop there is one in Victoria near the bus terminal called Eternity Motors Ltd – Tyres on Wheels.  It doesn’t look much but it’s a veritable Aladdin’s cave.

Cyclist cycling Sans Soucis Road in the SeychellesThe Sans Soucis road is cleared quickly after storms but as you can see caution is needed.
Narrow road in the SeychellesClassic road on the Seychelles: narrow with a steep drop-off
Cyclist in traffic near Victoria SeychellesTraffic around Victoria

Found this guide useful?

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  • Don’t miss our other ride guides on the Seychelles: see the related rides section above.
  • Check out our ultimate guide to cycling the Seychelles and our tips for riding the Seychelles. ​

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John Maskell

John Maskell is a roving reporter whose mission in life is to find the best coffee stop on any given ride.

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2 Responses to “Loop of North of Mahé island, Seychelles”

  1. As a child I grew up living ‘behind’ The Station – when it was a radio station. My father was a broadcaster on the radio. We made regular trips to Port Launay and the views on this road are stunning. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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