On the north west coast of Mahe is the resort of Beau Vallon. If you've been hiding in the deep south of the island or have just rolled over from sleepy La Digue you may find Beau Vallon surprisingly large - but it's important to put this in perspective: though this may be the biggest tourist area in the Seychelles, it is still low key, spread out and an altogether chilled place to spend a holiday - and if you've just arrived from Europe it will just seem like a small, sleepy seaside village.
But if Beau Vallon can't offer the secluded beaches you see in the brochures, why would you stay?
Simple. It's a gorgeous, wide bay with calm, gentle waters that is perfect for children. The sunsets here are out of this world, and the glassy-smooth water reflects the light beautifully. It's in a great position for exploring the island - if you want a quieter beach, head north to Glacis or take a boat trip to Anse Major or Baie Ternay, or use it as a base to explore the hills of the Morne Seychellois national park - whether on foot, or just taking a drive along the spectacular Sans Soucis. Visit the capital of Victoria over the hill for a market or some culture, or let it come to you on the weekends as people enjoy their days off by the sea. It's also a great place to be if you fancy taking a day trip to snorkel in the Sainte Anne Marine National park and visit Cerf Island, as the boats leave from Victoria.
It's also remarkably affordable for the Seychelles, with a number of beachfront hotels that won't break the bank, and enough restaurants to keep you interested if you tire of hotel buffets - or if your wallet won't stretch to them. Choices range from Creole buffets and takeaways, French fine dining and excellent Indian meals, through to cheap beachfront pizza and barbeques. Self catering here and up the coast in Glacis is also affordable, and many properties share the same fantastic views of the more expensive resorts.