Mahé's tallest peak is Morne Seychellois at 905 m, which lies in the Morne Seychellois National Park. The northern and eastern parts of the island are home to much of the population and the Seychelles International Airport which opened in 1971. The southern and western parts have Baie Ternay Marine National Park, Port Launay Marine National Park, and University of Seychelles. The Sainte Anne Marine National Park lies offshore, as do Conception Island, Thérèse Island, Anonyme Island and several smaller islands.
Mahé was first visited by the British in 1609 and not visited by Europeans again until Lazare Picault's expedition of 1742. The French navy frégate Le Cerf arrived at Port Victoria on 1 November 1756. On board was Corneille Nicholas Morphey, leader of the French expedition, which claimed the island for the King of France by laying a Stone of Possession on Mahe, Seychelles’ oldest monument, now on display in the National Museum, Victoria.
In August 1801 a Royal Navy frigate HMS Sibylle captured the French frigate Chiffonne on the island. Mahé remained a French possession until 1812 when it became a British colony. It remained a colony until 1976 when Seychelles became an independent nation.
Mahé's forests have rare endemic plants found only in Seychelles, such as the critically endangered Medusagyne oppositifolia, the carnivorous Nepenthes pervillei, and many unique species of orchid.
Mahé had a huge land reclamation project due to a shortage of housing, in the areas of Bel Ombre and the Port of Victoria.
Mahé's economy is mainly dependent on tourism. Air Seychelles has its head office on the property of Seychelles International Airport on the island. The Port of Victoria is home to a tuna fishing and canning industry.
The island has multiple districts.