If you are travelling to the Secyhelles, and looking for the ideal compromise then Praslin is the perfect choice. More developed than La Digue but less than Mahé, Praslin offers the best opportunities for your next holidays on the Seychelles archipelago.
Praslin is found 36 km north-east of Mahé. The island can easily be reached from there. Whilst you can reach Praslin from Mahé by boat, the best option is to book a charter flight with Air Seychelles. The flight is only 15 minutes long.
Take the boat and you’ll be there in 45 minutes. Praslin comes just after Mahé, in terms of area and population.
Being the Second largest island of the Seychelles, Praslin is home to the most exotic wonders of the archipelago. Praslin is an epitome of tropical splendour. One of the best examples is the Valley of Mai, a world heritage UNESCO site. This green oasis shelters endemic fauna and flora. Some of its plants grow not only nowhere else in the world but also nowhere else in the Seychelles! Her Panadol-white beaches makes her one of the best beach destinations in the world.
The 7500 inhabitants of this garden of Eden makes life on Praslin very peaceful. Like Mahé, Praslin is also a granitic island but with a less mountainous landscape. The highest peak on it being only 370m high.
Whilst the roads are in perfect conditions for driving cars on the island, the best option not to miss a spot during your visit is to rent a bike. The island is relatively small and can easily be toured by bike.
It was in the year 1768 that a French vessel landed on the eastern coast of the island, on the beach of Anse Possession.
The island was then named after the Secretary of State of that time who was the duke of Praslin.
This was the third time that the island was being renamed. The first time, it was names “Isle de Palmes” for obvious apparent reasons by the French navigator Lazare Picault.
The then “Isle de Palmes” was then later renamed “île Moras” in hounour of François Marie Peyren de Moras.
Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles archipelago. It makes about 12km in length and an average of 4.6 km in width. The island covers a total surface area of about 38.5km2.
Praslin is covered in lush vegetation and is home to some endemic species of the Seychelles. The Seychelles Bulbul and the Black Parrot of the Seychelles can be observed on the island.
Praslin is so enchanting that it was stated that General Charles George Gordon of Khartoum (1833-1885) was persuaded that Vallée de Mai was the Biblical “Garden of Eden”.
Since a large area in the south of the island has been designated as National Park and Bird Area, the number of hotels are limited and hence making of the island an exclusive one for holidays. If peace and tranquility is what you are looking for, then Praslin is the perfect place.
The hotels are mainly found on the eastern and western coast of the island.
Since the majority of accommodations are coastal, you will have no problem to enjoy the Panadol-white sand for sunbathing, taking a dip or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters.
Anse Petite Cour
Delimited on its periphery by a marine park, Anse Petite Cour is a gorgeous sandy beach. Protected by a coral reef, this beach is perfect for swimming and for diving. That is where the hotel “Domaine de La Reserve” is located, one of the finest hotels in Praslin. In an idyllic setting and cut off from the world, this place invites you to a relaxing holiday.
Located northwest, this small deserted beach is one of the hidden treasures of the Seychelles. Anse Georgette is rather special, because you can only access it by foot. If you are passionate about hiking, this beach is definitely worth seeing because it really gives a sense of lost paradise.
Another wonderful beach on Praslin is Anse Lazio. It features a lagoon with crystal clear water and a long deserted beach. The sound produced by the waves over there are relaxing. In this already spectacular scenery, you can shade yourself under huge coconut trees, Takamaka trees and splendid granitic elevations.
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
Similar to the beaches, Seychelles has benefited from a more than abundant fauna and flora, especially on the island of Praslin. Vallée de Mai gives an idea of what Praslin looked like over two hundred years ago. Talking about biodiversity, Vallée de Mai is a very important reserve for all the plant and animal life of the Seychelles as it shelters all its indigenous species.
Of all the different species of plants sheltered in Vallée de Mai, the coco de mer is by far the most outstanding. They have a life expectancy of an average of 400 years and on average it takes 20 years before producing its first fruit.
The famous coco de mer is also known as “coco fesses” since one will be astonished to discover that its nut has the shape of a woman’s buttocks while the male part has the shape of a phallus. A real wonder of nature.
The park is located in the heart of Praslin and is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. This park is the nucleus of Praslin. To visit without hesitation.
Praslin airport is located in Grande Anse on the western coast of the island. The Airport is also known as Ile des Palmes Airport. The best way to island hop in the Seychelles is through charter flights. Book your flights with Air Seychelles to move from Mahé to Praslin or from Praslin to other islands.