Praslin, is located around 37 km north-east of the main island, the second-largest and second-most-inhabited of the Seychelles islands with around 8 000 inhabitants and measures about 26 km² in size. It is home to the island’s main attraction, the original palm jungle of the Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage site and which is home to the rare Black Parrot and the biggest and heaviest nut in the world, very much admired by visitors and the reason for the world’s heritage status.
It boasts the most gorgeous sandy beaches which are ranked amongst the top ten in the world, Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette. Anse Georgette is renowned for its incredible mixture of pristine white sand, bright turquoise ocean surface and tropical palm trees. Anse Lazio ranked the sixth-best beach in the world by TripAdvisor in 2015 is the most famous beach on Praslin for its incredible scenery, perfect white sand and crystal-clear waters.
Praslin offers a great range of accommodation from the most luxurious hotels, Raffles or Constance Lemuria to the smaller hotels and self-catering establishments. It is the only island where you can find an 18 hole golf course which is situated within the Constance Lemuria Resort, an attraction to both locals and international golf champions and fanatics.
Praslin can be reachable via a fifteen minutes crossover from Mahé using a domestic flight and you should visit the Air Seychelles website on http://www.airseychelles.com/en/home/index.php for reservations.
A fast ferry service is also available, approximately an hour from Mahé and bookings can be made by e-mailing [email protected] or visit their website http://www.catcocos.com/
In getting to explore and appreciate the flora and fauna of Praslin, one can go on a free or private guided tour through the Vallée de Mai Reserve, a virgin palm forest which remains largely unchanged since prehistoric times. It is home to the world’s largest seed in the plant kingdom, the coco-de-mer, and five other endemic palms and many endemic fauna species. It is also a birding hot spot whereby you get to watch the endemic Seychelles bulbul, the lovely blue pigeon, the Seychelles warbler and the endangered black parrot swirling around in their natural and tranquil habitat.
The Fond Ferdinand Reserve, an exciting alternative is also well-worth visiting. It is more than six times larger than Vallée de Mai, and is even richer in terms of endemic plant and animal species, including as many Coco de Mer palms as the Vallée de Mai. Besides the winding path through the valley, the 2-3 hour journey up to the viewpoint is well-worth a trip; where you can enjoy a beautiful view of Praslin itself, as well as the other inner islands of the Seychelles, Curieuse, Sister Island, Coco Island, Round Island, Felicité, and La Digue, while in the other direction you can spot Frégate, Mahé, and Silhouette. If the weather is clear, you may even be able to spot Denis Island on the horizon.
As Praslin is surrounded by several satellite islands; a number of boat trips to these neighbouring islands as well as some truly beautiful snorkelling experiences should not be missed.