This article is also available in Romanian.
Praslin is the second-largest island in the Seychelles. It is located at a distance of 44 kilometers from Mahé. Praslin is a combination of rolling hills covered by vegetation (maximum elevation Fond Azore – 367 meters), perfect beaches and crystal-clear water. The island’s main attraction is Vallée de Mai, an UNESCO World Heritage national park where the largest seed in the world (Coco de Mer) grows naturally.
If you plan to visit Praslin, make sure that you first check this article Things to know before visiting The Seychelles.
The TOP 10 things in Praslin includes (random order):
- Famous beaches: Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette, Anse Volbert (Cote d’Or)
- Nature reserves: Vallée de Mai National Park and Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve
- Hiking (e.g. Glacis Noir trail)
- Diving & Snorkeling
- Lémuria Resort Golf Course
- Island hopping
Check out SeyVillas‘ website for a detailed description of each beach of Praslin.
1. Visit Anse Lazio beach
- one of the most famous beach on Praslin
- picturesque scenery: a mix of amazing boulder formations, crystal-clear water and pristine sand
- ranked on the sixth position in the top best beach in the world realized by TripAdvisor in 2015
- very popular, so it is crowded; avoid other tourists by arriving early in the morning
- access on foot / by car (parking areas next to the beach) / by public bus (bus stop is a bit far from the beach) / shuttle services
- natural shade
- perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and for taking photos; however, do not go far from the shore as the water gets deep quickly; moreover, pay close attention to children when they are swimming!
- large sandy area, so it is suited to families with children
- nearby facilities (a few small shops and some restaurants)
2. Visit Anse Georgette beach
- beach is located right near the Lemuria Resort, but it is open to everyone
- the perfect combination of turquoise ocean water and pristine white sand
- easy access for the Lemuria Resort’s guests (on foot / by golf cart); the other visitors should inform the hotel of their visit (it takes 30-minute to walk down to the beach through the resort’s garden) or they can come by sea (boat tours)
- natural shade
- good for snorkeling or bathing (the water gets deep very quickly; continuously supervise your children!) and ideal for photographers
- nearby facilities (at Lemuria Resort)
3. Visit Anse Volbert (Cote d’Or) beach
- the longest beach on Praslin (about 2.5km long)
- the beach passes by many accommodations and the areas in front of those buildings are more crowded
- access on foot, by car (you can park on the road parallel to the beach), by bus or by boat
- natural shade
- shallow water, so well-suited to families with children
- high variety of activities to do on this beach like swimming and different water sports (snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing etc)
- nearby facilities
Check out SeyVillas‘ website for a detailed description of the next two nature reserves from Praslin.
4. Visit Vallée de Mai National Park (official website)
- it is a part of Praslin National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- the most visited natural site in the Seychelles
- under the control of Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF)
- perfect for nature lovers, birders and photographers
- home to the largest forest of Coco de Mer palm (which is endemic in the Seychelles and protected by the Seychelles Government)
- Coco de Mer is a giant in the plant kingdom – World’s biggest nut & heaviest nut & longest leaves of any flowering plant & longest male flower (the heart-shaped fruit produced by the female tree weighs up to 25 kg)
- many other plants are found there like vanilla orchids and different species of palms; moreover, the park is home to many species of lizards, frogs and birds such as the Seychelles bulbul, the blue pigeon and the black parrot which is the national bird of the Seychelles
- access by car / on foot / public bus / organized tour
- the walking routes’ distances around the park vary from 1.5 km to about 4 km
- entrance fee is SCR 350
- opening times 8.00 – 17.30 (closed on 25th December and 1st January)
- free guided tours (in English or French) available daily at 9am and 2pm
- onsite facilities (cafeteria, lockers, parking area, souvenir shop – it is possible to buy a Coco de Mer as a souvenir, but due to its uniqueness the prices are very high, between €200 and €600)
5. Visit Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve
Image source © Simone Schwerdtner
- located near Anse Marie-Louise beach (there is a red sign in the car parking that indicates the starting point of the reserve)
- opened in 2013
- can be reached by bus or car
- six times larger than Vallée de Mai, but not as popular as the first one
- home to more endemic plants and animal species than Vallée de Mai (including Coco de Mer)
- it takes about 2.5h round trip up to the viewpoint (beautiful view over Praslin and other islands in the Seychelles)
- a personal guide is always included
- four tours daily (last tour leaves at 13:00 pm)
Check out SeyVillas‘ website for more hiking trails on Praslin.
6. Hike the Glacis Noir trail
How to get there? The trail’s starting point is next to Vallée de Mai Reserve. Walk a small distance from the park’s entrance heading towards Baie St Anne until you reach a path with a chain. This is the start of the Glacis Noire trail. Follow that track until the end.
- official trail in Praslin National Park
- check out this link for a detailed description of the trail (map, duration, difficulty, elevation gain, details about flora&fauna, photos from the trail etc)
- medium difficulty
- not frequented by many visitors
- on the trail there is a fire tower built on a hilltop; it offers a nice view of La Digue and surrounding smaller islands; it is advised not to climb that tower because it might be home to many termites
- the trail between Vallée de Mai and the hilltop is easy, but the part after the viewpoint to Baie Sainte Anne is much more difficult because the path is not particularly well maintained, so it is covered by vegetation
- along your way you may be able to see the Seychelles Black Parrot, the Seychelles Black Snail, the famous Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica), all of them endemic to the Seychelles
- the first part of the trail has areas that have been affected by fire and the vegetation is different there
DIVING & SNORKELING
Check out Octopus Diving Center‘s website to find a detailed description of the amazing places where you can dive near Praslin and check out Snorkeling Report‘s website to see a map with snorkeling spots on Praslin.
7. Do snorkeling or scuba diving
Diving and snorkeling around Praslin offers an amazing experience among the abundant marine life. The island offers many amazing spots with various rock formation and beautiful vegetation. Visibility under water varies depending on currents and tide.
Contact one of the diving centers to plan your dive.
Check out SeyVillas‘s website for more suggestions of places to visit in the Seychelles.
8. Visit Black Pearl Farm (official website)
Black Pearl Seychelles has been in business for 20 years. They have a gallery and a workshop at Amitie on Praslin. The black-lipped oyster is the only one which produces the black pearl. In the workshop visitors can see how the pearls are processed. Also, they can buy a finished product (rings, earrings and pendants).
Check out this website to find the prices for playing golf.
9. Play golf at Lémuria Resort Golf Course (official website)
The Lémuria Resort Golf Course is one of the most spectacular golf courses in the World. The terraced green fields offer an incredible view over the infinite blue ocean. Golf lovers will be amazed by this spot !
Check out SeyVillas‘ website to find more about the inner islands.
10. Take a day trip to one or more of the neighboring islands
If you dispose of a higher budget go visit one of the inner/outer islands in The Seychelles to discover the spectacular wildlife. Those islands are conservation areas and for some of them you have to pay a landing fee which goes towards the maintenance of the reserves.
Praslin’s surrounding islands include:
- North: Curieuse and Aride Islands
- North-East: Saint Pierre
- South-West: Cousin and Cousine
- few offshore islets: Round Island and Chauve Souris (they have hotel accommodations)
- other islands closer to La Digue: like Félicité, Petite Soeur, Grande Soeur and Marianne
Aride Island (official website)
- the largest nature reserve of the granitic islands of Seychelles
- huge seabird colonies and density of lizards
- no overnight accommodation
- more information here: General description & Aride Island Nature Reserve – fauna & flora
- isolated place
- perfect location for an intimate vacation
- granite island covered with tropical forest
- privately owned
- located at 300 meters away from Praslin
- fauna is limited
- more information here: General description & Hotel Chauve Souris Club
Cousin Island (official website)
- natural paradise protected by the independent environmental organisation Nature Seychelles
- no overnight accommodation
- more information here: General description & Cousin Island Special Reserve
Cousine Island (official website)
- an isolated place for nature lovers
- a combination of luxury resort and nature preserve
- more information here: General description & Cousine Island Nature Conservation & Cousine Island Seychelles Villa
Curieuse Island (official website)
Image source © Seychelles Tourism Board – Photo: Raymond Sahuquet
- abundant flora and fauna
- home of Wild Giant Tortoises
- no overnight accommodation
- more information here: General description & Curieuse National Marine Park
Île Ronde (Round Island)
- granite island
- privately owned (offers a small luxury resort)
- covered with dense tropical vegetation
- more information here: General description & Round Island Hotel
Saint Pierre Islet
- small uninhabited granite island
- popular with sailors and snorkelers
- more information here: General description
Keep on reading IDR’s articles to discover the amazing Seychelles and many other incredible places on Earth.