The second largest island in the beautiful Indian Ocean nation of The Seychelles, you’d be forgiven if you settled for a fly and flop holiday in one of its many elegant resorts. But with plentiful taxis and car rental agencies, not to mention a bus route which almost laps the island for a flat fare of 5 rupees (about 25p), it would be a shame not to explore a little. The island’s only about 12km long and less than half as wide, so everywhere’s close to everywhere. Here are a few things to do in Praslin Seychelles.
Things to Do in Praslin Seychelles
Number one on your list of things to do in Praslin Seychelles should be the Vallee de Mai. Together with Aldabra Atoll, an almost untouched coral atoll in the Seychelles’ Outer Islands, it’s one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Your entrance fee (20 euros or the equivalent in local currency) goes to support conservation and scientific research at both sites.
Coco de Mer Palm
Visitors flock to the Vallee de Mai to see the erotic-looking fruit of the rare coco de mer palm. The female fruit looks like a pert and very toned bottom and the male, well, let’s just say it’s ready to have her babies and leave it at that. As you walk the well-signed forest trails, there’s plenty of information about this unusual seed which has become a well-used advertising logo in the country as well as the numerous other species of flora and fauna that can be found here. You’ll be struck by the scale of the lofty palms that seem to reach impossibly high, creating a shady canopy which will be a blessing if you visit on a sunny day. Don’t miss the viewpoint located just above the north trail which affords stunning views over the valley. The Vallee de Mai is a short drive from the island’s airport and is open year-round and your entrance fee includes a guide should you wish.
Check out the Coast
The coast of Praslin is edged with ivory sand beaches fringed with swaying coconut palms and leafy casuarina trees. What sets them apart from other picture postcard tropical beaches are the huge lumps of granite that you’ll find framing almost every bay. The best of the bunch is undoubtedly Anse Lazio, located to the north of the island. A wide arc of silky white sand lapped by turquoise waters would be enough to satisfy all but the fussiest of beach bums, but walk across the boulder-strewn inlet and there’s a natural pool – a photograph of the rocks reflected in the water could grace any magazine cover. There’s even a little beach bar tucked into the hillside; just leave your money under the counter if the owner’s not about and enjoy that million dollar view over a cold Seybrew beer.
Hard though it will be to drag yourself away from Praslin, there’s a boat trip worth taking in addition to the usual diving and snorkelling excursions. Curieuse Island is just a short hop from Anse Colbert, the main tourist drag, where you’ll find giant tortoises and a museum dedicated to the island’s former life as a leper colony in what was once the doctor’s house. It’s also the only place outside the Vallee de Mai where you’ll see the coco de mer palms growing wild. You can visit the island as part of an organised tour or by arranging a ride with one of the local water taxi operators.