Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles.
Praslin lies 45km to the northwest of Mahé. Back in the mid-18th century, the island was called Ile de Palme (Palm Island). In 1768, the island was renamed in honour of a French diplomat: the Duc de Praslin.
This Island was once a haunt of pirates. It is now a popular tourist destination due to its world-class beaches, clear waters and lush forest. A large area, in the South of the island has been designated as Praslin National Park. It covers a total surface area of 324 ha of the upper lands of Praslin and includes the World Heritage site Vallée de Mai. The Vallée is known for the unique coco de mer.
Just off the coast are several small islands:
- Aride Island
- Cousin Islands
- Curieuse Island
- Anse Boudin
- Anse Kerlan
- Anse Volbert
- Baie Sainte-Anne
- Grande Anse
- Curieuse - Once a leper colony, now home to more than 500 giant tortoises, one of the most iconic symbols of the Seychelles. The island, and the waters surrounding it, make up Curieuse Marine National Park. The park was set up to protect its wildlife, including the tortoises, brought from Aldabra in the late 1970s. The island is also home to several species of bird, including the rare black parrot. And in the shallow waters, you will find a large population of parrot-fish. There are hiking trails through the mangrove forest, connecting Anse José and Baie Laraie. In Anse José you will find the ruins of the former leper colony as well as the colonial Doctor's House, now a national monument. And on the other side of the island, Baie Laraie, you will find the ranger station, where you can see the giant tortoises. Curieuse is accessible by water taxi from Anse Volbert. There is an entrance fee of around SR200 for non-residents.
- Cousin - The island has been a Nature Reserve for over 40 years and is home to some of the Seychelles’s rarest birds, including the Seychelles Bush Warbler and Magpie Robin.
- Praslin Airport Grande Anse - Praslin Airport is one of two airports in the Seychelles. You can book your flight on airseychelles.com. A single ticket between Mahe and Praslin will cost you around SR2,500 on average. It is a faster way to travel, but more expensive than taking the ferry.
- Cat Cocos, Baie Ste Anne, Seychelles, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The ferry leaves from Victoria Pier in Mahé, and arrives at Baie Sainte Anne jetty in Praslin. The crossing takes about 1 hour. It is best to book in advance to ensure availability. You can select your seat type: on the main deck for an indoor air-conditioned seat, on the upper deck for an outdoor seat, or in business class to get your own cabin. Cat Cocos has a fleet of four ferries, capable of carrying up to 475 passengers between Mahe and Praslin.
- Inter Island Ferry, Baie Ste Anne, Seychelles, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. There are up to 8 departures per day from La Digue to Praslin. The ferry leaves from La Pass Quay on La Dique, and arrives at Baie Sainte Anne jetty, in Praslin. The crossing takes about 15 minutes. Inter Island Ferry has 2 high speed catamarans, which can carry up to 154 passengers at a time. It is best to book in advance, to ensure availability.
You can book Cat Cocos ferry tickets and Inter Island ferry tickets on Seychellesbookings.com.
A local bus service runs almost all around the island. Timetables are available at Grande Anse tourist office and at their office at Praslin jetty in Baie Ste Anne, where ferries arrive. . Praslin has 3 bus lines: Route 61 - Route 62 and Route 63, operating Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Getting around without your own vehicle can be a challenge. Renting a car for the day will cost you around SR1,300. It is often possible to arrange car pick-up / drop-off from the airport, your accommodation or the ferry terminal. Probably the easiest way to get around.
Taxis are the most expensive way to get around, but they can still be the best option in some situations. Taxis are a good option for those who opt for a "static" vacation: if you booked a room in a large resort, and only want to go out one or two days of your vacation.
- Anse Lazio - is a beach situated in the northwest of Praslin Island, Seychelles, considered by Lonely Planet to be the best beach on Praslin, and one of the best in the archipelago. Located to the north east of Madagascar, east of Zanzibar and south of Socotra, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it has clear, pure waters, great snorkeling and swimming and a wide horizon line that is known to bring in the main part of Praslin's tourism during the year.
- Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve - is a nature park and UNESCO World Heritage Site (inscribed in 1983) located on the island of Praslin, Seychelles. It was officially declared a nature reserve on 18 April 1966. It consists of a well-preserved palm forest made up of the endemic Coco de Mer, as well as five other endemic palms. The Coco de Mer has the largest seeds of any plant in the world; the leaves growing up to 6 m wide and 14 m long. Also unique to the park is its wildlife, including birds such as the rare Seychelles Black Parrot, mammals, crustaceans, snails, and reptiles.
- Côte D’Or - located on the north coast, this bay filled with palm trees is a must. There, you will find Praslin's main beach, which is home to a variety of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and other tourist activities. You will find a variety of water sports, diving operators and the starting point for excursions. The beach has white sand, and the waters are calm and shallow. You will see granite boulders at the western end of the bay.
- Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve - phone: +2484233716 – this reserve measures 122 hectares and is home to all kinds of wild animals. A guide will be available to guide you along trails that meander through the ravine, cross several streams, and eventually climb to a series of view points over Praslin and neighboring islands.
- Praslin Pearl Farm - This family business, on the beach, offers its customers a guided tour with information on the cultivation of black pearls. It is a local and traditional business. You will be able to buy pearls in their shop.
- Dive - The waters of Praslin are filled with colorful fish and reefs, turtles, rays, and sharks! The island has more than 17 dive sites. The depth varies from 8 to 20 meters, depending on the dive sites, which makes this activity accessible to divers of all levels. Most of the diving activity is concentrated along the famous Côte D’Or, where you will find diving schools such as Whitetip and Octopus Diver.
- Lemuria Golf, Anse Kerlan, Praslin, Seychelles, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Praslin has the only 18 hole golf course in the Seychelles. Located on the grounds of the Lémuria Resort, this golf course overlooks 3 beaches and offers agreat view on the Indian Ocean.
- Praslin Museum, Côte d’Or, Praslin, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A museum on Seychelles traditions and culture. The museum also has a garden of local and medicinal plants, where visitors can see fruit bats and also enjoy a glass of tea or local fruit juice.
- Go fishing - The waters around Praslin offer opportunities for all levels of fishers. You can fish Blue Marlin, Tuna , Bone fish, Milk fish, Trevally and Grouper. Full or half day charters, with local captains eager to take you to the best spots and share their knowledge with you, are available.
- Anse Kerlan - secluded beach in the far north west of the island. The beach has white sand and is framed by granite rocks and lush vegetation. It is a good spot to swim or snorkel. Parking available along the main road nearby, as well as at the various hotels on the beach.
The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). However, the majority of the tourist-related businesses quote prices in euros. Only exchange foreign currency at banks/authorized money changers or hotel cashiers. ATMs dispensing local currency can be found at the airport as well as at major banks.
- Café des Arts, Cote D'Or Esplanade, Baie Ste Anne, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This establishment is located directly on the beach. You can sit among paintings and sculptures made by local artists. The cuisine is refined, but the atmosphere relaxed. A great place to eat fresh seafood.
- Les Rochers, Grosse Roche, St Sauveur, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Facing the sea, this restaurant offers traditional cuisine, with seafood and curries. You will find options for vegans as well.
- Les Lauriers, Côte d'Or, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you will be welcome. For breakfast, they offer a variety of pastries and fresh breads, as well as locally produced jams. For lunch, you can choose from a range of Creole dishes, including fresh fish. And for dinner, you can choose between a service A la Carte or Table d'hôte. The desserts are homemade.
- La Gigolette ((L'Archipel)), Anse Gouvernement, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This 4 star establishment is located at the end of the Côte d'Or. The restaurant offers a view on the sea. The menu has a variety of international and Creole dishes with an emphasis on local products and seafood. At the cocktail bar "Ton Francis" you can have a cocktail by the pool.
- Breeze Garden, Grand Anse, ☏ . Octopus curry is a well-known dish at this establishment. The cuisine is essentially Creole. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.
- Coco Rouge, Cap Samy, Seychelles, ☏ . If you are looking for a quick but tasty meal, this "take out" restaurant is recommended by locals. They serve a daily selection of Creole dishes, including curries, at affordable prices.
- Chill out tapas lounge bar - This establishment offers a wide range of tapas, international beers and Spanish wines. The bar,on the edge of the Côte d´Or beach offers a breathtaking view of the turquoise waters. On weekends, they organize themed parties with a DJ.
- Oxygen - This nightclub is located in Baie Ste Anne. Their lively Friday and Saturday night events draw crowds!. You can dance the night away. Just make sure you are well-dressed: no caps or sandals.