The Seychelles islands are one of the most beautiful (and oldest!) islands in the world, located about 4-11 degrees south of the Equator. It’s home to over 115 islands and one of the most diverse cultures and ecosystems on the planet!
Measuring about 12 by 4.6 km, with a small population of 65000, Praslin island is the second biggest in the archipelago and offers a wide range of activities which varies from stunning hikes in the glorious granitic mountains to dives in unique underwater worlds.
You’re in for a real island adventure on your holiday in Seychelles so let me share with you all of the fun and memorable things that you can do on Praslin.
A local’s guide to visiting Praslin:
- Getting to Praslin
- Where to stay on Praslin
- Beaches on Praslin:
- Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Font Ferdinand Hike
- Black Pearl Farm
- Day trips to Cousin and Cousine
- Snorkelling & Deep Sea Diving
- Big Game Fishing
- Where to eat on Praslin
Getting to Praslin / Getting around Praslin
Your international flight into Seychelles will land on the main island of Mahé, and from there you’ll either take a ferry or a small domestic plane to take you to the second biggest island in the archipelago; Praslin.
In order to get to Praslin, you have a few options. You could book the Cat Coco Ferry for a 45-minute boat trip from Mahé Island for €50. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to book a ticket on the top deck to make sure you have lots of fresh air. They have a little bar on board where you can get some snacks and refreshments.
Alternatively, you can also book a domestic flight on a small twin otter for €120, that’ll take you around 15 minutes. The small planes can take up to 16 guests so it is quite small and some people do feel a bit claustrophobic but don’t worry it’s very safe!
Once you’re on Praslin, public transport is available in the form of buses. Taxis are also available but these can be a bit expensive. The best option would be to rent your own car if you’re confident driving on your own, or if you’re staying at a hotel or guesthouse with a chauffeur service they’ll gladly meet you at the jetty.
READ MORE: A LOCAL’S GUIDE TO MAHE ISLAND
Where to stay on Praslin:
Baie St Anne Praslin
Baie St Anne is where the main jetty on Praslin is to be found and this is most likely where your ferry or boat charter will make port. Although there are a few beaches which can be accessed from here and the mountainside has some prime holiday villas, this isn’t the most popular tourist side, so you’ll want to make your way to the other side of the island.
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Cote D’or Beach
The beaches on Praslin are straight out of a luxury travel magazine and finding them is very easy. Some are simply beyond imagination, with white sand that feels like powder between your toes, and crystal clear waters that glisten in the sunlight.
Spot the local fishermen in their boats, swim in the turquoise waters or take a stroll down the beach at Cote D’or until you encounter just what you need to quench your thirst on a hot day on the island: a friendly local selling freshly picked coconuts decorated with a bright red hibiscus flower.
The Cote d’Or beach front has several dining options as well as a few ice cream shops to cool you after a relaxing day of catching some Vitamin D.
Other beautiful beaches on Praslin include Anse Kerlan, Anse Georgette, Anse Gouvernment and Anse La Blague.
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The Vallée de Mai
The Seychelles islands have some of the rarest and unimaginable species of flora and fauna in the world, some that leave biologists and botanists in awe at the beauty of Mother Nature.
The Seychelles islands are home to the largest nut on the entire planet, the Coco de Mer. Found nowhere else in the world, the nut is shaped like a female bottom, and the male counterpart with the flowers is shaped like the male genitalia. It’s one of Mother Nature’s most quirky creations! You can spot these wonders and more of the islands endemic beauty at the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve.
The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protected since 1966 and is home to over 1400 of the Coco de Mer palms growing naturally along with the endemic black parrot and other species of flora and fauna unique to the paradise islands.
To visit the Nature Reserve, your taxi or your tour guide can take you to the entrance, where you’ll pay an entrance fee of around €20. You can then walk around the park at your leisure, it’s a fairly easy walk and you can take your time listening to the sounds of nature on one of the oldest islands in the world.
At the end of the hike, you can take some souvenir pictures with some of the nuts which have been collected. If you would like to purchase one of the rare Coco de Mer, prices range between €200 to €600. If you do buy one, ensure that it’s been government certified, you’ll know because it’ll have a little sticker, which ensures that the sale is legitimate.
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Although not a Nature Reserve, Fond Ferdinand is 6 times the size of Vallée de Mai and with just as many specimens of flora and fauna. The hike itself is a bit more exerting with quite a few steps and a three-hour trek to reach the beautiful views at the top. Once you get to the top though, it’s absolutely worth the adventure.
The admissions fee is cheap and a tour guide is included to take you through the trails if you’d like one.
For a detailed guide to other hikes on Praslin Island, head on over to the SeyVillas Praslin Hiking Guide.
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Black Pearl Seychelles Farm
The Seychelles Black Pearl farm on Praslin island makes some of the most unique jewellery in the world using the rare black pearl naturally found in the waters of Seychelles.
Although the farm itself is not open to the public, visitors can take a tour of the hatchery, the clam raceways and jewellery workshop as well as browse the jewellery store on Praslin island.
The farm specialises in breeding one of the smallest species of Giant Clams in the world, which is on the CITES list of endangered species: the Tridacna Maxima.
You can actually see the clams in the raceways on your guided tour. They come in a vibrant variety of colours including electric blue, vivid green, pink, purple and gold.
The farm is open Monday to Friday from 10.oo to 16.oo and on Saturday from 10.00 to 12.00. The entrance fee for a guided tour for adults is €3/SCR 50.
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Day trips to Cousin and Cousine
From Praslin, you can take a day trip and explore the amazing seabirds on Cousine Island, meet giant tortoises in the wild on Curieuse, or go swimming or scuba diving around St Pierre or any one of the fantastic dive sites around the island.
Or, to see even more of the different islands, take a day trip to the nearby secluded, and mostly uninhabited islands of Curieuse, Aride, Coco, Sister, Felicité, St. Pierre, and Chauvre Souris.
Spend a day on a pedal boat or sea kayaking in turquoise waters with phenomenal views of the colourful sea creatures and discover small hidden coves around Praslin.
For more information about trips to the smaller islands, your accommodation (hotel concierge or guesthouse manager) should be able to put you in touch with the best trip organizers on the island. Alternatively, some of the best excursions are arranged by Barracuda Boat Charter, Bedier and Sons, Yamsing Charter and Alah Charter.
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Snorkelling on Praslin
Snorkling is also a popular activity on the islands and comes hand in hand with island hopping excursions that can be organised with a beach cooked BBQ serving local goodies such as fresh grilled fish and papaya or mango salads.
Big Game fishing is also a big activity as there an abundance of exotic fish in the pristine waters around PraslinYellowfinlow fin tuna to sailfish and Red snappers.
Boat Charter operators are easy to find but the more renown ones include Barracuda Boat Charter, Bedier and Sons, Yamsing Charter and Alah Charter.
The tiny island of St. Pierre is a beautiful diving site at the heart of the Curieuse Marine Park. It can be reached by boat from Côte d’Or in a few minutes. Here you can see beautiful, lush shoals at depths of up to 12 metres.
The White Reef is really impressive, and lies approximately 200 metres away from the Ave Maria. Here, there is a huge collection of granite rocks with beautiful vegetation and large fish.
With depths of up to 22 metres, there is much to discover, and with a little luck you might even see a giant sea bass! The different hiding places and dark corners also provide spots for snappers and fusiliers to hide. Visibility can vary depending on tide and currents.
Scuba Diving is very recommended as there are countless sites around Praslin which are all accessible by a 20 to 30 minutes boat ride maximum. Species such as turtles, rays, whale sharks are frequently seen.
There many diving centers around Praslin, however, these are very professional and recommended; Octopus, Whitetip and Hawksbill.
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Anse Lazio has on several occasions been named among the top 5 most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters are contrasted by the dark granitic rock and lush green coastal flora.
Anse Lazio is a must-see on Praslin. The sight of the beach when you first lay eyes on it will absolutely take your breath away. The waters are suitable for swimming and absolutely beautiful for snorkelling. There is a quaint little shop and two restaurants, one at each end of the beach.
Lifeguards are present on the beach and it’s relatively safe although there was a freak shark incident back in 2011.
Where to eat on Praslin
Creole cuisine is definitely a pride of the nation, it can be seen in numerous restaurants around Praslin.
Some of the best restaurants to eat at on Praslin include:
- Les Laurier Restaurant
- La Pirogue
- La Goulu
- Bonbon Plume
- Les Roches