The popular holiday island of Praslin lies 21 miles north-east of Mahe in the Seychelles archipelago, a popular stop for cruise liners and a vacation destination for honeymooners and beach lovers. The island’s favorite beach, Anse Lazio, is one of the world’s most exquisite, but the entire island is ringed with beautiful secluded beaches, sporting coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Praslin is known for being the exclusive home of the rare “coco de mer” palm, that produces the world’s largest nut, and delights ornithologists with glimpses of some of the world’s rarest birds, like the black parrot and fruit pigeon. Several large resort hotels have been developed on the island, but this has not interfered with the natural beauty or abundant flora and fauna, or its reputation as being as close to the Garden of Eden as one can get. There are a few villages sprinkled across the island, housing the permanent population of a few thousand souls, most of whom work in the hotels and resorts or depend on fishing for a livelihood.
Vallee De Mai: There are only two places in the world where you can see the rare Coco de Mer Palms growing in their natural state, and your flight to Praslin will take you to one of them. Vallee De Mai, a national park in Praslin, dedicates itself to windy and extensive trails that weave in and out of beautifully lush areas. There are three main trails that put exotic plant and animal life on display, the longest trail taking around three hours to complete. The entry price, although susceptible to change, is sometimes pricey, but certainly worth the limited and exclusive viewing opportunities you have.
George Camille Studio: For those booking flights to Praslin looking for native art, then the George Camille Studio is the perfect place to enter and let your mind wander. Born in 1963 in Mahe, George Camille was a self-taught artist who saved enough o finally receive formal education. Through hard work and friends in high places, he now has two studios on different islands in the Seychelles. Recently, Camille even showcased his work in Beijing, China and is rapidly gaining international success. Using mixed media such as metal, resin, relief, painting, drawing, and etching, this jack-of-all-trades’s gallery is clearly worth a visit.
Inter-Island Ferry: If island hopping is your game, the Inter-Island Ferry will give those booking cheap flights to Praslin opportunity to get out and see the rest of the Seychelles. Regular ferry service to La Digue, runs through a family-owned business that uses two boats: the Curieuse and the Silhouette. Made of timber, and powered either by sail or diesel, the vessels get you from one place to another in 30 minutes, cruising at 8-10 knots. Just head straight to the Praslin jetty and climb aboard to round out your experience.