Let’s continue our journey to the wonderful Seychelles. After exploring Victoria and the beautiful beaches of Mahè, the amazing La Digue with its breathtaking Anse Source d’Argent, it is time to visit Praslin and the Vallee de Mai.
Praslin is Seychelles’ second largest island after Mahè, and it is divided into two main districts: Baie Ste Anne and Grande Anse. Its attractions are especially popular with the nature lovers. In the past Praslin was called “The island of palms” because of its coconut palm forest and its beautiful hidden jem: the Vallée de Mai.
Vallèe de Mai is a Worldwide famous valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s primarily known as the place where, on its very old palms, there grows a Coco de Mer, which is a coconut… with a female form.
Coco de Mer is the most heavy nut in the world with a weight that ranges between 15 and 30 kilos (30-60 pounds). The trees can live for hundreds of years, while producing its very first fruit after 20 years, and growing tall up to 30 meters.
In addition to Vallèe de Mai, Praslin owes its reputation to its magnificent sandy beaches, with the famous names like Anse Lazio and Anse Geogette. These two frequently make it to the top ten lists of the best beaches and the most beautiful destinations in the World, and with a good reason.
Being based in Mahè, I have spent only one day on this amazing island. To reach Praslin you need to take a speed boat from Victoria, which in only a 1 hour ride away.
You can easily explore the island on your own – by either a taxi, a rental car, or a local bus (especially if you have more time to enjoy this site).
I decided to organize my day with 7° South a young, local tour company. It’s currently recognized as one of the most dynamic agencies in Seychelles, which offers a wide range of tailor-made excursions around this unique destination. Having just one day to enjoy the beauty of Praslin, we tried to maximise the time by going to the most famous spots but ‘in the opposite way’, in order to avoid huge crowds. And this was a good choice!
First we visited the Vallèe de Mai, where you can stay for up to 2 hours, admiring the giant palms and the amazing Cocos de Mer.
Then we enjoyed our lunch at the Cote D’Or. Situated on the North coast, this 3 km long beach, is the main, touristic beach of Praslin. It is a hive of activity with restaurants, shops and hotels. Here the sea is always calm and it is ideal for a relaxing swim or for any water-sport activities. The tiny island of Chauve Souris is a 10-minute swim from the beach and it takes around 30 minutes to swim around the island.
Last but not least we reached Anse Lazio. Located on the North tip of the island, it is the most famous beach of Seychelles and it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is furnished with a big Takamaka, some coconut trees and some giant granite boulders, which frame the clear tourquise sea. During some rocky periods of the year the waves come crashing onto the beach but when it is calm, Anse Lazio is a great beach for swimming and snorkeling.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to visit Anse Georgette. Anse Georgette, together with Anse Lazio, is one of the best beaches on the island. Swimming can be difficult here during some periods of the year due to the big waves. This beach is accessible by a boat or by a trail from Anse Lazio which takes about 1½ hours through the Lemuria Hotel, though a tress-passing permission has to be sought from the hotel in advance.
Seychelles are amazing islands where you have the possibility to enjoy some of the most wonderful and beautiful beaches on the planet, even without having to spend a fortune!
And, well – this can be the excuse to come back!