is the second largest island in Seychelles and has a population of 6,500. It lies 44km - approx 60 mins by fast Cat Cocos catamaran
- to the North East of Mahé and measures 10km x 3.7km. A leisurely drive around Praslin takes approximately 2 hours. Like most islands in Seychelles, Praslin is renowned for its fabulous beaches and it lush mountainous topography.
The Island stands at the forefront of Seychelles' tourism industry with a strong tradition of hospitality and serves as a good base for excursions to the neighbouring islands of La Digue
, Cousine & Fregate.
5 star Resorts and Hotels on Praslin are supported by an equally impressive of range of self catering accommodation
- see our map of Praslin.
You can get a good feel for the island by looking at our Interactive Map of Praslin
and taking a truly remarkable Virtual Tour of Praslin
Praslin has numerous world class beaches - Anse Lazio
and Anse Georgette
, both of which have appeared in the top 10 list of the world's best beaches in recent years.
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Prior to the settlement of the islands by the French in the mid 18th century, Praslin's Cote d'Or
was a favourite haunt of pirates. Praslin was originally named Isle des Palmes by French navigator Lazare Picault
during the course of his exploration of these granitic islands in 1744
. The island was renamed Praslin in 1768 after the then Minister of Marine, Duc de Praslin when the original "Stone of Possession"
was erected in what is still known as Anse Possession. It was on that occasion that the Vallee de Mai
was discovered and an end to the myth that the Coco de Mer
fruit originated from beneath the sea.
Almost a century and a half later General Gordon
(of Khartoum) became convinced that Praslins Vallee de Mai was in fact the original Garden of Eden
. More recently, Winston Churchill was advised, it is said, to choose Praslin as a suitable site for troublesome Irish political prisoners. Alas, the plan never materialised but you have to hand to the Irish for trying!
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The inhabitants of Praslin are the ones that find life of Mahé "too hectic"! Praslin has an altogether more "village" feel to it. This is of course relatively speaking - to city dwellers the world over Praslin is positively sleepy. Praslin has the same ethnic configuration as Mahé but as a community it has tended to regard itself as something of a separate entity with a very particular lifestyle.
Praslin is home to one of Seychelles' two UNESCO World Heritage
sites - namely the renowned Vallee de Mai
. This is where the legendary Coco de Mer
, the worlds heaviest nut grows, high on ancient palms in the primeval forest.
The valley is host to six different species of palm to be found only in Seychelles and also to a number of endemic pandans or screwpine, whilst on its upper slopes several native, broad-leaved trees can still be found.
The Valley de Mai is a protected area but has several walks through it where one can experience this lush deep and often dense forest.
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