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Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, lying north east of Mahé. Originally known as a hideaway by pirates and Arab merchants, Lazare Picault named the island “Isle de Palmes” in 1744. In 1768 it was renamed Praslin in honor of Cesar Gabriel de Choiseul, duc de Praslin, a French diplomat. Tropical forests and nature preserves abound, housing the unique coco de mer and vanilla orchids.
 
This tropical Eden covers 14.5 square miles (23 sq km) and lies a mere 21 miles (33.6 km) from the island of Mahé. In addition to glorious beaches and fantastic marine life, Praslin is best known for the Vallée de Mai World Heritage Site where the botanical rarity, the coco de mer palm, grows wild. In fact, this incredible palm forest earned the island its original name of "Isle de Palme”, accorded by the French navigator Lazare Picault who had to carve his way through the tangled undergrowth of the inland hills. In 1768, Marion Dufresne led an expedition to the island and renamed it Praslin. He placed a Deed of Possession in a bottle which he buried in the sands of the northern coast.
 
In the early 1800s, the total population of the island amounted to ten families. Nothing noteworthy happened through most of the century, except for the arrival of General Charles Gordon in 1881. The hero of Khartoum thought he had found the biblical Garden of Eden and pronounced that the coco de mer was the biblical tree of knowledge. By 1990, the population had increased to more than 5,000 people, and since the Seychelles’ independence, Praslin has seen some additional development.
 
This affected the island’s civic and tourist infrastructure, including the building of roads and installing public electricity in 1981. A new airport was opened in 1975 which was soon followed by the construction of hotels to help cope with an unprecedented tourist boom. Although tourism is the leading economic source, traditional trades like plantation work, fishing and farming are not forgotten. A large farming community in the flatlands of the northwestern part of the island tends crops of tomatoes, cabbage, beans and other table produce that flourish in the fertile island soil.
 
Arriving by sea into Baie St. Anne, you are greeted with breathtaking views of the tiny island capital. Its location is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the pier and it is here that the island’s banks, shops, hospital and church are found. Luckily, Baie St. Anne and the island managed to remain unspoiled despite the recent influx of visitors. It has retained that unique atmosphere captured in Athol Thomas’s book, Forgotten Eden.
 
Please note: the cost of providing a tour program is proportionately more expensive than in neighboring nations. Unfortunately this is reflected in the prices of the tours, and we request your understanding.
 
Pier Information
While in Praslin, the ship is at anchor. Guests are taken ashore via tender. Baie St. Anne is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the pier. A limited number of taxis may be available at the pier.Taxis are a popular means of transportation for both short trips and day rental and can be obtained almost anywhere. It is possible to catch a ferry here to La Dique which has some of the prettiest beaches in the world, where you can hire an ox cart for about $25.00 per person.
 
Praslin Attractions
Three things that a first time visitor in Praslin should never miss; the naturally beautiful beaches, the famed coco de mer palm trees, and the national bird. Out of these attractions, the pristine beaches fall in the top draw. The Anse Lazio is the most well-known beach in the island with magnificent coral reefs. Out of the smaller beaches, Anse Georgette and Anse Volbert deserve a special mention.
 
Among the two other main attractions, the coco de mer palm tree and the rare black parrot can be both spotted in the same place, the Valle de Mai. This world heritage site has a unique range of flora and fauna. Its coco de mer palm produces the world’s largest nut. And besides the national bird (black parrot), Valle de Mai also owns a great variety of rare birds, making it a birdwatchers delight. Travellers, who are more interested in venturing Praslin’s indoor attractions, must visit the George Camille Art Gallery. It can be a wonderful way to explore the island’s local culture.
 
Anse Lazio Beach
The Anse Lazio beach is the best beach in the Seychelles archipelago. It is probably one of the best beaches in the world. The sunset at Anse Lazio is spectacular and the water is excellent for snorkeling. Surrounded by palms and takamaka trees, the beach is every photographer’s dream. Rising hills and dense vegetation add to its beauty. Opening Hours: All day and night
 
Vallee de Mai Nature Walk
Embrace the exquisite beauty of the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve during a scenic and memorable nature walk inside this World Heritage Site.
Depart the pier for the drive to the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. Upon arrival, you will commence your guided walking tour. Along the way, you will see tropical vegetation and many species of rare, endemic palms that include the unique double coconut, or coco de mer, which bears the largest nut in the plant kingdom. This idyllic paradise is also home to the rare black parrot, which feeds on the reserve's abundant fruit.
 
Grand Anse Beach
Grand Anse is the longest beach in Praslin. The water here is absolutely incredible. It’s still and warm, almost like an enormous swimming pool. The beach sand is soft and ideal for walking. However, Grand Anse is pretty crowded; but if you love people watching then probably this is the best place for you.
 
Cote D'or Beach
Discover why the Seychelles are home to some of the world's most idyllic beaches during this relaxing visit to picturesque Cote d'Or Beach. Depart the pier for the scenic transfer to Cote d'Or Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles and the world.
 
Casino des Iles
If you love gaming, then head for Casino des Iles for having a great time. The place provides you excellent nighttime activity. However, do remember that the minimum age limit is eighteen years, and no sandals or shorts is allowed after 1900hrs. The Tante Mimi Restaurant is placed on the premises of the casino and specialises in Creole cuisine.
 
Opening Hours:
* Slots open daily from 12:30-02:30
* Casino Tables operates from Monday to Sunday 20:30-03:00
* Tante Mimi Restaurant open from Tuesday to Sunday 19:30-23:00

Praslin Museum
The Praslin museum is conveniently located just fifty metres away from the lovely Acajou Hotel. It is a great place for experiencing the culture and tradition of the archipelago. In addition, the visitor can view the rare medicinal and endemic plants present all over Seychelles. At the museum premises, the visitors get the opportunity to participate in activities such as breadfruit grilling, coconut dehusking, and many other popular traditional activities. They can also enjoy the fruit bat while sipping a glass of fruit juice or tea. Visitors to the museum are even encouraged to buy curios available on the museum premises as souvenirs.
 
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (Monday-Sunday)
Location: Cote d’Or, Praslin
Price Range: SCR180 per person (With Tour Guide)
 
Vallée de Mai
A trip to Seychelles is never over without a visit to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. This nature park has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unusually beautiful flora and fauna of the nature reserve pulls thousands of visitors to this place. Vallee de Mai in Praslin is also the one and only place in the world where you will find the rare coco de mer palm. This palm produces the world’s largest nut, which weighs about eighteen kilograms. Its structure resembles the female pelvis. The nuts rarity, shape and strong aphrodisiac properties make it a must take item for home. It is also home to some of the rarest birds in the world: Black parrot, Seychelles bulbul, and the fruit pigeon.
Opening Hours: Daily 8:00-17:30
Location: Praslin Island
Price Range: EURO 15 for tourists (Free for children below the age of 12)
 
Coco Island Snorkeling Adventure
Discover an abundance of diverse and colorful marine life during this memorable snorkeling adventure at Coco Island. Depart the Praslin Jetty via catamaran and proceed for a cruise to Coco Island. Although this island is merely a small granite outcrop dotted with a few palm trees, its real treasure lies in the surrounding depths. Often compared to a living aquarium, Coco Island attracts numerous fish species that rise to the surface to feed; a unique underwater paradise. After receiving your instructions and snorkeling gear, you will begin snorkeling. Prior snorkeling experience is not required,
 
This tropical Eden covers 14.5 square miles and lies a mere 28 miles from the island of Mahe. In addition to glorious beaches and fantastic marine life, Praslin is best known for the Vallee de Mai World Heritage Site where the botanical rarity, the coco de mer, grows wild. In fact, this incredible palm forest earned the island its original name of "Isle de Palme".
 
Arriving by sea into Baie St. Anne, you will be greeted with breathtaking views of the tiny island capital. Its location is 1.5 miles from the pier and it is here that the islands banks, shops, hospital and church are found. Luckily St. Anne and the island managed to remain unspoiled despite the recent influx of visitors. It has retained that unique atmosphere captured in Athol Thomas book Forgotten Eden.
 
Nearby Places:
There are plenty of secluded beaches, especially along the east and the north coast. The islands forests are also home to rare species of birds, such as the black parrot, the Seychelles blue pigeon, bulbul and sunbird.

There are plenty of secluded beaches; the closest is Côte d’Or Beach. The island’s forests are also home to rare species of birds, such as the black parrot, the Seychelles blue pigeon, bulbul and sunbird. A stroll through tiny Baie St. Anne provides a glimpse into the islanders’ daily way of life.

Cuisine
Seafood is the local staple, combined with spices, vegetables and tropical fruit. Lobster, octopus or the catch of the day is served in small, family-owned restaurants.
 
Shopping
Straw goods, local paintings and art, spices, island tea, mother-of-pearl rings, coral jewellery, locally carved walking sticks, T-shirts and wood carvings are popular buys. A special permit is required to take a coco de mer out of the country. The local currency is the Seychelles rupee.








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