Praslin, with a population of 6,500 people, is Seychelles’ second largest island. It lies 45km to the northeast of Mahé and measures 10km by 3.7km. A leisurely tour around the island by car will take approximately 2 hours.
Praslin is the site of the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island features truly exquisite beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both appearing on the top-10 list of world’s best beaches in recent years.
Prior to settlement of the islands by the French in the mid-18th century, Praslin's Côte d'Or was a favourite haunt of pirates.
The island was named Praslin after the Duc de Praslin, the French minister of marine in 1768 when the original 'Stone of Possession' was erected on the island in what is still known as Anse Possession.
Almost a century and a half later the visiting General Gordon (of Khartoum fame) became convinced that the Vallée de Mai was the original site of the Garden of Eden. This is where the legendary Coco-de-Mer, the world's heaviest nut, grows high on ancient palms in a primeval forest. The Vallée is host to six species of palm to be found only in Seychelles.
Praslin stands at the forefront of Seychelles’ tourism industry with a strong tradition of hospitality and wide range of accommodation facilities. It also provides a base for excursions to neighbouring islands, some of which are important sanctuaries nurturing rare species of endemic flora and fauna.
Things to do
Vallée de Mai
Praslin's World Heritage-listed Vallée de Mai is one of only two places in the world where you can see the rare coco de mer palms growing in their natural state (the other being nearby Curieuse Island). If the entry price seems steep, remember this is a unique chance to experience a slice of Eden.
Three trails lead through the park, of which the longest takes around three hours. Signs indicate some of the other endemic trees to look out for, including several varieties of pandanus (screw pine) and latanier palms.
About 2km southwest of Praslin, Cousin Island is run as a nature reserve by Nature Seychelles . The bird population is estimated to exceed 300,000 on an island measuring just 1km in diameter. It's an amazing experience to walk through thick forest with birds seemingly nesting on every branch.
Nightlife in Praslin? No, really? It usually comes as a surprise to many visitors that the island rocks (by Seychellois standards) on Friday and Saturday evenings. Shakers and movers head en masse to the Jungle .
George Camille Art Gallery
Camille's work is inspired by the beauty and nature around him, incorporating stylised fish, geckos and coco de mer palms in his works, as well as more conventional scenes of rural life.
Photos of Praslin