Praslin, the second-largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, is a true paradise on Earth. Historically, it was a former refuge where pirates hid their treasure. These days, its treasures are more of the natural kind. With its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and lush vegetation, it will mesmerise you with its beauty and charm.
We flew to Praslin from Mahé and were treated to gorgeous views from the small plane before we even landed, which continued once we left the airport and drove to our hotel.
Here are some of the best things to do in Praslin.
Located in the middle of Praslin Island, this ancient palm forest and UNESCO World Heritage Site was believed to be the original Garden of Eden by General Charles Gordon when he first set sight upon it in 1881. The 20-hectare reserve is home to the famous Coco de Mer, a rare palm tree that produces the largest seed in the world.
It also has a wide variety of other plant species, as well as some rare species of birds like the Seychelles black parrot, which we were fortunate to get a brief glimpse of, and the Seychelles bulbul, which we also saw. There are trails in the forest which you can follow, or you can do a guided tour of the reserve to explore its rich biodiversity.
Although Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve is over 6 times larger than Vallee de Mai, it is much newer and not as well-known. Also rich in endemic plants - including the coco de mer palm - and wildlife, it is worth a visit and guided tours are included in the entrance price. It’s also a lovely place to hike, with several nature trails amid the lush landscape which will take you to viewpoints with panoramic views of the ocean and islands.
Did you know that there is only one 18-hole championship golf course in the whole of Seychelles? It is a spectacular one though, and it can be found at Constance Lemuria. If you don’t play golf, it’s still worth visiting for the jaw dropping views from the last few holes.
Anse Lazio, located on the northwest coast of the island, is often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its dazzling white sand, clear turquoise waters and takamaka and palm trees. It is surrounded by lush vegetation and a coral reef, making it ideal for swimming, relaxing and snorkelling.
If you’re looking for a private, unspoilt beach, Anse Georgette is a must-see, known for its seclusion and natural beauty. You can visit Anse Georgette from Constance Lemuria, as we did, or by doing a 1-hour hike from Anse Lazio. It’s a wonderful spot to take in some of the island's unparalleled beauty and get away from it all.
Anse Volbert, also known as Cote d'Or, is the longest beach in Praslin and one of the most popular – with both locals and tourists. The white sand beach is fringed with palm trees and surrounded by lush vegetation, adding to its tropical paradise feel. Activities include swimming, sunbathing, sailing, snorkelling and scuba diving. There are several hotels and restaurants nearby, and access to the beach is easy. Don’t forget to look out for the bent palm tree.
For those who are looking for a more active vacation, Praslin has a wide range of water sports and outdoor activities. You can go scuba diving or snorkelling to explore the island's rich marine life, which consists of colourful coral reefs, schools of tropical fish, and even the occasional turtle. Or you can experience kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.
Rent a car for around 50 Euros a day and drive around the island, exploring its hidden gems. We took a drive in the north of Praslin and saw incredible beaches with not a soul in sight – in December. It was also interesting to see how quiet that part of the island was.
Praslin has some fabulous resorts, where you can experience tropical luxury, like Constance Lemuria. The largest resort in Praslin, it is surrounded by verdant tropical gardens and some of the most beautiful beaches in Seychelles, and overlooks the Indian Ocean. It also boasts the only 18-hole championship golf course in Seychelles and is a prime turtle nesting area, with its very own turtle manager.
Constance Lemuria was one of the best resorts we’ve ever stayed at anywhere in the world and we loved our stay there. Find more accommodation in Praslin.
La Digue is the fourth largest and third most populated island in Seychelles. This quaint, picturesque town with stunning beaches, French colonial architecture and a laid-back island lifestyle will take you back in time and charm you. It is also home to Anse Source d’Argent, one of the most famous beaches in the world. You can visit La Digue by taking a ferry from Praslin.
This is one of the most popular ways to get around Praslin island. You can rent a car for around 50 euros a day, as we did. The car was brought to us at our apartment and the car rental company told us that we could leave the car in the airport public parking lot before we left with the doors unlocked and the keys under the mat. We could never do that in South Africa!
Take note though, that the roads can be very steep, narrow and winding in places.
Taxis are expensive in Seychelles so try to avoid them if you can. We used them mainly for travelling with luggage before we rented a car. If you are looking for a good, reliable taxi driver, I recommend Simon from Optimus Taxi Service. His number is +248 254 2418 and his email address is email@example.com .
The buses are safe and have fixed routes and times.