Within a quarter of an hour by plane and within 45 minutes by boat from Mahe, Praslin is the second largest island of the archipelago with an area of 10 mi². Less mountainous than its rival, it owes its reputation to its exceptional May Valley, a vegetable sanctuary, classified as World Heritage Site by Unesco, where the emblematic "coco de mer" grows. It costs to enter this protected site but worth the visit. You will then have the privilege of seeing the core of the only "coco de mer" grove on the planet whose tangle of leaves, vines and roots will plunge you into a world worthy of an episode of Indiana Jones. Five very well marked route, 0.5 to 1 mile long, are used to roam this vegetative sanctuary, in complete tranquillity. At the exit, a small shop offers "coco de mer" provided with an official certificate to leave the territory, a essential document if you want to bring it back to the UK legally.
You should also come to Praslin to enjoy its dream beaches and its quality hotels.
As on Mahe, tourism here is very localised. Côte d'Or, on the east coast, and Grand' Anse, on the west coast, are the areas where the main concentration of hotels and guest houses on the island is. What bewilders lovers of nature is the multitude of beaches which are void of any construction such as Anse Lazio and its postcard scenery, Anse Boudin opposite the natural reserve of Curieuse, or Anse la Blague which is more difficult to access and therefore less busy. Without counting the numerous solitary coves whose peace is invaded only by the sound of the waves that you come across anywhere on the island.
Cruises aboard a sailboat are still the best way to discover the wild coast of Praslin and explore the Curieuse nature reserve, the surrounding islands such as Cousin, Cousine, Arid offering, despite its name, a large plant diversity, or Saint Pierre island, located only half a mile from the Côte d'Or (the "Golden Coast").
The rental of a Mini Moke will allow you to go around, in one day, this little tropical paradise, reputed of being the original Garden of Eden. Using the excellent bus network, nicknamed "tata", you can also move around the island easily and for a modest price.
To take full advantage of the holiday resorts in the Seychelles, you will need to choose your place of residence according to the seasons. Algae invade the beaches of the coast as monsoons come. To deal with the problem, many hoteliers do not hesitate to clean up their beach or establish free shuttles to move their customers to protected coasts. Due to their geographical location, the Seychelles are, however, safe from hurricanes.
Different societies organise walks in the sea during the day, particularly to the Curieuse natural reserve. Several diving and big game fish centres are also located on the island aside the Grand'Anse and Anse Volbert.
The Vallée de May (May Valley) is Praslin's main attraction. The protected site is the only "coco de mer" grove on the planet, whose tangle of leaves, vines and roots will make you plunge into a world worthy of an episode of Indiana Jones. Five routes, well marked, along 0.5 to 1 mile, criss-cross the vegetative sanctuary.
With its 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles provide various opportunities for navigation. Despite the considerable freedom to explore the surrounding waters, some islands (located in a reserve or National Marine Park) require a permit to visit. Information is available from the the National Tourism Council (STB ).
During the dry season, from May to September, some islands are invaded by algae on the south-east coast. A phenomenon that is reversed from November to March with the arrival of the monsoon season. It is then the beaches of the North-west that then suffer the inconvenience.
The traditional Creole cuisine is a mixture of many influences. It offers mainly spicy grilled fish, served with the papaya and other fruits. Seychelle dishes are tasty, colorful and include fish in all different types of sauces: parrot, barracuda, job, grouper, carrangue ... in rougail, or curry with spices. Undisputed as the "king" dish on the table, it is accompanied with the inevitable rice, lentils, breadfruit and pepper.
Souvenirs made of coconut, the most famous coconut being the "coco de mer" (which must be accompanied with an official certificate to leave the territory, an essential document to take them back to the United Kingdom). You will also find paintings, sculptures, gold or silver jewellery and bamboo objects or clay.
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