Praslin is the second-largest island in the Seychelles and was once a hideaway for Arab merchants and pirates. Today there are fewer pirates around and Praslin is known as one of the best islands in the Seychelles to visit for a beach holiday. It is covered in forest and beautiful beaches and is a short boat ride or flight from the main island of Mahe. It’s a must-see when you’re visiting the Seychelles and here are some great things to do while you’re there.
Head To Anse Lazio
The Praslin Museum is a great place to go for the morning before it gets too hot and you need to be next to the sea. You can walk around the museum and learn about the culture and traditions of the Seychelles. While visiting you’ll also have the chance to see and learn about the rare endemic and medicinal plants of the Seychelles, learn how to grill breadfruit, dehusk coconuts and many other traditions. It’s a fun and entertaining experience and an awesome way to learn about the local culture.
Visit Vallee De Mai
The Vallee De Mai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made up of a forest of coco de mer trees. This is one of the only two populations of these trees in the world, the other is on Curieuse Island. The trees are staggeringly large and beautiful and produce the heaviest nut/seed in the world. While strolling along easy to follow pathways through the forest you will see stunning views of Praslin and the forest canopy, learn about the history of the coco de mer trees, poaching threats and the conservation work happening in the area. The forest is also home to some amazing species endemic to the Seychelles and to the forest in particular. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive national bird, the Seychelles black parrot, bronze-eyed geckos and coco der mer snails that will be moving slowly around the fallen nuts and leaves.
Go Scuba Diving
Praslin also offers some excellent diving opportunities and the place to go is Octopus Dive School on Cote d’Or beach. Octopus Dive School is hailed as one of the top ten dive schools in the world and is an amazing place to dive from. They offer courses for everyone, from trial dives to getting your divemasters and organize everything from the boats to the equipment you need and the staff are great at what they do. The underwater world of the Seychelles is some of the best in the world and spending some time underwater is a must. You’ll see anything from sharks, rays, turtles, and seahorses to beautiful coral and huge shoals of fish.
Day Trip To Curieuse Island
Hang Out At Cote d’Or
While you’re there you have to try the local food. Creole cuisine uses a wide variety of flavors all influenced by its history of trade and colonization. You will find French, English, Chinese and Indian flavors in Creole cooking styles. Once you try it, you will never forget it. Creole dishes are mouthwateringly delicious and are based on fresh seafood, local fruit, bananas, spicy curries, and a fruit bat now and again. Fruit bat? Yes, it’s a delicacy although it isn’t served as much as it once was and is hard to find.
The classic Creole dishes are a smoked fish papaya salad, grilled breadfruit, coconut and octopus curry, grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves and any kind of cooked banana desert. Creole food can be found all over Praslin island, from hotels to street vendors and local guest houses. Coco Rouge is one of the best places to get a creole food fix on Praslin, and the amazing food has made this restaurant a real success, try the fresh fish and octopus salad. The setting is not anything to write home about but the do offer takeaways. So head down in the evening and pick up your dinner or take your food to the beach for a lunchtime picnic.
George Camille Art Gallery
The George Camille Art Gallery is found at The Casino de Îles. It’s the only real art gallery on Praslin island and is worth a visit. It’s a great place to spend an hour or so staring into the collages, pastels, pencil drawings, watercolors, and collages. The theme of the George Camille Art Gallery is themed around Creole culture. The paintings take you on a journey through the then and now of creole life and culture.
Dinner at Le Dauphin
While you’re on holiday, you’ll probably want to go out for a nice dinner. One of the best choices on Praslin is Le Dauphin. It is a beautiful little open-air restaurant and it does get a little buzz going in the evenings. Arrive in the early evening to enjoy some of their delicious cocktails while watching the sun go down. Then you can get all romantic under the stars and enjoy a delicious candlelit dinner by the pool. Le Dauphin is pretty famous for its fresh fish, seafood gratin, fish carpaccio and a yummy curry made with cinnamon and coconut milk.
Black Pearl Seychelles
Have you ever seen a black pearl or a giant clam? I certainly hadn’t and they are quite amazing and interesting creatures and the pearls are stunning. A visit to the black pearl is a great experience and a cool learning adventure. The Black Pearl Seychelles is a giant clam farm and the only one in the Indian Ocean, with over 40,000 giant clams. Its main purpose is the production of rare black pearls for export. As you stroll around, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about the clams, how they feed and how they reproduce and examine some of the pearls. There is a shop on-site, known as one of the best in Praslin for buying jewelry, souvenirs and of course, black pearls.
Why Go To Praslin?
I think it’s pretty clear that Praslin island is a great place to spend a few days or all of your holiday in the Seychelles. It’s a little quieter than Mahe, it’s well placed for island-hopping and it still offers everything and more that you’ll want on your holiday. The beaches are beautiful, the activities well-run and easy to access. You’re surrounded by a diverse ecosystem that you can explore and discover while learning about all the endemic species too.