Praslin, the second-largest island of Seychelles, 45km northeast of Mahé, it is home to 8.000 residents. Although Praslin resembles Mahé a lot, it has a more chilled and laid back atmosphere. Not to mention fewer tourists. Praslin was the first stop on our holiday and also the place where we spent most of the time. If you want to learn more, here is a complete guide to Praslin Island!
Learn more about Seychelles:
Accommodations in Seychelles will be the most expensive thing, after the flight tickets. Avoid the resorts and go for the most affordable options: self-catering villas, a great way of cutting costs by preparing your meal if you wish so or serving some takeaways and a rum on your terrace.
Prices both on AirBnb.com and Booking.com tend to be around 80€-90€-100€ ( 89$-100$-111$)/night/accommodation
BUS: If you are not too demanding, the bus is an excellent choice at an affordable price: 7 SCR(€0,5, $0,6) for a single ticket. The bus route covers the whole island, and we managed to work our way around the island with no problems. The ride along the cliff edge on the narrow roads makes the experience more authentic.
Look on the SPTC web page and find the route that suits your itinerary.
BIKE: To be honest, I have never seen tourists on bikes, and I would not recommend it since the hills are quite steep in places.
CAR: Renting a car through accommodation is a common thing in Seychelles. It costs 35€, $38 per day, insurance included. You get the car at your accommodation door, and you can leave it at the ferry terminal or the airport when you leave the island. Or you can rent one from the rental companies. It is up to you!
Fuel: 18,6 SCR (€1.3, $1.4) for one-litre diesel. We spent 200SCR(€13.5, $14.5) on 10.8 litre diesel, for two days.
Depending on the season and wind direction, seaweed can disturb the beaches. As a tip, on the northwest beaches you won’t get seaweed between Mai and October while on the southeast beaches you won’t get it between October and March. As weather patterns become less predictable, anything can change, so always find a beach that suits you.
BEACHES IN PRASLIN
The most famous beach of Praslin, located on the northern tip of the island, a must-see for anyone. Very easy to reach by car. If you come by bus, from the bus stop, you have to walk uphill and then downhill, but it is an easy walk. Takamaka palms and coconut trees border it, and the water is crystal clear. It is an excellent place for snorkelling and swimming, but in december&january the waves are crashing the beach so be careful when swimming. There are two restaurants at each end of the beach.
Tip: on the right-hand side, facing the ocean, there is a small enclosure with giant tortoises.
Coming from Anze Lazio, on the northwest of the island, you will reach Anse Boudin. Facing Curieuse Island, this beautiful, long beach is bordered by coconut trees. When the waves are too big at Anse Lazio, that’s the place you should try. The water here is shallow, although it does deepen quickly. There are a bus station and a small market near the beach where you can stock up food or beverages.
On the north part of the island, Anse Possession is a beautiful bay, and the water is always calm here, so it makes an excellent place for snorkelling.
Anse Cote D’or or Anse Volbert, on the north part of the island, the most popular beach on the island. Since the beach is very long, here are many accommodations, plenty of restaurants and shops. The water is very calm, so it is suitable for families with children and snorkelling. The bus stops nearby. Anse Gouvernement, at the very end of the Anse Volbert, is less crowdy and more intimate, with crystal clear water.
ANSE LA BLAGUE
The road to Anse La Blague is lovely. Located in the southeast of Praslin, it is the most secluded part of the island with beautiful sand and crystal clear water, great for snorkelling. Here are two beaches: Grande Soeur and Petite Soeur, the second one even more secluded than the first one. If you come by bus, make sure you know when the last one leaves.
After your visit at Fond Ferdinand you can spend some time at this beautiful beach. The area is so quiet, with beautiful, calm water. Head straight into the water, and at some point, you will reach some boulders, not seen from the shore. This place is fantastic for snorkelling. From this beach, you can see Mahé in the distance.
Next to Anse Marie-Louise you will find Anse Consolation, on the southernmost tip of the island. It is a small, beautiful beach, also great for snorkelling.
Last but not least, Anse Georgette. For me, the most beautiful beach in Praslin. Situated on the northwest coast of the island, bordered with huge granite boulders, Anse Georgette has crystal clear turquoise water, fine white sand and many palm trees. You need to make a reservation through your accommodation, one day before or even earlier in high season, to reach the beach through Constance Lemuria Resort. From the bus station, walk 5 minutes to the main gate of the resort and from there another 20-25 minutes to Anse Georgette. To be honest, we only reached it after one hour since we made it to the viewpoint first, taking lots of photos and enjoying the incredible surroundings.
There is another way to reach the beach, through a trail that goes over the hills between Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio. It’s a 1h30′ hike, and it’s only for experimented ones or for those who like hiking.
Located near the airport, the sea here is calm and shallow.
HALF DAY TRIPS
Although tourists tend to stay more at the beach, there are other places to discover in Praslin! Fond Ferdinand and Vallée de Mai are a great way to spend a few hours in what feels like a tropical rainforest. Taking a boat trip on one of the neighbouring islands is another great way to spend half a day.
VALLÉE DE MAI
Vallée De Mai Nature Reserve is one of two Unesco World Heritage sites in Seychelles, home to the most famous Coco de Mer. The Seychelles Government nowadays protects Coco de Mer palms which produce the largest seed and the most extended leaves of any plant in the world. This place is also home for the black parrot, the blue pigeon, the black snail, lots of geckos or vanilla orchids. The area is easy to access by bus or by car. The circular route takes around two hours and feels like walking straight into the jungle, with occasional stairs. All paths are well marked with signs and explanations. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to spot the black parrot as it is very rare.
ENTRANCE FEE: 350 SCR (€ 23.5, $25.6) without a guide. There is a free guided tour early around 9.00 am and one at 2.00 pm.
Fond Ferdinand, the second nature reserve on Praslin Island, it was opened in 2013, and it is a great alternative to Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. Not to mention cheaper. The reserve is entirely worth visiting, being six times larger than Vallée de Mai, easy to reach by bus or by car. It is located near Anse Marie-Louise beach where you can spend the rest of the day after visiting Fond Ferdinand. There are only four tours daily (the last leaves at 1 pm) and a personal guide is always included. You will learn more about the famous Coco de Mer, the black parrot or the dutch bird. The tour takes about two to three hours, and you’ll have to climb more than 600 steps. Getting to the top, you will be rewarded with incredible views over Baie St. Anne and all the neighbouring islands.
ENTRANCE FEE: 150SCR (€10, $11) Bring plenty of water, insect repellent and trail shoes!
Curieuse Island is a small island close to the north coast of Praslin.
Do some research first! It should cost around €65, $71/pp– €30, $33 for the boat, €15, $16.5 for the entrance fee, €20, $21.5 for the BBQ. Ask your host to book the boat trip for you or just walk along the Cote d’ Or beach and look for any water taxi service. I’ve heard some booked the same trip for €150, which is outrageous.
The boat takes you to a small and beautiful beach. Walk to the Doctor’s house, a small and informative museum. From there hike the path until you reach a lovely viewpoint and then walk through the mangrove forest where you’ll see many crabs, turtles, coconut trees. I would advise you not to wear flip flops for this hike. One hour later you will reach the other side of the island.
Curieuse Island is home to the giant Aldabra tortoises which roam around freely. You have the opportunity to feed the tortoises, spend enough time close to them and take pictures. Visit the nursery where baby turtles are fed and kept away from the predators.
Most of the tour packages to Curieuse Island comes with package for lunch with BBQ arrangement at the island, and I encourage you to try it: fresh-grilled barracuda fish, grilled chicken, rise, mango and crab salads, fruits, juices and water.
You’ll have then some free time to spend at the beach before moving on to St Pierre Island for snorkelling.
The best and most inexpensive way to experience the food is through the takeaway stands, where you get a foam carton filled with creole food. The selection is different every day with freshly made fish, chicken, pork, veal and vegetables which come with rice&salad, chips or even fried noodles.
- EVE’S RESTAURANT & TAKEAWAY: inside the restaurant, on the left-hand side, is a small takeaway. Delicious food at reasonable prices. We had some lamb curry for 80SCR (€5.5, $6)and pork chops for 65SCR (€4.4, $4.8). A curry meal at the restaurant costs 240SCR (€16, $17.8), while a pizza or a burger cots 150SCR (€10, $11).
- COCO ROUGE: a great little restaurant with a great takeaway selection. Prices from 80 SCR (€5.35, $5.85) to 150 SCR (€10, $11). If you want to try the grilled fish (capture of the day) at the restaurant, it would cost around 400 SCR!!!
- VILLAGE TAKEAWAY. Typical local food that sells out very quickly. The food is excellent, with a variety of dishes like fish, pork, chicken, beef, mostly served with rice. Prices starting from 65-70 SCR. (€5, $6)