44 km northeast of Mahe you will find the second largest islands of the Seychelles, Praslin (38 km²) with a population of about 6500 people. Arriving from Victoria you will instantly get caught by the calm atmosphere. The island is covered with tropical forest and is home of the famous nature reserve Val de Mai, in which among other plants the unique Coco de Mer is growing. This species is known for having the largest fruits of any plant on this planet. The Coco de Mer is an endangered species and can only be found here and on one other tiny Seychelles islands. If you are lucky you can see a rare parrot or a green coloured gecko within the huge leaves of this giant tree.
One of the world’s most famous beaches, Manse Lazio, is situated in the north of the island. It was voted the most beautiful beach in the world more than once. You can reach it by bus, walking the last rise per foot or by car. In our opinion there are many other amazing beaches on the Seychelles that would deserve the same notation. Anse Lazio is most beautiful in the morning.
It was named Isle de Palmes by explorer Lazare Picault in 1744. During that time it was used as a hideaway by pirates and Arab merchants. In 1768 it was renamed Praslin in honour of French diplomat Cesar Gabriel de Choiseul, duc de Praslin.
Praslin is known as a tourist destination with several hotels and resorts, as well as a number of beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Geogette. It also has substantial tracts of tropical forests with birds such as the endemic Seychelles Bulbul and the Seychelles Black Parot. The beautiful Valle de Mai Nature Preserve is known for the unique coco de mer and vanilla orchids.
It has been reported that General Charles George Gordon of Khartoum (1833-1885) was convinced that Vallée de Mai was the Biblical “Garden of Eden”.Praslin is home to Praslin Inter Island Aiport, while surrounding islands include Curieuse Island,La Digue, Cousin Island, Cousine Island and Aride Islnad. There are also a few near offshore islets including Round Island (.193 km²) and Chauve Souris (.007 km²); both of which have hotel accommodations.