Planning your Praslin Island vacation? We’ve got you covered with the latest guide on what to see and do, the must-visit attractions, and the most exciting activities in Seychelles’ second-largest island.
Whether you’re into exploring, lounging, or staying active, Praslin Island in the Seychelles has something for everyone. Discover stunning beaches, untouched nature trails, incredible wildlife, natural parks, and a well-developed infrastructure.
In this article, we’ve gathered all the essential information, perfect for both seasoned travelers and first-time Seychelles explorers. We also recommend checking out our article on planning your Seychelles getaway for even more useful tips.
Quick Facts about Praslin Island, Seychelles
Praslin Island, also known as Île de Palme (the Palm Island), is renowned for its diverse palm tree species found nowhere else on Earth.
It’s the second-largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustling Mahé. Praslin boasts all the amenities you need, including hotels, guesthouses, villas, roads, transportation, supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes. Plus, it has its own airport serving local island airlines.
With a population of 7,500 residents, Praslin is just a one-hour ferry ride or 50 km away from the main Seychelles island of Mahé. It’s also conveniently located near neighboring islands like Cousin, La Digue, and Curieuse.
The Seychelles’ top vacation destinations are the trio of islands: Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue.
A Glimpse into Praslin Island’s History
Praslin Island was initially named Palma by Lazare Picault in 1744. Over the years, it served as a haven for pirates and Arab traders traversing the Indian Ocean.
Historically, Praslin was famous for cultivating vanilla, palm oil, and other palm-related products.
The island alternated between being a French and British colony before gaining independence in 1976. It boasts three official languages: English, French, and Seychellois Creole.
Getting to Praslin Island
Getting to Praslin Island is a breeze, with two main options:
By Sea: Purchase a ferry ticket from Cat Cocos, which shuttles between Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue. The Mahé to Praslin journey takes about an hour and costs $60 (online booking available). The La Digue to Praslin ferry ride costs $15.
To reach the ferry terminal on Mahé, you can take a taxi or rent a car, returning it upon arrival. Pre-booking a car rental is a smart move, allowing you to hit the road right after arriving on Praslin, whether you’re headed to a hotel, guesthouse, or villa.
By Air: Opt for local airline Air Seychelles, which offers flights between Mahé and Praslin. Flights depart from Mahé International Airport’s domestic terminal and accommodate 12 passengers, with a 15-minute flight time. This option lets you enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Seychelles islands at a starting cost of $100 for a one-way ticket, available on the airline’s website.
Best Beachfront Hotels on Praslin Island
If you’re seeking a luxurious beachfront getaway with easy access to attractions, consider these top four Praslin Island hotels. No compromises here – everything is tailored to your preferences.
- Acajou Beach Resort
- Berjaya Praslin Resort
- Château de Feuilles
- Constance Lemuria
Now you’re all set for an unforgettable adventure on Praslin Island, Seychelles! Enjoy your trip!
Top 15 Attractions and Activities on Praslin Island
In my top picks, I’ve included everything that captivated us during our week on the island – from day trips to neighboring islands and beach explorations to trying local beer, unique coconuts, and parrot sightings.
Praslin Island Beaches This is what people from all over the world come here for. Seychelles beaches are a trifecta of white sand, granite boulders, and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. All of this set against a backdrop of hundreds of palm trees along the coastline.
Praslin Island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Seychelles. Many of them have coral reefs nearby, providing both wave protection and the opportunity to snorkel and marvel at the underwater world. There are beaches with shallow waters, perfect for families, as well as those with deeper sections.
Here’s a quick list of the top 6 beaches:
- Anse Lazio
- Petit Anse Lazio
- Anse Kerlan
- Anse Georgette
- Anse Boudin
- Cote d’Or, also known as Anse Volbert
Don’t forget to explore the island’s perimeter to discover new, hidden gems.
Day Trip to Curieuse and St. Pierre Islands
These are the most popular day trips for those staying on Praslin Island. These two islands are close by and definitely worth spending a day exploring.
St. Pierre is like a postcard with its granite boulders, palm trees, crystal-clear water, and white sand. The highlight here is the opportunity to swim with sea turtles.
Curieuse Island, once a leper colony, is now a marine national park with giant Seychelles turtles roam freely, protected by the government.
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
The Vallée de Mai National Park on Praslin Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its unique endemic palm trees that grow only in Seychelles and nowhere else in the world.
It’s an incredibly beautiful place with well-maintained trails through pristine jungles. Here, you can walk comfortably while surrounded by the beauty of untouched nature. This is where you’ll find the famous Coco de Mer palm tree with its iconic coconut.
Plan to spend at least two hours exploring this park.
Spot the Black Parrot If you arrive at Vallée de Mai early in the morning, you might get lucky and spot a rare bird that Seychellois are proud of – the Black Parrot. Seeing one is quite a special experience. They only appear in the mornings.
These birds are unique to Seychelles and can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.
Best Beach on Praslin
For us, as for many, Anse Lazio beach on the northwest coast of Praslin Island stole the show. It’s not far from the tourist hub, which is centered around Anse Volbert, also known as Cote d’Or Beach.
Anse Lazio is the place to take pictures that you’ll envy yourself for years to come, not to mention impressing your friends. The beach features rocks, overhanging palm trees, white sand, and a gentle, gradual entry into the water – perfect for swimming.
Near Anse Lazio, you’ll find its smaller counterpart, Petit Anse Lazio, accessible via a jungle trail.
Snorkeling around Coco Island If the sea is calm, and you enjoy snorkeling or diving, consider a trip to Coco Island. While the island itself may not be extraordinary compared to other Seychelles islands, the marine life surrounding it is vibrant. You can encounter sea turtles and a variety of fish species.
Visit Félicité Island
Another island worth visiting is Félicité Island. It’s home to the luxurious 5-star Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort. You can reach the island by ferry from Praslin using Cat Cocos. Tickets can be purchased online on the company’s website. The island is unbelievably beautiful and highly recommended.
Côte d’Or – Praslin’s Tourist Hub
Anse Volbert, also known as Cote d’Or Beach, is the most popular beach on Praslin. It’s a hub for tourist activity with many guesthouses and hotels. The beach itself is a long stretch of white sand, and during low tide, the water recedes quite far out, making it ideal for beach walks. You’ll also find coves for swimming. The beach is perfect for oceanfront strolls.
Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve
Similar to Vallée de Mai but less crowded, Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve is another natural gem. It features well-maintained trails through the jungle, and the entrance fee is 150 Seychellois rupees. It was once a palm plantation but has since been transformed into a place for guided or self-guided walks.
You can choose between Fond Ferdinand and Vallée de Mai for your nature reserve experience. Both offer stunning views of the coastline and nearby islands.
Dine at a Local Restaurant
Many recommended Pirogue restaurant and bar to us. It offers local cuisine in a traditional setting with wooden tables covered in tablecloths. It’s a somewhat touristy place with higher prices, but the food is delicious, making it a great choice for a gastronomic experience.
Pirogue is located on Anse Volbert Beach, right in the heart of the tourist area.
Anse Georgette Beach
Anse Georgette is a private beach on Praslin Island, located near the luxurious Constance Lemuria Resort. You can reach it by following a trail from Anse Lazio Beach, which takes about an hour. The place is incredibly beautiful and worth the effort.
Alternatively, you can drive there, pretending to be a hotel guest or simply expressing your desire to visit. There shouldn’t be any issues with access.
Photo Opportunity on the Curved Palm Tree
On Cote d’Or Beach, there’s a palm tree that hangs over the water, making it a perfect spot for photos. You’ll find it on the left side of the beach, facing the ocean. These photos make for excellent souvenirs from Seychelles, and they’re absolutely free. It’s best to take these photos during low tide, as high tide can make it inaccessible.
La Digue Island
I have a detailed guide on La Digue Island, which deserves more than just a day trip if you have the time. However, if your schedule is tight, you can reach La Digue independently via the CatCocos or CatRose ferry, which takes about 15 minutes. The Baie Sainte Anne ferry terminal is on the eastern side of Praslin Island. Read up on how to use ferries in Seychelles and where to purchase tickets. We rented a car on Praslin and on Mahe Island, which we picked up and dropped off right at the ferry terminal. It’s convenient when you’re traveling between different islands.
Watching sunsets on the islands is something you can do every evening if time allows. Praslin is an excellent place for this. The best spots to spend your evenings include Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette, Grand Anse Beach, and Petit Anse Kerlan. You can also enjoy Seychellois beer, Seybrew, while soaking in the sunset. The locals take pride in it. Beach gatherings are common, especially on Fridays after work. Just remember to clean up after yourselves.
Where to Stay on Praslin Island
Praslin is the second-largest island and one of the most popular resorts in Seychelles. It offers all the tourist infrastructure you need but in a more relaxed atmosphere compared to Mahe. The main areas for accommodation on Praslin are around Cote d’Or Beach and the village slightly uphill from this beach.
Excellent hotels are also available around Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette beaches:
Acajou Beach Resort: A 4-star beachfront resort on Cote d’Or Beach with ocean-view rooms, a great restaurant, a pool, and other convenient amenities for tourists.
Constance Lemuria: A luxury 5-star hotel often chosen by honeymooners. The hotel features an excellent spa set in a palm and bamboo forest.
Budget options on Praslin include villas or apartments with kitchens, terraces or balconies, and fully-equipped household items.
Treasure Island Retreat: Apartments with an ocean view near Anse Kerlan Beach, including a kitchen, terrace, and spacious rooms.
Vista D’Oro: An excellent villa with spacious two-bedroom rooms, a balcony with an ocean view, and a beach view of Cote D’Or (Anse Volbert). It’s situated on a hill, so a car is recommended for comfortable access. Plus points include privacy, ocean views, affordable prices, and a great host who can assist with car rentals, boat or ferry tickets, and organizing excursions to other islands.
Best Time to Visit Praslin Island
Seychelles is slightly south of the equator, and it has a subequatorial climate. This means that temperatures never drop below 26-28°C even at night, and during the day, it’s a stable 30-32°C.
The best times to visit are from April to May and from October to November. However, we visited in February, and most days had sunny weather with occasional clouds. Rainfall was minimal, with only one heavy downpour lasting an hour.
Waves were present but not at all beaches, so you could swim and sunbathe comfortably throughout our stay.
The high season, characterized by almost no waves, is from April to May, June, and from September to November. In other months, it’s still quite comfortable.
Getting Around Praslin
Just like on Mahe Island, having a car on Praslin is highly recommended. It’s better to rent one in advance as there might not be cars available upon arrival.
There’s a main road that circles the entire island, except for the far northwest part. In the south of the island, there’s another access road that passes by Vallée de Mai Park.
While there is a bus service, it’s even less frequent than on Mahe. So, if you don’t rent a car, you’ll have to rely on organized tours.
Find and purchase your flight tickets.
Rent a car.
Get travel insurance.
Enjoy your adventures on Praslin Island!