Praslin Island, Seychelles - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Praslin Island

The popular holiday island of Praslin lies 21 miles (34km) north-east of Mahé in the Seychelles archipelago, a popular stop for cruise liners and a vacation destination for honeymooners and beach lovers. Visitors to Praslin Island have a choice of two ways to get to the island. The first option is by boat from Mahe Island. There are a number of ferries and high-speed catamarans operating between Mahe and Praslin Island and fast catamarans make the crossing in just 45 minutes.

Praslin Island also has a small airport, Iles des Palmes Airport, which is only serviced by Air Seychelles. Visitors to the Seychelles wishing to get to Praslin by air can either book a ticket on one of the scheduled flights to the island or on a chartered flight, which generally tend to go to more than one of the islands in the Seychelles group.

Once on Praslin, the island's favourite beach, Anse Lazio, is one of the world's most exquisite, but the entire island is ringed with beautiful secluded beaches, sporting coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Praslin is known for being the exclusive home of the rare 'coco de mer' palm, that produces the world's largest nut, and delights ornithologists with glimpses of some of the world's rarest birds, like the black parrot and fruit pigeon. Several large resort hotels have been developed on the island, but this has not interfered with the natural beauty or abundant flora and fauna, or its reputation as being as close to the Garden of Eden as one can get. There are a few villages sprinkled across the island, housing the permanent population of a few thousand souls, most of whom work in the hotels and resorts or depend on fishing for a livelihood.


Climate

Like the rest of the Seychelles Islands Praslin is close to the equator making annual temperatures a steady 80F (27C). Praslin experiences its dry season from May to October and the rainy season is from December until March. Praslin, and most of the Seychelles, experiences high humidity and heavy rainfall during the December to March monsoon period, however the southeast winds from May to October can sometimes bring afternoon showers, which are a welcome relief after a hot day in the sun.

Language
Creole, English and French are all spoken in the Seychelles.
Money

The Seychelles currency is the Rupee (SCR), divided into 100 cents. The country's foreign exchange regulations require visitors to pay for all services provided by hotels, guesthouses and self-catering enterprises, as well as things like car hire, entrance fees to parks and reserves, scuba diving and boat charter, in major foreign currency notes (Euros are the most widely used) or by credit card. Taxis and restaurant bills (not connected to hotels) are payable in foreign or Seychelles Rupees. Rupees can only be used in local shops, markets, and bars. Credit cards are widely welcomed throughout the Seychelles. Money can be exchanged at banks and the airport on Mahé, or at hotels, and banks process travellers cheques. To change Rupees back into foreign currency on departure requires the official receipt from the initial transaction. ATMs are available at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

Time
Local time is GMT +4.

Exquisite black pearls are cultured at the only oyster farm in the Indian Ocean, but that is not all you can investigate at this attraction which, apart from displaying the art of cultivating pearls in the Black Lip Pearl Oyster, also explains the breeding and feeding of the Giant Clam species, Tridacna maxima. The farm features a touch pool and aquarium, and of course the black pearls are on sale in the onsite jewellery store.

First stop for most visitors to Praslin island in the Seychelles is the fantastic Vallée de Mai, hidden in virgin forest, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Apart from the rich variety of plant and animal life in this beautiful spot, the main attraction here is that this is the only place in the world where the 'coco de mer' palm grows, producing a nut that weighs up to 40 lbs (18kg): the largest nut in the world. What makes this nut even more renowned is that it is shaped like a female pelvis. Its rarity, shape and alleged aphrodisiac properties have led to it becoming a collector's item. The Vallée is also home to three of the world's rarest birds: the black parrot, fruit pigeon and Seychelles bulbul. Guided tours to the Vallée are conducted every day from all the resort hotels on the island. There is also a self-guided walking trail through the area.


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