"Celebrated for having some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet Praslin, which is just 45km northeast of Mahé, was once the haunt of pirates. Its real treasure these days, however lovely the beaches, is the island’s rich natural habitat, parts of which have remained unchanged since prehistoric times. There is a good range of established hotels on Praslin, from superb options for budget-conscious travellers through to ultra-luxury offerings, and Praslin is a fantastic base from which to explore surrounding islands.”

- Narina Exelby

Praslin Island

Before it was settled in the 1800s Seychelles’ “second island”, Praslin, was frequented by pirates. These days only 6,500 people live in this 38 square kilometre piece of exotic paradise – a 20-minute flight or an hour from Mahé by ferry – and there are just enough hotels to keep the island and beaches feeling peaceful and uncluttered.

While Praslin is revered for its exquisite beaches, what really sets this island apart from the others is its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vallee de Mai palm forest, which boasts six species of palm found only in Seychelles and has remained largely unchanged since prehistoric times. It’s here that you’ll find the coco de mer, the palm that produces the biggest seed in the world (it’s been adopted as a symbol of Seychelles). There are three walking trails in this small park, all of which are relatively easy. Take your time here – you’re likely to feel a little bit like Alice in Wonderland, dwarfed in dappled sunlight by the immense palms – and keep a lookout for the Seychelles black parrot. There are apparently only 300 of these birds in the world, most of which are on Praslin (there are a few on nearby Curieuse, too).

The two best-known beaches on Praslin – often listed among the most beautiful on earth – are Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette. Anse Lazio is a grand, sweeping beach of powder-white sand and clusters of smooth granite boulders, and shaded by palm and takamaka trees. Within the grounds of Constance Lemuria Hotel, where you’ll find Seychelles’ only 18-hole golf course, you’ll also find the little beach of Anse Georgette, which is hugged by verdant hills. This truly is an untouched piece of paradise.

Running east to west across the centre of Praslin is a chain of granite hills. Head up from the Anse Lazio area and you’ll reach Grand Fond, the highest point on the island, a wonderful sunset spot that offers a view of several islands. Praslin is also a good base from which to explore these nearby islands, including  La Digue, Cousin, Curieuse and St Pierre, all of which are known for their beautiful coral reefs (fantastic for snorkelling) and sea birds.

- Narina Exelby

When to go

Find out when is best to visit

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As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

As the Seychelles islands are blessed with a year-long warm, tropical climate, it’s always a good time to visit, although different times of year may be better suited to your particular interests.

Two opposing trade winds generally govern the weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from October to March; and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing.

The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus.

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