Praslin, Seychelles – Destination Guide

I sat on my haunches and pointed my camera to the Aldabra giant tortoise, who was walking towards me, underestimating the speed of these ancient reptiles. Another unforgettable wildlife encounter on our travels, this time in Praslin, Seychelles, on a day tour to Curieuse Marine National Park.

Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.

On our travels in the Seychelles we found Praslin, an island not only with the most beautiful beaches, but also with UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve and the Curieuse Marine National Park close by. An unique place for nature enthusiasts to explore endemic animals and plants above and under water.

Where Is Praslin, Seychelles ?

Praslin is a small island in the Indian Ocean belonging to the Seychelles, situated about 1’800 kilometers east of the African coast and only about 44 kilometers north-east from the biggest island of the Seychelles, Mahé.

Seychelles Map

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How Big Is Praslin ?

With barely 40 km2 the island of Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles. 7’500 people live on Praslin, most of them along the coast.  Praslin belongs to the group of the Inner islands of the Seychelles and is one of the granitic islands with photogenic weird shaped boulders along the coast like Mahé and La Digue.

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Praslin Map

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Print the map

How To Get To Praslin, Seychelles ?

Ferry From Mahé To Praslin

You can choose from three options to get to the Island of Praslin. We chose the cheapest option by speed ferry of Cat Cocos from Mahé to Praslin (from 48 € / Person), which takes about an hour. The boat can be busy, so book upfront online. You find information about the transfer from the airport to the ferry port on the same website.

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Praslin, Seychelles

We tried to phone as we were too late to book online (min. 48 hours in advance), but the office wasn’t reachable over the weekend. Luckily the ferry wasn’t busy and we were able to book an hour before departure on Monday morning.

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Flight From Mahé To Praslin

To Praslin by Airplane

The sea can be rough and many tourists became seasick on the way back from Praslin to Mahé the other day. So, if you don’t have sea legs and easily feel sick on a boat, you should maybe rather choose to fly to Praslin. Air Seychelles flies daily to Praslin and you can enjoy sensational bird-views over the islands, if only it is a short pleasure as the flight arrives already after 15 minutes.

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Jetty

To Praslin by Helicopter

If you can afford to give yourself a treat and fly from Mahé to Praslin by Helicopter, you’ll have certainly the best start of your holidays ever. It has to be the best way to hop islands on the Seychelles!

Praslin Island: Getting Around

It’s easy to get around on Praslin, after all there are not to many roads other than along the coast. We managed to get lost anyway by taking the wrong bus in the opposite direction! No real problem as it was a great way to see also the west-side of the island along Grand Anse and the lush forest pocket around Vallé de Mai as the bus drove over the mountain pass before arriving at our final destination on the east-side of the island at Anse Boudin, north of Côte d’Or.

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Waiting for the bus

Praslin: Getting Around By Bus

Easy, cheap but not very reliable is to travel by bus. It’s only 5 Seychellois Rupees per person no matter how far and buses drive to almost anywhere on the island. It can happen that a bus drives off before scheduled or doesn’t drive at all and you will be lucky having chosen to leave early for your ferry departure. Our bus had a puncture! We were very grateful for a friendly islander, who gave us and others a lift to the jetty, although it wasn’t on his way.

Bus Schedule Praslin

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Anse Boudin, Praslin, Seychelles

Praslin: Getting Around By Car

You’ll be able to rent a car at the jetty of Praslin easily. The island is small and you don’t really need a car as buses drive you almost anywhere. But of course, the luxury of being independent with your ‘own’ car is great and you are not restricted to taxis in the evening, when the buses don’t drive. Be cautious, the streets are very narrow and can be dangerous, which doesn’t stop the buses to speed around corners.

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Praslin: Getting Around By Bicycle

For myself, Praslin is ways to mountainous and the roads to narrow, the car drivers to crazy to drive around by bicycle, but then, I’m not a big bicycle fan other than in flat Netherlands with own bicycle paths. It’s easy enough to hire bicycles on Praslin. Why not, if you want to do some exercise in the heat of the tropics!

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Praslin: Getting Around By Boat

You can charter a boat to get to the best secluded beaches and the islands around Praslin. No better way to enjoy a day in the Seychelles in my opinion. Zibo Boat Charter is based at Côte d’Or on Praslin and offers quite some beautiful tours for small groups up to eight people. Contact details you find on their website and on their Facebook page.

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Praslin: Getting Around By Foot

The island is too big to explore only by foot. You can walk along the main road which is often the only connection between the villages, but it’s not very pleasant. Of course this is different if the beach stretches all the way without interruption from one place to the other.

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Where To Stay In Praslin, Seychelles

Praslin has a wide range of high-end, luxury five star beach front accommodations to small hand-picked guesthouses and self-catering apartments. It depends on your preferences and you’ll certainly find your own little gem, if you book early enough. We found our little paradise with …

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Anse Boudin, Praslin, Seychelles

Jardin Marron

Luckily one of the two luxury self-catering apartments of Jardin Marron at Anse Boudin had become available short-term because of a cancellation.  As we entered the garden of eden full of flowers between granite boulders and went to enjoy the views from the deck with sun chairs overlooking the Indian Ocean to the island Curieuse on the opposite side, the place blew our minds!

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Anse Boudin, Praslin, Seychelles

Marie, the Seychellois owner of the properties in this magical spot, showed us around and was very helpful with useful information for our stay. As she led us into our apartment we were gobsmacked by the comfort we were to enjoy during our stay on Praslin.

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Jardin Marron, Praslin, Seychelles

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From a well-equipped kitchen, a spacious living-room with patio overlooking the ocean, a bathroom with the widest luxury shower I’ve ever seen to a bedroom with sea view even if lying in the bed – this place didn’t come short in anything!

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Jardin Marron, Praslin, Seychelles

As soon as we’d settled in, we went to the shop only five minutes away to buy a picnic for the beach at Anse Boudin, which stretches just in front of Jardin Marron. We spread our towels and sat down between the scenic granite boulders on the white sand there-while we took in our surroundings with a splendid feeling of life is incredibly good to us!

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Sunrise at Jardin Marron, Praslin, Seychelles

What To Do On Praslin

Enjoy The Best Beaches On Praslin

You can’t go wrong if you look for white sandy beaches with crystal-clear turquoise, bathtub warm water to spend lazy days. As rated by many visitors Anse Lazio is the most beautiful of Praslin’s beaches if not of the whole Seychelles. But others don’t stand far behind like Anse Georgette, Côte d’Or, Anse Cimitiere, Anse Bois de Rose and of course, our almost private, small but beautiful Anse Boudin.

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Côte d’Or, Praslin, Seychelles

Snorkeling and Diving

Snorkeling from the beach is good at Anse Lazio. At Côte d’Or and other beaches in Praslin the water level is shallow which makes snorkeling rather difficult.

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Anse St. José, Curieuse, Seychelles

At Côte d’Or we took a boat trip for a day. An excellent way to combine a visit to Curieuse Marine National Park with the Aldabra tortoises breeding project at Curieuse and snorkeling in the fish-rich waters around St. Pierre island. Find out more about this trip under ‘Boat Trips To Neigbouring Islands‘.

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A few diving operators are situated on Praslin and know where the best diving spots are to be found.

Walks and Hiking On Praslin

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

In a protected valley in the heart of Praslin the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve harbours six of the Seychelles endemic palm species with the iconic Coco de Mer palm. If you are lucky you’ll see endemic animal species like the Seychelles Black Parrot or chameleon. It’s also a sensible habitat for freshwater fish, prawns, crabs and shrimps. Book a free guided tour  with SIF (Seychelles Islands Foundation) in advance to see also the small beauties of nature, which you might otherwise miss.

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The entrance fee isn’t a bargain with 20 €, but for a good cause as it supports not only this Nature Reserve but also the second World Heritage Site of the Seychelles which is not accessible for public, the atoll Aldabra.

Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve

The lesser known Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve next to Anse Marie-Louise only opened in 2013 and is with 122 hectares six times larger than Vallée de Mai and is even richer on endemic animal and plant species. You can reach a viewpoint with spectacular view of Praslin and the other inner islands of the Seychelles within about a two to three hours hike.

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More Hikes In Praslin

Trails lead to the best beaches, sometimes quite steep over mountain slopes or through coastal vegetation. Ask the Tourist Information Office or your local host for a map and instructions.

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Culture And Tradition Of Praslin

Praslin, as the rest of the Seychelles, is a melting pot of different cultures which originate in Africa, Europe and Asia, as do the ancestors of the inhabitants and their favored language Creole. The colourful bouquet of these roots revives in music, art and architecture. Best is to check the calendar or local hangouts and to mix with the friendly islanders at one of their events, to visit some local art studios and the museum at Côte d’Or.

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Boat Trips To Neighbouring Islands

No shortage on day trips from Praslin to the neighbouring islands and the best snorkeling spots.

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La Digue

Just a 15 minutes hop with the Inter Island Ferry Cat Rose from the Jetty in Praslin. No need to book in advance normally. Rent a bicycle in La Digue at the jetty for 100 Seychellois Rupees / day and there you go. Check my previous post about La Digue for more information.

Schedule and Online Booking Inter Island Ferry

Curieuse and St. Pierre

Curieuse Marine National Park exists since 1979 and protects Curieuse with its surrounding waters. We took a day trip with Ziblo Boat Charter from Côte d’Or to this small island of only three square-kilometers, where more than 300 Aldabra giant tortoises linger around the Ranger’s Station and the rest of the island. (Entrance fee for Curieuse Marine National Park 200 Seychellois Rupees).

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Day tour with Ziblo Boat Charter

Our guide, Stephen, took us through the breeding station of the tortoises, explaining about these magnificent giants and their tiny off-springs.

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Our guide, Stephen, from Ziblo Boat Charter with leafs for the tortoises

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We fed leaves to the tortoises which Stephen had collected as we had been waiting for our departure from Praslin. They seemed to enjoy the treat immensely.

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Aldabra Giant Tortoise, Curieuse

From the Ranger’s Station we walked a well-signposted path from Baie Laraie to Anse St. José on the other side of the island through coastal vegetation and over walkways crossing mangrove forest with myriads of crabs hiding in the muddy ground.

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Walk in the mangrove forest at Curieuse, Seychelles
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Grey Heron at Curieuse, Seychelles

After a slow walk of about an hour with many stops for giant crabs, tortoises and birds we arrived at the ruins of the leper colony and the doctor’s house which is now a museum with information about Curieuse Island’s history.

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Doctor’s house, Curieuse, Seychelles

We spend a few hours sunbathing and swimming at the beautiful beach of Anse St. José, while Stephen and Rocco prepared the best barbecue we had during our whole time in the Seychelles.

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Barbecue on Curieuse

As we sat on the beautifully decorated table with Mango – and various other salads, coconut and fruits, we were offered the best seasoned Job and Calcal fish we’d ever tasted. Also chicken was added to the menu so that no wishes could possibly be unsatisfied.

Luckily we had enough time to relax after our rich lunch to be able to move again, before we headed to St. Pierre for snorkeling.

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Just a short drive of maybe 15 minutes by boat and we jumped into the clear water to snorkel between a variety of fish species, we’d never seen before.

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Swarms of fish encircled us curiously and some of them swam alongside me. A unforgettable, wonderful experience which I can warmly recommend to anyone, who visits Praslin.

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Other boat trips to islands of the Seychelles

We didn’t have the time to visit more islands during our visit on Praslin. A combination of a tour including the island of Cousin, a fishing trip or a trip of more days to Mahé and probably other islands is certainly an option, if you stay in the Seychelles for longer.

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Best Time To Visit Praslin

Praslin is a destination with tropical climate and pleasant temperatures all year round, well off any path of cyclones. From April to September the south-easterly wind causes sometimes choppier sea and cooler temperatures than during the period of the north-westerly wind from October to March with higher humidity and more rainfall.

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If you can, I recommend as for most of destinations, to visit during shoulder seasons. Peak seasons are December, July and August. Anyway, we visited Praslin mid July and only after our departure it got a little bit more busy. Not comparable with European destinations during summer holidays though.

Tips For Your Trip To Praslin

  • Choose a shoulder season to visit Praslin and to have the beaches almost to yourself.
  • Book the ferry online more than 48 hours in advance  (inclusive the transfer from the airport of Mahé to the ferry port).
  • If you get easily sea sick, rather book a flight from Mahé to Praslin.
  • Include one or more snorkeling trips and visit the islands around Praslin by boat. It’s a must, for snorkeling from the beaches of Praslin isn’t too good.
  • Travel light – No need for much clothes in the tropics, but …
  • … add some good running shoes to your slip slops for some hiking activities.
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Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.   Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.Praslin is one of the granite islands of the Seychelles with the best beaches you can imagine. A tropical paradise for nature lovers above and under the water.

California Globetrotter

Author: Marcelle Simone Heller

I’m searching for natural beauty and wilderness, while I’m travelling relentlessly to find delightful places and encounters with wildlife. I try to capture the thrill of the moments in photography and words, hoping to inspire others with the love for animals and nature.

53 thoughts on “Praslin, Seychelles – Destination Guide”

  1. The Seychelles is one of the places on my bucket list and your trip looks so inspiring. It really seems like you had a great time and I’m glad you shared your experience with us.

  2. The Seychelles are near the top of my bucket list. The water looks so beautiful, especially for diving.

  3. What a gorgeous place—especially the color of the water. I love your first photo in this post. That close up and personal photo with a tortoise is definitely “you are there” photography.

  4. Quite a comprehensive guide to Praslin – thank you for sharing all the detailed information. One day we’ll make it to the Seychelles, and perhaps this island as well!

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It seems like you had a great time 🙂 we never heard of Praslin before and it looks absolutely wonderful. We liked the fact that you inserted maps in your post so we could locate it straight away. Keep up the great work.

  6. We had never heard of Praslin! Looks absolutely stunning. How big was the Aldabra Giant Tortoise? Love the apartment you stayed at.

  7. Love this – it really looks like paradise! So much natural beauty and so much stuff to do – I like the idea of hiring a bicycle and exploring at a slower pace! Thanks for sharing

  8. Im loving all the options for activities. I would totally wanna go scuba diving and snorkelling and hiking! What a beautiful island and the accommodation looks fabulous too! Straight into my bucket list!

  9. Not too familiar with this part of the world but it looks like Praslin, Seychelles is very picturesque. You have included heaps of info to get started with. Would love to spend some time exploring this region one day

  10. Praslin Island is indeed a revelation Love the fact that it seems so pristine and untouched. Hope the trappings of commercialization do not ruin the beauty of the place.

    1. I had the impression that they do a good job in preserving the island as far as possible. Unfortunately there were some bad fires in the last years and reforesting is challenging in the tropics. Responsible tourism can encourage the government to do even more their best.

  11. I thought the Seychelles were in the Caribbean until I read this! I would have never guessed they were close to Madagascar. It looks quite straight forward to get around by bus and ferry. Can you get a ferry to mainland Africa as well? I love the huge tortoise photo by the way.

  12. Seychelles always evokes images of exotic islands that are the haunt of the rich and famous. This is a lovely and comprehensive guide that is going to be of immense value when we plan our dream trip.

  13. Hi Grey World Nomads! We have enjoyed your posts and great photos, so it’s really great to have you join us at #TheWeeklyPostcard! Seychelles are a definite bucket list destination for us, and Praslin does look like our kind of island. So glad you shared your experiences and insights with us!

  14. Stunning photos of this beautiful paradise Praslin. I have heard wonderful things about the Seychelles and this island looks like one to visit. I also like your suggestion to take boat tours to other islands and snorkeling spots. Great accommodations! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel

  15. Thanks for sharing, have never heard of Praslin Island before but looks like a perfect place to visit. With beautiful beaches and lots of possibilities for outdoor activities, just ended up on my bucket list 🙂 Will pin it for later.

    1. Certainly one of the best ” small” islands we have visited. Plan to do a lot more.

  16. What an adventure! To be honest, I knew next to nothing about this island before reading your post. Now, I feel like I understand several things better. It would be nice to go. You have the beautiful beaches, rock formations and the turtles. Nice combo! #feetdotravel

  17. Praslin looks totally beautiful! The boulders on that beach look spectacular and your accommodation looks just lovely too! Nice to know places like this exist – unspoilt, thanks for sharing your story and tips

    1. Fairly priced accommodation, shop around the corner, white sand beaches, truly a paradise

  18. Very informative! You really got the big catch with that stunning accomodation, it looks absolutely amazing..! I’m glad you got something good out of going the wrong way with the bus 😀 I think I’d have rented a car, I really dislike having to depend on public transportation..

    1. Renting a car is a good option, only you will miss out on meeting locals. We enjoy to travel by bus to observe discussions, mothers with kids, old and young people mixed together.

  19. Praslin looks like paradise! I haven’t been to any of the Seychelles islands but would love to go. The water and natural scenery are amazing. I would love to take a helicopter ride to go there! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  20. Really enjoyed this post, Praslin looks the perfect destination with that wonderful accommodation. Useful information that we have pinned for future reference. #feetdotravel

  21. Yet another stunning destination in the Seychelles that I need to visit! You certainly found a gem in your accommodation didn’t you, a sea view from your bed?? Stunning. Thank you for all the tips and travel info, I do not have sea legs! #feetdotravel

  22. So pretty! I’ve been wanting to dive in Seychelles for a while but read that crime is on the rise there. Did you have any security concerns visiting Seychelles?

    Also, very envious of your giant tortoise pictures! looks like you got really close! In the Galapagos Islands we had to keep a strict distance of 2m from them.

    1. Crime isn’t a concern at all. We stayed on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue for a month in total and in all of these destinations in the Seychelles people said it is very safe. The Aldabra giant tortoises are very used to people as they are fed by them. They approach as soon as you get close.

  23. Great post. I hadn’t reaLISED YOU NEED TO Move around island – I’d love to got their but the airfares for us are shocking. Still, it’s on the list!

    1. From Europe the airfares are quite cheap with Condor (Germany) or Emirates (UK). From Australia it’s quite far. I guess Singapore will be the stop-over to Mahé or India?

  24. SUCH a thorough post! I’ve recently seen and heard soooo much about Seychelles, I’m thinking we definitely need to go ASAP! Pinned & Stumbled!! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

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