Praslin runs at a typically relaxed island pace. Taking a private, guided tour of the island stays within this ethos, giving you the ability to explore at your own coconut-sipping-beach-strolling pace. Wander under the lofty coco de mer palms in Vallée de Mai, lunch with views across to Curieuse Island and snorkel from Anse Lazio beach.
After being collected from your hotel, you’ll drive inland on a road that twists and turns towards Vallée de Mai, set in Praslin National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vallée de Mai is one of only two places the coco de mer palms grow. It not only takes the crown for being the world’s largest palm, but also grows the largest leaves (at a rate of one a year) and the largest seeds, which weigh in at around 29 kg (64 lbs).
Walking along the trails that run under the palms, which can reach 30 m (100 ft), your accompanying guide is on hand to recount the history of these botanical curiosities, as well as pointing out endemic birds, including the Seychelles black parrot. The seeds have a rather erotic shape that earnt them the name coco-fesses (buttocks coconuts). Often gifted to passing dignitaries and visiting royalty, they were often decorated or re-shaped so as not to offend delicate sensibilities.
From here you’ll head to the northeastern corner of the island, passing through clusters of traditional Creole homes. Before reaching the coast you’ll stop at PK's @ Pasquiere Restaurant & Gastropub, which is set on a secluded hillside with views across to Curieuse Island. While not haute cuisine, it’s a chance to try the catch of the day or Creole curry.
You’ll then continue to the coast, where Anse Lazio Beach sweeps along the waterside, backed by nothing but palms and smooth granite boulders. There’s time for a swim or snorkel before returning to your hotel.