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Praslin

Praslin

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 A short 15 minute plane flight, or 3-hour boat ride from Mahe, lies the wonderful island of Praslin. This, the second largest island with itís 5,000 inhabitants is unique in the world, some of the plants here grow no where else within the whole world, even within the Seychelles. The island is like itís big sister Mahe, a granite island, but somewhat less mountainous, itís highest point being only 370 meters. Cars exist on the island, and the roads are good, but you are assured of peace and quiet. A bicycle can be hired instead of a car, and offers the tourist the possibility to explore virtually everywhere. The hotels offer a luxury standard in quiet and peaceful surroundings, with some bungalows directly on the beach.

 To the south of the island is a small port, from which it is possible to take a ferry to Praslinís neighbour island of La Digue. The ferry takes only 30 minutes, any of the hotels will be more than happy to reserve a ticket for you. It is also possible to book an excursion to one of the neighbouring islands of Aride, Curieuse and Cousine through the hotels. Excursions to Cousin are usually not permitted due to the nature reserve there.

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 The beaches on Praslin are somewhat longer and wider than those on Mahe, and they offer wonderful swimming and snorkelling. Praslin gives rise to some of the most beautiful beaches within the whole of the Seychelles. Amongst the best beaches are those of Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette, Anse Kerlan and Anse Volbert. The majority of the inhabitants live in one of the two villages; Baie Ste. Anne in the east and Grand Anse village in the south. A trip to these villages should be included in everybodyís stay.

 Many centuries ago, on the beaches of Africa, India and other countries in the area, a strange coconut would occasionally be washed ashore. This coconut was unlike any that had been seen before, itís size alone was several times larger than the largest coconut. It looked as if it were two coconuts joined together, but it is in fact just one. Itís shape resembled a certain part of the female anatomy, which immediately made it into an object of mystical sexual powers. This coconut, called Coco de-Mar only grows on Praslin, and nowhere else within the whole world, even within the Seychelles.

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In the past, the Coco de-Mar had great value, it was treasured dearly, a treasure for Kings and Sultans only. Should any person find this coconut on a beach he had to give it immediately to the King, if he kept it and was discovered he would pay with his life. The mystery of the Coco de-Mar remained until the first people arrived on Praslin, and discovered the coconut growing in abundance, they had discovered a gold mine of coconuts.

    These special and rare coconuts were often given as presents to European visitors, today they are strictly protected. Only a few of the Coco de-Mar nuts are sold to tourists, each coconut has a unique registration number authorising its sale. If you buy one, ensure that you retain this identification, because without it you will not be able to take the coconut home. The Coco de-Mar is valued greatly, and they are very expensive to buy, but a unique treasure to have in your house.

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 A nature reserve has been created in the heart of the island, where the Coco de-Mer grows, named Valley de Mai. This reserve is open to the tourist and is an absolute must. Paths are well laid out for the tourist to follow, leading him on a discovery tour he will never forget. Legend has it, Valley de Mai is the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve lived at the beginning of time, and where Eve gave Adam the forbidden fruit of the tree. Whether this is true or not, Valley de Mai is indeed a wonder of nature.

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[Islands] [Mahe] [Praslin] [La Digue] [Desroches] [Bird Island] [Felicite] [Denis Island] [Cousin/Aride] [Silhouette]

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