Day Trips in The Seychelles
Day 1 – On the Hunt for The Coco De Mer
Endemic to Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse, the coco de mer or sea coconut is the largest recorded wild fruit weighing up to a record-breaking 42kg. These unique fruits have become part of legend with stories that tell of their growing on undersea trees inhabited by giant tiger-eating birds, that they are an antidote for all poisons, and owning one was deserving of the death penalty. Their unique shapes have led many through the ages to view them as an aphrodisiac and closely associate them with fertility, even giving them the nickname ‘love nut’.
Praslin offers two amazing opportunities to see for yourself.
Vallée de Mai – this UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only the most famous destination to see the coco de mer, it is also home to the endangered black parrot. In the late 1800’s a British General believed he had found the Garden of Eden upon visiting the Vallee de Mai. Reason enough to justify some exploring.
Private guided tours are available at an additional fee and are recommended for the best experience – although self-guided can be done with a provided map.
Open from 08h30 to 16h30 daily. Entrance fee is 350SCR
Fond Ferdinand – a lesser known alternative to the more famous Vallée de Mai, but no less impressive and six times larger. There are plenty of coco de mer to see at all stages of growth, a stunning viewpoint at the end of the walk and a guided tour included in your entrance fee.
Be aware that the guided walk can be tiring, especially with the humidity of the forest. That said, it is both an informative and fascinating way to get a firsthand experience of Praslin jungle and learn about the coco de mer and other jungle inhabitants.
Open from 09h00 daily and the last visit is before 13h00. Entrance fee is 125SCR. (Call in advance to check hike times and prices)
Anse Lazio – After recovering back at Paradise Sun and enjoying lunch at St Pierre head to arguably the “world’s most beautiful beach”. Only 15 minutes’ drive from Paradise Sun, Anse Lazio is the perfect combination of soft sand, azure blues, large leafy takamaka trees and sea smoothed granite boulders. Take along some snacks and a drink (talk to Paradise Sun staff about one of our Paradise Picnics) and enjoy a one-of-a-kind sunset on a one-of-a-kind beach.
Day 2 – Island Hopping and Giant Tortoise Petting
Take a boat ride across to Curieuse Island to meet some of the Seychelles oldest residents. Over 120 giant Aldabra tortoises roam around the island and visitors to the island are allowed to closely interact with these slow-moving giants. Island visitors usually land at Baie Laraie to meet the tortoises and then take a walk across the island over a marked path that includes a raised boardwalk section over the mangrove swamp. Finish this walk past the ruins of a long empty leper colony building and emerge from the forest onto the stunning Anse St. Joseph has plenty of shady areas, beautiful warm water and enough beach space to relax.
Curieuse is a 20 minutes boat ride from in front of the hotel. Talk to the team at the hotel to help arrange a boat trip for you. Most operators will drop you at Baie Laraie and pick you up at a designated time at Anse St. Joseph. An entrance fee might be included with your tour or boat operator price, but check before hand to ensure you bring cash with.
Stop off at St Pierre Island on your way back to Paradise Sun for some amazing snorkeling. As one of the most photographed islands in the Seychelles this is as beautiful above the surface as it is below. The combination of small size with dramatic granite shapes and palm trees make this prettier than a picture. There is no shortage of colourful variety below the surface with fish of all shapes and sizes easily spotted. Waves can sometimes be a little exuberant, but this snorkel spot is not to be missed.
St Pierre Island is just a short boat trip from the hotel, but if you are planning a snorkeling trip on your way from Curieuse remember to bring a drybag or only carry things you don’t mind getting wet. There is no landing allowed so island visitors have to climb from the boat into water that may well be over waist height. You can however leave a bag or take a break on the rocks with some curious small lizards.
Day 3 – Boats, Bikes and Ox Carts
Spend a day discovering La Digue, one of Praslin’s pretty and fascinating neighbours. Cat Cocos fast ferry service will take you from Praslin to La Digue in 15 minutes from Baie Sainte Anne jetty on Praslin. Alternatively, Paradise Sun can help arrange a tour operated visit to the island.
La Digue is best known for amazing beaches, snorkeling and dive spots as well the locals that get around by bike or ox cart. Just under 3000 Diguois people live on the Seychelles fourth largest island and are warm and welcoming. Hire a bike and explore the island including the stunning Anse Source d’Argent beach. On the south of the island the beautiful Grande Anse is also well worth visiting.
Ferry crossings cost approx. 250SCR one way from Praslin to La Digue.
Day 4 – The Big Island That Is Not So Big
Even though all International visitors pass through Mahé, for guests staying on Praslin it is well worth a day trip to see a bit more of the biggest island in the archipelago. Even though the island is home to nearly 90% of the Seychelles population and is just 26km long and 17km wide, it doesn’t feel crowded.
Victoria is the capital and where you will start your exploration. The city itself is very small but has plenty of architectural and historical interest such as the Victoria Clocktower. In the centre of the city you’ll find a market selling fruits, vegetables and spices. Take some time to wander and taste freshly picked fruit from around the islands. A short walk towards the south of the city will take you to the National Botanical Gardens, a relaxed opportunity to spend an hour or two around a well looked after garden with plenty of benches to relax on, as well as giant tortoises and fruit bats high in the trees. The more adventurous can even take a journey to Morne Seychelles National Park and climb Morne Blanc the highest point on the island.
Best Mahé beaches - Around the island there are dozens of beaches to choose from and plenty of options to find ones that you can have almost just for yourself. Three of our favourites:
- Anse à la Mouche is family friendly and good for swimming with shallow water and a soft quiet beach. You’ll find it in the south west of the island.
- Anse Royale in the south on the east coast opposite Anse a la Mouche and is popular, with good reason. Very beautiful and near a small village where you can buy beach picnic supplies or pick up a takeaway with the locals.
- Beau Vallon is in the north of the island and not far from Victoria. This tourist friendly beach is loved by locals, is close to plenty of amenities and great for sunbathing and snorkeling.
The ferry from Praslin to Mahé costs approx. 800SCR and takes about an hour. Getting around Mahé can be done by hire car, taxi or bus. Buses are very cheap at just 5SCR per bus ride, but can be hot and busy. Take the bus if you want a little more adventure and a true Seychelles experience.
Day 5 – Stunning Snorkeling and Turtle Spotting
Plan a snorkeling day excursion and visit two of the best snorkel spots in the Seychelles. The team at Paradise Sun can help you plan a day with a guided snorkeling trip with White Tip Divers or a scheduled drop off snorkel experience with a licensed boat taxi.
Start at Ile Aux Cocos where a postcard-perfect islet has swaying palms, impressive granite boulders, a small white sand beach and incredible sea life in the water surrounding it. Regarded as one of the best spots for snorkeling in the Seychelles and one of the best chances to swim with sea turtles, rays, small sharks and a myriad of brightly coloured tropical fish.
Felicite - After an hour or more here a visit to Felicite should definitely be on your to-do. Part of the same protected marine park, the coral reefs surrounding the island are home to hundreds of species and there is perhaps nowhere better for a snorkeling selfie with a hawksbill or green turtle.
Remember to cover up from the sun when on any day trip (book a cooling aloe vera spa treatment if you didn't cover up enough). Paradise Sun team can help you choose the best tour operator or taxi service to ensure a relaxed looked-after day exploring the island reefs.
Make the most of your day trip without any unnecessary stops with a Paradise Sun Picnic. Picnic packs will keep you satisfied and refreshed during excursions and can be ordered through Reception or from the Restaurant Manager.