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Praslin: Pleasure Island

A view from Praslin

One of the 115 islands of the Seychelles, Praslin is definitely what you’d call a ‘pleasure island’, thanks to its profusion of resorts, villas and hotels. Ranging from self-catering digs for budget travellers to 5-star celebrity-endorsed posh resorts, Praslin has it all. Unlike big brother Mahé, it doesn’t have a large town or commercial centre, so the entire island is dedicated to R&R and some romance.

A typical sunset

To get to Praslin, you have 2 options: to take a really short 15-minute flight, or a 1-hour long catamaran ride from the main island of Mahé. This is an easy decision if it’s during the winter season when the waves are wild: you don’t want to be chucking last night’s dinner along with the rest of the passengers.

If arriving by air, you’ll be able to see how isolated the Seychelles islands are – apart from a cluster of large islands like Praslin, Curieuse and La Digue, there are countless tiny specks in the ocean, some of which are designated as ‘private islands’ (read: expensive). Then the ocean stretches for miles, without a single landmark or ocean tanker in sight.

BEACHES

A view of Anse Lazio

If you’re here for beaches, all you have to look out for is the keyword Anse (beach). There’s plenty around – Grand, Takamaka, Banane, Patate, Lazio; every local has their favourite patch of Anse and there’s no shortage of Anse to have all to yourselves.

Beaches line the northern and southern parts of the island, and you have to know how to pick your beaches based on the season. In winter, the southern beaches get dumped with a mass of seaweed that line the entire shoreline with a foot of plant matter. Walking over it feels like you’re walking on sponge – and there’s enough of the stuff that if roped together, would form a decent-sized private island. Come summer, the reverse happens, and the northern beaches get the seaweed.

Beach at Praslin

You’ll know where there is a good beach – it’s the area lined with resorts and hotels; you’ll even find hotels perched on the hill facing it. Luckily, they’ve left their most famous beach – Anse Lazio – untouched by resorts. Protected in a bay with powder-soft sand and pretty granite rocks, you can just wade straight into the ocean with no sharp rocks or coral to impede your way.

Actually, it’s pretty much the same for almost all the beaches here, but who’s to argue?

RESORTS
Located on opposite beaches, L’Archipel and Constance Lemuria Resort are just off the main drive, both with great beaches and a totally different feel from each other.

L'Archipel's pool and beach

L’Archipel is accessed via a dirt track, which brings you into a secluded bay that’s protected from wind and waves no matter what the season. This small resort has a European feel, with 4-poster-bedded rooms spread out over a hilly tract of land. You’ll need to love stairs, since most rooms are up on a hill, but they have amazing views of the bay (with its long beach) and nearby Curieuse Island. It’s a classic ‘romantic’ kind of place, where you can dine by the beach by candlelight, swim in a secluded bay and pretty much feel private.

Lemuria's beachside dining

Constance Lemuria, on the other hand, is a more glitzy affair. Once you enter the enormous compound (which has the only golf course on the island), you get around it with a chauffeur-driven golf cart to the rooms or other facilities. Luxury and celebrity guests are the norm here, where most come to bling it up on the beaches or the pool. The rooms are Wi-fi linked, with bathtubs overlooking the (tree-lined) beaches. There are 2 beaches within the property, with a third one accessible via your chauffeured golf cart.

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WANT MORE STORIES ON THE SEYCHELLES? READ OUR “SEYCHELLES: RUDE PLANTS AT VALLEE DE MAI” STORY HERE.

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