It is the only place on the entire world where the famous Coco de Mer palms grow spontaneously! It is well worth a visit, just to see these incredible plams! The are so tall and their leaves are so huge that I felt really like Gulliver in the land of gigants!
And the sound thieir leaves make when shaken by the wind!!! Like tin plate crashing one against another!
Inside the vale some rare animals can be seen: a rare snail, a balck parrot, a golden lizard...
Take a look at this great vegetation, it looks great in the first moment but the climate is also very hot and the worst is the humidity, that makes you a totally wet shirt within quite a short time even without sweating so much. That heat is also not really good for your camera and other electronic devices, so you better keep them inside a bag, when not used.
There are several banks in Praslin and I saw a total of 3 ATM-machines alone in Anse Volbert Village, there are internetcafes and supermarkets and nobody begging in the streets. Everybody is smiling and friendly to the tourists, it is in fact some sort of paradise !
Anse Volbert Village is quite a large village around the Berjaya Beach Hotel and some other, smaller Hotels. There are souvenirshops, an internetcafe, a pizzeria, some smaller supermarkets, art-galleries etc. and lots of noble villas with nice parks around of them. Anse Volbert Village is certainly a great place to go for a longer vacation.
Behind these trees you will see the church of Baie Ste Anne, quite an impressive building dating back to the beginning of the 19th century and walking there will take you about 10-15 minutes to walk from the place in Anse Ste Anne, where the ships-tenders are landing. It is a pity that I did not have enough time to go there after the bustour !
Anse Gouvernement is one of the bays with a great sandy beach, when you drive or walk from Baie St. Anne to Anse Volbert Village. You will find just a narrow beach and also no facilities at all at this beach, but it is faster to walk there from St. Anne and might be a good place for a bath, when you dont have enough time.
The Zak-fruit is another interesting tree that you will be able to see in the national park of Valee de Mai. Zak is pronounced like "Jack" and it is a pity that it is not allowed to taste any of the fruits in the national park. The size of these fruits was like a mediumsized watermelon.
Anse Volbert is one of the beaches of Praslin and we were taken there during our halfdaytour and were offered a free drink at the hotelbar of Berjaya Beach Resort. Our halfdaytour included also some free time at the beach before we were taken back to the ship. The sand is extrafine and the water is quite flat and there are many places to take nice photoshots.
St. Anne bay is a large bay with a nice village and lots of houses built into the hills. Most of the cruiseships will anker off that bay and their tenders will disembark their passengers there. I also enjoyed a lot to see various catamarans and other sailingships anchored in St. Anne bay. Walking-distance to the village is about 5-10 minutes.
Valee de Mai is a National Park, where you will be able to see lots of the rare Coco-de-mer trees, the biggest coconut on earth. You have to pay an entrancefee of 20 euros / 25 US$ for that park and will find many signposts with explanations and a good display of coco-de-mer fruits and the male blossoms, that are also the largest blossoms of all plants on earth.
The national park is open for visitors :
Daily from 08.00 am till 05.30 pm
Smoking is forbidden !!!
And it is forbidden to leave the paths or
take away anything !
The Coco de Mer got its name by the fact that it was first detected when the nuts were swimming in the ocean and the sailors who never saw these fruits before had the idea that these fruits are growing in the sea. The Koko-D-Mer (there are a lot of different spellings) is a giant tree and there is always a higher male tree and a lower female tree. The male tree has a blossom that looks like a giant thing, that will always be printed like xxx,when you type it in a VT-text, see it for yourself in my 2nd and 4th photo. The female blossoms look more like a bush (4th pic on the very right!)and it needs the wind to take the male blossoms to the females. The fruits of the Coco de mer can be up to 80 kg and of course it is forbidden to take any of them home as a souvenir (except for some that have a certificate by the state).
Another one of the magnificent beaches of the Seychelles in Anse Lazio in the far north of the island. The beach has glorious soft white sand, a few rounded granite boulders and a lively line-up of waves in a magical turquoise colour.
The beach is protected by a reef, which makes the water like a giant bath - it's shallow, warm and safe, and there's some nice snorkelling at the end of the beach. There's even a terrific restaurant right on the sand.
There are several hiking pathes to explore this stunning national park. Signposts indicate the direction at all all path intersections and marker posts indicate sites of interest. Additional features are described on small information boards alongside the paths.
Central to Cedar to Cicular North about 1 km or 1 hr
Central to Circular North about 1,7 km or 2 hr
Central to Circular North to Cedar to Central about 1,7 km or 2 hr
Circular South to Central about 1,5 km or 1,5 hr
Circular South to Circular North about 2 km or 2,5 - 3 hr
To explore all paths and to absorbe the atmosphere one should allow 3 to 4 hours to visit this park.
One of the most spectacular beaches on the Seychelles and also voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is Anse Georgette.
Situated adjacent to the Le Lemuria Resort the beach is not only tranquil but also a nesting ground for turtles.
The Coco de Mer palm is surrounded by myths and legends. This is partly because the strange bi-lobed nuts were discovered long before the palm itself and partly because of the suggestive shapes of both male and female structures with offor on seperate coco de mer palms.
There are male and female palms. Male palms grow to about 30 meters high, female palms to about 24 meters high. The female palm produces the largest seed in the world, it can weigh more then 20 kg. The seed inside the husk and the fruit takes 6 to 7 years to ripen.
The palms live for between 200 and 400 years.
Vallee de Mai is one of the world's smallest natural World Heritage Sites. This quiet and secluded valley forms the heart of the Praslin National Park and is home to the famous and magnificent coco de mer palm. The Vallee de Mai palm forest is a remarkable living remnant of the prehistoric forests which existed when the Seychelles' granit islands were still part of Gondawaland, the huge land mass which included what is now Africa, Madagascar and India. Millions of years of isolation enabled a unique community of plants and animals to develop here and some species are found nowhere else.