A fifteen-minute plane ride over turquoise waters will bring you to the
second largest island - Praslin. The French explorer Lazare
Picault was the first to claim this island in 1774, and called it
"Ile de Palmes" after its fantastic forests of palm trees.
Later on, Mation Dufresne renamed it as "Praslin" in honour of Gabriel de
Choiseul, Duke of Praslin. There are only a few small villages strewn across
the island, whose population of about five thousand earn their living as
fishermen, farmers or by catering for visitors to the island.
The main attraction of Praslin is the National Park or "Vallée de
Mai", which is home to a prehistoric rainforest of huge trees that dominate the
landscape. The "Coco-de-Mer" coconut is famous for its large size, and
infamous because of its striking similarity to the female genitalia!
Large, "Dali-esque" granite formations decorate almost every beach on the
island. The 8000-year-old coral reefs, populated by fantastically-coloured
reef fish, make the island a mecca for snorkellers and divers.
The unique beauty of its reef world cannot be found on dry land, but
is almost equalled by the beauty of the island's spectacular, solitary