Italian honeymoon couples
Luna di miele alle Seychelles is italian for honeymoon in the Seychelles. What surprised me during our honeymoon in the Seychelles was the high number of italian couples traveling to this tropical paradise. According to the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) of the Seychelles Italy is one of the leading markets for the Seychelles. I wonder why that is. I mean I can fully understand why someone would like to come to this tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean, but why are the Seychelles so popular in a country that has no historical ties with this archipel?
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Anse Lazio: Beautiful Praslin beach
Anse Lazio is considered by many, including Lonely Planet, to be the best beach on Praslin. It’s included in countless top ten lists and probably is one of the most photographed beaches in the world. Enough reason for us to leave Anse Georgette, be it with some regret, and head for Anse Lazio.
Anse Lazio is situated next to Anse Georgette. That should be a short drive. Well, think again. The island road doesn’t encircle all of Praslin. It’s actually a giant “U” with one end at the Lemuria resort and the other end at … yes, Anse Lazio.
It was already late in the afternoon when we drove out of the resort. We decided to take the road along the southern coast line instead of taking the short cut along Vallée de Mai.
Not long after the junction the road changed from good to narrow and steep (slopes up to 30%). But our little orange Kia held it together. At sunset we reached Anse Lazio and yes, it looked beautiful.
Lovely afternoon at Anse Georgette
After our visit to the coco de mer forest in Vallée de Mai we continued in western direction to the coast again. Here we turned right to Grand’Anse and along the air strip. Yes, Praslin can be reached by airplane as well. A few miles further we reached the Lemuria resort where the road ends.
I remembered reading something about day passes for Anse Georgette beach, a limited number of those passes and disappointed people, so we told the guard at the entrance gate we were there for lunch at the Lemuria. Which was actually true, because we were getting pretty hungry.
The Lemuria is a huge and luxurious resort at the most western tip of Praslin island. Our lunch consisted of one pizza, a sandwich and 2 drinks and was the most expensive lunch so far. But truth be told, it tasted very good.
Vallée de Mai: Coco de Mer palm forest
Vallée de Mai is a nature reserve on Praslin island in the Seychelles and has a unique and natural palm forest preserved in its original state. The reserve is home of the famous Coco de Mer palm tree, endemic to the Seychelles, with its giant double coconuts. Vallée de Mai was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1983.
It’s only a short drive from the coast at Baie Sainte Anne to the reserve which is located about 5 miles land inwards. Several well maintained paths lead you through the palm forest.
We took the north route and were amazed by the giant palm leaves, almost five times my own size. After about 45 minutes we reached a shelter up a small hill offering a beautiful over the tropical forest.
Exploring Praslin island, Seychelles
Just like we did on Mahé, we decided to do a round trip on Praslin island. Saturday September 27th we rented a car from a guy called Manuel of Prestige Car Hire, who was always hanging out near the Acajou hotel. He was also recommended by our Mason’s Travel contact. The rental price per day was €50 or €70 including insurance, which was a lot pricier than our rental car on Mahé.
Again the fuel tank was almost empty, so I had to fill it up first. About a 3rd of the tank this time, because Praslin island is even smaller than Mahé island. The car we got was a small, bright orange Kia with airco. All Seychelles rental cars come with airco. I think it’s standard on the cars, and everything else, even the most basic things like electric windows in the front doors, is optional.
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This evening after our Praslin round trip (September 27th) we found a bottle of Moët & Chandon on our hotel room. A very pleasant surprise.
Initially we thought it was offered by the Acajou hotel management to make up for their bad service. But there was no card or note anywhere, so I decided to call the reception to ask why we got this bottle of champagne.
The receptionist told me it was offered to us. I asked her who had offered it and then she told us it was from our travel agent It’s Africa back in Holland. I guess the hotel “forgot” to add that note…
Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed sipping champagne during the warm Praslin night!
Creole buffet at Les Lauriers
Les Lauriers is a petit hotel and restaurant in Anse Volbert (Côte d’Or) on Praslin. It’s formula is “Creole buffet” just like The Boathouse in Beau Vallon, Mahé. We decided to go there, because we had heard good stories about it.
Normally I hate the buffet concept, but this one was really nice.
The creole buffet contains a huge “salad” bar, which is much more than just salads. There are delicious grilled and baked vegetables, pumpkin lasagnas, and many other creative, but tasteful creations.
Next to it are several curries with rice, which I liked a lot. And then there’s a cook grilling fresh fish, chicken and pork chops right in front of you.
For the buffet you pay a fixed fee of I believe €30 per person.
It’s not really a romantic restaurant, but it offers good food for a good price. If you’re staying on Praslin you should check it out.
Côte d’Or, Praslin
Côte d’Or (or actually Anse Volbert) is one of the most famous beaches on the north coast of Praslin. Many resorts like L’Archipel, the Berjaya Beach Resort and Paradise Sun are all located close to or on this beach.
Our own hotel, the Acajou hotel, was also located on the Côte d’Or beach. After our little incident with the hotel manager, we decided to relax on the beach. The hotel provides its guests with beach chairs and parasols, which is nice, because the sun is burning hot. On the other hand we never really missed these chairs and parasols on the Mahe beaches. A big Takamaka or coconut tree (watch out for the coconuts!) gives a much nicer shade than any parasol can ever provide…
Tante Mimi restaurant
Tante Mimi is a well known restaurant and casino on Praslin. On tripadvisor I had read some very positive reviews of the restaurant so for our first dinner on Praslin we decided to dine at Tante Mimi.
The restaurant and casino are situated in a beautiful, white plantation mansion with huge colums and marble floors. The building is recently built, so it’s not authentic, but the atmosphere is really nice. Think “Gone with the wind” or ” North & South” style.
Acajou hotel, Praslin
At the jetty in Baie Sainte Anne at Praslin the Mason’s bus was already waiting to bring us and some fellow travelers to our accommodations. First stop was hotel L’Archipel where the Italian couple from my previous Cat Cocos post went out. 2nd stop was Acajou where we stayed.
Distances on Praslin are really short since it’s a small island. From the jetty to our hotel is maybe 4 or 5 kilometres.
At Acajou we were welcomed by the girl at the reception. We could leave our bags, a porter would bring them to our room. While checking in we got a fresh pineapple drink and the receptionist walked away to check some things. Still in an excellent mood we sipped from our tasty, tropical drinks not realizing the sh*t that was about to happen (Pardon my French).
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