When we booked our honeymoon in the Seychelles, we knew there was one place we couldn’t miss: Vallée de Mai. Described as the Garden of Eden on Earth, we were incredibly excited to get to know the natural beauty of this enchanting and truly unique place.
Practically untouched until the 20th century, Vallée de Mai’s magic is that it has remained largely unchanged since its origins. Its remote location on Praslin Island also helps to keep this natural refuge safe from the impact of human contact, preserving a truly diverse, rich and unique biodiversity.
The day we spent here was filled with fun and intense moments. The raw nature, stunning views and serene environment made this place absolutely unforgettable to us and a must experience that we can’t help but recommend.
The Vallée de Mai
With its dense forest of giant coconut trees, the unique bird species and an infinite horizon of green, Vallée de Mai inspired many legends throughout the centuries.
Even before it was discovered, its native coconut species – the coco de mer (or “sea coconut”) - had been spreading curiosity across the Indic oceans. In the Maldives, more specifically, oftentimes the seeds of these coconuts (which resemble the shape of human thighs, with their respective pubic area on one of the sides) would appear floating in the sea all the way to the coast, thus originating the legend that these nuts were grown in a tree underwater.
In the 18th century, however, the Seychelles (which, until then, had been uninhabited) are discovered and the true origin of these uniquely shaped coconuts are discovered along with it: the Praslin and Curieuse Islands. This discovery, however, only brings on new legends: the first visitors to the island, coming from Great Britain, believed that Vallée de Mai was the true Garden of Eden on Earth and that coco de mer was the forbidden fruit that Eve had given Adam to taste.
Legend or fact, the truth is that Vallée de Mai can leave anyone amazed with its beauty and serenity. This place is truly unlike anywhere else on earth. So, below, we leave you with our best tips to make the most of what this paradise has to offer.
Our Best Tips
- How to get there: Located on Praslin Island, there are essentially two ways of arriving in Vallée de Mai. You can get on a flight from Mahe island with Air Seychelles. In 20 minutes, and for about 120€, you’ll have a roundtrip flight. Alternatively, a 1-hour ferry trip from Mahe will cost you around €45.
- Guided tours: We highly recommend you visit Vallée de Mai with a guide. Without a guide, you can still appreciate the beauty of the place but everything will just look like trees after trees after trees. The local guides have an unbeatable knowledge and ours helped us a lot to understand exactly what we were observing and its importance.
- Black parrot: Stay tuned and don’t miss the opportunity to see this rare bird! This parrot species, native to Praslin Island, is in extinction and only 500 to 900 birds exist today in the world. We were lucky to see one during our visit but we couldn’t get a photo of it!
Did you guys know about the legends of Vallée de Mai? Don’t forget to read more about our honeymoon!
Honeymooners, Seychelles 05/2016