Second in size to Mahe, Praslin Island in the Seychelles is an appealing mix of soft sand beaches, emerald green hills and a number of sheltered valleys that includes Vallee de Mai – a World Heritage Site and home to an extraordinary primeval palm forest.

Life on Praslin Island moves at a pace that falls somewhere between the relative bustle of Mahe and the sleepiness of next-door La Digue Island. The main tourism centre is Anse Volbert (also known as Côte d’Or) where a collection of hotels, restaurants, shops and bars gives this safe swimming beach a lively atmosphere - at least by Seychelles standards! The island is also home to the only 18-hole golf course in the archipelago, making a Praslin Island holiday a shoo-in for golfers.

Further north, the crystal-clear water and perfectly white coral sand of Anse Lazio have placed it on many 'World’s Best Beaches' lists while Praslin itself is a fantastic base from which to explore other islands. Enjoy boat excursions to La Digue as well as nearby island reserves famed for their birdlife, nesting turtles and rich coral reefs.

Getting to Praslin is easy - the high-speed ferry from Mahe takes an hour while a flight is just 15 minutes - and there are plenty of places to stay on the island too. Our favourite hotels include La Reserve which is secluded enough to feel completely private; Raffels Praslin with its luxurious villas and personal butler service; and Coco de Mer - a great family option with a fantastic location - just be aware of the seaweed that sometimes washes up on its beach. (Find out more in our when to go to the Seychelles section.)