A sublime topography with gentle hills and beautiful crests, valleys nestled between the hillocks that boast of lush palms, low-roofed traditional buildings indicating many a hotel, Praslin, Seychelles is the second largest island of the collection where life is calm and quiet. Indicating the true richness of the island is Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the apple of Praslin’s eyes.

Vallée de Mai, or the May Valley, is essentially a nature park. Reaching Vallée de Mai is quite easy, as it is located centrally to most of the popular resorts like Berjaya Praslin Resort. Exploring the valley to see its true beauty, however, is another matter. The total area of Vallée de Mai is about 20 hectares but is covered in rich, dense forest that is a complete treasure trove. You can take a short trek through the valley, which covers most of the popular sites. The short walk lasts about an hour and will give you a glimpse of what is in store. However, it is best to take the longer route which takes about three hours to complete but takes you to beautiful view points and gentle summits of Praslin. Vallée de Mai is also home to all six of endemic palms of Seychelles. You would hear the calling of endemic birds, as well as the call of the black parrot, though you would be lucky to spot one in the forest. Walking through Vallée de Mai is not a difficult task at all, as the slopes and slides are quite gentle, and not physically exhausting at all. But be prepared to have your mind arrested and your senses assaulted in your journey; for, Vallée de Mai has often been called the Garden of Eden for its unique, secluded beauty.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.