Vallee de Mai

Welcome to the enchanting Vallee de Mai, a natural wonder nestled in the Seychelles archipelago. This extraordinary destination, often referred to as the “Garden of Eden,” captivates visitors with its unique geographical features and remarkable biodiversity.

Vallee de Mai is a pristine valley located on the island of Praslin, part of the Seychelles. Covering an area of approximately 19.5 hectares (48 acres), this lush and verdant valley is renowned for its ancient palm forest, where the Coco de Mer palms, known for producing the world’s largest seeds, thrive in abundance.

The Coco de Mer palms are the stars of Vallee de Mai, reaching towering heights and creating a captivating canopy that adds to the mystical allure of the valley. These iconic palms are recognized for their distinctive fan-shaped leaves and the extraordinary Coco de Mer seeds, which can weigh up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and are renowned for their suggestive shape, often likened to the human anatomy.

Vallee de Mai is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also part of the larger Praslin National Park, ensuring the protection of the unique flora and fauna within its boundaries. The park extends over 3,045 hectares (7,530 acres) and includes the Vallee de Mai, ensuring the conservation of the entire ecosystem, from the lush valley to the surrounding landscapes.

As you step into Vallee de Mai, be prepared to enter a timeless realm where ancient palms stand as guardians of Seychelles’ natural heritage. This verdant valley beckons with its ecological significance, unique plant life, and a sense of awe that transports visitors to a place where nature’s wonders unfold in a pristine and protected sanctuary

Where is the Valley de Mai located

Vallee de Mai is located on the enchanting island of Praslin in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Getting to this natural wonder is an adventure in itself, and there are a couple of ways for travelers to reach this captivating destination.

By Air: The primary gateway to Seychelles is the Seychelles International Airport on the main island of Mahé. Travelers can book international flights to Mahé and then connect to Praslin via a short domestic flight. The Praslin Airport welcomes visitors to the island, offering a convenient entry point for those specifically heading to Vallee de Mai.

By Sea: For a scenic and leisurely journey, some travelers opt for a ferry ride from Mahé to Praslin. The ferry ride provides stunning views of the Indian Ocean and the surrounding islands. Once on Praslin, various transportation options, including taxis and rental cars, make it easy to reach Vallee de Mai.

Local Transportation: On Praslin, the valley is accessible by road. Taxis and rental cars are available for those who prefer a more private mode of transportation. Additionally, local buses provide a budget-friendly option for reaching Vallee de Mai.

Upon arriving on Praslin, Vallee de Mai is situated in the center of the island, making it easily accessible from various points. Signposts and local maps help guide visitors to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey into the heart of the Seychelles’ natural beauty.

Whether arriving by air or sea, the journey to Vallee de Mai promises a delightful introduction to the Seychelles, setting the stage for an immersive experience in the unique and pristine landscapes of this captivating island paradise.

What Wildlife can be found in the Valley de mai area

Vallee de Mai is a haven for unique and diverse wildlife, offering visitors a glimpse into the natural wonders of the Seychelles. Here, amidst the ancient Coco de Mer palms and lush vegetation, you’ll encounter a variety of fascinating species.

  1. Coco de Mer Palm (Lodoicea maldivica): The star of Vallee de Mai, the Coco de Mer palm, is truly extraordinary. Known for producing the world’s largest seeds, these palms stand tall and proud, creating a captivating canopy. The distinct fan-shaped leaves and iconic seeds, often likened to the human anatomy, make the Coco de Mer a botanical marvel.
  2. Seychelles Black Parrot (Coracopsis barklyi): One of the most sought-after and endemic bird species, the Seychelles Black Parrot, finds its home in Vallee de Mai. With its striking black plumage and vibrant yellow markings, spotting this parrot amidst the emerald greenery adds a splash of color to the forest.
  3. Seychelles Bulbul (Hypsipetes crassirostris): The Seychelles Bulbul is another avian resident of Vallee de Mai. With its melodious calls and lively presence, this bird contributes to the symphony of sounds within the valley. Its olive-brown plumage and distinctive call make it a delightful species to encounter.
  4. Seychelles Skink (Mabuya sechellensis): The Seychelles Skink, a reptile endemic to the Seychelles, can be found in the understory of Vallee de Mai. These small, agile lizards add to the biodiversity of the area, showcasing the variety of species adapted to life in the forest.
  5. Fruit Bats (Pteropus seychellensis): Fruit bats, often seen gliding through the canopy, play a crucial role in the ecosystem by aiding in pollination and seed dispersal. Their presence adds to the dynamic and balanced nature of Vallee de Mai.

While these are some of the highlighted species, Vallee de Mai is a treasure trove of biodiversity, featuring an array of insects, butterflies, and other bird species. The careful preservation of this UNESCO World Heritage Site ensures that the flora and fauna continue to thrive, offering visitors a unique and immersive experience in the heart of Seychelles’ natural beauty.

What makes Vallee de Mai unique

Vallee de Mai stands as a truly unique and enchanting place, captivating visitors with its extraordinary features and unparalleled natural wonders.

  1. Coco de Mer Palms: At the heart of Vallee de Mai, the Coco de Mer palms take center stage. These ancient giants, with their colossal fan-shaped leaves and colossal seeds, are unlike any other palms in the world. The valley is a sanctuary for these iconic palms, making it the only place on Earth where they grow in their natural state.
  2. Coco de Mer Seeds: The Coco de Mer produces the largest seeds in the plant kingdom, weighing up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds). Shaped like a fascinating blend of a double coconut and a suggestive human form, these seeds have earned the palm its nickname, the “love nut.” The sheer size and unique shape make the Coco de Mer seeds a natural marvel.
  3. Endemic Wildlife: Vallee de Mai is home to a host of endemic species found nowhere else on the planet. The Seychelles Black Parrot, with its striking black and yellow plumage, and the Seychelles Bulbul, known for its melodic calls, are just a couple of the unique bird species that call this valley home. The biodiversity, including rare insects and reptiles, adds to the valley’s uniqueness.
  4. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Vallee de Mai has earned the prestigious designation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This recognition highlights its outstanding universal value, acknowledging its significance not only to the Seychelles but to the entire world. The valley’s preservation is a testament to its ecological importance and the need to safeguard such exceptional places.
  5. Primeval Atmosphere: Walking through Vallee de Mai feels like stepping into a primeval forest untouched by time. The ancient palms, intertwined vines, and dense foliage create an atmosphere that transports visitors to a bygone era. The valley’s pristine condition contributes to a sense of wonder and awe.
  6. Cultural Significance: Beyond its natural wonders, Vallee de Mai holds cultural significance. Legend has it that this lush valley was the original Garden of Eden. The valley’s mystique, combined with its ecological importance, adds a layer of cultural allure, making it a destination that resonates with both nature enthusiasts and those intrigued by ancient tales.

In essence, Vallee de Mai is a one-of-a-kind destination, a sanctuary of ancient palms, unique wildlife, and cultural mystique. Its combination of natural and cultural elements creates an experience that is both breathtaking and unforgettable, inviting visitors to connect with the essence of Seychelles’ unparalleled beauty.


Travelers, a journey to Vallee de Mai promises an extraordinary experience in the heart of the Seychelles, where nature reveals its most enchanting secrets.

In summary, Vallee de Mai invites travelers to embark on a journey of discovery, where ancient palms, endemic wildlife, and cultural tales converge. This Seychelles gem promises an immersive and unforgettable experience for those seeking a connection with nature’s most extraordinary creations.