Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles (38 km²). It lies at 44 Km northeast of Mahé, and has two administrative districts (Baie Sainte Anne y Grand Anse). Its main settlements are Baie Sainte Anne, Anse Volbert y Grand Anse. It has been called "Island of Palms" by the explorer, Lazare Picault. During a while it was used as a hideaway by pirates and Arab traders, and later was renamed Praslin after the French diplomat, César Gabriel de Choiseul, duke of Praslin.
Praslin is known as a tourist town, with many beaches and hotels. It also has tropical forest, with birds such as the Bulbul of the Seychelles and the exclusively local black parrot. The beautiful Valée de Mai Nature Preserve is renownes for the "Coco de Mer" or the Double Coconut Palm, and for the vanilla orchids. In Praslin the airport of the island of Praslin is found. The surrounding islands include Curieuse, la Digue, Cousin, Cousine and Aride. There are also some small islets, such as Round Island (0'193 km²) and Chauve Souris (0.007 km²) both having hotels.
The local climate is tropical, although the sea has a tempering and humidifying influence. Temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures in Mahé move between 24ºC and 30ºC. During the months of July and August, the cooler months, the temperature might fall to 21ºC. The hot and most humid months are from December to April, the hottest being March and April; but even so the temperatures rarely surpass 31ºC. The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to October, making these months the most pleasant of the whole year. Most of the islands are out of the cyclone zone, which means that strong winds are rare, and that the area is ideal for sailing.
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