Praslin is the second largest granite island in the Seychelles archipelago. It is less mountainous in characther than Mahe. The beaches on Praslin are longer and more attractive than those on Mahe, especially the ones at Anse Lazio in the north and the ones on the east coast. In the centre of the island, is the Vallee de Mai National Park. This unique valley is home of the legendary coco de mer palm and vanilla orchids. The island is about 12km long and more than 5km wide. The highes granite summit is Fond Azore. The first recorded visit to Praslin was made by Lazare Picault in 1744. Most of the people living on the island have jobs in tourism. Fishing and agriculture are also important aspects of life on Praslin. The main villages are Anse Volbert, Grande Anse and Baie Ste Anne. The village at Baie Ste Anne has a post office, banks, school, a few small shops, hospital and a church. Praslin in not only famous for the palms but it is also home to the rare black parrot. On the northwestern side of the island is the Praslin Airport At Amitie. It is one of the most beautiful airports in the Indian Ocean region with palms, typical Creole architecture, sculptures and water features. On the sea side of the road opposite the airport is the Black Pearl of Seychelles. It includes several species of reef fishes and a small aquarium.