According to UNESCO, Vallée de Mai is a palm forest that has been largely unchanged since prehistoric times. But what makes it a national landmark is that it is home to the largest population of Coco de Mer trees, which produces (and obviously germinates from) the largest seed in the plant kingdom. Seeds can weigh up to 17kg and fruit up to a whopping 40kg, and a quick google search will reveal the male and female plant's mythology! Another point of interest were the giant leaves, up to 20 feet long and the sturdiest I've ever felt (a bit like plastic panelling) - roofs thatched from them can last about 20 years! Apparently you can walk through the forest during periods of heavy rain and remain relatively dry as these huge leaves channel the water towards the trunks of the tall palms. The video is shown just to give a feel of the breeze experienced when walking through the palm forest: the sway and crunching sound of the giant leaves in particular.
Following Vallée de Mai, we were lucky to make a short visit to Anse Lazio - renowned as one of the best beaches in the world. We could not disagree! "Anze Lazio feels like a hidden oasis, thanks to the giant granite boulders that shelter its white sandy beach and bright turquoise sea. The shoreline remains largely untouched... and a coral reef that keeps the waters calm also makes for an ideal snorkeling and swimming spot" (Smarter Travel).
Technical details: Olympus ZD 12-60mm; all unedited and straight from the camera.