May 2021. This was it. The first trip after a year full of lockdowns and difficult times for all of us. It was finally time to get on the road again and explore a foreign land. And this land was the Seychelles Islands.
Like every long-awaited trip, this one also involved a lot of research beforehand. And this is what this La Digue itinerary is supposed to do for you – help you to plan your stay here the best way possible.
Let’s start by making one thing clear – just a day trip is not enough to explore La Digue. Sure, it is enough to see what it looks like, but not really to get to know it. This is why, from the two weeks we had in the Seychelles, we planned to stay 4 days in La Digue.
In this guide you will find a lot of information I wish I knew before coming here – how to get to La Digue, what to see, where to snorkel, how to explore it properly and where to stay.
HOW TO GET TO LA DIGUE
Flying into the Seychelles happens through the international airport at Victoria in Mahe – the main island here. From here, you can decide whether to stay on Mahe first, or travel to the other islands and leave Mahe for last. We chose the second option.
We flew from Bulgaria, had a transit in Dubai and then landed in Victoria, Mahe. From here, there are two options to get to La Digue – either by ferry (for 1 hour), or by plane from Mahe to Praslin (20 minutes), and then a short ferry ride (15 minutes) to La Digue. The first option costs 60 euros/person, while the second one can be more than double the price due to the high costs for the flight.
On our way to La Digue, we picked the ferry, as we booked it last minute and the flights were too expensive. However, I got extremely sick during the ride, because there were waves and the ferry was moving really fast. You might want to take some medications if you think you might get seasick.
Even though the island is relatively small, you still wouldn’t want to have to walk 2 km, dragging your suitcase, trying to get to your accommodation. Let your host know when exactly you’re arriving and ask them if they could arrange a pick-up. Most probably, they will. Locals on the island know each other and with just one phone call, you’ll have yourself a comfy ride to the accommodation. The hospitality of the locals was something that really took us by surprise. We got picked up and driven to our guest house at literally no extra cost, which is unheard of for most countries. People here don’t try to get as much money from you as possible – they are just kind. And it makes the whole Seychelles experience so much more enjoyable and easy.
GETTING AROUND LA DIGUE
There are not many cars on La Digue and just a few taxis, which are quite expensive. I would say that your best option is to rent a bike for your stay and explore the island this way.
A bike costs around 5-10 euros/day (we got it for 100 rupees/day in May 2021 when costs were lower overall). Ask the host in your accommodation because often they are able to organize this for you.
THINGS TO DO IN NORTHERN LA DIGUE
On the first full day we decided to explore the whole northern part of La Digue. Our accommodation was close to La Passe, so we grabbed our bikes and rode along the road from the west shore to the very north and then went south to the end of this road.
Along the way, we were stopping to admire the views, take some photos and catch our breath from the heat. After reaching the very end, we headed back and chose to stay on Anse Severe beach for the rest of the day.
Right next to Anse Severe you will find two kiosks for fresh juices and coconut water. Beware of the giant tortoises roaming around! We came across two of these, which were even walking on the road, attracting everyone’s attention.
Beach Anse Severe
After riding our bicycles to the very end of the road (which stops in the middle of the eastern coast), we decided to go back and lay our towels on Anse Severe Beach. Right at the beach you will find a couple of spots where you can buy freshly pressed juices, which we took advantage of.
The beach is relatively long and there’s quite a few shady spots under the palms you can lay at. Keep in mind there are many seashells, corals and rocks in the water, so put your water shoes on. I made the mistake of going in without mine the first time and I got a small wound on my foot.
Watch out for the giant tortoises roaming around.
THINGS TO DO IN WESTERN LA DIGUE
The second day was dedicated to two of the most popular places in La Digue. It is always good to save the mornings for activities that include walking. This is why we firstly headed to Union Estate.
The L’Union Estate Park is one of the main attractions in La Digue. The park is a former coconut and vanilla plantation and it offers a real insight into La Digue colonial history. There is an entrance fee of 100 SCR (around €5) to enter the park and there’s quite a bit to see.
The first thing you’ll notice is all the coconut trees, covering pretty much the whole area. Beware not to stand under them – they’re so tall that if a coconut falls on your head, it might not end well! Anyways, the place is incredibly picturesque, so be sure to have your camera ready.
You’ll also walk by the Traditional Coprah Factory. Here you can get familiar with the different steps of the production of coprah, aka the production of coconut oil.
If you continue walking, you will get to the spot where you’ll see the biggest tortoises on earth – the Aldabra giant tortoise. These large tortoises are among the longest-lived animals. Some of them are thought to be over 200 years of age, but this is hard to verify because they tend to outlive their human observers.
Last but not least, you’ll reach the famous Anse Source D’Argent beach, which was named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Anse Source D’Argent
No itinerary for La Digue is complete without Anse Source D’Argent. This is hands down one of the best places to visit in La Digue. The beach (or should I say beaches, as they are separated by the rocks in different sections) offers a mixture of shallow clear water, white sands and beautiful granite formations. Anse Source D’Argent offers excellent conditions for swimming, snorkeling and enjoying the sea life altogether.
We spent an entire afternoon here, chilling and swimming in the warm waters. Even though it is very shallow here, you can still see a wide variety of underwater creatures. Of all the places we visited on the Seychelles, this is the only beach where we saw a sea turtle and got to swim with it for a few short seconds, until it ran away! It was the first time ever for me to see a sea turtle and it was so exciting.
Right after that, we saw an eagle ray swimming around. It was so interesting but it scared me to death. They are known for not being dangerous and not really attacking people unless they are provoked (if you step on them, for example), but still, the second I saw it, I swam the other way as fast as I could. Just bear in mind you don’t need to panic like I did – just don’t bother them with your presence and you should be fine. It was still very exciting though!
Anse La Réunion Beach
Another extremely beautiful beach in the western part of La Digue is the Anse La Réunion Beach. It is another very shallow beach with crystal clear water, suitable for swimming and observing the underwater world.
This reserve was located right next to our accommodation (more on that later), so it was only fair we paid a visit.
This is where you can see the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher – a rare and endemic bird species, which one immediately recognizes due to its deep blue colour.
There is an information center at the main entrance where you can find literature about the Seychelles’ nature, and ask an expert to lead you around the reserve (be sure to register in advance).
THINGS TO DO IN THE SOUTH OF LA DIGUE
Visiting the wild south was a true adventure. There are no roads or actual trails you can follow, which makes it very challenging to discover.
After asking around and reading about other people’s experiences, we found out that the best thing to do is to find a guide and book an excursion with them.
The lovely staff from our accommodation got us in touch with a guide called Rondy and organised the day trip for us.
After experiencing the southern part first-hand, I can 100% advise you to not attempt discovering it on your own. The paths we took were extremely hidden, with no marks on them, and were going through the jungle, the rocks and even the water on our way back. Our guide even told us that there have been cases where people didn’t manage to find their way out of the jungle and had to spend the night there. So be smart and get yourself a guided tour for this route.
The excursion cost us 40 EUR per person and took about 6-7 hours. This is a rough agenda of what you might expect if you decide to explore the South as well:
• 2 hours hike with short breaks to look at the beautiful views and take photos
• 2-2.5 hours at Anse Marron for snorkelling, lunch and enjoying the most southern point of La Digue
• 2-2.5 hours hiking (and almost swimming) back
And here is a recap of what we saw and did during this day tour:
Our tour began at the end of the road, which is very close to the beach Grand Anse. This is the longest beach on La Digue (hence the name). Swimming seemed quite dangerous here, as the waves were big, the current was strong and the water was deep. So swimming is definitely not advisable. There is also little shade to find around due to the lack of big trees and more bush-like plants.
However, Grand Anse comes with its perks. The beach is often empty because not many people come to this part of the island. It is considered wilder also because it is not reached that easily. The good news is that there is a small restaurant here, so you could grab some snacks/water or even go to the bathroom.
The next beach we saw was Anse Songe. Our guide told us that this is where the sea turtles lay their eggs and the babies are born.
At this point we were not walking through the forest, but actually through the rocks. I wouldn’t say it was dangerous, but it definitely was challenging. Going through small holes, jumping over the rocks and climbing under the burning sun – it was spicy, as our guide said!
Next we passed another beach, which was called Grand I’Anse (not to be mistaken for Grand Anse). This one was covered with rocks, so definitely not suitable for swimming.
This is the last stop of the journey and I can tell you one thing for sure – all the sweat is worth it! Anse Marron is a relatively small natural pool, which is perfect for snorkelling. In this small pool you can see so many different fish swimming around that you’d be surprised with the variety. We didn’t get to see that many fish even at the Anse Source d’Argent beach. Be sure not to forget your snorkelling gear and water shoes!
Once we reached Anse Marron, our guide told us we were going to stay here for about 2 hours. So we found some shade, put our stuff there and went directly into the water for a snorkel.
I could’ve honestly stayed in this little natural pool all day long, looking at all the beautiful creatures. You could see so many colorful fish around you.
After about 1 hour of swimming and snorkeling, our guide told us he had prepared lunch. Each of us got a big plate (more like a platter) of delicious fruit and some smoked fish salad. It was such an interesting combo but it was actually good! (and I don’t even like smoked fish). Bear in mind, our guide was literally carrying all of this food in his backpack all the way here, then went off to the rocks next to the beach and prepared it by himself. We were so impressed.
After finishing our lunch, we had a bit more time for swimming and we already had to leave. The reason we couldn’t stay for too long was because the high tide was coming and we had yet to go through water to reach our final destination. I thought that climbing all these rocks was dangerous and scary, but wait until you get to the water crossing part. I am not going to say too much. Just don’t bring too much stuff with you, make sure your bags are waterproof (or just bring one bag max) and put your water shoes on. Oh, and wear clothes you don’t mind soaking with ocean water.
After the part where we had to go through the water, because there was no other way, we finally reached the spot where the tour ended – Anse Source D’Argent. If you look at the map of La Digue, you will see that we started off at the south-eastern point at Grand Anse, and finished at the south-western point at Anse Source D’Argent. It literally covers the whole southern part of La Digue, which is exactly what we wanted! And I could not recommend this tour more, despite the fact that I was a bit scared at some points.
WHERE TO STAY IN LA DIGUE
The Seychelles islands are a very expensive place to travel to. We knew we wanted to save on accommodation and be able to spend on experiences, so we were looking for some of the cheapest places on Booking.
Be aware that La Digue is probably the most expensive island, especially compared to Mahe and Praslin. The fact that it is so small makes it even easier for hotels and restaurants to boost up the prices. We didn’t want to spend a fortune, yet we also didn’t want to worry about where we were going to get food on this small island. This is why we decided to book a stay in Zerof Guest House for 4 nights, including breakfast and dinner. And let me tell you – this was the best decision ever.
Considering La Digue was the first stop on our Seychelles adventure, we still had no idea what food one had to try, what the normal prices for food were etc. This is where the half board came in handy. Every morning, after we woke up, our lovely host had prepared a delicious local breakfast for us. And every evening, once we got home from exploring the island, dinner was pretty much ready to be served. And we got to try so many local dishes.
If that’s not convenient enough, we also had a small shop right in the same building as the guest house, as well as a souvenir shop. If we were to go back to La Digue, we would most certainly book this place again, as it completely exceeded our expectations.
If you’re wondering where to stay on a budget and have some delicious local food at site, check out Zerof Guest House (not a sponsored mention, we just really enjoyed the place).