La Digue is one of the smaller islands of the Seychelles. It is reasonably accessible, well served with accommodation and some tourist facilities, but is much quieter, picturesque and exclusive than Mahe or Praslin. The key reason for visiting is to experience L'Anse Source D'Argent, one of the world's top beaches, largely on account of the exotic weathering of the large pink granite rocks studding the coastline, coupled with sandy beaches and palms.
There are several small islands just off the coast of La Digue:
- Félécite Island
- Frigate Island
- Marie Anne Island
- Recif Island
- The Sisters
There is a helipad. Flying from Mahe to La Digue will take you about 20 minutes. Private helipad transfer would cost about €900. This is the most expensive way of travelling.
Probably the easiest way to travel between Mahe to La Digue and Praslin to La Digue.
- Cat Cocos, ☏ , email@example.com. The ferry leaves from Victoria Pier in Mahé and arrives in La Passe Quay in La Digue. The crossing takes approximately 1 hr 30 min. It is best to book in advance to ensure availability. You can select your seat type: on the main deck for an indoor air-conditioned seat, on the upper deck for an outdoor seat, or in business class to get your own cabin. Cat Cocos has a fleet of four ferries, capable of carrying up to 475 passengers between Mahe and Praslin.
- Inter Island Ferry, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. There are up to 8 departures per day from Praslin to from La Digue. The ferry leaves from Baie Sainte Anne jetty, in Praslin and arrives in La Pass Quay in La Dique. The crossing takes about 15 minutes. Inter Island Ferry has 2 high-speed catamarans, which can carry up to 154 passengers at a time. It is best to book in advance, to ensure availability.
It is possible to book with Cat Cocos and Inter Island Ferry on Seychellesbookings.com.
There are also several locals of Praslin that offer boats for hire, however this option is very expensive. Expect to pay approximately 600 euro and upwards. If you go this route you will have the chance to stop at some of the other less accessible islands in the area as well.
Due to its small size, La Digue has little need for the transportation infrastructure seen in Mahe or even Praslin. There are only a handful of taxis for hire on the island, and no car rental agencies. As a result of the low supply, prices for taxi are high - approximately €90 for a half day or €30 for a trip to the beach. If you are staying at one of the resorts on the island, your hotel will likely arrange for ferry pick up, but check beforehand to ensure you are not stranded. For those arriving by ferry for a day trip, you will see many companies offering bikes for rent. This is really the only way to travel around the island, and quite affordable at about €8 for a whole day, just make sure you test your bike before you take it. If you aren't going very far, there are also ox carts (a buggy pulled by an ox) that you can catch a ride on.
- L’Union Estate, Allée Kersley, ☏ . This World Heritage site will give you a real insight into La Digue colonial history. You will be able to visit a coconut plantation with a traditional copra mill. There is also a Giant Tortoise enclosure next to the vanilla plantation. You will also be able to visit the Plantation house, which is one of the oldest examples of French colonial architecture on the island. The park has an entrance fee of SCR 150.
- Anse Source d’Argent. The beach is one of the main reasons that visitors come to La Digue. You will need to go through L'Union Estate to access Anse Source d'Argent. The beach offers soft white sand and calm and clear waters. It is flanked by giant granite boulders. You will find pathways that will lead you to hidden coves and caves. It can be difficult to swim at low tide, as the water gets extremely shallow. But at high tide, the water is deep enough to swim and remains safe. You will find restaurants and fruit stands nearby. The beach is famous for having been used in movies such as Castaway or Crusoe.
- Veuve Natural Reserve. Located at the centre of the island, this small reserve is home to the rare Black Paradise Flycatcher; known to locals as Veuve (widow). There are several walking trails through the reserve. You will find an information centre at the main entrance. Entry is free. Bring insect repellent as you will probably cross mosquitoes.
- Grand Anse. The bay offers white sand, granite boulders and is surrounded by lush vegetation. However, it is not protected from the open ocean (no coral reef), so you might find powerful waves and strong seasonal currents. It is not always safe to swim. But you will probably spot local surfers. Adjoining bays are Petit Anse and Anse Coco.
- Anse Marron. Located on the southern tip of the island, the beach offers white sand and natural swimming pools formed by the granite boulders. You can access this beach from Grand Anse or Anse Source d'Argent.. You will need a guide as the beach can be difficult to find. The path can be slippery, so bring good walking shoes. It is not a recommended journey for children, as it can be a long walk.
- Excursions can be made round the island on bicycles, to the reserve of the rare Paradise Flycatchers, to Ile de Cocos for snorkeling, or over to Praslin to see the Coco de Mer (suggestively shaped type of coconut).
- Bike. Riding a bike is the best way to visit the island. Flat paths will lead you around the island. Almost all hotels can arrange bike rental. Price is about RS100 per day.
- ox cart taxi. This is the island's traditional transport mode. You will usually find an ox-cart taxi near the jetty in La Passe. You could enjoy a guided tour or a transfer to your accommodation.
- Dive. La Digue has great dive spots. You will see granite slopes, underwater rock formations and many colourful fishes such as Angelfish, Parrotfish, octopus, Eagle rays and Hawksbill turtles. You can find diving schools on the island, such as Azzura Pro Dive at Anse Reunion.
- Hike to Nid d’Aigle ((Eagles Nest)). This is the highest peak of the island, rising up to 333 metres. If you make it to the top, you will see a panoramic view of the nearby islands. The trek is about 4 kilometres, and there is not much shade (it is recommended to start early in the day). The hike can be challenging.
- Go snorkelling. Anse Sévère or Anse Gaulettes are great bays to go snorkelling. Just off the beach, or near the rocks, you will meet colourful reef fishes and occasionally turtles and Eagle rays.
There are several gift shops on the island, most of them right by the port. They offer the usual gifts of Seychelles. One notable purchase is fresh vanilla beans grown on the island. 9 beans cost around 5 euro, a fantastic price, and cheaper then the beans on Praslin. Also if you visit the visitors center, they have free full color posters (1 per person) available.
There are several Creole take-away restaurants available in town offering curry, fish, pork, and rice dishes. For the more picky eaters there is a very overpriced resort style restaurant offering more western familiar foods, as well as seafood. There is also a small gelato shop (ice cream) just south of town on the main road. You can also go to a restaurant in advance and ask the chef to prepare a special meal for you. There are many grocery shops around where you can buy ready to eat food.
- Rey & Josh Cafe Takeaway, Anse Réunion, La Digue Island Seychelles, ☏ . According to many locals, this is the best take away in the area. They are famous for their seafood curries. There are also outdoor picnic tables to sit. They have vegetarian and vegan options.
- Le Nautique, La Passe, La Digue Island Seychelles, ☏ , email@example.com. This is the restaurant of the Le Nautique Luxury Waterfront Hotel. The menu displays international and local cuisine. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you will be welcomed. They have great wines and beers. It is a great place to watch the sunset.
- Fish Trap, La Passe Near the Jetty, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in the centre of La Passe, this trendy restaurant offers seafood among other options. They feature a variety of signature cocktails. There is am outside deck where you can get a panoramic view across the sea.
- Pizzeria @ Gregoire's, Anse Reunion Village, ☏ , email@example.com. The restaurant offers traditional pizza and pasta dishes.
- Snack Bellevue, Nid Aigle, ☏ . Located on the highest peak on La Digue, this restaurant is well known for the view it displays. You could time your dinner with the sunset! They have an included pick-up service that picks you up and drops you off wherever you are staying.
Beer is readily available in La Digue and can be bought in various shops. Mineral water, cold drinks, etc., are also available.
- Tarosa, ☏ . Located across from the jetty in La Passe. This open-air bar/restaurant has local bands and artists performing on Friday nights. You can get a cocktail and dance!.
Being that the island is very small, very few people stay over night. However if you choose to, or if you miss the last ferry at 5:00pm, there are just a few very expensive hotels in town. It's a much better option to just plan on a day trip to the island, which is plenty of time to see all of the sites.
- Chateau St Cloud, ☏ . This colonial-style Chateau St Cloud Hotel is in the centre of La Dique.
- La Digue Island Lodge, Anse Reunion La Digue, Seychelles, ☏ . Next to Anse Source d'Argent Beach, this secluded resort is 8 minutes’ walk away from Veuve Nature Reserve and 1 km from La Digue Marina ferry dock.
- Le Repaire Hotel, anse reunion, ☏ . Small beachfront hotel. It is within easy walking distance of the jetty, shops, banks, and bicycle hire.