Trip Report: Island Hopping – La Digue

a body of water with rocks and trees
***This is part 11 of my “Camels, Bats, and Bloggers” trip report detailing a recent trip to Dubai and Seychelles, with a final stop in Las Vegas to attend the 2014 BAcon conference hosted by BoardingArea***1. Introduction – Camels, Bats, and Bloggers
2. Emirates Lounge at SFO
3. Emirates First Class San Francisco to Dubai
4. Conrad Dubai
5. Old Dubai, Ski Dubai, and At the Top
6. Emirates Terminal B First Class Lounge at DXB
7. Emirates First Class Dubai to Mahe, Seychelles
8. Four Seasons Seychelles
9. Air Seychelles Economy Class Mahe to Praslin
10. Raffles Praslin Seychelles
11. Island Hopping – La Digue
12. Island Hopping – Praslin, Cousine, Curieuse, St. Pierre
13. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa
14. Emirates Business Class Mahe, Seychelles to Dubai
15. 7-Star Luxury at the Burj Al Arab
16. British Airways Lounge at DXB
17. Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai to Los Angeles via Hong Kong
18. 2014 BAcon Conference in Las Vegas + Mandalay Bay Hotel
19. American Express Centurion Lounge at LAS

Until today, we had been having a good time in the Seychelles, but nothing had really blown us away. Everything changed once we stepped foot on La Digue.

La Digue is the 3rd largest island in the Seychelles after Mahe and Praslin, and is a short 15-minute ferry ride from Praslin. The route is serviced by both the Cat Cocos and Inter Island Ferry, and between the two companies there are at least 4-5 departures per day from Praslin, making La Digue a perfect destination for a full-day or even half-day trip.

We drove out to the Praslin boat jetty which was roughly 20 minutes from the hotel, purchased our tickets, and queued up. Many other passengers had luggage with them since they planned to stay overnight on La Digue. The ferry is quite large, easily seating over 100 passengers between its lower and upper decks.

It was just a 15-minute ride over to La Digue, but it was a roller-coaster of a trip that put my stomach to the test. We were glad that we had opted for the plane ride from back from Praslin to Mahe instead of the even longer, 50-minute ferry ride.

Even though it’s the 3rd largest island in the Seychelles, La Digue is significantly smaller than Praslin which means that it is easily navigated by bicycle or even by walking. Bicycle rentals are available right at the jetty, and 15,000 Rupees later we had our rides for the day. There are a handful of taxis on the island, but in general there really isn’t much car traffic here which makes it extremely safe to ride bikes.

First stop? Anse Source d’Argent, which is one of the most photographed beaches in the world,  located about 15 minute bike ride south of the jetty. We had taken the first ferry of the day in order to beat the crowds, and after summoning our inner-Lance Armstrong, we were successful in out-pacing our fellow passengers on that morning’s ferry.

This beach is located on a compound that actually requires an entrance fee, but believe me it’s worth every penny. After entering the compound and biking along a dirt road that took us past some vanilla bean trees and giant tortoises, we were there.

Now I understood why this beach is considered to be one of the best in the world – the pictures simply don’t do it justice. Anse Source d’Argent isn’t merely one long stretch of beach, but rather a series of beaches accessible along a walkway. At any point, you can jump out onto the beach to check out the unique pink granite formations at every turn. The sand is powder-soft, and the turquoise water was warm enough for a bath.

Our hustle paid off and we were among the first people to arrive for the day. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

day trip la digue island seychelles
The money shot
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
My attempt to be artsy
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles

Our return ferry wasn’t scheduled until late afternoon, which meant that we’d be on La Digue for over 7 hours. Initially, we were worried that we’d be bored and have trouble filling in the time, and had been considering changing our return to an earlier time. My suggestion? Spend the entire day here, you simply will not regret it.

After walking to the end of Anse Source d’Argent, we circled back and went beach hopping for the next couple hours before deciding that it was time to move on. We saddled up, and started to ride further south toward Grande Anse, the #1 beach in the world according to the CNN list that had brought us here.

We arrived just as some rain showers were passing through, and grabbed cover at the small beach restaurant where we enjoyed a fresh coconut as we waited it out.

Grande Anse itself is just one long stretch of beach, book-ended by two beautiful pink granite formations. It’s extremely wavy, and is clearly marked as not safe for swimming. That didn’t stop two young teenagers from trying, and they nearly paid the ultimate price after getting sucked under by the currents. Luckily they were able to break free and made it back to shore, but were in bad shape and needed medical attention. The paramedics must be purposefully located close by, since they arrived in minutes.

Perhaps that’s what makes this beach so appealing and enticing, since it presents itself in a “look but don’t touch” manner. There’s also a path that leads north and takes you to several other nearby beaches, including Petit Anse and Anse Cocos.

While CNN had Grande Anse ranked at #1 and Anse Source d’Argent at #4, my ranking would flip the two, as nothing we saw on the entire trip compared to the beauty of Anse Source d’Argent.

day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
Grande Anse
day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles
Waves crashing in at Grande Anse

After a couple hours at Grande Anse, we were ready to move on again and biked north, past the jetty, and along the northern tip of the island where there are many more beaches. We had worked up an appetite, and stopped by a roadside restaurant to grab a bite. Keeping with our theme for the trip, we ordered a tuna pizza, along with octopus curry.

Overall, this was by far the best day of our entire trip. If you decide to make the journey to the Seychelles, don’t leave without spending a day on the island of La Digue.

day trip la digue island seychelles
day trip la digue island seychelles

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