INSPIRATION

La Digue: Cycling in Paradise

Exploring La Digue by Bike

My interest in touring La Digue Island in Seychelles began from an interesting video that a travel vlogger posted on the Island on YouTube. I marvelled at watching the locals on bicycles instead of cars on the roads, with views of clear blue waters and white beaches surrounded by large granite rocks. And just like that the island made it into my travel bucket list and I finally travelled to the island. 

I landed at Seychelles International Airport on Mahe Island, I spent a couple of days exploring the island and immediately took a ferry to Praslin and another one finally to La Digue. There are various ways to reach La Digue once you land in Mahe. You can take a ferry boat directly from Mahe which will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The second option is to get to Praslin via the ferry or flight and then take a ferry to La Digue. It’s just ten kilometres from Praslin and will roughly take 15 minutes to get there.

 

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Tour the island on a bike

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and on La Digue, that means cycling! Bicycle rentals are plentiful around the island, and most hotels offer them as well. Mine came with a handy basket, perfect for storing my beach essentials as I embarked on my two-wheeled adventure. My island tour included a stop at the charming Notre Dame de L'Assomption, the island's sole church. Its simple architecture stands in beautiful contrast to the vibrant flora surrounding it.

 
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Hire a local guide 

A local guide, Gilly Mein, recommended by the Seychelles Tourism Information Office, was my partner for the next leg of my adventure. Having him by my side helped me understand the island's history, which stretches back over 200 years. This history came in handy at the L’Union estate which depicts how the island was back in time.

Explore L’Union Estate

Exploring L'Union Estate, a former coconut and vanilla plantation, was a journey back in time. Here, I came face-to-face with the magnificent Aldabra giant tortoise, one of the world's largest, lumbering peacefully in its enclosure. The plantation house offered a glimpse into La Digue's French colonial past, transporting me back to a time when coconut and vanilla were the lifeblood of the island. The traditional copra factory was a fascinating peek into the process of transforming coconuts into oil – the rhythmic clatter of machinery and the earthy scent filling the air.

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After that, I explored the Anse Source D’argent beach at the end of the estate for photos and relaxation. 

Hiking the Anse Cocos Trail

Though there are three beaches at Anse Coco, I explored Petite Anse more being that I was there for the hike. Though the hill is not too high, the hot temperature can be tiring so make sure that you carry enough water. The last beach of the tour is Anse Caiman, a small bay and here I found a bar where I treated myself to a coconut. I opted to relax here though one has an option of getting back to Anse Cocos, which is a sheltered beach unlike the rest.  

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Sample the sea delicacies in one of the restaurants

Wandering through La Digue, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of culinary experiences, offering a delicious introduction to Seychellois cuisine. One of them is Fish Trap restaurant and bar where I sampled their seafood and it was great. Thankfully, the prices were fair despite Seychelles' reputation for fine dining. Plus, the outdoor seating with its cool ocean breeze and toes-in-the-sand vibe was fantastic.

Of all the major Islands in Seychelles, being in La Digue is like being in paradise. The warmth of the locals, the options in accommodation, the stunning landscape with some of the most stunning white beaches I’ve ever seen, coupled with tranquility will make me recommend this destination not just for your honeymoon, but also as a solo traveler or with your family and friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Article by Harriet Jimmy

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