You may have seen a place many times on TV, desktop wallpapers and screensavers. You might think that you won’t be awestruck, and it will seem familiar when you visit there. However, when you do see it in real life, it still takes your breath away! La Digue in Seychelles is one such place.
La Digue is a 10 min boat ride away from Praslin (read about how you can book tickets here). We woke up at 6:45am and took a bus to the Praslin jetty for our Cat Cocos boat which would leave at 8:45am. If you were feeling a bit sleepy when you got on the bus, you would be wide awake by the time you reached the jetty – it is crazy how fast these buses go on such narrow roads! We reached well ahead of time – thankfully, the water was very clear, and the fish kept us entertained.
The ride was surprisingly smooth (like the ones we had in Croatia). At the La Digue jetty, we picked up a couple of bicycles – the preferred mode of transport to explore the island.
We headed straight to the L’Union Estate – a colonial-era plantation and farm – also, home to some giant tortoises and the Anse Source d’Argent beach. We grabbed some breakfast at the Old Pier Café while enjoying the beach views.
Next stop, the tortoise farm. The tortoises here were huge – some were older than 100 years! People who say that tortoises are slow are not exaggerating – we tried feeding them some leaves, and it looked like they were moving in slow motion! One of them was nice enough to pose for a photo!
We then rode through vanilla plantations and reached the main attraction – Anse Source d’Argent.
Any amount of time here would feel like less – I’ll let the pictures do the talking now.
You can also go snorkeling here – if you’re lucky, a few fish may come all the way up to the shore to say hello! Here’s one of them who was consistently photobombing everyone. It kept coming really close to our feet as we walked in the water!
We left rather reluctantly as we didn’t want to miss our boat. We cycled around to the north of the island till the point where the road started going down a steep slope – we were in no mood to push the cycle back up that slope!
With just about an hour left, we grabbed some lunch from Mi Mum’s takeaway (the juice was so fresh and delicious that we converted more currency just to have more of it!) and some ice-cream from Glorious Bakery.
The boat picked us up at 2:15pm and we headed back to explore more of Praslin. If we would pick one beach out of all the ones we visited in Seychelles, it would no doubt be Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue!
Roughly a thousand kilometres off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean lies the island nation of Seychelles. With human occupation coming relatively late in the 16th century, Seychelles is a “young” country with a cultural mix of French, British, African and Indian influences. There are around 115 islands which consist Seychelles – these are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world as well as really diverse landscapes and ecosystems.
As we scoured the map for possible “5-day trip” destinations, we didn’t think beyond a domestic location initially. We happened to stumble upon Seychelles while looking for flights. It ticked all our criteria for a short trip – can be covered properly in a 5-day trip, cannot be clubbed with any other country nearby, Visa on arrival, a 4-hour flight – it was perfect!
Some quick research and bookings later, we were on our way. We were planning to visit three of the main islands – Mahe (which has the airport and capital – Victoria), Praslin (home to the Coco de Mer) and La Digue. So, let’s get started on how you can plan your perfect holiday in Seychelles!
Best Time to Visit
Being very close to the equator, Seychelles experiences warm climates throughout the year. Peak tourist seasons are December-January and July-August. The best months which are generally recommended are the shoulder months between the switching of the trade winds – April-May and October-November. The trade winds can also determine the amount of seaweed washing up on the beaches – keep an eye out for this if your hotel is on the beach.
We visited in early March and the weather was pleasant and perfect for a beach holiday!
Getting Around Seychelles
There is a direct flight of Air Seychelles operating from Mumbai – which is the one we took. You can also find direct flights from Dubai, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, South Africa and London (and some more locations).
Once you are in Seychelles, you can choose any of the following four modes of travel: flight, boat, bus and car.
Domestic Flight: You can fly from Mahe to Praslin (and back) on one of the tiny Twin Otter 19-seater planes operated by Air Seychelles. The flying time is hardly 20 mins and is definitely a ride worth experiencing! To reach other more remote islands, you can opt for charter planes as well.
Boat: There are ferries operating between all the main islands – you can easily book them online here. It takes about 60 mins to travel between Mahe and Praslin. Praslin to La Digue is about 15 mins – the ride is so smooth that it gets over before you realize it!
Bus: There are buses running in Mahe and Praslin which you can climb on and buy tickets. Praslin is very simple – you either go around the island or take the route which cuts through the hill in the middle. Mahe is relatively bigger – grab a route map and get started. Buses are sparse and run on limited frequency during weekends – you can beat that by taking a car!
Car: One of the more preferred options to explore the islands is by renting a car. You can easily get one at the point of arrival – ferry jetty or airport (advance booking would be good as we found that most agencies run out of cars on the travel date). We went with Scenic Car Rental. It was a good decision as we discovered that our homestay was on the top of a steep hill and we would have struggled to walk all the way up! A car also gives you the flexibility to stop wherever you find a nice spot and explore the island better. We recommend this!
Visa and Currency
Indians have Visa on arrival at Seychelles along with 140+ more countries. So, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of applying for visas! The currency of Seychelles is the Rupee (SCR). 1 SCR = 3.5 INR as of Dec 2020 (it was 5.25 INR in March 2020 when we travelled).
How many days to spend in Seychelles?
The BIG question when it comes to any itinerary – how many days is good enough? For Seychelles, it depends on how many islands you’d like to cover. For Mahe, we would recommend atleast 2 days – you can spend upto 4 days for a relaxed vacation. Praslin is more laid back – you can spend 1-2 days here and add one more day for an excursion to La Digue. Our itinerary covered these 3 islands over 5 days. If you have more days in hand, you can visit the giant tortoises at Curieuse Island (day trip from Praslin), the Bird Island or the Cousin Island.
Day 2: Morning boat to La Digue. Explore the island on bicycles – this is a must-visit island and a one-of-a-kind experience. Say hi to the giant tortoises and the most photographed beach in Seychelles.
Back to Praslin and bus to Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve (home of the Coco de Mer). Explore more of Praslin (bus to Mt. Plaisir) and back.
Day 3: Boat to Mahe. Spend the evening exploring the Beau Vallon beach area.
Day 4: Explore Victoria and the local markets. Hike to the top of Morne Blanc. Enjoy a swim at Grand Anse. Have an authentic Creole lunch. Drive around the northern roads of the island.
Day 5: Explore the beaches in the south of Mahe island – Anse Intendance, Anse Royale. Complete the drive along the entire periphery of the island. Fly back at night.
You can pay a visit to the Takamaka Rum Distillery or visit some of the art galleries if time permits. There is also the Victoria Botanical Garden – you can check out the tortoises and Coco de Mer if you missed them on the other islands.
This should help start your planning for that long-awaited trip to Seychelles. You can read more about each of the islands and the must-visit places in our other posts – Mahe and Praslin, La Digue.
If you have any questions on how to plan your trip, please leave a comment below and we’d love to help! You can subscribe to our blog for all the updates and travel tips. For a lot more pics and stories about our latest travels, follow us on Instagram @fridgemagnet.tales