If you are looking for a relaxed island vibe, with beautiful beaches and just a touch of local life, La Digue fits the bill perfectly. The smallest of the three main inhabited islands, La Digue has a tiny population of just 2,000 people. With no airport, and just a handful of road vehicles, this is an extremely laid back place, with some of the most iconic beaches in the Seychelles.
It’s possible to visit La Digue as a daytrip from either Mahe or Praslin, but in order to truly soak up the atmosphere and explore you may want to stay for a few days.
All visitors to La Digue will land in the village of La Passe on the east coast of the island, from where you can enjoy magnificent views back across the water to Praslin. The settlement is reasonably spread out, taking perhaps ten minutes to cycle from one site to the other, but is still very much a village. Although the town beaches have great views of Praslin they are by no means the most spectacular nor the best for swimming on the island.
The closest swimming beach is just to the north, over the hill and past the cemetary to Anse Severe, with Anse Patates a little further on also making a great choice for swimming and snorkelling. Further along the east coast the beaches get wilder – certainly more secluded but with wilder waves, and to reach the southernmost part of the coastal road will require strong legs as there are several steep climbs. To the south of town within the grounds of L’Union Estate is Anse Source D’Argent, the most famous beach in the Seychelles. Our favourite beaches on the island require a cycle over the hill to the south coast where you can explore Grande Anse, Petite Anse and the delightful Anse Cocos.
The beaches of La Digue are not to be missed. It’s no surprise they frequently win awards as among the most beautiful on the planet and they never fail to impress. Whether you prefer the long sweeping arcs of pristine white sand to the south, or the beautiful Anse Source D’Argent, which is framed by massive granite boulders, these beaches will take your breath away.
Surprisingly, despite their unmatched beauty, these are not the best swimming beaches the Seychelles or La Digue has to offer. The west coast beaches of La Passe and La Reunion near town, and the iconic Anse Source D’argent have very shallow waters, whilst the wild and wonderful Grande & Petite Anse and the beautiful Anse Cocos on the South coast have big waves rolling in from across the Indian Ocean with a strong undertow making it very dangerous to swim. Anse Cocos benefits from a natural lagoon formed by granite rocks providing calm waters to swim in. You can never have it all – but while the island’s better swimming spots, Anse Severe and Patates on the northern coast, may not be quite as outstanding as their neighbours they can still knock the spots off beaches in other parts of the world!
After Anse Patates the east coast is wild and beautiful, but not ideal for swimming. Big hills between the bays mean that it can be quite a taxing ride if you are not used to cycling, and you could easily spend four hours cycling to Anse Fournis and back from town, without stopping – but if you fancy exploring a rugged coast it makes a great change from the pristine coves you may find elsewhere in the Seychelles.
Some of the beaches in the far south east and south west require a bit of a hike following well hidden paths, and one or two are so remote they can only be reached with the help of a guide. However adventurous you may feel it is wise to take local advice before attempting to find them – it is not uncommon for tourists to get lost for days at a time amid the jungle clad hills.