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La Digue

The most photographed island in the Seychelles, La Digue is a heavenly location, with white sand beaches that are strewn with pink granite rocks, crystal clear turquoise seas and a gentle, relaxed pace.

La Digue is completely surrounded by coral reefs. It has a few shops, and the only people are mostly locals carrying out their daily business with a couple of ox carts. The seclusion and calmness of the island is the main attraction.

The best way to explore the island is to do so on foot, or with a bike to get you around more quickly.

The north of the island has views of the surrounding islands in the archipelago that are stunningly beautiful, with each island seeming to be a jewel perched in the glittering sea. Praslin can be seen from here, and if you’re combining a trip to that island with one here, it is a good way to appreciate the beauty of them both. The island is extremely photogenic, especially with the rustic canoes that sit on the beaches waiting to be taken on excursions or for fishing trips; these are dugout canoes, and their aged appearance contrasting with the pure sand makes them seem ageless. The other attraction here is an excellent restaurant that overlooks the water and serves traditional Creole food.

Moving to the south, the road is enclosed in a tunnel of tall trees, while on the side of the road there are attractive traditional Creole houses which have small verandas covered in pots, filled to overflowing with a huge variety of plants and flowers. The La Digue Cross is located near the L’Union Estate, and was erected in 1931 as a memory to the settlers who died whilst trying to land on the island. In August on Assumption Day, this part of the island holds a huge festival, with food, drink, music, dancing and art exhibitions in the streets through which a procession travels. Visitors from other islands are welcomed for this, and the island basically stops operating as everyone celebrates. Tours of the nearby coconut plantation are available, and you will see a drying shed where coconut oil is ground from the nuts by the original technology of an ox turning a millstone. The snorkelling here is excellent at high-tide.

The animals of the island are amazing, with palm spiders residing on huge granite boulders that lie on the beaches. The endemic Black paradise flycatcher is treasured on the island, and there is a reserve for them which teaches children to treasure them rather than shooting them. Walking through the forest, you can watch the birds and listen to their gentle calls. Other stunning birds include the white-tailed tropic birds, and another interesting flying creature that can be spotted is the flying fox, a large fruit bat that is completely harmless to humans.

Vanilla is also grown here, and the pure pods or extract can be bought in markets on the island. This is delicious as an additive to hot drinks, and some types of cooking, and in the organic form found here, you won’t find a better tasting pod.