Island Hopping in the Seychelles – Part 2: Praslin and La Digue

Anse Patates, La Digue

If you liked my previous post ‘Island Hopping in the Seychelles- Part 1: Mahé’, you will not like to miss this second post.  This last part of the route includes the days we island-hopped stunning Praslin and La Digue.  You will also find one extra foodie tip for Mahé … a serious highlight!

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Praslin (38.5 km2, 7,533 inhab.)

Let’s go on with

Day 4 – We could return the rental car at the jetty in Victoria to take the ferry from Mahé to Praslin (60 min).

I had booked all ferry tickets online and assumed that getting the boarding passes would be easy-peasy.  Although the ferry staff assured us that our e-tickets were OK, they asked us to wait without giving us further details. We waited patiently … Apparently our e-tickets needed to to get some kind of clearance. It took very long until they finally gave us the passes, and we could board.  Fortunately, we were there early enough and did not miss the ferry.

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It seems that using the ferry services in the Seychelles is not always easy. Check what Cory Varga, a travel blogger in the UK, wrote about her experience.  Fortunately, now quoting her:  “On the bright side, being able to see other islands in the Seychelles is totally worth this horrific sea nightmare”.

We were happy to be on board and enjoyed reaching fascinating Praslin.

The taxi ride from the jetty to Pirogue Lodge at Cote d’Or (Anse Volbert) took only 15 min.  Our driver, Sonny, was so nice that we asked him to drive us around during our stay.

Pirogue Lodge has six very comfortable, spacious rooms, all facing the beach.  They provide beach towels and chairs.  A relaxing afternoon at the Cote d’Or beach, located just across the street from the hotel.

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Sonny picked us up at 17:30 to take us to Les Rochers, a very special restaurant I had booked for sundowners and dinner.

He had to drive through the Vallée de Mai National Park and took the chance to show us the world famous Coco de Mer, the largest nut in the world.  It is so emblematic for the Seychelles that it is the national symbol, and now my passport bears two stamps of it!

It took us 30 min to reach Les Rochers.  Perfectly on time for sundowners at this wonderful location.

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Chef Joël Confait came personally with the drinks—the best we had in the Seychelles–and with very special munchies:  freshly made breadfruit chips.  When we asked about the chips, he rushed to the kitchen to get a fresh breadfruit to show us.

An enchanting moment:  Being there, contemplating the beauty of the impressive boulders in the sea, right in front of us, and the sunset as a background; definitively, another magical moment in the Seychelles.  It got even more breathtaking, when they lighted it up.

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The food , the location, and the setting of Les Rochers are a cut above the rest.

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Before ordering, Chef Joël also showed us the two types of lobster they had on the menu; we decided to try both.  Besides the menu options, one could also order the catch of the day and have it cooked as preferred (grilled, steamed, or curry).  Every dish was prepared deliciously, and we really loved the Creole flavors.

Starters:

Main dishes:

Desserts and complimentary local rum:

Sandra, Chef Joël’s wife and hostess, was also very friendly.  All the staff was attentive, creating a welcoming atmosphere.  A sincere compliment to Fam. Confait for running Les Rochers with excellency.  Having been foodie pampered at Les Rochers is one of the good reasons why the Seychelles are now unforgettable.

Day 5 – We had agreed with Sonny to pick us up in the morning and take us to Anse Lazio (20 min), one of the must-see beaches in Praslin.  Although it was overcast when we got there, it did not take long to understand why it is ranked among the top ten in the world.  It also turned to be a great snorkeling spot!

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Then back to the hotel to get our luggage, buy some fruit, and take the 15-min ferry to La Digue.  Fortunately, this time we had no issues to board … only that we were too early.  We also had to laugh, because the boarding passes were huge and solid!

The short ferry ride was accompanied by a rainbow.

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La Digue (10 km2, 2,800 inhab.)

At the jetty in La Digue we were picked up by the staff of La Digue Island Lodge.  There are almost no cars in this tiny island (locals and tourists use bikes), so we appreciated to get the free transfer.

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The ox cart, public transport in La Digue

When I booked at La Digue Island Lodge, the only rooms available were in what they call the “Yellow House”.  I did not know what to expect from this colonial house (1900), that today is a national monument …  When they showed us the house, I almost ran in panic, because the façade is totally shabby, it doesn’t look as on their website.  I was so shocked that I forgot to take pictures!  Yes, got one of my friends’ room.

Well, well, we checked both rooms, and they were not bad at all.  Everything was clean and the bathrooms were really spacious.

Day 6 – The breakfast was nothing to dream about, but you could find all what is usually offered in hotel buffets.  My favorite were the freshly-made crêpes.  The plus was to have breakfast right at the beach.

Conveniently, there was a bike rental at the entrance of the lodge.  We did what everybody does in La Digue, we took bikes to explore the island.

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We lightly packed towels, snorkels, and sunscreen although it was cloudy, and off we went.  The original plan was to go first southwest, but somehow we ended up on the southeast coast, reaching Grand Anse, where we left the bikes.

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It was a beautiful, easy ride to Grand Anse,

combined with a short walk to Petite Anse (10 min),

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and a further hike to Anse Cocos (30 min).  The path starts just behind the beach bar …

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On our way back, we were surprised by a giant millipede crossing the road.   Today it is considered among the endangered species.

More than happy with our first exploration on La Digue.

Sunset and a good glass of wine at the best spot in our lodge @ Anse La Réunion.

Afterwards a good dinner at La Repaire, which is THE Italian restaurant in La Digue.  It is also a boutique hotel with 18 rooms.

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Starters:

Main dishes:

Desserts:

Day 7 – Our last day in La Digue.  We took the bikes again to go to Anse Source d’Argent, also known as the most photographed beach in the world …  From the lodge an easy ride south.  Pass L’Union Estate, paying the entrance fee of 100SCR (€6.50); after a short walk, you will reach the magnificent beach.

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It was extra special, getting there at low tide.

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In the Seychelles one will see lots of big palm spiders.  Don’t be afraid of them; they just stayed on their webs.

On the way back to L’Union Estate, where we had left the bikes …

 

Again on our bikes towards the northern tip of the island, Anse Patates.

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Image by JP Le Cocq

We really loved this spot.

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The La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament took place on that weekend, and we could see a bit of it while waiting for the ferry back to Mahé (via Praslin as there is no direct ferry).

Back in Mahé late in the evening, we drove with the rental car to Treasure Cove at Bel Ombre (20 min from the Victoria Jetty).  We stayed at this ten-room hotel for our last night in fascinating Seychelles.  We were welcomed with a very nice drink.

Although it was late, they accepted to wait for us to have dinner at their restaurant. The Chef surprised us with a scrumptious cuisine.  Every dish was delicious, freshly prepared, full of tasty flavors, and nicely plated. No better way to finish the day!

This is certainly a place to go back for its good food and excellent service.

Day 8 – At dawn a full moon was shining to say goodbye.  After breakfast we enjoyed one more time the wonderful, scenic view, before taking our flight back to Mauritius.

Tips:

  • Praslin is pronounced “Pra-LIN” by the locals.
  • Buy your ferry tickets online as they can sell out. Get to the jetty early enough; min. 1 hour before departure!
  • When ferry tickets online Mahé-Praslin, go for “Economy-Upper Outside Deck”. If you choose Economy-Main Cabin, you will be indoors and that can be pretty sickening … I think there is no need to pay for business class.
  • Try to get early to Anse Source d’Argent to beat the crowd in some way, remember that it is THE Seychelles tourist attraction. Note that you need to enter L’Union Estate to get to the beach.  Opening times: daily 07:00-17:00
  • Our taxi driver in Praslin was Sonny; here is his cardIMG_4694. Taxis are not cheap in Praslin but, having only one day on the island, we wanted to make the best out of the time.

 

 

 

 

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