Don’t let the price for a day trip to these two islands discourage you, it’s absolutely worth it!
When researching the Seychelles, we were a bit too startled to see that a day trip could cost € 200 per person! It’s an insane price, but these two islands are a must. Generally, you can get separate day trips to each of the islands in order to fully enjoy them, but it would cost about € 300 per person. Seeing both islands in a day is a great idea, though, just make sure you get enough sleep the night before 🙂
1. Where to book
We were highly advised not to book this trip from “the beach people” 😀 There are lots of locals walking around on the beach of Beau Vallon, offering to you a great day trip. They do offer better prices, though, but you must be careful. Some of them don’t have a license and the “included lunch” might turn out to be a tuna sandwich. We booked our trip from a little kiosk on the beach (so I guess technically we still got it from “the beach people” 😀 ) and after bargaining a little bit – we got the price down to € 165, which was pretty great. You could always book with the most popular travel agency in the Seychelles online – they’re called Masons.
Our travel guides picked us up at 7:00 sharp in order to be on time for the boat that left at 8:00. The speedboat ride to Praslin is about an hour-long and I do recommend tanning on the boat if you can – the sun is just perfect this early in the morning (yet don’t forget your sunscreen)!
Vallée de Mai
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! It is so beautiful that it is believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden <3 It holds about 6000 Coco De Mer trees (see the bonus tip in the end to find out about the Coco De Mer!) and many beautiful birds. Please ask your travel guides in advance whether your visit to the island will include going into this garden, otherwise you might miss it.
No wonder this beach is in the top 10 in the world’s most beautiful beaches! Actually, the area around the beach is privately owned by 1 family for a few generations now, but they have been graceful enough to open this beach to the public.
3. La Digue
A.k.a. “Bike Island”
After having a great lunch on La Digue, we proceeded to take a bike and ride around the island. Our travel guides told us to just leave the bike when we reach the park. Naturally, some people from our group asked for bike locks, and then our guide laughed pretty hard and said “You don’t need locks! Everybody’s got a bike here, why would they steal yours?? What would they do with it?”. I guess it was a bit embarrassing for us, Europeans 😀 But yes, La Digue is primarily a bike island, it’s pretty small and you can go from one end to the other in just 15-20 minutes by bike. No cars needed!
The gorgeous park
Riding a bike around the park was honestly an amazing experience. The entrance fee was about € 5 per person. It has a collection of beautiful vegetation and, best of all, giant tortoises! You can find them right next to this huge black boulder, which was formed about 750 million years ago by slow cooling of magma. You can leave your bike a bit further below that rock or just anywhere around. And then walk to Anse Source D’Argent!
Anse Source D’Argent
If you look closely when buying souvenirs, you’ll see that most of them have photos of Anse Source D’Argent on them! This beach is also in the top 10 in the world. It is also great for snorkeling – even though it’s a bit shallow, you can see a few pretty big fish.
Bonus: Coco De Mer
Coco De Mer is the largest nut in the world! The tree is a type of palm, but the origins of its name are actually more interesting. During the 18th century when the Seychelles were uninhabited, the shells of the nuts were found washing ashore in the Maldives. This is why they were called “coco de mer” – “coconut from the sea”. They also used to be called “Maldivian coconut”, until people actually found out they don’t grow in the Maldives at all but a few thousand kilometers to the west – in the Seychelles 🙂