A time travelling boat ride from Seychelles' second island, Praslin, to La Digue takes only 40 minutes, but transports visitors to the island back in time, to a slower, friendlier and richer time, a time of community, of an unspoilt environment and of an appreciation of the truly important things in life.
The rustle, high over head, of coconut palms and the gentle sounds of traditional Creole musicians, the intoxicating scent of vanilla and tropical blooms, La Digue provides a feast for the senses.
But for the freedom to explore the island at your own pace and to see La Digue as the Diguois do, the only option is to hire a bicycle and gently pedal your way around the island's few streets. Bike locks are unheard of, but to really blend in a smile is essential!
Looking inland from the jetty visitors are stunned by the contrasting colours of La Digue, from the lush green forested slopes to the dazzling sandy beaches, from the azure seas to the pink and grey granite formations breaking through the forest canopy, painted with the colours of the sunset in the early evening light.
A short excursion on a slowly rolling ox-cart, punctuated by the ox-cart driver's soft encouragement of the ox and greetings to passers-by, brings visitors to the Rene Payet Veuve Reserve, home to the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, the only one of Seychelles' endemic bird species still on the IUCN's critically endangered list and found only on La Digue. Flitting between the trees in constant pursuit of their insect prey, the black, white and brown-patched female flycatchers are overshadowed by the males' jet black plumage, with its iridescent flash in the forests' dappled sunlight.
Aboard a traditional schooner the island is a short but stunning ride from Praslin, with verdant islands dotting the horizon and the lush hills of La Digue rising up out of crystal clear tropical seas. The island's silver-sanded beaches give way to the schooner's berth on the quaint La Passe jetty, where it nestles between traditional fishing boats and sleek sailing yachts.