With much of the island free from development (and roads for that matter), there's plenty of nature to explore on foot. The waters off the island and around the surrounding islets are also incredibly rewarding, both above and below the surface.
Exploring La Digue's recesses by foot will enable you to experience the best of what this little island has to offer. Tracks are not always well defined and are thus difficult to find and to follow; it's advisable to go with a guide – Sunny Trail Guide, Paradise Tours and Coco Trail are reliable options.
Tackling Nid d'Aigle, the highest point on La Digue (333m), is more of a challenge than ever. With the central section of the island-topping ridge heavily overgrown, it means making a much steeper ascent. From the steps leading up to the doorway of Bellevue restaurant, you'll see a trail off to the right signposted as 'To the Mountain'. Within a minute or two there is an inconspicuous fork in the path (so keep your eyes peeled at the treeline); the less trodden one to the right leads up to Nid d'Aigle. While it's only 300m to the summit, it climbs more than 100m in elevation over this distance, some of it over large rocks, some up slippery paths. When you reach an intersection on the ridge turn right and Nid d'Aigle (no sign) is less than a minute away. Stand on the rocks and soak up your rewards.
If you'd like a more gentle climb (with imperceptibly less lofty views), take the option to the left at the fork above Bellevue. This slightly longer route also leads to a ridge-top path, from where you'll need to turn left. From there you'll soon see the telecom tower, and further on you'll find some ruins of old buildings and some large sculpted boulders that make ideal viewpoints. This path continues down to La Passe, but to continue on this way requires a guide as it is heavily overgrown.
Grand Anse to Anse Cocos
From Loutier Coco restaurant, it's an easy 400m walk to Petite Anse – simply stroll along Grand Anse and then up and over the ridge on the fairly well-defined path. Once at Petite Anse, the path to Anse Cocos starts immediately and moves inland from behind the juice stands at the southern end of the beach. From there it's another 900m to the wonders of Anse Cocos.
Grand Anse to Anse Marron (& on to Anse Source d'Argent)
Part walk, part crawl, part balancing act – this option is the most adventurous and easily the most scenic. The coastline between Grand Anse and Anse Marron is extremely alluring: a string of hard-to-reach inlets lapped by azure waters, with the mandatory idyllic beach fringing the shore, and vast expanses of chaotic granite boulders. At some points you'll need to squeeze through claustrophobic spaces between balanced boulders, while at other times you'll need to climb atop them and carefully hop from one to another.
From Loutier Coco, it takes roughly 1¼ hours to reach Anse Marron, a gem of solitude. It's poorly marked; you'll definitely need a guide. From Anse Marron, you can continue as far as Anse Source d'Argent at low tide, but there's a short section where you'll have to walk waist- or chest-deep in the water. If you do continue until Anse Source d'Argent, you will be asked to pay Rs 115 when you exit L'Union Estate coconut plantation.
Around Anse Source d'Argent
From Anse Source d'Argent, a memorable adventure consists of climbing up the granite hills that loom above the southwest coast before getting down to Anse Pierrot, from where you can continue along the shore to Anse aux Cèdres and Anse Bonnet Kare (and back to Anse Source d'Argent along the shore). The beauty of these stunning swathes of sand lies in the fact that they're totally secluded and there's no road here. It's an arduous climb to reach the top of the granite hills but the panoramic views will be etched in your memory forever. It's a half-day excursion. It's also possible to continue as far as Anse Marron and up to Grand Anse.
Taking a boat excursion to nearby Île Cocos, Félicité and Grande Soeur will be one of the main highlights of your visit to the Seychelles and it's well worth the expense. Full-day tours typically stop to snorkel off Félicité, Grande Soeur and Petite Soeur, with some also including Île Cocos.
Diving & Snorkelling
La Digue provides excellent access to a range of fantastic dive sites, including the iconic White Bank. Snorkelling is also top-notch. Sweet spots around the island include Anse Sévère and Anse Patates. Île Cocos and Félicité seem to be tailored to the expectations of avid snorkellers, with glassy turquoise waters and a smattering of healthy coral gardens. All boat tours include snorkelling stops.