TRAVEL

La Digue Island Seychelles | Photo Diary + Travel Guide

December 14, 2017
HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

After a few days on Praslin island, we made our way via Inter Island Ferry to the island of La Digue. The smallest of the inhabited islands, La Digue is home to 3,000 full time residents. Because of its small size (3 km across) there are very few cars on the island and everyone gets around via bike. If this sounds incredibly quaint and picturesque, you’re absolutely right. La Digue was by far my favorite island for its relaxed atmosphere and sheer beauty. Even though the island is small, I would recommend spending at least three days here, but if you have more time, that would be even better. We never wanted to leave! The most famous beach, Anse Source D’Argent, is truly spectacular and worth at least one full day of your time.

The port is located in La Passe, the main little town of the island where you will find most of the accommodations and restaurants.HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Small beach in the backyard of Marie-France Guest House. Owned by a Grandmother-Mother-Daughter Trio—who run the world? GIRLS!

—ANSE SOURCE D’ARGENT—

Anse Source D’Argent is what beach fantasies are made of. We changed our plans and spent a second full day here because it’s just that beautiful. Reaching Anse Source D’argent by land requires entrance into the L’union Estate Park, a fully operating vanilla bean plantation. The entrance fee is around $8 and is good for the entire day (including the option to come and go as you please.) Once you enter L’union Estate, the route to the beach takes about 10 mins by bike and includes pathways lined with sky high palm trees, century old giant turtles, and heaps of coconuts. Upon reaching the coast and the entrance to the beach, you will find bike parking and Lambousir restaurant—a must for lunch. Bring your snorkel gear for prime tropical fish spotting.

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Rows and rows of vanilla bean plants make for a very fragrant and beautiful bike ride to the beach. Pure Heaven.HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

Yellow Ruffle Dress | Reformation (similar here)

Espadrilles | Ball Pages

Straw Hat | Lack of Color

Straw Bag | Abaca

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

Gingham Swimsuit | Blue de Vous (similar here)

Gold Fang Necklace | Missoma London

Turkish Towel | Hammamas (similar here)

Sunglasses | Ray-ban

Straw Bag | Abaca

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide ^^If you know me, it should be no surprise one of my favorite perks of this beach are the resident beach dogs! They spend all day chasing fishes in the sea and snuggling up to visitors, especially those who feed them snacks. We became especially fond of the pups and gave them all appropriate names (front left to back right): Jacque, Sophie, Pepe and Coco. Jacque is the leader of the pack and Pepe is madly in love with Coco, whom so patiently puts up with his endless affection.HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

Anse Source d’Argent is made up of a series of coves, each different and equally breathtaking. Even after having been there, I still look at the picture in disbelief a place this beautiful exists. It’s crazy to think over 9000 miles away lies a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean just brimming with natural beauty like nowhere else on this planet. The best way to describe it is Jurassic Park meets Robinson Crusoe meets Paradise, and I love every little thing about it.

If you find yourself hungry mid day, Lambousir restaurant serves delicious traditional creole fare and cold drinks—but you can also pack food if you’d prefer to soak in every second of your time and picnic on the beach. There are also a couple beach bars serving up delicious drinks, smoothies and small snacks.

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

— SUNSET WATCHING —

Our first nights sunset was pretty spectacular, as was every sunset on La Digue. This one in particular was just crazy beautiful. This is straight out of the camera from our balcony. You can see Praslin island in the distance.

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

—HIKE TO ANSE MARRON—

The hike to Anse Marron from Grand Anse is not for the faint of heart. Even after reading reviews highlighting the difficulty, we were very surprised at just how intense the hike was. Anyone at all afraid of heights or small spaces be warned. Prepared to thrash through the jungle, scale boulders, slide through underwater caves, and wade through waist deep water. Water shoes are highly recommended as are water proof bags for electronics. Two liters of water per person are also required. The hiking portion of the trip is about 1.5 hours each way, starting from Grand Anse to Anse Marron, and then from Anse Marron and ending at Anse Source D’Argent. Including the time spent swimming and lounging at the beach, plan for a total of 6-7 hours for the entire trip. If you’re up for the adventure, the prize at the end (Anse Marron) is really stunning. There’s excellent snorkeling as well so bring your gear if you don’t mind trekking around with it. We made the journey with Ralph and Robert at Sunny Trail Guide. An added bonus to swimming in a breathtaking deserted beach is the lunch prepared by the guides: empanadas and fresh tropical fruit.

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

—BIKING THE NORTH ISLAND—

Starting in La Passe, we spent an afternoon biking all the way around the North part of the island, until the bike path ends just past Anse Fourmis. The route is paved almost the entire way and the scenery is beautiful throughout. Along the route you will pass Domaine De L’Orangearaie, the local cemetery, and lots of nice beaches. Anse Severe is a beautiful beach with calm shallow waters and a couple of beach bars with fresh drinks and smoothies available. This is also a great spot to watch the sunset over nearby Praslin island. Anse Patates is just a small cove but the water is some of the brightest turquoise I’ve ever seen. If you’re lucky enough to have it to yourself, you will feel like you’ve just discovered your own private beach. Chez Jules is a great lunch spot near the end of the bike path at Anse Banane with the best curry we had on the island and incredible fresh fruit smoothies.

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Domaine De L’Orangearaie, the most expensive resort on the island. HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Stunning Anse PatatesHANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

White Linen Dress | Mango (similar here)

Black Slide Sandals | Posse

Sunglasses | Ray-ban

HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide ^^Coco frio and fresh watermelon juice, perfect after a long bike ride. Not pictured the equally incredible banana coconut smoothie.HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: La Digue Seychelles Photo Diary + Travel Guide

La Digue is everything I could hope for in an island—quaint, charming, breathtaking and full of ways to relax or adventure. It may be tiny and it may be over 9000 miles away, but I would make the trip all over again just to set eyes on this itsy bitsy slice of paradise our planet is so fortunate to hold.

 

Up next: A short stay on the big island: Mahe!


Travel Tips:

Plan ahead to rent bikes during your stay, likely your hotel or self catering apartment will have bikes available.

Staying in La Passe will have you nicely positioned to reach anywhere on the island with ease.

Where to Stay:

BUDGET: Marie-France Beach Front Apartments, La Digue Self Catering Apartments

SPLURGE: Domaine De L’orangeraie, Le Repaire

Where to Eat:

BUDGET: Lanbousier (located at Anse Source d’Argent – tradional creole), Chez Jules (Anse Banane – traditional creole and fresh juices), Fish Trap (La Passe – a mix, some creole some additions like burgers and pasta), La Digue Pizzeria (La Passe), Gala Takeaway (La Passe – fast traditional creole)

SPLURGE: Le Repaire (Italian), Santosha

What to Do:

Visit L’union Estate + Anse Source d’Argent

Hike to Anse Marron

Bike the Northern Island Loop – La Passe to Anse Fourmis

Boat trip for snorkeling and a beach BBQ on nearby islands (we had this planned but opted to spend another day at Anse Source d’Argent because we couldn’t get enough. Depending on the season you visit and the weather, the waters may or may not be a bit rough.)

Bike to Grand Anse and hike to Petite Anse and Anse Coco (Not recommended between May-Nov. during the south-east trade winds which make these three beaches too dangerous for swimming.)

Recommended Itinerary:

Day 1: L’Union Estate + Anse Source D’Argent

Day 2: Hike to Anse Marron

Day 3: Boat excursion to remote islands for snorkling + BBQ

Day 4: Bike the North island loop + Relax at Anse Severe until sunset

Day 5: Bike the Southern Island to Grand Anse + Afternoon back at Anse Source d’Argent for sunset

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Praslin Island Seychelles | Photo Diary + Travel Guide

November 16, 2017
HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide

Now that it’s sufficiently cold and gloomy outside, I’m feeling extra sentimental about the sunshine, salty air and tan lines that come standard with a visit to the Seychelles. After our time on safari in the Masai Mara, we made our way to this little known grouping of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean—touted for magnificent white sand beaches lined with granite boulders and crystal clear turquoise waters. Located about 1000 miles due East of Kenya, the Seychelles consists of 115 islands, mostly uninhibited, with exception to the three main islands: Mahe (the capitol), Praslin and La Digue. These three islands provide the majority of tourism, but a handful of other private islands containing no permanent residents also offer very luxurious and secluded accommodations including North Island (the honeymoon destination of Prince William + Kate as well as George + Amal Clooney), Fretgate, Felicite and Silhouette to name a few.  Once under the rule of France, the culture in the Seychelles is a mix of African, Indian and Creole. French and Creole are the main languages spoken in addition to English.

Our first stop was to Praslin island. We spent three nights just off the Cote D’Or coast and after an exciting few days of chasing lions and elephants across the savannah, we wanted nothing more than to lounge and relax all day at the beautiful beaches this island has to offer.

HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide

— ANSE LAZIO —

Day one we made our way to the beautiful Anse Lazio beach. Set on the northwest side of the island, Anse Lazio is often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and most definitely lives up to its reputation. The beach is made up of one longer stretch of sand and two smaller cove areas surrounded by boulders. Getting to the beach is easy via rental car or bus, just note that if you do take the bus you will be dropped off about 1km from the beach and will need to walk to rest of the way. There is a nice little restaurant on the beach called Bon Bon Plume perfect for lunch serving traditional creole cuisine and drinks.

HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^exploring one of the boulder filled covesHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Are you kidding me with that water color? Incredible.


— LUNCH AT BON BON PLUME —

Bon Bon Plume is a great little beach restaurant serving delicious traditional creole food. No shoes or shirt required.

HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^A delicious traditional Creole feast: Chicken curry, grilled fish, lentils, rice, papaya salad and a local SeyBrew.HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Beach bars are the best bars. Coco frio is a daily island essential in my book.HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide

Maroon Dress | Faithfull the brand

Espadrilles | Ball Pages

Gold Necklaces | Missoma London

Straw Hat | Lack of Color

Sunglasses | Ray-ban

Beach Bag | Abaca

Turkish Towel | Hammamas (similar here)


 — ANSE GEORGETTE —

Spending a day at Anse Georgette requires a reservation through Constanse Lemuria since reaching the beach requires walking though the hotel’s property. There are technically no private beaches in the Seychelles so no matter if you can afford to stay at a high end hotel or not, the natural beauty of the island is there for everyone to experience. If you are heading to Anse Georgette from the Cote D’Or area like us, you will drive through the Vallee de Mai nature reserve, making for a nice chance to see both if you aren’t looking to spend an entire day at the beach. There is also a great take-away shop on the drive called Whole Foods Market (yes, they even copied the logo but no this is not the real Whole Foods from the States!). This cute little shop has some really nice food selections as well as a little in-shop restaurant servings burgers and sandwiches + smoothies and drinks.

HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guide

White Blouse | Merlette

Denim Shorts | RE/DONE

Black Sandals | Posse

Red Swimsuit | J. Crew (similar here)

Gold Necklaces | Missoma London

Straw Hat | Lack of Color

Sunglasses | Ray-ban

Beach Bag | Abaca


– VALLEE DE MAI NATURE RESERVE –

HANNAH SHELBY: Seychelles Islands: Photo Diary + Travel Guideimage credit

We opted to spend all our time beaching, but another fun daytime activity on Praslin is visiting the Valle de Mai nature reserve, which is home to many unique species including the extremely rare Coco de Mer—the largest coconut on the planet found only in Praslin and neighboring island Curieuse. The Valle de Mer is legend to be the “Garden of Eden” and the Coco de Mer the “forbidden fruit” which is made a more interesting tale considering the non discrete shape of this rare coconut. Guided and self-guided tours are available.


 

Travel Tips:

A rental car is very useful on Praslin if you plan to bounce around the island. The bus is a viable way to travel but you will be subject to the time schedule and in some cases, such as going to Anse Lazio, you will be dropped off a good distance from your destination. Pricing is reasonable and the process is very easy.

Some restaurants have strict dress codes for men wearing pants at dinner, which we found out the hard way.

Bring rain gear no matter what season you are visiting—rain is possible any time in the tropics but the good news is if it does rain, it’s usually for a short period of time.

Where to Stay:

SPLURGE: Constance Lemuira, Raffles

MID-RANGE: Le Duc de Praslin, Hotel L’Archipel

BUDGET SELF CATERING: L’Hirondelle, Cote d’Or Footprints

Where to Eat:

CASUAL: Bon Bon Plume, La Goulou

FANCY: Cafe de Arts, La Gigolette

 

TRAVEL

Masai Mara Safari | Photo Diary + Travel Guide

October 1, 2017
HANNAH SHELBY: Masai Mara Safari: Photo Diary + Travel Guide

Every year we like to embark on at least one big adventure. This year we decided to really go for it and check one of the biggest items off our bucketlist. And being a firm believer in the value and worth of time, we also knew if we didn’t do it now, it might be a bit trickier to pull off until further down the road. So after a good deal of research, we landed on spending three days at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Camp in the Masai Mara, set in the foothills of the scenic Oloololo Escarpment at the rim of the Great Rift Valley. Kichwa Tembo and the Masai Mara tick all the boxes for that iconic sprawling-savannah safari, and I can safely say this was one of the coolest, most jaw-dropping experiences I’ve had so far. Continue Reading…

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A Surreal Paradise: Seychelles Packing Inspiration

August 11, 2017

I remember the first picture I saw of the Seychelles, in disbelief at the site of volcanic boulders jetting up from the white sands and turquoise sea, like nothing I had ever seen before. A chain of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles look almost surreal—reminiscent of Jurassic Park meets Robinson Crusoe. In addition to the many beaches, Seychelles has countless activities to offer, including boating excursions to more remote islands, snorkeling the coral reefs, hiking trails, biking, quaint villages, rainforest exploration, vanilla plantations, tea farms, a local rum distillery, and so much more. Continue Reading…

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Out of Africa: Safari Packing Inspiration

August 1, 2017
Hannah Shelby: Hotel Lust: andBeyond Kichwa Tembo

One month from today we’re heading to the Masai Mara in Kenya for our first Safari. I remember watching The Lion King when I was just a little girl and being completely captivated. The opening scene where all the animals come together at Pride Rock for the reveal of baby Simba gives me goosebumps to this day. And I would be lying if I didn’t admit our upcoming trip to the Mara still doesn’t feel real. Going on Safari has always felt a little bit out of reach, and it wasn’t until doing some pretty serious research that all the pieces fell into place. Which just goes to show that nothing is impossible if you really put your mind to it!

The Mara has a pretty temperate climate, with September falling at the end of the dry “winter” season. Early morning game drives begin a bit chilly and quickly warm up with the arrival of the sun. Daytime sees temperature suitable for shorts and even a swim or sun lounging in your time between game drives. And once the sun sets and night falls over the savanna, a bit of a chill returns to the air. Easy natural fabrics in neutral colors work great for layering during the day. And I love a good midi wrap dress with sleeves for temperatures that aren’t quite warm but aren’t quite cold either—perfect for enjoying those iconic safari sundowner cocktails. Continue Reading…