Visit Historical and Cultural Attractions on La Digue Island, Seychelles
La Digue has a rich history stretching back over 200 years, and remnants of the first settlers and the early way of life for the islanders can still be seen today. This leaves some great attractions to visit, and in general, the frozen in time’ feel of La Digue makes this an interesting place to visit.
The main place for historical and cultural attractions is L’Union Estate, and many of the attractions can be found within its grounds. However, just the way of life on La Digue is an attraction in itself. Not only do many old buildings still stand, but little has changed over the years in the way that the local people live their lives and do things.
Historical and Cultural Attractions on La Digue
L’Union Estate is a perfectly preserved and working coconut plantation, one of the original estates from the early days in La Digue’s history. Step back in time at this, the main historical and cultural attraction on La Digue, and truly get a feel for what life was like 200 years ago on the island. Currently, the Seychelles government has a strategic plan in action to further enhance to the offerings of L’Union estate, and make it an even greater attraction on La Digue.
[TIP: There is an entrance fee to get into L’Union Estate. As you also have to pay to go through the estate to get to Anse Source d’ Argent, perhaps plan enough time to visit both in the same day to save yourself having to pay twice]
Once a leading industry in Seychelles, the production of Copra has declined significantly and today the only remaining Copra Mill on La Digue is at the Union Estate where you can see every stage of the copra processing, from the laborious de-husking to the final purifying and bottling of the oil. [TIP: They still use an old ox driven mill – very interesting to see in action!]
Another historical sight at the L’Union Estate, the old Cemetery was established by the very first permanent settlers on La Digue. Step back in time and get a unique glimpse of the history and lineage of La Digue Island through the past residents buried there. [Tip: There is also another cemetery on the eastern coastal road. Especially interesting on and just after All Saints Day (1 November) when the locals decorate the grave-sites]
Also at L’Union Estate you can find the island’s population of Giant Tortoise, another popular attraction on La Digue and a must see if you haven’t seen theses remarkable creatures before. Get up close and personal with these gentle giants – some of which are over 90 years old! Very tame and placid, they love to have their necks and heads scratched and make for a great photo opportunity!
The original plantation house can also be found on the grounds of L’Union Estate. Perfectly preserved, this is great example of the types of homes the early settlers to La Digue would have built. Also the actual plantation still exists, and besides the towering coconut palms, you’ll find vanilla, cinnamon and a host of other plants originally planted for food and medicine on the island.
Centred around the annual Feast of the Assumption religious festival (15 August), the festival is marked by a procession through the streets of La Digue and a special service at ‘La Grotto.’ Attracting crowds from around the Seychelles’ islands, the La Digue festival has grown into a much larger event, and now features many activities such as live music events, various sports, dances and competitions as well as cultural and food fairs.
There has been very little development on La Digue Island over the past two hundred years or so that it has been inhabited, and this makes for an interesting architectural tour through the various stages of life on La Digue. The main site is Plantation House at L’Union Estate, and another must see is the historic Eustache Sarde’s House, one of the few remaining structures from its era. However, simply touring the streets and settlements of La Digue will expose you to some great historical and cultural insights into the architecture, as well as how the people of La Digue have lived, and still live, today.
Other Architectural attractions on La Digue include the Catholic Chapel (built in 1854) as well as some of the older buildings to be found in La Passe.
Did you know, that when you book with us we’ll send you our free eBook “Your Guide to La Digue Island, Seychelles” filled with useful information, including detailed information on these and other attractions on Digue Island, Seychelles
Where to stay?
Lakaz Safran Guesthouse is situated in La Passe village – the heart of La Digue Island, Seychelles. A two minute walk from the ferry, here you’ll find comfortable and stylish Bed and Breakfast lodgings, marked by the famous Seychellois hospitality and centrally located to a host of shops, restaurants and attractions. Come discover the magic of La Digue Island, come stay at Lakaz Safran!