This week’s blog post takes us to L’Union Estate in La Digue, where you can step back in time and see what island life was really like during times gone by. A must see for anyone visiting the Seychelles (even the locals), this old plantation estate showcases the old ways of the Diguoise people with a traditional copra mill and kiln (kalorifer) and a working vanilla plantation.
The Estate also features the oldest plantation house in the Seychelles, a creep of friendly giant tortoises (did you know creep was official term for a group of tortoises?), the largest granite boulder you will ever see plus the most photographed beaches on earth, the legendary Anse Source d’Argent.
The best way to see the L’Union Estate is on two wheels as you can cruise around and explore all in your own time. Please note that there is a small entrance fee of SCR 100 rupees to access the Estate so make sure you bring some change (entrance is free for locals when showing your residents card).
Once inside the gate, you will cruise past the oldest cemetery in La Digue, final resting place of the original settlers of La Digue, plus the old rusty “Pirate Ship” (a favourite back drop in our wedding photos) and onto the copra mill and kiln where you can see traditional methods of extracting oil from coconuts.
Travelling on from the copra mill you will pass the friendly giant tortoises on your way to the grand ‘Plantation House’ – the main focal point of L’Union Estate and cherished historical souvenir of the Seychelle’s Creole heritage.
Said to be the oldest of only a few plantation houses left in Seychelles, L’Union Plantation House was built in the popular French colonial style, and features wide sweeping verandahs with steps on all four sides, warm timber boards and windows throughout and a thatched roof, supported by local hardwood. A fun fact about this house (and favourite trivia for the boys) is that the house featured in the 1977 erotic film “Goodbye Emmanuelle” filmed right here in the Seychelles.
From here you head on towards Anse Source d’Argent, past the vanilla plantations and the monolithic granite boulder. This impressive natural sculpture covers an acre of land at Anse L’Union and is said to have been formed during the Precambrian, around 750 million years ago and carved by the sands of time.
Sadly you cannot take you bikes all the way to Anse Source d’Argent, however there is ample bicycle parking, a restaurant and toilets only a short walk from the famous beach.
Anse Source d’Argent is said to be the most photographed beach in the world, and it is clear to see why photographers and film makers the world over love it so much. Boasting soft white sand, clear turquoise water and huge granite boulders sculptured by the elements, this truely is a magical place to relax, enjoy and even get married!
The waters here are warm and sheltered by a distant reef, making it very calm, shallow and sandy, perfect for children to play and an ideal snorkelling spot. Here are a few photos to wet your appetite…..
Until next time readers ….