What’s your idea of the perfect beach?
Chalk white sand?
A backdrop of coconut trees?
Tropical islands on the horizon?
But are you inclined to have a coral reef immediately offshore? Or do you prefer it when there are a few decent waves to surf/bodysurf/frolic in?
How about the water? Should it be warm or cool? Shallow or deep? Blue like that of the Adriatic, or green like that of Thailand?
And the beach, should it be comprised of colourful, rounded pebbles like the beaches in Turkey?
Or do you like your sand so white and fine it squeaks when you tread on it, as per the beaches of Australia?
And when resting on the beach, is it limestone karst formations you enjoy gazing at, such as those at Koh Phi Phi (the setting for The Beach)?
Or are rainforest-covered peaks, like those of Ihla Grande, Brazil, more to you liking?
With so many variables in play, and each choice as good as the other, to come up with a single combination that is the best seems an impossible task.
But there is such a combination. There is a perfect beach. I know it, because I’ve seen it.
Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue – the picture-perfect beach
It’s the beach at Anse Source d’Argent, on the island of La Digue, in the Seychelles.
The composition of the beach at Anse Source d’Argent is just perfect; white sand, wind-scuplted granite boulders scattered about the beach like spilt marbles, crystal clear water, jungle covered islands on the horizon, coconut trees onshore.
It’s a view I’d happily print onto a poster and pin onto my wall, to look at day after day after day.
While its aesthetics might be unbeatable, in terms of swimming appeal, Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue is a big flop. It’s too shallow for anything more than an awkward, knee-deep paddle. And the seaweed-covered remnants of the reef that make up the sea floor make frolicking a challenge.
The beach is also quite popular and can get a little crowded. And those ever-so-appealing, wind-sculpted granite boulders take up the bulk of the beach space, meaning what little sand exists is in high demand (this can be avoided by visiting during the off-season, as I did, when the beach was all but empty).
The beach at Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue may not be perfect; however, it is picture-perfect.
And I will happily attest that it is the prettiest beach I’ve ever seen (which for a resident of Australia is really saying something).
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
The island of La Digue is home to a population of giant tortoises recovered from the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles. There once was a species of giant tortoise native to La Digue as well, sadly the species is now extinct.
To get to the beach at Anse Source d’Argent, fly to the Seychelles international airport on Mahe Island, and catch a ferry to the island of La Digue. The ferry takes about one hour. La Digue is a small island, and you can easily walk to the beach at Anse Source d’Argent from the ferry terminal.