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Nid d’Aigle (meaning: ‘The Eagle’s Nest’) is one of the most visited places on La Digue island. A four-kilometer hike goes up to the highest point (333 meters)of the Nid d’Aigle. From there you get a panoramic view of La Digue beaches, Praslin, Felicité, Marianne, the sea, and nearby islands.
You can take one of the many tour packages available or you can hike yourself. You will also get cultural, botanical, and geographical sights. You will trek through the soft forest floor, granite, and reddish earth. When passing through the forest, you may be able to pick some fresh fruits like Mangoes, Oranges, Golden Apples, and Custard fruits, if they are in season. On your way, you will see creatures up to 30 cm long, including the giant millipede, snails, bugs, and spiders on both sides of the path. You will also see typical plants from this area like cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemongrass.
There is minimal shade available along the trek, therefore it is better to start early in the morning to avoid the sun and heat. You may carry a bottle of water as the journey is dehydrating. A hat also may help.
On the way up near the top there is a cafeteria called Snack Bellevue. After this restaurant, there are only a fifteen minutes walk left.
If you have a mobility problem you can take a taxi up to halfway to the top.
For the return journey, you can either take the same route that you used to climb or walk in the northerly direction. This will go through a number of small footpaths down to the main path and then the valley below. The journey up will take one-and-a-half hours and the return journey will also take about the same amount of time.
Halfway down you may get another panoramic view of “Petite Anse”, and “Grand Anse”.
Down below you will see the fine beaches and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Those who do snorkeling here will get a treasure trove of marine life. Nid d’Aigle is also a terminus that takes you from La Fayet through the slopes of Mont Blanc. It takes about 45 minutes to get here offering scenic views en route.
When to visit?
La Digue has a tropical climate around the year with high humidity and occasional rain. The hottest period is from March to June. You may also want to avoid the rainy season from November to March as the paths may be slippery.
Nid’Aigle Lodge is a private accommodation in a beautiful garden setting, with private parking. The lodge is just by the side of the beach. The lodge is located in Praslin which is 15 minutes drive from the airport. There are groceries and restaurants nearby. European or American breakfast is available on request.
The units have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a fridge, an electric teapot, a shower, free toiletries, and a closet. All rooms have a private bathroom with a hairdryer, while selected rooms will provide a kitchen with an oven. All guest rooms come with a seating area.