This page have been written in collaboration with tinoumer (14 spots)

Grande Soeur (also known as East Sister) is located approximately 6 kilometers off the northern tip of La Digue. With Petite Soeur (or West Sister), they form the “Sisters Islands”. These two tiny private islands are covered by lush vegetation and surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs. The beach situated on the west side of Grande Soeur is, for many people, the most beautiful beach in the Seychelles. Marine life is exceptionally abundant on the coral reef stretching in front of it: sea turtles resting serenely under the surface, hundreds of tropical fish and, and even small white-tip sharks swimming along the seabed.

View of Grande Soeur Island, Seychelles

How to get there?

To get to Grande Soeur, you can choose from three main options.

The first one is to stay in Le Château de Feuilles in Praslin, which is managing the private island. It will gives you access to the island. This is by far the best option, but also the most expensive one. The second is to take part of a full day excursion (10am-3pm), including barbecue and full access to the island for the day. The cost for this tour (only on week-ends) is SCR1500 per person, including the boat transfer (all bookings with Le Chateau de Feuilles). At last, if you have the chance to visit the Seychelles with a boat, you have the possibility to request an authorization to moor next to the island and snorkel the reef.

Grande Soeur snorkeling map, Seychelles

Water entrance

Enter the water directly from the beach (if you are on the island), or from your boat.

Exploration

The area to explore covers the 100 meters wide coral reef stretching along the beach located on the west side of the island. As you move away from the beach, you cross 50 meters of sandy seabed with scattered coral areas (↕0.5-1,5m), which grow denser as you move closer to the reef edge.

Double saddle butterflyfish at Grande Soeur, Seychelles

The reef flat is shallow but covered by well-preserved hard coral. As you move along the reef, it is easy to come across several species of butterflyfish and surgeonfish (often seen in large schools grazing on the coral beds). You might see dozens of other species in the area, particularly pufferfish, parrotfish and angelfish.

Reef shark at Grande Soeur, Seychelles

On the reef drop-off, the water becomes suddenly much deeper (3-6m). This is the area where you will have the best chance to encounter hawksbill sea turtles, especially if you visit the area during the week. They have long been used to human presence and rest quietly just under the surface. In this deeper areas, you may also get the chance to see a white-tip shark patrolling serenely just above the seabed.

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsDay tour price (SCR1500 pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

Sea turtle watching in La Digue Island

snorkeling-hawksbill

Hawksbill sea turtles are a familiar sight in La Digue and its neighboring islands, like Grande Soeur. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:

  1. Do not attempt to touch or ride sea turtles
  2. Stay at a distance (6 to 10ft) from sea turtles
  3. Do not chase a turtle swimming away
  4. Avoid sudden movement and allow sea turtles plenty of space when they come up to the surface to breathe

On La Digue main island, Anse Patates and Anse Caiman (both with free shore access) are also excellent snorkeling spots to encounter hawksbill sea turtles.

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.