Anse Patate is iconic in the Seychelles Islands with its big polished rocks and its coconut trees stooping over the sea. As a snorkel spot, it is not as ideal: the area is exposed to waves and snorkeling is only possible when sea conditions are perfect. If they are, you will be able to observe many hawksbill sea turtles, sometimes really close to the shore, and a relatively well preserved coral reef starting about 30 meters from the beach.

Anse Patate snorkeling, Seychelles

How to get there?

Anse Patate is located at La Digue Island’s northern extremity, several hundreds of meters after Anse Sévère and close to Patatran Village Hotel. Bike is the most widespread means of transportation on the island and most people come to the beach this way. It will take you about 10 minutes from La Passe village. Just before Patatran Village Hotel, you will see below the road a small beach closed by granite rocks. Take the stairs down to get there.

Water entrance

Enter the water directly from the small sandy beach. Do not snorkel here if the sea is rough.

Anse Patate snorkeling map

Exploration

We can recommend two areas to explore from Anse Patate beach.

The first one is parallel to the shore, on the western side of the beach (when looking towards Anse Sévère). Once in the water, swim past the granite formations and along the shore on your left. You will quickly be over a shallow area (2-4 m) covered with coral fragments. The degraded seabed is of little interest, but hawksbill sea turtles can often be seen there. As always in La Digue waters, they are very easy to spot and don’t swim away in the presence of snorkelers. On this spot, you will probably see them taking a rest on the seabed. Spotted eagle rays also often come here.

Snorkeling with hawksbill sea turtle at Anse Patate, Seychelles

The second area is located in front of the beach. After swimming past areas covered with coral debris, you will come to a relatively preserved coral reef. But the water depth (4-6 m) is too important to really enjoy it with simple snorkel gear. This area is more open to the ocean and only experienced snorkelers should go there. On the reef, many different fish species can be seen such as green humphead parrotfish, palette surgeonfish, different wrasse species and sergeant majors.

Hawksbill sea turtle at Anse Patate

From Anse Patate, fit swimmers can reach Anse Sévère and its far more spectacular reef. The reef front is located about 500m from Anse Patate, on the left side when facing the sea. This journey must only be undertaken when the sea conditions are perfect.

Restaurants & accommodation

Patatran Village Hotel directly overlooks Anse Patate beach: its residents enjoy rooms a few steps from the beach. Several guesthouses also settled nearby. The island’s main village, where you will find all basic amenities, is only a 10 minutes bike ride away from the beach.

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Maximum depth18ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersWaves and currents
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

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. 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 Caiman (free shore access) is another excellent snorkeling spot to encounter sea turtles.

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

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.