Le Jardin du Roi – The Spice Garden
Le Jardin du Roi
Le Jardin Du Roi is a well-known spice garden on the Seychelles island of Mahe. It is about two kilometers from the popular seaside destination, Anse Royale Beach, and is located on the hills overlooking the beach. The 35-hectare plantation with local forestation is modeled after 18th century French Spice Garden designs for growing rare spice-producing plants in tropical colonies.
When a visitor arrives at the Jardin du Roi at the top of Domaine de l’Enfoncement’s hill, he or she immediately realizes that it is a haven of peace perched in the heights of Anse Royale. To get there, take the road south from Mahé’s airport and then the Cannelles road opposite Chapelle St Sauveur in Anse Royale.
One kilometer from the coastal road, the path leading to the garden is on the left. The owner-manager is frequently the one who greets her visitors. The owner is a driven woman who is deeply committed to helping others. She runs this 100-hectare estate on her own, despite being 70 years old, and it offers a day of beautiful relaxation in the Seychelles nature overlooking the coastline.
This garden, which dates back to French colonization in 1779, was originally a spice garden that was destroyed by fire and was later redeveloped into a space for relaxation and exploration. A true green journey that reminds visitors that Seychelles has more to offer than just the beautiful sea.
A visit to the Garden can easily take half a day, giving you enough time to explore its fauna and flora. An old creole house at the Domaine’s entrance serves as a museum where you can admire old photos or household utensils and equipment. A restaurant next to the museum serves lunch with a typical Creole menu or other dishes. The fruit crepes seasoned with Domaine spices are a must!
Starting the walk through the Garden, it is the vanilla plants that catch the eye, along with large granite stones that add to the Seychellois style. Continuing to the right, the visitor will come across the aviaries, which house hundreds of birds, as well as the park of giant turtles. As the walk continues through a sugar cane plantation, the scent of spices such as cinnamon, pepper, or muscatel is always present.
Stalks that are crushed in the rum factory further down the Garden to make one of the best rums in the country. Michelle cultivates a variety of fruits and spices in her garden, including Cytherea fruit, breadfruit, vanilla, lemongrass, mango, guava, coffee, and coconut, to name a few.
The gardener will frequently explain to visitors, with a wide smile, how to prepare these products in the Seychellois way. Flowers abound in this garden, from the massive flamboyant to the graceful anthurium, offering a kaleidoscope of colors and scents.
Before ordering lunch, return to the restaurant and enjoy good homemade papaya, mango, or lime juice. Fish in a banana leaf, tuna steak, and fish curry with green pepper are just a few of the options.
- Open daily: 10 am to 5 pm
- Entry fee: 110 SCR
FAQ – Le Jardin du Roi
Who owns the Le Jardin du Roi?
Le Jardin du Roi is privately owned by the Georges family and managed by Micheline Georges.
What are the attractions at Le Jardin du Roi?
The lush green, fragrant, and beautifully kept Le Jardin Du Roi is a nature lover’s delight and a favorite of many botanists and environmentalists visiting Seychelles. This enchanting spice garden’s eclectic collection of rare spice plants and other endemic species inundates the traveller not only with visual delights but also with olfactory satisfaction. Aside from basking in the lush greenery, tourists can participate in a variety of other activities.
Does Le Jardin Du Roi offer guided walks?
Take a guided tour of the well-kept trails that crisscross the Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden. You must reserve one at least 24 hours in advance, but the accompanying local guide is knowledgeable enough to keep you engrossed in the rich history of the area. The sheer variety of the surrounding spice plants and other local tree species is sure to captivate any visitor, and you might even spot a giant tortoise ambling along!
Self-guided walks are also popular here, allowing you to take in the breathtaking sights and smells of the garden at your own pace. There is also a souvenir shop where you can collect spice samples and other island mementos.
Is there a Museum at Le Jardin Du Roi Museum?
The planter’s house in the heart of Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden houses a small museum. It provides a reasonably detailed look at the local history, agricultural practices, and artifacts. Visit the collection to learn about and appreciate local culture and traditions.
What is the history of Le Jardin Du Roi?
The French administrator Pierre Poivre, who first introduced the idea of cultivating spices in these former French colonies, is credited with the creation of Le Jardin Du Roi. During the 1770s, his concept evolved into the Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden.
The threat of British invasion forced the governor of the island to burn the plantations in the latter part of the decade. The cultivation was then relocated to its current location, which was deemed superior due to the ease of sea access, thereby encouraging spice trade. Exotic spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla vines, citronella, and pepper are currently grown here, as well as being a haven for the island’s many unique flora and fauna.