Making a list of what to see and create an exhaustive sailing itinerary in Guadeloupe is not easy. Beaches, rainforests, the famous volcano of La Soufrière still active, coral reefs, two nature reserves and small islands all around…everything here makes the archipelago a destination of a thousand shades and colours.
Guadeloupe resembles a beautiful butterfly in shape. His wings are formed by the islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. Each of them is unique and special: Basse-Terre is mountainous and wet, while Grande-Terre is flat with long beaches. The two islands are separated by a narrow mangrove channel called the Rivière Salée. Also, surrounding the main island, there are islands of different sizes, however everywhere you can be sure to meet the distinctive creole culture of this overseas region of France.
On its surface of 629 sq m, there are so many beaches and routes to discover! Read our 7-day route to cover with your boat around Guadeloupe to unveil the most beautiful islands and the best beaches of the archipelago.
The boating season in Guadalupe goes between December and May, coinciding with the dry season in the Caribbean. The best sailing conditions happen between January and March when there are of course also more visitors and sailors.
You can also sail comfortably in December, April or May, but bad weather could surprise you. It is better to avoid the months of the hurricane season, between July and October, even if sometimes it can be longer and last from June to November.
Winds and Climate
While currents in Guadalupe are usually from the west, the winds tend to come from the northeast. For this reason, the water in the northern part is generally rougher than in the southern region, including the small islands of Les Saintes, Petite Terre and Marie-Galante.
Winds help navigation with a force of between 15 and 25 knots in the boating season. Throughout the year the average temperatures move between 21ºC and 31ºC.
Itinerary: Guadeloupe (7 days / 98-107NM)
Day 1. Pointe-à-Pitre – Sainte Anne (15NM)
Start this beautiful journey from the capital Pointe-à-Pitre on the Grande Terre. Point-â-Pitre is the heart and economic hub of the island. Start visiting the city from Place de la Victoire and enjoy the bustling markets around the town. After visiting the city, head towards Sainte Anne, east along the coast. There you can enjoy the beach of Bois Jolan, a narrow and long strip of white sand with palm trees and shallow crystal clear waters.
Day 2. Sainte Anne – Pointe des Châteaux (14NM)
Let’s continue our sailing itinerary in Guadeloupe! Head off to Pointe des Châteaux, the easternmost point of the Grande-Terre island. There you can find sharp-pointed rocks that give the beach this “Castles Point” name. The waves here are much stronger than in other parts of Guadalupe, but the landscape, the turquoise waters and the white sand of the ‘Castles’ Cove (Anse des Châteaux) are unmatched.
Day 3. Pointe des Châteaux – Petit Terre (7NM)
We will continue our sailing itinerary around Guadalupe toward the southeast, to reach the nature reserve of Petit Terre. It consists of two uninhabited islands: Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut. The first has a large beach northwest of the island, with white sand and turquoise waters. Terre-de-Haut, on the other hand, has small beaches scattered around a fairly rocky coast. Remind that Terre de Haut is strictly protected, and only a few scientists can set foot there. As for Terre de Bas, that is possible to visit, but the access is strictly limited.
Day 4. Petit Terre – Marie Galante (19NM)
We will sail to the island of Marie Galante, one of the largest in the archipelago. Cliffs dominate on the east coast, but on the west, we can find various beaches of white sand and perfect to enjoy the Caribbean waters, as Anse Canot or Plage de Moustique. But Marie Galante offers more than beaches! There are more than 100 windmills spread throughout the island, and if you want to an authentic rum distilled in the Caribbean, well this is your Place! One of the world’s best rum is produced just at Marie Galante! Also, the capital worth a visit. Grand Bourg is the typical Caribbean town where you can have a stroll, buying some supply for your trip and try the Caribbean cuisine in one of its lovely restaurants.
Day 5. Marie Galante – Les Saintes (16NM)
Head west, to Les Saintes archipelago, and in particular to the island of Terre-de-Haut (not to be confused with Terre-de-Haut on Petit-Terre). Terre-de-Haut is a tourist hotspot islands and the most cosmopolitan island, also characterised by an international yachting scene. On the coast, there are several beaches, and you can practice all kinds of water sports. In summary, we can say that what is waiting for you in Terre-de Haute will be: jugged coastlines mixed up with sandy beaches like the famous Pain de Sucre, stunning diving sites, tasty fish dishes to try, and historical attractions as the Fort Napoléon.
Day 6. Les Saintes (4-13NM)
We will spend the sixth day to sail around Les Saintes archipelago. Nine unspoiled islets (two of which are uninhabited) compose this little corner of paradise. It will be difficult to leave this archipelago, thus to make your departure not too sad, try the traditional and “Tourment d’Amour” cake! It will be a delight for your palate!
Day 7. Les Saintes – Pointe-à-Pitre (23NM)
The last day of your sailing itinerary in Guadeloupe, go back to Pointe-à-Pitre. While sailing, you can observe the mountainous island of Grande-Terre, on the eastern part of Guadeloupe. You will also notice that the waters will be increasingly turquoise, as you approach your destination. Once arrived at the capital again, you can visit the outdoor market and the city, to know more about its culture and the vibrant life of its inhabitants.