Making a list of what to see in the archipelago and create an exhaustive sailing itinerary in Guadeloupe is not easy. The list of things to see will be long, but you can be sure to be surrounded by virgin nature wherever you will go. Beaches, rainforests, the famous volcano of La Soufrière still active, coral reefs, two nature reserves and small islands…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 and has vast 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, where you can meet the distinctive creole culture of this overseas region of France and idyllic, quiet beaches that will make you fall in love with this place in the middle of the Caribbean.
On its surface of 629 sq mi, there are so many beaches and routes to discover! Thus, we suggest you a 7-day route to cover with your boat around Guadeloupe to sail around and unveil the main 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. Like in the whole Caribbean, the best sailing conditions happen between January and March, although then is when there are more visitors and sailors than in other months.
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, but these can be extended from June to November.
Wind and Weather
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 and 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. On one side there are lush palms and in the other one a turquoise, clean and shallow sea.
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 for Guadalupe to the southeast, towards 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. We can sail at our leisure and relax in the Place that we prefer. However, Terre de Haut is strictly protected, and only a few scientists can set foot there. As for Terre de Bas, access is possible, but it 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 the Terre-de-Haut in 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. But in summary, 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, historical, and attractions as the Fort Napoléon.
Day 6. Les Saintes (4-13NM)
Day to sail Les Saintes archipelago. If you find a place that makes you fall in love with one of its islands, you can spend the day there. Or if you prefer you can sail around the 9 unspoiled islets (two of which are uninhabited) that form 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 our sailing itinerary for Guadeloupe we will go back to Pointe-à-Pitre. While sailing, we can observe port the mountainous island of Grande-Terre, the eastern part of Guadeloupe island. The waters, as we approach our destination, will be increasingly turquoise. In the capital, you can visit the outdoor market or know the culture and the vibrant life of its inhabitants.