Seychelles is an archipelago made up of a series of islands located in the Indian Ocean, miles off Kenya on the East, and Madagascar on the North. Despite its remote location, it is one of the ultimate sailing destinations that every year appeal thousands of sailors and tourists.
Best known for being the backdrop of romantic escapes and honeymoons, its spectacular beaches are among the most photographed in the world. Undoubtedly, you have already spot on its clear waters and white sand beaches in some of the most famous travel magazines.
The archipelago is very rich in flora and fauna and home to several endangered terrestrial and marine species. Its seabed is plenty of colourful aquatic creatures that makes its 115 islands a heaven not only for sailors but also for diving and snorkelling fanatics.
There’s so much to discover in this archipelago, but, don’t worry, because you won’t miss anything if you follow our sailing itinerary in Seychelles! But first, let’s see some useful information about the navigation and the climate to get the most out of your holidays.
Seychelles are accessible all year round as they enjoy a tropical climate with little variations in temperature that normally is around 30 degrees. There is not any restricted area for cruising, but only for mooring and anchorages. Keep in mind that mooring on natural reserves or overnight in some islands may be subject to additional charges or even forbidden. Many islands and marine areas are classified as nature reserves or marine parks, while some islands are private property.
Wind and climate
Luckily this archipelago does not suffer the cyclones that affect other area of the Indian Ocean, thus a sailing route around Seychelles is almost always delightful. Although, the archipelago is subject to two major monsoon regimes.
From May to October, the wind blows from the southeast. The southeast trade wind brings a dry and more cooling period and a little choppy sea, especially in July and August. The calm north-west trade starts from November bringing the so-called rain season, characterized by warmer winds. Between the two regimes, there is the interseason of flat calm sea and light winds. Thus, it would be convenient to have these winds in mind when planning a sailing itinerary in Seychelles.
Sailing Itinerary in Seychelles: Mahé – Mahé
Day 1: Mahé – Ste. Anne
Set sail from Mahé and head east toward the island of Ste. Anne. Sainte Anne is a Marine National Park that encompasses six other isles, but Ste. Anne is the largest one. It’s only 5 km (3 miles) from Victoria, and its coral reefs are perfect for snorkelers and scuba diving. On the island, you will find six idyllic sandy beaches with shallow ocean waters and sheltering palm trees.
Day 2: Ste. Anne – Curieuse Island
From St. Anne, make for Curieuse island to spend the second day of your sailing itinerary around this protected island and bio-reserve. From 1833 to 1965, it has been a prominent leper colony. Indeed, also, for this reason, it preserves its wilderness untouched until today. It is a small granitic island, but famous for its unspoilt mangroves and the presence of the emblem of Seychelles, the Coco de Mer palm trees and the giant tortoises.
Day 3: Curieuse Island – Grande Soeur
Welcome to Grande Soeur, that with Petite Soeur make up the fabulous Sister Islands! It is another granitic island, bought by the hotel Château de Feuilles of Praslin and mainly visited by its guests. It is covered with tropical forest and red rocks that you can also explore by crossing its numerous walking paths. Fortunately, also boaters can enjoy the beauty of its beach, waters, and seabed on weekdays between 10.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.
Day 4: Grande Soeur – Coco Islands
Coco Islands are some of the most photographed islands of Seychelles and a marine park since 1996. It is a group of four small islets where you can have one of the best snorkelling and diving experiences of the Indian ocean. Colourful corals, tropical fishes, rays, sea turtles and many other marine creatures will join you during your swimmings.
Day 5: Coco Islands – La Digue
On your fifth day, relax a bit by enjoying La Digue. When you see it, it will undoubtedly remind you of postcards or the pictures in the catalogues of luxury brands. The island is the third biggest island of the archipelago and boasts some of the best beaches of Seychelles, as Petite and Grande Anse. But, besides the beaches, take a walk around and observe traditional palm-thatched roof houses. This is also a suitable place to stopover in a local restaurant or if you need supplies as there are shops of various kind.
Day 6: La Digue – Cousin Island
For your second-to-last day, sail to the tiny but wonderful Cousin Island. It is the most protected island of the archipelago for its numerous endemic plants and animals. The island is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary protecting rare and endangered species, as the black parrot. However, also under the surface, it hosts an impressive coral reef that you can appreciate all around its bays. Keep in mind that mooring is not allowed and that you can visit it only in the from Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 14:00 pm to 16:00 pm.
Day 7: Mahé
Check-out at the base of Mahé, home of Seychelles’ capital city: Victoria. Here you will also end your sailing itinerary around Seychelles. But before leaving this paradise, enjoy the entertainment of this island, the biggest of the archipelago.