Sailing the Archipelago
Itinerary Type: Sailing
Description: God seems to have designed Seychelles with the sailor in mind! There can be few better ways to explore their hidden coves, secret beaches and to savour their enviable tranquility than by sailing or motor yacht.
Seychelles naturally lends itself to travel over water and you can marvel at its stunning natural beauty in exactly the same way as the very first visitors to her shores, the intrepid Arab mariners of the 9th century A.D, riding the wind on calm ocean waters as the timeless beauty of her isles drifts ever so slowly by.
We propose you begin a voyage of discovery around Mahé, principal island of Seychelles and home to the capital, Victoria, the port and international airport.
This imposing, verdant granite island whose topmost peak towers to over 900m boasts over 65 beaches and a cluster of picturesque islands bordering the Ste. Anne Marine Park. Sailing around Mahé (18mi by 5mi) will take you on a memorable voyage past the island’s scenic northern coastline and L’Ilot islet to famous Beau Vallon with its magnificent strand and wide range of tourism facilities where you may wish to spend the night at anchor or, perhaps, on shore savoring mouthwatering Creole dishes at one of Beau Vallon’s many restaurants. There’s also a casino nearby and a number of bars to try out before making your way back on board beneath a shimmering panoply of stars.
It’s Monday morning in Paradise and time to venture northwards to Silhouette, Seychelles’ third largest island. As you leave Beau Vallon Bay behind you and slip out into the azure ocean it might be a good idea to leave a fishing line in the water. The waters surrounding these islands are renowned for their great fishing and there’s the chance of having some of the tastiest fish around on your plate for lunch before continuing onwards towards beautiful North Island with its beaches of heart-stopping beauty – a great place to spend the night.
It’s time to tear yourself away from North Island’s rugged beauty and sail back in the direction of Beau Vallon and then on down Mahé’s savagely beautiful west coast where the splendid beaches of Grand Anse, Petit Anse, Takamaka and Intendance await. As you’ll experience some difficulty choosing which one is the prettier, it’s a good idea to make a stop at each one, enjoy a swim or a snorkel in warm crystal waters or even have a late lunch at a nearby beachside restaurant where seafood delicacies abound.
Leaving Mahé behind you, you head for Praslin, Seychelles’ 2nd largest island, 26 miles distant, sailing past the twin island gems of Cousin and Cousine on the way. Once known as Ile des Palmes (Palm Island) on account of its dense coconut groves and lush vegetation, Praslin is home to one of Seychelles’ two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the fabulous Vallée de Mai where the wondrous Coco-de-Mer grows high on ancient palms in a primeval valley.
Praslin also possesses some of Seychelles’ most stunning beaches, regularly ranked among the best in the world such as Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette and Côte d’Or from where the satellite islands of Aride, Curieuse, The Sisters, Maryanne, Félicité and Cocos are easily accessible.
It will not be long before you are lured towards the neighboring island of La Digue where, it is said, time stands still and where the traditional ox cart and bicycle are still the main modes of transport. Here, you will find one of the world’s most famous – and certainly most-photographed beaches, Anse Source d’Argent, along with relics of another age - a cemetery of the first settlers, a working Calorifer or oven for refining coconut, giant tortoise pen and magnificent Creole mansion.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday:
Wending your way ever northwards, you leave the realm of the granite islands for the glimmering world of the coral isles of Bird and Denis located some 52mi north of Mahé. Here you will be greeted by the sight of seabird colonies, nesting turtles, silver surf and golden sands. These islands are situated on the edge of the shallow Seychelles bank where the ocean plummets to 2000m and where world-beating opportunities for fishing go hand in hand with memorable swimming and snorkeling in super-clear waters and diving where few have ventured.