Sailing and Cruising through the islands of the Seychelles

 

From the time that intrepid Arab explorers set foot upon these shimmering islands on their first voyages of discovery into the Indian Ocean, or perhaps even the Phoenicians or the soon-to-be people of Madagascar en route from their homes across the seas to the east first set eyes upon them, the destinies of sailing and Seychelles have been intertwined.

Many generations of sailors sighted this surreally beautiful cluster of islands seemingly lost amid a universe of the ocean which would much later become known as Seychelles: Arab traders who left behind gravestones as a witness to their presence; pirates who are claimed to have concealed fabulous undiscovered treasures and mariners from several nations who gaped wide-eyed at towering virgin forests and the abundance of fruit, fish, timber, and tortoises which they wrote about in their journals. It is here that the legend of the beauty of Seychelles was born, in the tales of early sailors as they recounted the exploits, experiences, and wonders of their voyages to friends and family upon their return home.

Today, the amazing natural beauty of the islands and the diversity they offer remains almost miraculously untouched and the modern traveler can still discover much of what the 17th-century mariner saw: towering granite peaks; dappled turquoise shallows; myriad hidden coves and secret bays; crystal, warm waters and a climate of perpetual summer.

Sailing & Cruising the Inner Islands

Savor the experience of a lifetime sailing or cruising Seychelles Inner Islands where safe anchorages and easy sailing distances will unveil a world of unrivaled diversity and breathtaking natural beauty. Cruise the pristine azure waters around the capital Mahé, Seychelles largest island and home to the capital, Victoria, and the international airport. Here lie memorable sailing opportunities along 44 miles of picture-postcard coastline with over 65 beaches and quiet coves and romantic hideaways. Especially scenic bays include Beau Vallon, Anse Major, Baie Ternay, Port Launay, Anse a La Mouche, Anse Soleil, Baie Lazare, Intendance and Anse Royale.

Some of the more secret coves include Anse Jasmin, Anse du Riz, and Petit Anse while a cluster of smaller islands: Cerf, Moyenne, Round, and Ste Anne lies just off Mahé’s northeastern coast in a marine park with Conception Island and Thérèse to the west. Northwest of Mahé lies spectacular Silhouette Island, Seychelles’ third largest and home to many amazing species of flora & fauna and to the refreshing, olde worlde island lifestyle for which Seychelles is famous. Just a little further on you will find the jewel of North Island and further still to the east by 31 miles, solitary Frégate standing like a sentinel at the portal of some fabulous world of island gems. 

Just a few hours sailing northeast from Mahé (23 miles) will bring you past the twin-island gems of Cousin & Cousine en route to Praslin with its quiet island ways. Praslin is Seychelles’ second largest island and home to the fabulous Vallée de Mai where the erotically-shaped, double-lobed coconut the Coco-de-Mer grows high on ancient palms in a hidden valley, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Praslin also boasts some of the planet’s most famous beaches such as Anse Lazio whose clear blue waters are framed by golden sands and age-old granite rocks which together conspire to create the perfect panorama. Praslin offers a wide choice of accommodation as well as a diverse range of shops, restaurants, cafés, and other attractions, all accessible from the numerous safe anchorages dotted across its coastline.

Scenic bays and romantic coves around Praslin include Anse Lazio (perhaps the world’s most photographed beach), Anse La Farine, Anse Petit Cour, Baie Chevalier, Anse Possession, Anse La Blague, Côte d’Or, and Anse Marie Louise. Picturesque satellite islands include Curieuse, St. Pierre, Île Cocos, Aride, Cousin, and Cousine to name only a few.

Less than 4 miles southeast of Praslin’s Baie Ste Anne jetty, La Digue is known as the island where time has stood still, a place of heart-stopping beauty, timeless traditions, and an enviably unhurried, island-style way of life. Along La Digue’s 9 miles long coastline you will discover its many coves: Reunion, Union, and Patate as well as silver-sanded beaches among which is one of the world’s most famous strands, awesome Anse Source D’Argent. You can also savor the delights of its numerous neighboring islands like Félicité, Marianne, and Grande Soeur, all within easy reach and all providing safe anchorages. La Digue is home to many quaint, out-of-the-way, restaurants, shops, and boutiques to satisfy all your vacation needs while the accommodation options reflect island-style, Creole hospitality at its best. 

Cruise Accommodation 

To cruise upon the warm, azure waters of the Seychelles Islands and experience the breathtaking beauty of their deserted beaches and romantic bays will provide lifelong memories.

International charter companies and local operators offer a wide selection of specialized craft, both sail, and power, allowing You to take full advantage of your personal ‘voyage of discovery, in the most spectacular archipelago on earth.

Keelboats… Catamarans… Bareboat… Crewed… Cruising… Diving… Fishing… Whatever pursuit you dream of, Seychelles will bring your dreams to life.

Private Yachts & Marinas

Seychelles has long been a dream destination for a wide array of visiting sailing and motor yachts which find among the islands an enticing cocktail of pristine waters, a comprehensive suite of amenities and facilities, modern infrastructure, and a glorious climate that meets all of their requirements.

Seychelles is growing its capacity in marinas and the most recent is the Eden Island Marina, part of the Eden Island property development. Eden Island Marina is a deep water marina located on the southwestern shore of Eden Island, between the island and Mahé, and capable of handling superyachts of up to 100m in length, offering state-of-the-art facilities complemented by professional mooring services.

Not far away, you will find the Wharf Hotel & Marina, an imposing 60-berth marina and one of the most popular amongst visiting yachtsmen, boasting an average depth of 11.5 meters (below Admiralty Chart Datum) and 276 meters of pontoon space with a  slipway available to provide easy access for smaller charter boats. 

Author Credit: Glynn Burridge

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