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Whisk yourself away to an exotic destination this winter to the lush archipelago of the Seychelles. With 115 beautiful islands and secluded coves fringed with palms and white sandy beaches, it’s perfect for a short leg island hopping bareboat charter. Read on to find out why the Seychelles offers a special paradise for sailors.
Whether you are on land, sea or in the air, the Seychelles is a world of vibrant color, famous for giant tortoises (found here and the Galapagos). It’s home to three boat-accessible national parks at Baie Ternay, Sainte-Anne and Port Launay with turtles and more than a thousand species of fish. Take an underwater camera, as you’ll experience the full spectrum of the rainbow underwater. It’s also home to rare birds, such as the Seychelles bulbul, black parrot, and fruit pigeon. The sheer variety of nature is spread between the islands, which means your island hopping adventure will be filled with new things to discover as you let the wind fill your sails.
Water sports haven
The largest island, Mahé, is renowned for its fantastic snorkeling including the shallow lagoons at Baie Lazare and Anse Royale, well-preserved coral reefs, such as Anse Soleil and Anse Major, and plenty of barrier reefs. Whether you want to leisurely cruise on the surface or scuba, there’s so much to see beneath the waves.
Island hopping joy
There are landing/visitor fees for certain islands and we recommend you take €100 worth of Seychelles Rupees per person for one week to cover these fees. You can take money out at the cashpoint at the airport or local banks in town. Here are some of our favorite islands in the Seychelles:
- Victoria, Mahé – for early morning provisioning at the local market for fish and fruit and vegetables, as well as souvenirs, local spices, sarongs and shirts.
- Beau Vallon Bay, Mahé – enjoy the lively atmosphere and try the local restaurants and bars.
- Curieuse – visit the giant tortoise sanctuary to watch these magnificent creatures bathe in the sun. Take a look at the island’s colonial-style museum at The Doctor’s House near the beach at Anse José. The snorkeling is particularly good around the nearby islet of St. Pierre.
- Baie St. Anne, Praslin – the best bay to access the Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO-protected national park with 800-year-old trees. The guided tours are worthwhile to see the famous for Coco de Mer, double coconuts. Dine at Esperon, but book in advance, and there are plenty of shops for provisioning.
- Anse Volbert, Praslin – a chance to see one of the prettiest harbours on the north coast of Praslin Island with a long, white sand beach, bars, restaurants and water sports.
- Car-free La Digue – rent a bike to tour L’Union Estate, Plantation House La Digue, Anse Union and Anse Source d’Argent beaches. You can hike, horse ride or provision here too.
- Cousin Island – request permission in advance to visit this private island which is open three days a week and popular for its fabulous beaches, snorkeling and bird sanctuary.
- Ile de Cocos – buoys are limited for this excellent beach and snorkeling location.
Between October and April the winds are from the north west and beaches are weed-free. Temperatures are around 80ºF and while this is the rainy season, particularly in December and January, showers are typically tropical and brief with plenty of sunshine before and after.
Drinking rum before 10am doesn’t make you alcoholic – it makes you a sailor! No sailing adventure is complete without a rum cocktail and the Seychelles is no different. The locals sup on a local brew known as Rhum Arrangé, which is often home brewed, but you can visit the Takamaka Distillery on Mahé for a taster.
How to get to the Seychelles from the US
There are a number of indirect flight options from the US to Mahe International Airport. To connect from Mahé to other islands, it’s a one-hour flight to Praslin with Air Seychelles or a fast catamaran/high speed ferries.
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