The Seychelles are the stuff of tropical dreams. You will have seen plenty of photographs of giant boulders framing white sand beaches and a cruise to the stunning Seychelles can take you right into the picture; soon you’ll be leaving footprints on these perfect sandy spots.
Set in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, the Seychelles comprise more than 100 islands, with the most remote lying some 700 miles from the main island of Mahé. With such ample, spread-out cruising grounds, there are plenty of places to explore within a weeklong – even or longer – charter.
There is a general preference for short, inner island cruising, anchoring in northern-facing bays during the southeast monsoon season, from May to September, and longer, outer island cruising during the calmer northwest monsoon season, from October to April. Itineraries should take the seasons into account – for instance, the route on the opposite page includes Aride Island, which is not ideal to visit during the southeast monsoon as landing on the beach can be a challenge, so it can be substituted with the nearby Cousin Island, which is also a bird reserve.
Meet your yacht at Eden Island Marina on the island of Mahé, an area renowned for sportfishing. The yacht will cruise to La Digue, where guests can enjoy ox cart rides, bike rides or simply take a leisurely walk to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, such as Anse Source d’Argent and Grand Anse beach.
Visit the Veuve nature reserve and catch a glimpse of the endangered black paradise flycatcher, see a giant tortoise or climb Nid d’Aigle, the highest peak on the island, for breathtaking views.
Arriving at Baie Laraie, guests will be welcomed by the beautiful sight of giant humphead parrotfish in the water and giant tortoises lazing around on shore.
Explore the trail from the landing ground to Anse José, which passes through a thick mangrove forest and includes plenty of ruins of old colonial architecture. Divers and snorkelers should spend the afternoon in the water at the Coral Garden or Pointe Rouge – its’ a must!
After breakfast on board, take a quick cruise to the neighboring island of Praslin. The island is known for its beautiful beaches lined with palm trees – and Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio, both bordered by large granite boulders, are some of the most famous beaches in the Seychelles. But there’s also lots to do inland – the island’s jungle interior hosts the Praslin National Park and Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When the sun sets, the island’s Cote d’Or is home to many hotels and resorts offering nightclubs and chill-out bars.
Aride is managed as a nature reserve by the Island Conservation Society. Upon arrival, guests will be welcomed by the island’s team on a dinghy as they have strict rules about boats allowed on shore. Once ashore, enjoy a three hour private tour from the knowledgable rangers, looking out for 18 species of native birds, as well as a wide variety of fauna and flora. You’ll have a picnic ashore for lunch in a quiet spot that the rangers guide you to, then can spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Tonight, have dinner on board, basking in peace and privacy.
The Cocos Islands are a natural aquarium. Guests can swim amid turtles and hundreds of fish above a wealth of coral in crystal clear waters. Towards the end of the day, the yacht will depart from Cocos and head back to the main island of Mahé to anchor off the beautiful Anse Royale bay.
Enjoy breakfast on board taking in views of Anse Royale, the second largest town on Mahé, which has a great deal to offer. Wander the colorful markets and shop for souvenirs, all just a tender ride away. There are also plentiful opportunities for snorkeling, and water toys can be used in moderation here. Enjoy dinner on shore with your crew arranging reservations.
The biodiversity here is a real highlight for nature lovers, providing great snorkeling and diving grounds for all who visit. Baie Ternay is most often deserted, so guests can really feel like they’re isolated here. It’s the ideal place to soak up the essence of the Seychelles on your last day in the tropical paradise.