April 25, 2023

Discovering Paradise: Sailing the Seychelles

Introduction to Sailing the Seychelles

The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, is an idyllic destination for sailors seeking an unparalleled experience.

I've spent many weeks sailing in the Indian ocean and the Seychelles and Madagascar are two of my favourite places to visit. So in this article I give my considered opinion

With its pristine turquoise waters, diverse marine life, and lush landscapes, the islands offer an unforgettable sailing adventure. As many expert sailors have said, navigating the world's most exquisite waters.

"Few places in the world can compete with the Seychelles".

The Seychelles are a treasure trove of natural beauty and unforgettable experiences. In this article, I will share my insights and tips for sailing in the Seychelles and making the most of your journey through this tropical paradise.

Preparing for Your Journey

Choose the right boat: The ideal boat for sailing the Seychelles is one that provides a comfortable balance of luxury and functionality. Catamarans are a popular choice, as their stability and ample living space make them perfect for extended stays and island hopping. Monohulls also provide a thrilling sailing experience for seasoned sailors, with their sleek design and responsive handling.

Plan your route: The Seychelles is divided into two main groups of islands: the Inner Islands and the Outer Islands. The Inner Islands, including Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, offer well-charted waters and plenty of facilities, making them perfect for first-time sailors to the area. The Outer Islands, on the other hand, are more remote and require a higher level of expertise to navigate, but offer a truly off-the-beaten-path experience.

Monitor the weather: The Seychelles enjoys a tropical climate year-round, with the best sailing conditions generally found between May and September. The trade winds blow consistently during this time, offering excellent sailing conditions with manageable wind speeds and minimal rainfall.

Reef protection: The Seychelles is known for its stunning coral reefs, which are both a major attraction and a potential hazard for sailors. Ensure you have up-to-date charts and pay close attention to your depth sounder to avoid any reef damage.

Tides and currents: The tidal range in the Seychelles is generally small, but currents can be strong, particularly around the main islands. Plan your routes and anchorages accordingly, taking into account the prevailing currents and conditions.

Marine life: The Seychelles is home to an array of marine life, including dolphins, turtles, and various species of whales. While spotting these creatures is a highlight of any sailing trip, remember to maintain a respectful distance and adhere to local regulations regarding interactions with marine animals.

Exploring the Islands

Island hopping: With so many islands to explore, the Seychelles offers a wealth of opportunities for island hopping. Plan your stops to allow ample time for exploring onshore, snorkelling in crystal-clear waters, and experiencing the local culture.

Conservation efforts: The Seychelles is a leader in marine conservation, with several protected areas and national parks. Visit these sanctuaries to witness the region's rich biodiversity and learn about the efforts being made to preserve this unique ecosystem.

Embrace local culture: Engaging with local communities and experiencing the Creole culture is an integral part of any sailing adventure in the Seychelles. Make sure to try the local cuisine, which is a delicious blend of African, Indian, and European influences, and attend cultural events whenever possible.

Things to do whilst in the Seychelles

They have some of the best beaches, and the clearest waters I've ever seen. In my opinion the best beaches can be found at Anse Source d'Argent, Anse Lazio, and Beau Vallon. Though you could probably make a case for dozens of others. Whichever beach you choose I don't really think you can go wrong.

If you do like snorkelling/diving then their coral reefs are spectacular. If you don't know where to try I've always found that Sainte Anne Marine National Park, Silhouette Island, and Aldabra Atoll offer really terrific diving opportunities.

If you appreciate the natural world I'd certainly recommend you visit Vallee de Mai nature reserve. They have some really exotic wild birds there which I really love to see. If you are a keen birdwatcher then Cousin Island or Bird Island, are the 2 best places to go. There you can see the Seychelles Magpie-Robin and the Seychelles Warbler.

Seychelles Magpie-Robin

If you like Purple birds like I do you will love it there.

I'm not such a keen hiker these days but in my younger days I used to go hiking up the trails in Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé Island. I believe they still do guided hikes through the Veuve nature reserve on La Digue, though it's a few years since I've been there.

There are plenty of water sport options such as, kayaking, windsurfing, or stand-up paddleboarding in the turquoise waters around the islands.

For those that love to shop they have many nice local markets to browse around.

If you are going to try any of the local food I would recommend the grilled fish, octopus curry, or breadfruit chips.

The locals will make you so welcome that like me you'll want to return again and again.


Sailing the Seychelles as an expert sailor is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, offering unparalleled access to some of the world's most pristine and diverse ecosystems. By preparing thoroughly, respecting the environment, and immersing yourself in the local culture, you can create memories that will last a lifetime.

You should read my post about the Best Sailing Holiday in the World, and also my What to take on a sailing holiday one.

So, hoist your sails and embark on a journey that will take you through the heart of paradise, where you can uncover the true beauty of the Seychelles and experience the adventure of a lifetime. Happy sailing!


  • John Sixthsmith

    I'm a freelance writer and avid sailor who loves to share my passion for the sea with others. I've written articles for various sailing magazines and websites, covering topics such as sailing destinations, boat maintenance, navigational tips, and marine wildlife. I went on a short sailing trip whilst on holiday as a child and was instantly hooked. I've been sailing ever since. Although I've done a fair amount of lake sailing in my time, my real passion is the ocean. I hope you enjoy reading this blog about sailing as much as I've enjoyed writing about it.

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