This is a 7-day itinerary for a yacht trip around the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean starting from Praslin Island. The route covers a distance of 120 nautical miles and includes the following stops: Praslin, Curiose, La Digue, Cousin, Mae, Beau Valon, Coco, Grand Serpe, and finally, Praslin.
The Seychelles archipelago is located in the western part of the Indian Ocean and comprises 75 large islands predominantly composed of granite, while the smaller ones are coral atolls. The archipelago is a paradise with unique vegetation, numerous coconut palms on the coast, and azure shores covered with white sand. It is a place of absolute peace, solitude, and a measured rhythm of life, and it is hard to believe that it has had an exceptionally turbulent past.
The Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, first noticed Seychelles in the 15th century, but the archipelago was forgotten for two centuries. In the 18th century, the French settled there and brought slaves to work on spice plantations. Later, the islands were captured by the British, annexed to Mauritius, and then separated into a separate colony, ultimately taking over several islands, and turning them into “British territory”. Seychelles gained independence in 1976 and became an offshore zone. After the international airport was opened, it became a luxurious and popular exotic resort.
Day 1 – Saturday
GPS Coordinates: 4°20`479“S55°45`536“E
The Marina Praslin is located southeast of Praslin Island in St. Anne’s Bay, next to the ferry pier. It has one pontoon for 15-20 yachts and offers water, electricity, showers/toilets, a gas station, and wifi. A small market is situated 100 meters from the marina, while a supermarket is 1 kilometer away, which is more convenient to access by dinghy.
To reach Marina Praslin from the international airport located on the island of Mahe (SEZ), domestic Air Seychelles flights are available, taking around 25 minutes, with costs ranging from 50 to 150 USD one way, and a capacity of 15 people. The distance from the airport on Praslin Island to the marina is 12 km and takes about 20 minutes by taxi at a cost of 30-40 USD. Alternatively, a ferry from Mahe Island to Praslin Marina runs three times a day, taking approximately an hour, with a ticket price of 40-50 USD.
Day 2 – Sunday
Trek to Curieuse Island – 11 miles
Anchor in the bay
GPS coordinates for parking: 4°17`305“S55°43`317“E
Curieuse Island, formerly known as Ile Rouge, is a small granite island with red soil. It is part of a marine national park, and its surrounding waters are protected. The island is home to the Seychelles giant tortoise, a rare species of the land tortoise, the hawksbill turtle, and the Seychelles palm tree, which is depicted on the coat of arms of Seychelles.
Day 3 – Monday
Crossing to La Digue Island (La Diguec) – 20 miles
Visit Cousine Island
Anchor in the bay or Port La Diguec marina
GPS coordinates for parking: 4°20`528“S55°27`278“E
La Digue Island is a small island with a laid-back atmosphere, stunning cliffs, and pink beaches. Mount Ni d’Aigle, rising 300 meters above sea level, covers most of the island. The L’Union Estate park, once owned by the famous Hossen family, is a popular attraction on the island. It features one of the oldest colonial buildings in Seychelles and the house where the cult movie “Emmanuelle” was filmed.
Cousine Island covers only 25 hectares, stretching 1.5 km in length and 800 m in width. It is a sanctuary of Seychelles’ virgin nature, which used to be a common coconut palm plantation. In 1968, Cousine Island was declared a nature reserve, and since then, a massive project has been underway to restore its natural ecosystems. Currently, up to 40 scientific and environmental programs operate on the island. The Cousine Island Reserve is unique because only species that are natural to this place live here. The local flora and fauna are diverse, with forest thickets and coastal vegetation that birds have made their permanent or seasonal homes. The birds are not afraid of people and may even sit on their shoulders and eat from their hands. The local turtles are equally friendly, coming out of the ocean to lay their eggs in the coastal sand. Up to 14,000 baby turtles are born here annually in March. One hotel has been built on the island that accommodates ten people and offers a unique opportunity to rent its entire territory to one customer.
Day 4 – Tuesday
Crossing to Victoria, Mahe Island – 31 miles
Park at Eden Island Marina
GPS coordinates for parking: 4°37`73“S55°27`274“E
Mahe Island is the largest and most visited island in Seychelles. Its capital, Victoria, is the smallest capital in the world and is full of historical objects. A replica of Big Ben is installed on the main square, the most noticeable decoration in the city. The most popular street, Long Pier, leads from the clock tower toward the port, where the local museum is located. In addition to exhibits that tell the history of the city, the museum has a “stone of ownership” installed by the French in the 18th century as a sign confirming the status of a French colony. Market Street unites the old shopping districts, Indian and Chinese shops, and the city market. The English Cathedral of St. Paul and the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception stands opposite each other, followed by the possessions of the Catholic episcopate. The city, surrounded by mountains on three sides, has a population of 26,000 people, and locals believe that the city has already grown too much, so construction within the city is prohibited.
Day 5 – Wednesday
Trek to Beau Vallon Bay, Mahe Island – 12 miles
Anchor in the bay
GPS coordinates for parking: 4°36`456“S55°25`314“E
Beau Vallon Bay is a wide bay with calm and shallow waters, located to the west of the capital of Mahe Island. It is the most popular beach among tourists and locals, stretching for about 3 km. The area has a well-built infrastructure with many hotels, apartments, villas, bars, and restaurants. The locals often throw raucous parties that you can join as a guest. All this is adjacent to the lush tropical greenery and the peaceful calm of the ocean.
Day 6 – Thursday
Crossing to Praslin Island – 29 miles
Park at Praslin Marina
GPS coordinates for parking: 4°20`479“S55°45`536“E
Praslin Island, also known as Prale to the locals, is world-famous for the May Valley and its beaches, which are among the ten best in the world. Although it is the second largest island, movement on Praslin is somewhat restricted because you cannot drive around it in a circle, and the island is primarily intended for a beach holiday. The May Valley (Vallée de Mai) is a natural reserve where the Seychelles palm tree (Coco de Mer) grows, and its nuts are the symbol of Seychelles. The Coco de Mer nut is known throughout the world for its unusual shape and size. It resembles women’s buttocks and weighs over 20 kg. The Valle de Mai Garden is considered the biblical Garden of Eden. If you are lucky, you may also spot the bizarre Seychellois black parrot here. This species is endangered, and it is believed that the sight of a black parrot will bring good luck.
Day 7 – Friday
Visit Coco Island and Sisters Island
Coco Island and Sisters Island are two small uninhabited islands near Praslin Island. They are home to giant tortoises and a caretaker. Big Sister Island has a beautiful coral reef, where you can safely snorkel away from the most frequented and famous places. If you look at the Sisters Islands from above, you can see the mysterious infinity symbol – an inverted figure eight.
Return to Praslin Marina – 16 miles
Marina GPS coordinates: 4°20`479“S55°45`536“E