Itinerary Guadeloupe and neighbouring islands
France is most beautiful in the Caribbean, or so the locals in Guadeloupe claim. Is that true? The best thing is to see for yourself - on the largest of the French Antilles. The palm trees bend in the trade winds and almost everything grows on the trees that ends up in the fruit basket here. Bananas, pineapples, mandarins, avocados, coconuts and much, much more.
Guadeloupe, Grande Terre
Guadeloupe lies in the Caribbean Sea like a giant butterfly. The right wing is called Grande Terre and is a flat, chalk-stone plain with postcard-perfect palm beaches in front of turquoise sea lagoons (especially recommended: the anchorage Petit Havre in the south). With its small villages and sugar cane plantations, it is reminiscent of colonial times. This is also where the rum distilleries are located, and a visit to them is a must.
- Visit the Gardel sugar factory or the Bellevue rum distillery,
both can be found in the old colonial capital of Le Moule
- the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul
- the headland Pointe des Châteaux
Guadeloupe, Basse Terre
On the left butterfly wing - called Basse Terre - a volcano rules: the Soufrière. It towers over a small rainforest at an altitude of 1500 metres. Here, mahogany trees, gum trees and skyscraper-high chestnuts grow into the blue sky, parrots screech and hummingbirds nibble on wild orchids. Basse Terre is also home to Guadeloupe's 20,000-hectare national park, with its mangrove forests and over a hundred varieties of orchids, waterfalls and hot springs. Basse-Terre is also captivating beyond the shoreline: with the "Jacques Cousteau" nature reserve and its tropical underwater world. Take a look for yourself: Mooring buoys are laid out around the Goyaves islands, and yachts can moor at the yellow ones for a few hours.
- the spectacular Carbet waterfalls
- the beautiful Anse Deshaies anchorage on the west coast
- the postcard-perfect beach of Grande-Anse
- Deshaies Botanical Garden
Exactly between these wings is our charter base - in Pointe-A-Pitre, the most important town on the island, where a touch of French flair mingles with the Caribbean atmosphere. Then it's time to explore the islands that belong to Guadeloupe: La Désirade, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante.
Christopher Columbus discovered the island to the east of Guadeloupe after a long and arduous passage on 3 November 1493 - and named it La Désirade, the Desired One. The island, whose shape is somewhat reminiscent of the hull of an overturned ship, is off the beaten tourist track and is also not to be found on most cruise plans. However, if you want to sail to the long, narrow island, you can moor in the fishing port of Grande Anse on the south-west coast.
- the headland of Grand-Abaque - this is what it must look like at the end of the world
- the beach in the island's main town, Beauséjour
Marie Galante is also only gradually finding its way into the logbooks. The almost circular island, which looks back on a long tradition of sugar cane cultivation and thus rum distillation, unfortunately offers sailors few good harbours and anchorages (Anse Carnot, St-Louis, Grande Bourge) - you can only moor here in calm weather. But then you can look out over endless sugar cane plantations and pearly white beaches.
- La Feullière, one of the most beautiful fine-sand beaches on the island
- The Bellevue distillery
Iles les Saintes
The Iles des Saintes are the Saint-Tropez of Guadeloupe and the highlight for sailors. Located about 15 kilometres southeast of Guadeloupe, the French archipelago consists of nine small islands, only two of which are inhabited: Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut. The main town is the pretty Bourg des Saintes on Terre-de-Haut with its pastel-coloured houses and the Caribbean colourfully dressed people. Also a must on Terre-de-Haut: the seven anchorages spread over a good three miles, each with a sandy beach lined with palm trees.
- Pompierre beach, a picture-postcard idyll under palm trees (Terre-de-Haut)
- Fort Napoléon, built in 1867 (Terre-de-Haut)
- the Pasta Rasta restaurant in the middle of Bourg des Saintes (La Savane,
- the beautiful beach of Grande-Anse (Terre-de-Bas)
- the beautiful town of Petite-Anse (Terre-de-Bas)
Of course, a sailing holiday in the Caribbean also includes real trade wind sailing. If you haven't had enough of that yet, you can continue to dash through the long-drawn-out Atlantic waves with a full five-force wind from the northeast ...
The neighbouring islands of Dominica and Antigua
Dominica lies 20 nautical miles south of the Iles des Saintes. When this island comes into view between waves and spray, nothing but dense jungle appears. The island rises unapproachably out of the Caribbean Sea, wild, green and rough. I wonder if that's why Columbus didn't set foot on the island when his bow approached it. Too dense the jungle, too unsafe the moorings? Don't let that stop you. Because Portsmouth, twenty nautical miles north of the island's capital Roseau, is a typical Caribbean town: colourful boarding houses, people who are very hospitable and lots of exotic fruit.
Antigua - supposedly the only place in the world where the British Queen bathed in the sea. If you have made the 40 nautical miles from the north of Guadeloupe, you are guaranteed to do the same - on one of the 365 beaches (especially recommended: Half Moon Bay in the east of Antigua). But you may also prefer to just lie in English Harbour, the epicentre of Caribbean yacht tourism - with its mega yachts, annual big regattas and legendary steelband parties (for example at Shirley Heights above English Harbour).
In German: Segeln in der Karibik, Anguilla bis Dominica. Bernhard Bartholmes. Edition Maritim, 36 euros. The classic in English: The Cruising Guide to the Leeward Islands: Anguilla through Dominica. Chris Doyle. 12th edition, 2012/13, 35 euros.
Please note that this is a suggested itinerary and not all yachts have the necessary licences / insurance to call at all destinations / islands.
Please clarify this with the charter company before planning your trip. You will receive the necessary papers for your route planning from the lessor before the start of the charter, so these must be requested from the hirer / skipper in good time. The terms and conditions of the lessor / yacht owner and, if applicable, their restrictions apply.
Edited 22.12.2017 TK