Could there be anything more exhilarating than sailing the world, allowing you to explore all the globe’s hidden corners upon one of the most historic and romantic vessels? Circumnavigating the earth is truly a once in a lifetime experience, something that will give you a new perspective on the world. However, round the world routes can be hard to plan on your own. That’s why below, we have selected three unmissable locations to form the pillars of your sailing adventure.
Three must-visit spots for your round the world route
The Galapagos Islands
These paradisiacal islands are a protected haven for wildlife, not to mention an incredible landscape to drink in. Imagine a stunning archipelago of 19 islands, each offering its own highlights.
Anchor into one of the two permitted anchorages for private boats, at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galápagos, located on the island of San Cristóbal, or at Puerto Ayora, found on the nearby island of Santa Cruz. Brown sea lions will greet you in their hundreds with ambivalence, having grown up in such an environment where humans prove no threat. You will likely find it easier to leave your sailboat docked and explore by tender and foot.
If you choose Santa Cruz to begin your sailing adventure, you’ll be rewarded by the sight of giant tortoises in their natural habitat at El Chato, plus an array of beautiful beaches including Tortuga Bay, Bachas and Garrapatero. Meanwhile on San Cristóbal, be sure to take a tour to Kicker Rock or Leon Dormido, an incredible rock formation offering one of the best spots for snorkelling. Here you will see sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, Galapagos sharks, tropical fish and perhaps a rare hammerhead shark.
Birdwatchers will love the island of North Seymour, an ideal spot for spotting blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. The biggest in the Galapagos, Isabela is the place to see flamingos, penguins, and other exotic wildlife, as well as to take a day trip to the dramatic Volcano Sierra Negra. On Rabida, you’ll be blown away by the beautiful red sands on this uninhabited landmass. Wherever you choose to explore, the Galapagos is a must-visit destination for your round the world route.
This breathtaking island group is all about laidback living, and with a panorama of turquoise blue seas and mossy green mountainside, who wouldn’t want to stop and appreciate it?
Many people merely pass through Tahiti, French Polynesia’s largest island, on their round the world routes, but it deserves its own attention – particularly the legendary surfing village of Teahupoʻo. Waves here average 2-3 metres tall, with a record height of 7 metres, making it the perfect spot for pro-surfers to put their skills to the test. More of a foodie than a thrill-seeker? Moorea, in particular, offers an incredible selection of local delicacies, enjoyed everywhere relaxed beachside shacks to luxurious restaurants with waterfront views. Local dishes such as Poisson Cru – raw fish cured with coconut and lime – and grilled Mahi will have your mouth watering, while for dessert don’t forget to order something featuring that famous Tahitian vanilla.
Walkers will love hiking the spectacular Mount Teurafaatiu on the tiny Maupiti atoll. This peak reaches up 380 meters and offers unbeatable views, with the hike taking roughly around three hours depending on your level of fitness. Meanwhile, head to Bora Bora on your sailing adventure for some incredible diving experiences; this opulent spot offers a breathtaking lagoon where you can swim alongside manta rays and sharks on a coral wall, with a bounty of reefs encircling the island.
The Whitsundays is Australia’s answer to tropical paradise – an archipelago of 74 stunning mountainous islands, ideally located next to the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is what protects the islands from larger swells, making them ideal for gentle sailing adventures and blissful relaxation. It also harbours 1,500 species of fish and a third of the world’s soft corals, meaning it’s a hotspot for snorkelers.
The Whitsundays is a popular world sailing rally stop-off due to its beauty, and Whitehaven beach is its piece de resistance. With 7km of sand so white you’ll feel like you’re dreaming, lapped by aquamarine waters, the only way of reaching here is by boat, making it feel ultra-secluded.
Take a helicopter ride over the islands to get a bird’s eye view, paying special attention to Heart Reef, a naturally-formed heart-shaped reef discovered in 1975 by one of Air Whitsunday’s pilots. Go out on your tender to Sawmill beach, where you can walk through coastal rainforest, strolling the 1.5km bush track where vibrant butterflies and birds happily flit between the trees. A true bucket list destination on your round the world route.