Itineraries Itineraries for the USA

7-day sailing route in the Florida Keys

22 April 2022

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7-day sailing route in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are one of the best boating destinations in the world. It’s a paradise for anyone looking for an exciting adventure, with hundreds of spots to explore it also makes a relaxing place to clear the mind. The Keys are a stretch of islands located in the ocean south of Florida. There are over 800 keys covering a total of 180 miles in length, all of the main keys are connected by bridges and are accessible from the mainland. With extraordinary views, tropical weather, crystal clear water, and mesmerising ocean life, our sailing route will make you dream about cruising the Florida Keys. 

Start your sailing journey in the Florida keys by chartering a yacht in Key West, you can do so with a skipper if you don’t have a boating licence. You can also hire a catamaran which is an ideal boat for this itinerary. The best time to set sail in Florida is between March and May. Before setting sail, make sure you have everything you need by supplying your boat.

1) Key West to Duck Key

60 nautical miles, 8.5 hours of sailing

Take the opportunity to visit Key West before departing in the morning. This island is the southernmost key of all and will dive you right into the atmosphere provided by the Keys. When you’re ready, leave Key West and cruise before reaching and anchoring in Duck Key. You can then spend your first evening bathing in the warm turquoise waters, relaxing and replenishing your energy for the next day.

2) Duck Key to Islamorada

30 nautical miles, 4 hours 20 minutes of sailing

The second day on this route in the Keys of Florida is Islamorada, about 4 hours of sailing away from Duck Key. Visit a beautiful state park in Windley Key. There, you can stretch your legs by going on a short 40-minute hike. The trail will bring you into the forest where you can spot iguanas, birds and other wildlife animals. Another great place in Islamorada is the Loreleï Cabana bar. It is the perfect place to watch the sunset while drinking a “Khalik” (Bahamian beer) in a joyful atmosphere.

Day 3) Islamorada to Biscayne Bay

50 nautical miles, 7 hours of sailing

On your third day head north to Biscayne Bay. It is technically not part of the Keys archipelago and consists mainly of a national park. There you will be left amazed by the biodiversity of the area, from its stunning lagoons to its shallow reefs. While sailing along the national park, stop in Boca Chita where you’ll be able to climb a lighthouse and contemplate the beautiful panoramic view. It is also up to you to choose the perfect place to anchor, we recommend the Biscayne Key.

Day 4) Biscayne Bay to Key Largo

42 nautical miles, 6 hours of sailing

Sail back the other way from the Biscayne Bay to Key Largo. This island is the northernmost key of all. It has a multitude of national parks and maritime sanctuaries making it a wonderful place for wildlife to thrive. Key Largo is known to be the world’s diving capital of the world. If you love scuba diving or snorkelling, this is the place to be. Go for a diving session and explore the diverse ocean life, you will see hundreds of different fish species and maybe even dolphins or turtles!

Day 5) Key Largo to Marathon Key

50 nautical miles, 7 hours of sailing

On the fifth day of your sailing itinerary, leave Key Largo and cruise to Marathon Key, in the middle of the archipelago. This place is well known for its fishing heritage and local traditions. Drop your anchor, get comfortable and go fishing, snorkelling or swimming and appreciate the wonders in the area. If you’re hungry, sit at a restaurant and taste lobster, crab or tuna depending on the season.

Day 6) Marathon Key to The Lower Keys

30 nautical miles, 4 hours 20 minutes of sailing

If you want to see more ocean life and go for another dive, the Lower Keys are no different from the others. There, you can visit shipwrecks, vibrant sea life and fascinating underwater treasures! It’s also home to some beautiful beaches. you’ll most definitely want to take a nap beneath palm trees. Take this time to understand the beauty that surrounds you and appreciate the sounds of nature. If you want more inland activities, anchor in Big Pine Key and stroll around the island on a bicycle or go island hopping until you reach Newfound Harbour Island on the small stretch of the island south of the key.

7) The Lower Keys to Key West

35 nautical miles, 5 hours of sailing

On the last day of your sailing route in the Florida Keys, sail back to your point of departure, Key West. Now that your yacht charter has come to an end, it’s time to check out. You can then take the time to appreciate Key West, it’s the most famous of all the keys, for its nightlife, historical sites and striking beaches. Out of question, the best thing to do in Key West is to spend your day outdoors. Go for a snorkelling session and explore the coral reefs, visit some interesting spots such as Fort Jefferson and at the end of the day, sit on the beach while contemplating the sunset

There you have it. The perfect itinerary for a 7-day sailing adventure in the Florida Keys! If you have already been to the Keys, check our sailing route in the Bahamas.