Banda islands

Banda islands

The spice route

Banda islands review

Banda Islands were the most sought-after islands in the world for centuries, capturing European imagination and inspiring Columbus to undertake his legendary journey westward. Also known as the Spice Islands, Bandas offer a true sense of historical excitement with Dutch colonial houses, crumbling forts, stunning tropical scenery, and some of the world’s most pristine and diverse coral reefs. Combined with raw natural beauty and a warm local heart, this remote cluster of eleven picturesque islands isn’t just Maluku Regency’s choice travel destination; it’s one of the best in Indonesia.

The only city in the Bandas is Bandanaira, and it has a devastating history. It all started with the Myristica Trees, indigenous to the Banda Islands. These trees are the source of two rare and lucrative spices: nutmeg and mace, once found exclusively on the Banda Islands. In the 15-16th centuries, the nutmeg was believed to be a cure for the bubonic plague, spurring intercontinental exploration and shaping colonial empires. European traders were eager to sell it at a 6,000 percent markup, making it worth more than its gold weight.

In 1602 fourteen ships sailed from Holland, heading to the East Indies. Four years later, thirteen vessels arrived in Banda Neira with only one objective – to monopolize the world’s most valuable spices – mace and nutmeg. Devastation followed with the bloody massacre of the native Banda population. Fast forward centuries, Bandanaira today is a beautiful town to take a stroll and to explore the two remarkable forts – Belgica and Nassau. Apart from Banda Neira, there are ten other islands in the Banda archipelago, located well off the tourist trail in the Banda Sea.

Be a witness of towering, aromatic, tropical evergreens of these incredible islands that still retain an aura of mystery. A quiet colonial-era ambiance with the sapphire sea brimming with exquisite corals and abundant life makes the 11 Bandas an exceptional destination in Indonesia. The only option to experience the whole of Banda Islands – is to take a sailing holiday across this enchanting archipelago. Nothing compares to soaking in the rich history of the Spice Islands while living aboard a private yacht. Their astonishing remoteness makes them a prime choice for liveaboard yacht holidays.

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