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Reviewed on 15 Jan 2021
Reviewed on 1 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 10 Mar 2019
Saint Barthélemy, popularly known as St Barts for short, is a French island in the Lesser Antilles. With fine sandy beaches, coconut trees and turquoise water, the landscapes of Saint Barthélemy are worthy of a picture postcard. A popular spot for celebrities, this is a dream destination for a truly laid-back holiday and discovering the tranquillity of the Antilles. Gustavia, the capital, is a charming little town built around a natural bay that serves as a port. It has plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants that will impress lovers of food and shopping (offering luxury purchases, duty free). Visit Fort Gustave with its lighthouse, cannons and breath-taking views of the town – in good weather, it is even possible to catch sight of the islands of St Kitts and St Eustatius. Even in Gustavia, don’t forget to take your bathing costume and spend some time on Grand-Galet beach, which is just a few minutes’ walk from there, where you can swim and loll about on the white sand.
The sand and clear water have given St Barts its excellent reputation. But during your stay, be sure to make time to explore the island and all its magnificent beaches. The village of Corossol is one of the absolute must-sees. Not far from Gustavia, this little fishing village is very much part of the island’s traditions. Here, you will find a brown sandy beach and a row of colourful fishing boats which are used to catch lobsters. You can find goods made of woven palm leaves, like hats and baskets, which make great souvenirs.
If you fancy some snorkelling, head to Flamands, a little village situated in the north-west of the island, Colombier Bay and of course Saint-Jean in the more touristy part of the island. The water there is turquoise and is protected by the coral reefs. It is the ideal place for snorkelling and exploring the sea bed. If there’s enough wind, you could also do some windsurfing.
High season in Saint Barthélemy is from mid-December to mid-April. The advantages of going in low season, then, are lower prices and deserted beaches. If you are especially keen on looking at the sea bed, it is best to go between mid-April and late August, when the weaker waves tend to disturb the sea floor less, giving you a clearer view.
You can get to Saint Barthélemy by plane. However, Saint-Jean-Gustave III Airport is very small and can only accommodate 20-seater and smaller planes, so first you need to fly to St Martin or Guadeloupe and then change to a flight for St Barts. Another option is to reach the island by sea from St Martin, where you can catch one of the regular catamaran crossings.
The white sandy beaches of St Barts will welcome you with open arms!
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