Welcome to one of the Caribbean's most exclusive tropical escapes. Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barths/Barts as it is called in English, is an overseas collectivity of France that spans just 25 km². Located just below St. Martin, this small island of arid, volcanic rock is quite possibly the most exclusive retreat in the entire French West Indies chain.
An eclectic mix of iguanas, night-blooming cactus, fabulous beaches, luxury yachts, designer boutiques and volcanic rock. St. Barts invites you to enjoy the very best of both worlds – a chic lifestyle, with charm and a lovely French flair. Visitors here seek seclusion, luxe accommodations and the world's best swathe of coastline. In fact, the island has 21 large and beautiful beaches that are open to one and all, and for the most part these stretches of sun-kissed sand are rarely crowded as this destination is off the beaten tourist path.
This charming postcard-perfect capital is dotted with cardinal coloured rooftops and packed with swanky boutique shopping, delicious gourmet restaurants that are sure to satisfy all types of cravings, and contemporary cigar bars and lounges. The picturesque harbour is full of fishing boats bobbing alongside opulent yachts. The area is teeming with French colonial history and offers picturesque views of nearby Shell Beach.
It's common to arrange a private class for your small group of friends, held right in your own vacation villa.
Whether you've envisioned a beachfront ceremony or small church service, weddings on St. Barts are unforgettable. If you've chosen one of their magnificent beaches, then get ready for an exotic and idyllic locale sure to make the event the most romantic you've ever experienced. The capital town of Gustavia is home to a number of charming churches that can also house your spiritual vows in an elegant setting. Note: For non-French citizens it is recommended that you obtain a marriage licence before arriving on the island.
On St. Barts it is customary to sip a pre-dinner cocktail or aperitif while enjoying the sunset and then heading out to officially enjoy a full-course Creole dinner. Europe's hottest young chefs flock to the island to present their creations to the world’s most esteemed clientele. The five-star dining in Gustavia is so loved by regular visitors to the island that reservations are booked months in advance, generally at the same time people book their accommodations. St. Barts also offers great casual dining options in beachfront bistros, hilltop cafés and even harbour-side taverns. The nightlife has grown of late, with most bars and lounges now featuring live music.
Like many islands in the Caribbean, the scuba and snorkeling is pretty fantastic on St. Barts, especially just off the shores of Anse des Cayes. With consistent winds in the eastern part of St. Barts, Toiny Miliou and Lorient, is one of the best places to kite and windsurf. As a bonus, it's easy to pick up if you're a novice.
Angling is another huge hobby for visitors particularly during mahi-mahi season which spans from March to July. Barracuda, marlin and the Atlantic bonito are also often fished out of these waters.
If lounging on the open seas is what you're after then charter a yacht for a day of relaxation, swimming, snorkeling, and discovering the stunning St. Barts coastline with your very own crew leading the way.
Many visitors to the island enjoy beach-hopping; as there are so many gorgeous ones to enjoy. On the southern coast, the main attraction is Gouverneur Beach, a white sandy haven enveloped by dramatic cliffs that overlook St. Kitts. If shopping in Gustavia, cool down with a quick dip at nearby Shell Beach. Toiny Beach offers strong currents, perfect for kite surfing and sailing, while the Petit Cul de Sac and Grand Cul de Sac beaches offer snorkelers the best views of St. Barts' glorious underwater reefs as the waters are calm and naturally protected by high banks. Marigot and Lorient are favoured amongst families due to the shallow waters and numerous spots for shade. And last but not least, St. Jean Beach is the where most of the island's socials occur, with several festive establishments located right on the premises.