Guadalupe

The little islands south of Guadaloupe, les Saintes, are a veritable haven of peace with a very pleasant climate. They have all the wonderful charm of those islands which have managed to remain simple and unchanged by mass tourism.

Excursions to the nearby islands of Marie-Galante, south of Grande-Terre, and Iles des Saintes, a cluster of eight little islands south of Basse-Terre, are rewarding sidetrips. Marie-Galante is a tranquil oasis where sugar cane remains king and distilleries still produce potent rum (and where there also is a small rum museum at the prize-winning Distillerie Poisson).

For touring by moped or bicycle Marie-Galante’s 59 square miles are just ideal. One should make a stop at Chateau Murat, an 18th-century manor and one of the French West Indies’ best preserved wind mills and a sugar refinery. The area abounds in natural beauty, including the Gueule du Gouffre, a rocky abyss on the Atlantic coast; La Grande Barre, a green highland which divides the island into two plateaus; and the Trou au Diable, a sea-level grotto which can be visited with a guide.

Only two of the eight Iles-des-Saintes are inhabited – mainly by fishermen and their families. The largest is Terre-de-Haut. Its jagged shoreline comprised of rocky coves and quiet bays is a playground for watersports enthusiasts of any kind. The island’s leading curiosity is Fort Napoleon, built in the early 19th century, long after the last shots were exchanged between the French and English.

Excursions to the nearby islands of Marie-Galante, south of Grande-Terre, and Iles des Saintes, a cluster of eight little islands south of Basse-Terre, are rewarding sidetrips. Marie-Galante is a tranquil oasis where sugar cane remains king and distilleries still produce potent rum (and where there also is a small rum museum at the prize-winning Distillerie Poisson). For touring by moped or bicycle Marie-Galante’s 59square miles are just ideal. One should make a stop at Chateau Murat, an 18th-century manor and one of the French West Indies’ best preserved wind mills and a sugar refinery. The area abounds in natural beauty, including the Gueule du Gouffre, a rocky abyss on the Atlantic coast; La Grande Barre, a green highland which divides the island into two plateaus; and the Trou au Diable, a sea-level grotto which can be visited with a guide.

Only two of the eight Iles-des-Saintes are inhabited – mainly by fishermen and their families. The largest is Terre-de-Haut. Its jagged shoreline comprised of rocky coves and quiet bays is a playground for watersports enthusiasts of any kind. The island’s leading curiosity is Fort Napoleon, built in the early 19th century, long after the last shots were exchanged between the French and English.

To reach Les Saintes you can sail from Trois-Rivieres (the most practical place) or from Pointe-A-Pitre or even from Saint-Francois. There are only two companies who make the crossing, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of the competitive prices between the two companies. You can sometimes go for almost 50% of the fare if you negotiate well. However, watch out. Though it is short (45 minutes), the crossing has been known to cause problems for thoLes Saintes are composed of two small Islands: Terre-de-Haut, and Terre-de-Bas. One of the most striking things about these islands is the peaceful atmosphere all around, especially apparent at the bay.se with sensitive stomachs.

Attention, however, the islands are extremely hilly which makes for difficult walking. Les Saintes are really not to be missed for those who wish to know the real Antilles and to experience their sweet, relaxed spirit from close up. Don’t hesitate to stay the night after the tourists have left. You’ll have a very pleasant stay.

Excursions to the nearby islands of Marie-Galante, south of Grande-Terre, and Iles des Saintes, a cluster of eight little islands south of Basse-Terre, are rewarding sidetrips. Marie-Galante is a tranquil oasis where sugar cane remains king and distilleries still produce potent rum (and where there also is a small rum museum at the prize-winning Distillerie Poisson). For touring by moped or bicycle Marie-Galante’s 59square miles are just ideal. One should make a stop at Chateau Murat, an 18th-century manor and one of the French West Indies’ best preserved wind mills and a sugar refinery. The area abounds in natural beauty, including the Gueule du Gouffre, a rocky abyss on the Atlantic coast; La Grande Barre, a green highland which divides the island into two plateaus; and the Trou au Diable, a sea-level grotto which can be visited with a guide.

Only two of the eight Iles-des-Saintes are inhabited – mainly by fishermen and their families. The largest is Terre-de-Haut. Its jagged shoreline comprised of rocky coves and quiet bays is a playground for watersports enthusiasts of any kind. The island’s leading curiosity is Fort Napoleon, built in the early 19th century, long after the last shots were exchanged between the French and English.

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Guadalupe