st barth

Saint-Barthélemy: the French art of living under the Caribbean sun

To the point An internationally renowned tourist destination, Saint-Barthélemy continues to fascinate travelers with its beauty.

Located in the north of the Caribbean arc, 15 minutes by plane from the island of Saint-Martin, this jewel is appreciated for its sublime beaches, crystal-clear waters and upscale tourism.

saint barth
Photo credit: Facebook Saint-Barth Tourisme @stbarth.infinite

This French Eden, with its reputation as an island of billionaires, looks like a postcard with its unspoilt nature and sumptuous landscapes.

Two famous lines, taken from French poet Charles Baudelaire’s “L’invitation au voyage”, perfectly describe the atmosphere on the smallest island in the French West Indies.

Here, all is order and beauty

Luxury, calm and pleasure.

The island may be famous for its luxury boutiques and the superyachts that anchor in Gustavia’s roadstead, but it is nonetheless an ideal destination for a relaxing break.

Don’t hesitate to rent a car, then set out to conquer it: coves, typical villages, traditional huts, cliffs, natural pools and many other jewels will fill you with wonder during your escapade.

Saint-Barthélemy - The sea as a playground

If the Big Blue is in your DNA, you’ll be seduced in the blink of an eye by this jewel of the Lesser Antilles.

Discover the seabed, tour the island on a jet ski, let yourself be carried away by the waves on a kite surfing trip, marvel at the beauty of the landscape on a catamaran: the island has no shortage of stimulating water activities.

The Seabob, an underwater electric scooter, is a must-try.

Seabob - Photo credit: Facebook H2OeSeaToys

Saint-Barth has everything to please visitors eager for the pleasures of the sea. Each beach is unique and full of treasures, in the heart of a remarkably preserved natural environment.

Here are a few beaches to discover:

North of the island. Close to the capital Gustavia, the sublime beach of Saint-Jean is separated into two parts by the Eden Rock hotel, close to the famous Nikki Beach Saint-Barth, renowned for its ambience. The area is home to numerous restaurants, boutiques and hotels.

Plage Saint-Jean
Plage de Saint-Jean - Photo credit: Facebook Saint-Barth Tourisme @dan_merriam

West of the island. Colombier beach, located in the middle of the nature reserve, is a paradise for snorkelers. This haven of peace is only accessible by boat or footpath.

Plage de Colombier - Photo credit: Facebook Saint-Barth Tourisme @gossbrothers

North-west of the island. Flamands beach is the largest in Saint-Barth. Fine sand, turquoise water, no one can resist it. The Cheval Blanc St-Barth palace has also succumbed to its beauty.

Plage de flamands - Photo credit : website Access SB

South of the island. The charm of Gouverneur beach should leave you breathless. In the heart of nature, tranquillity reigns supreme. Legend has it that the pirate Monbars hid his treasure nearby.

Plage Gouverneur
Plage de Gouverneur - Photo credit: website Comité territorial de Tourisme de Saint Barthélemy

South-east of the island. Beautiful and wild, La Saline beach is the second largest beach after Flamands. Known for its ancient salt marshes and bird population, it can be reached by a short footpath.

Plage Saline St barth
Plage de la Saline - Photo credit: Facebook Saint-Barth tourisme @Laurent_Benoit

Saint-Barthélemy - The main attractions

A stroll through the streets of the capital Gustavia, famous for its red-roofed houses and luxury boutiques, is a must.

Magnificent views await you at Fort Karl, located on a rocky outcrop near Shell Beach, and at Fort Gustaf, famous for its lighthouse and cannons.

Shell Beach is unique with its shell-filled sand. Located five minutes from Gustavia harbor, it is appreciated for its sunsets and atmosphere. The Shellona beach restaurant is a must.

Shellona beach
Plage de Shell Beach - Photo credit: website Shellona

There’s no shortage of hiking opportunities in St. Barths. One of the wildest is Grand Fond, with its natural pools.

Head for Corossol, a typical fishing village home to the traditional “dory” boats. You’ll also discover a number of craft activities, including the weaving of hats from latanier leaves.

Corossol - Photo credit: Facebook Saint-Barth Tourisme

Let yourself be enchanted by Pati Guyot’s acrylic paintings in her Saint-Jean gallery. The painter also created the popular logo St. Gallen St. Barth French Indies.

In Gustavia, stop off at the boutique-workshop Les petits carreaux. Véronique Vandernoot, who specializes in painting on ceramics, is the creator of the panels at the entrance to the beaches.

Photo credit: Facebook Les petits carreaux

Looking for an original gift you won’t find anywhere else? The Kalinas & Tainos boutique in Gustavia offers handmade Tahitian and Australian pearl jewelry. You’ll be able to take home your own custom-made jewel.

L'ïlet Pinel Saint-Martin - Photo credit: Facebook Office de Tourisme de Saint-Martin

It would be a shame not to visit the neighboring islands of Anguilla and Saint-Martin/Sint Maarteen. Prickly Pear and îlet Pinel are a must-see.

Last but not least, Lorient has become a place of pilgrimage for fans of rocker Johnny Hallyday. An opportunity to pay your respects at the French singer’s grave.

All year round, the island offers popular events such as :

Don’t hesitate to check out the Facebook page of the Comité territorial du Tourisme de Saint-Barthélemy if you’re looking for other activities.

Saint-Barthélemy - How to get there and around the island?

The runway at Saint-Barthélemy-Rémy-de-Haenen airport is short: only small planes can land there. You’ll need to fly from Toronto or Montreal to Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten.

Air Transat, Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing serve the destination on certain dates. If you’d like to use your Aeroplan points to travel to Sint Marteen, please note that there are no direct flights between Montreal and Sint Marteen with Air Canada. In economy class, the flight starts at 12,500 points one way, according to the points predictor.

predicteur points

Once at Princess Juliana International Airport, you can choose between several airlines to reach Saint-Barth. The flight, which takes just 15 minutes, is well worth the detour! You can also take off from Grand-Case Espérance airport in Saint-Martin.

Photo credit: Facebook Saint-Barth Tourisme @otaku_photographie

For those who prefer to travel by sea, there are several options for getting to the port of Gustavia: by ferry from Philipsburg in Sint Maarten, or from Marigot in Saint-Martin. The journey takes about 45 minutes. Several companies also offer a private water cab service.

For getting around the island, you’ll find cabs and car and scooter rental agencies in Gustavia or at the airport. There is no public transport in Saint-Barth.

Saint-Barthélemy - Dream accommodations

From sumptuous villas far from the public eye, to charming hotels with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, to hillside bungalows in the heart of nature, you’re sure to find the accommodation you’re looking for.

Luxury hotels include :

  • The Cheval Blanc St-Barth, located on the Baie des Flamands, is the first establishment outside mainland France to be awarded the “palace ” label. When it comes to well-being, it’s hard to resist the spa, which offers Guerlain signature pampering.
Photo credit: Facebook Cheval blanc Saint-Barth
  • The five-star Gyp Sea St Barth offers two ambiances: its boutique hotel overlooking the Baie des Flamands on the Colombier heights, and seaside cottages in Saint-Jean. Decor fans will appreciate its bohemian and colonial style.
Gyp-Sea -St-Barth
The villa sunset corail. Photo credit: Facebook Gyp Sea St Barth
Carl Gustaf St Bath
Photo credit: Facebook Carl Gustaf St Bath
  • The five-star Eden Rock St Barths is a legendary hotel on St Jean Bay. Founded in the 1950s by adventurer Remy de Haenen, the site boasts a magnificent coral reef.
Photo credit: Facebook Eden Rock St Barth
  • Le Guanahani St. Rosewood BarthThis 5-star hotel is located on a private peninsula overlooking the beaches of Maréchal Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac. Nature reigns supreme with 18 hectares of lush gardens.
Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth
Photo credit: Facebook Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth

Save Money on Hotels with Reward Points

To save on a hotel in Saint-Barth, you’ll need to turn to credit card travel points. This is the only way to reduce the cost of your stay in paradise, with the exception of hotel promotions.

Photo credit: Facebook Gyp Sea St Barts

Let’s take Membership Rewards points from American Express: if you manage to accumulate 80,000 points, you’ll receive an $800 account credit.

The procedure is straightforward: once you’ve booked with your credit card, log in to your online account, then apply your points to your travel purchase.

To easily accumulate travel points for your next vacation, all you have to do is take an interest in welcome offers from credit cards, while maximizing your daily spending to accumulate even more points.

And if you don’t want to pay the 2.5% foreign currency transaction fee, don’t forget to choose a card with no conversion fees, such as the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card.

Save on villas with points

For villa rentals, consider Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy. You will need to spend a minimum of 71,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for one night, on certain dates.

The platform offers a wide choice of villas ranging from 120,000 to 160,000 points per night, usually including a swimming pool and sumptuous panoramic views.


The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program enables members to collect and use points. There are several ways to earn cash, including using a Marriott Bonvoy credit card or staying at a Marriott Bonvoy property.

By choosing to pay with your Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card for a villa stay, you could also take advantage of this promotion and earn bonus points.

Are you new to the world of points? If so, we suggest our beginner’s guide to better understand the benefits of points.

When is the best time to visit Saint-Barth in the West Indies?

The average annual temperature in Saint-Barth is 27°C. The dry season, which corresponds to the high season, is best: from December to April.

What language is spoken on Saint-Barthélemy?

On Saint-Barthélemy, the official language is French.

What are some other names for St Barts?

The island of Saint-Barthélemy, in the French West Indies, is also known as St Barths or St Barth.

How do I travel to Saint-Barthélemy?

From the island of Saint-Martin, you can reach Saint-Barth by ferry, taxi-boat or luxury yacht. By air, only small aircraft are allowed to land due to the short 650-metre runway.

Can you camp in Saint-Barthélemy?

In the West Indies, camping on the beach for Easter is an institution. Gouverneur beach is one of our favorite spots. However, camping is prohibited.

What were the traditions in Saint-Barth?

To celebrate an event, it was not uncommon to enjoy roasted galettes and “poudine à patates“.

Is Saint-Barth a municipality or a community?

Saint-Barthélemy is an overseas collectivity (collectivité d’outre-mer – COM), established by the organic law of February 21, 2007, and governed by Article 74 of the French Constitution.

Where is Saint-Barthélemy airport located?

Saint-Barthélemy-Rémy-de-Haenen airport is in Saint-Jean, a five-minute drive from Gustavia.

What is the estimated population of Saint-Barth?

Saint-Barthélemy, which covers an area of 21 km2, will have just over 10,000 inhabitants in 2022, according to the French Ministry of the Interior and Overseas France. With seasonal workers and tourists, the population increases considerably during the high season.

How much is the sale of the Rockefeller Colombier estate worth?

The Rockefeller estate in Colombier has been bought by an American for almost $136 million in 2023, according to the Saint-Barth newspaper. David Rockefeller had his villa built in 1957.

What is Saint Bartholomew's night?

On the night of August 24, 1572, thousands of Protestants were massacred by Catholics in Paris.

Who started the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre?

Those responsible for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, on the night of August 23-24, 1572, are believed to be King Charles IX and his mother Catherine de Médicis. But this thesis has been challenged by some historians for lack of evidence.

When was the island of Saint-Barthélemy discovered?

Saint-Barthélemy was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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