Saint Barthelemy, the island with a thousand facets


Peace, bathing and wonderful landscapes await your discovery on “St. Bart’s”.
The island also enjoys great wealth in human, historic, cultural and heritage terms.

Practical info

 

Time difference
5 hours behind Mainland France in winter, and 6 hours behind in summer.
Flight time
You must first take a flight of around 8 h, and then another 3/4 hour flight operated by Air Antilles.
Local hour
(UTC+1)
Currency
Euro


Area size
21 km²
Distance
6 723 km
(from Paris)

Population
9 625 inhabitants
Languages
French
Creole

Capital 
Gustavia
 

Formalities :

 

Before going, you must be sure to have a valid ID card or passport. A valid passport is preferable for those wishing to come from the neighbouring English-speaking islands. Information on customs and security formalities is provided as a guide. Under no circumstances may Corsair be held responsible if your official documentation is not in order

 

Information on customs and security formalities is provided as a guide.
Under no circumstances may Corsair be held responsible if your official documentation is not in order.

To prepare your trip, we suggest you contact the island’s tourist office:

European Branch of the Guadeloupe Tourist Board

23-25, rue du Champ de l’Alouette - 75013 Paris

Tel.: +33 (0)1 40 62 99 07

Worth knowing

No particular vaccinations required.

Shopping hours

Most shops are open Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:00, and sometimes on Saturday.

Transport

There is no public transport on Saint Barthelemy. The main means of getting around are car and scooter. There are also many taxis that you can use to tour round the island.

Security

Be careful when bathing, the beaches have little monitoring. Also, be wary of local fauna and flora: some insects and plants can be very dangerous, such as scolopendra bites or Manchineel, a local tree whose sap can cause serious burns. More information available on  http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr

Services

Banks and post offices are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00, with sometimes a break between 12:00 and 14:00.

Holidays and celebrations

Caribbean Film Festival from 25th to 30th April.
Anse des Cayes Festival on 18th July. 
Saint Barthélemy northern area festivals from 25th to 26th July.
World Tourism Day on 27th September.
Piteâ Day (twinning between Saint Barthelemy and Piteâ in Sweden) on November. 
New Year’s Eve in Gustavia, 31st December.

Going to / Leaving the airport

See detail

The essentials

Not to be missed

Part of the French West Indies, Saint Barthélemy is a mountainous island of around 21 km² (25 km² with its islets). It has 32 km of coastline. The main city on the island is Gustavia, the capital. The other main towns are Saint-Jean, Lorient and Colombier.

Among the essential sights are Rade de Gustavia, Saint Jean, Lurin and Colombier point.

 

Diving and water sports

There are a host of diving spots on the island, enabling you to check out the region’s fabulous coral. The best time to go diving on St. Bart’s extends from 15th April to the end of August, before the cyclone period starts.

You can also sail or windsurf, especially at Grand-Cul-de-Sac.

 

Monuments and museums

Visit the Prefecture, the Catholic church and the Swedish bell tower in Gustavia, or the Lorient church.

The main museum on Saint Barthélemy is the international shellfish museum, situated in the Corossol area. The Gustavia museum & library, Wall House, is also worthy of interest.

 

Luxury tourism

Saint Barthélemy or Saint Bart’s, as its inhabitants call it, is also a beacon of luxury tourism. You might come across a few film stars, and cannot help but be awestruck at the many yachts moored in Gustavia port.


Gastronomy

Specialities

Of course, you can try out some West Indian dishes such as accras, Colombo chicken or blood pudding.

The dishes are rich in spices, and based on starchy foods and local seafood. You can also try out the many exotic fruits such as corossol or carambola, which are rare in Mainland France.

 

Restaurants

The local restaurants are very expensive. If you are on a tight budget, it is preferable to buy your food from one of the island’s many well-stocked supermarkets. If you have the money, you can eat out “French style”: there are several good quality establishments on the island.  

 

Drinks

You can find very good French wines, with many high-quality cellars open to tourists.  Rum and fruit juice-based cocktails are of course a local speciality.

 

Groceries and markets

The biggest supermarkets and self-service shops are based in Gustavia and St. Jean, but every area has a well-stocked grocery where you can find all the products you will need during your stay.  For fresh fish, go to the fisherman’s market at the entrance to Gustavia in the morning.

 

Christophine

Christophine is a vegetable in the cucumber and courgette family. It is often prepared “au gratin”, especially with cod.


Culture

A ritual society

Saint Barthelemy is a place where religions and beliefs are mixed, and the inhabitants are very devout.

There are many small religious communities in this small area, and as throughout the West Indies, superstitions and other rites of sorcery are still part of local culture today. There are also some Hindu temples, with some festivals still celebrated today.  

 

Holidays and festivals.

Saint Barthélemy offers a host of cultural activities.

In January, the music festival (classical and jazz) brings music lovers together. In April, you can attend the Caribbean film festival.  

In July and August, do not miss the festivals of the island’s various areas and villages. They feature regattas, fireworks, game fishing tournaments and patron saints’ days.

 

Sailing on Saint Barthelemy

Sailing has pride of place, with three big events in the year, where the world’s biggest boats come together: the New Year's Eve Regatta, the Saint Barth Bucket and the “Voiles de Saint-Barth”. Not to mention, every two years, the arrival of the now classic Transat Lorient-Saint-Barthélémy.

 

New Year on Saint Barthelemy

On 31st December, the port of Gustavia is invaded by billionaires’ yachts from all over for New Year’s Eve celebrations in competition with each other; then midnight is accompanied by the noise of fireworks and champagne bottles.


Climate  

A tropical oceanic climate

A tropical oceanic climate, with average temperatures of 27°C all year round. The dry season runs from December to April. May to November is the rainy season and the cyclone period.

 

Sun all year round

There are only five days per year without sun on Saint Barthelemy.



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