Fort Napoléon is a must-do when visiting Guadeloupe Islands. Situated on a bluff in Terre-de-Haut, Les Saintes, this fort was rebuilt in the mid 1800s, from an original fort (Fort Louis), which was destroyed in a battle with the British in 1809.
Named for Napoleon III, Fort Napoléon was restored in the early 1980s and today serves as a historical site and museum, proudly displaying the rich cultural heritage of Les Saintes. Like many historical forts, expect to see recreations of battles, including the famous “Battle of Saintes in 1782”, the museum also has a wonderful collection of modern art depicting the Saintois lifestyle.
Within the grounds, there is the beautifully designed, Jardin Exotique du Fort Napoleon, a botanical garden for succulent plants, twinned with Jardin Exotique de Monaco. Be on the lookout for Iguanas, sunning themselves or roaming the grounds.
Your stroll through the garden will lead you to the pinnacle of the Fort Napoleon experience, one of the best viewpoints in the Caribbean, offering some of the most spectacular views, including of Saintes Bay, listed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. On clear days, you can also see as far as the islands of Marie-Galante and La Desirade.