Fort Napoléon


The most important historical site on Guadeloupe’s miniature archipelago of Les Saintes also boasts one of the most breathtaking views in the Caribbean. Perched some 400 feet above Les Saintes Bay, Fort Napoleon’s panoramic view of the water—dotted with sailboats and surrounded by bluffs—is worth a visit to Terre-de-Haut on its own. But it’s of historic interest as well. Rebuilt in the mid-19th century after the British destroyed it, the fort turned into a prison that was used during World War II. It was restored in the 1980s and houses a museum showcasing the history of Les Saintes. You can stroll inside to see the former grounds that served as a jail, and walk the botanical gardens afterwards, filled with the island’s various cactus species. Look out for iguanas peeking out of holes in the fort’s walls, as ubiquitous on the grounds as they are all over the island. Take in the glorious scenery for as long as you like before descending back down, on foot or on your rented electric scooter.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR