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A Guide to Îles des Saintes

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A miniature volcanic archipelago made up of seven idyllic islands, only two of which are inhabited, Îles des Saintes (commonly known as Les Saintes) is one of Guadeloupe's crown jewels. This reef-hugged set of isles offers French sophistication mixed with a funky, laid-back Caribbean lifestyle. Take a day-trip via daily ferry to Terre-de-Haut, the archipelago’s main island, and enjoy the white-sand beaches, sailing, and snorkeling in the bay or head up to Fort Napoleon on foot or by rental scooter for panoramic views. Make sure to dine at one of the French and Creole bistros along the water, and to try a local tourment d’amour—a crusty-edged, soft-centered tart flavored with guava, pineapple, or coconut.
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Guadeloupe
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—...
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Guadeloupe
The bay of Les Saintes ranks among UNESCO’s list of most beautiful bays in the world—and it’s not hard to see why. The views, whether on approach from the sea or from atop one of its bluffs, make up a dreamy Caribbean postcard, with the bluest of...
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Guadeloupe
Often likened to Rio’s Sugar Loaf, and possibly named after it because of the resemblance, Pain de Sucre Beach is an idyllic stretch facing an emerald-and-blue cove along Les Saintes’ bay. It’s off the beaten track and away from the larger daytime...
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10, Rue Benoit Cassin, Guadeloupe
Ti Kaz' La (small house) easily ranks among the top five restaurants in Guadeloupe. It's partly down to the setting on picturesque Terre-de-Haut in Les Saintes, with an open-air, ground-level dining deck with steps leading onto the soft white...
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On the main village drag, less than a five-minute walk from the arrival dock, Au Bon Vivre is a French restaurant with Caribbean flair, where two-hour lunches include creative dishes like pineapple foie gras, coconut snapper, or conch lasagna. The...
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480 rue de la Savane, Terre-de-Haut 97137, Guadeloupe
One of the island’s few upscale dining experiences takes you deep into the hills overlooking the bay, on the grounds of eclectic boutique guesthouse Les Petits Saints. The dining takes place on the terrace, al fresco, with night views over the...
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Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe
There isn’t much nightlife on Terre-de-Haut in Les Saintes, but there is a spot to throw back sundowners, listen to local beats, and mingle after the day-trippers have left. That’s Coconuts Bar, a lively open-air beach shack located directly on...
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The second, and smaller, inhabited island of Îles des Saintes is Terre-de-Bas, reached by boat shuttles from Terre-de-Haut. There's not much to do here other than explore nature in its wildest state, but one of the sights that makes it worthwhile...
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Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe
The path to Terre-de-Haut's Pompierre Beach, the most beautiful on Les Saintes, leads you through a dense labyrinth of gigantic coconut trees where goats quietly graze and stroll. Up front awaits a wide stretch of golden and white sand and a sea...
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Terre-de-Haut, Guadeloupe
As funky and unique as its home, Terre-de-Haut on Les Saintes, Coco Mango is a favorite of women who love to shop for fashion bikinis, sexy beach cover-ups, or one of a kind local crafts. Men's apparel is also on sale here, including tee-shirts...