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A Guide to Îles des Saintes

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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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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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...