The Best Beaches in Guadeloupe
Five islands, Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines, and a couple of protected miniature archipelagos translate into over 200 stunning beaches across Guadeloupe. Grande-Terre’s white-sand stretches are social and lively, while Basse-Terre’s sands vary from fine black to beautiful blond. Over on Marie-Galante and Les Saintes the beaches are wild and secluded, with offshore islets offering additional options for a day’s escape. Water sports are popular and plentiful around the country.
One of most beautiful beaches in Guadeloupe, Grande Anse is a wide, nearly mile-long stretch of blond sand located in Deshaies on Basse-Terre, with breathtaking views of bluffs and lined with towering palm trees. The blue waves are constant and make it a fun dip—though stick close to shore for added safety. The sheer size of the beach makes it one of the most impressive shorelines on the archipelago. At the entrance to the beach, vendors are set up in the parking area and sell bottled fruit rhum and snacks. Sunsets on Grande Anse attract many locals, but it never feels crowded here.
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 ideal for swimming. It’s a popular spot but it never feels crowded because of the ample space. Bring your snacks to enjoy on the picnic tables at the back.
Malendure 97125, Bouillante, Guadeloupe
The black-sand Plage de Malendure on Basse-Terre is a water sports hub, home to dive shops that head out to the Jaques Cousteau Reserve. It’s a great spot to park the family for a day of swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking over to the Pigeon Islands. It’s busy and social, but that doesn’t take away from its beautiful bluff and sea views.
Vieux Fort Beach is one of the prettiest in Guadeloupe, a small, crescent moon–shaped stretch of light pink sand set next to turquoise water. It is shaded in part with almond trees, but beware the manchineel trees at the back of the beach—they are extremely poisonous and you shouldn’t even stand near them! Located north of secluded Marie-Galante, there is no development on-site. Bring your picnic, settle on the soft sand, and spend a romantic afternoon or sunset here, away from everything.
Anse Salee, Guadeloupe
The fine black sand at Plage Bananier, on Basse-Terre, contrasts nicely with the lush green trees lining the beach. It’s a popular surfing and bodyboarding spot, and locals and visitors of all ages come here to practice their moves. Others build sand castles, frolic in the waves, or hang out at the on-site restaurants enjoying a meal while overlooking the beach and its surfers.
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 crowds, which makes it even more special. You have to take a short, leafy hike off the main road, onto a series of rocky steps leading to the beach. Boats occasionally moor nearby because the snorkeling is great, as is the sunset.
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 is the only beach on the island: Grande Anse. It’s mostly undeveloped and rarely crowded, and offers nearly a mile of golden sand and blue bay water. You’ll find a local restaurant there for a plate of fresh seafood and rice, at cheaper prices than on Terre-de-Haut.
There are no inhabitants on Petite Terre, a protected pair of islands a few miles southeast of Grande-Terre. One of them is off-limits due to conservation efforts, but Terre-de-Bas is open to visitors and home to iguanas, birds, and hermit crabs, with a reef-protected shore and waters abundant with turtles and colorful fish, including lemon sharks. You can day-trip over from the shores of Saint Francois and enjoy white-sand beaches, swimming, snorkeling, wildlife spotting, and hiking to a lighthouse.
A favorite with Guadeloupeans, Plage de la Datcha in Gosier is busy with diners enjoying the beachfront restaurants and roadside snack stands, as well as snorkeling, swimming, or kayaking over to Gosier Islet, visible from shore. The vibe is ultra-local and lively, day or night. Throw your towel on the soft white sand, and make your stay as relaxed or active as you wish.