Les Saintes

The archipelago of Les Saintes belongs to the Guadeloupe FWI (French West Indies).

It consists of two main islands namely Terre de Haut et Terre de Bas, two small islets (Cabrit…).

Understand

The bay of Les Saintes is ranked as “the second most beautiful bay in the world”, since the bay of Rio de Janeiro has been delisted.

Terre de Haut is more touristy than its sister Terre de Bas, which is mainly residential. These two islands have been affected by the earthquake of 21 November 2004. This has given as a second effect, a decline in tourism which is for Terre de Haut an important source of income.

Get in

The Terre de Haut airfield

Les Saintes are accessible by aeroplane, boat or helicopter.

They also offer safe shelters to accommodate sailing yachts in transit or coming during wintertime.

Some of the people use another way to visit Les Saintes: the ship boats. Many cruise ships indeed (Club Méditerranée, Costa, Ponant, Royal clipper, etc.) sail there to put into port.

By plane

Any holidaymaker on the islands of Les Saintes or wishing to travel by plane can benefit of the services of the departmental airfield of Terre de Haut.

Pier of Terre de Haut

There is no scheduled air transport but some private companies providing passengers transport on request.

Note that it’s possible to organize flights from the Terre de Haut airfield to the nearby islands in the Antilles.

By boat

Cost depend on your point of departure:

Get around

If you’re looking for tailbacks and traffic-jams, Les Saintes are not for you!

Walking, bikes, scooters or electric carts are the kings on Les Saintes.

Only a few utility vehicles (Gendarmerie, Firefighters, City Hall) will share roads with you.

See

One of the numerous beaches waiting for you ( Pompierre seen from the Battery of Caroline)

Terre de Haut

Terre de Bas

The archpelago of Les Saintes

Buy

You will find souvenir boutiques and other shops mainly at Terre de Haut directly when you arrive.

Eat

Although the gastronomy in mainland France is in itself very rich by the diversity of its regional culinary specialties, the Creole cuisine of our DOM-TOM is on its own a wealth and an incomparable originality.

Named "the Pearl of the Antilles", the islands of les Saintes abound with culinary treasures due to the blending of Caribbean and Indian cultures (Arawak and then Carib Indians peoples), European culture (Breton, Angevin, Norman, from Poitou and from Saintongeais settlers) and African culture.

From the creative gastronomic menu combining cooking from the mainland France and the Creole cuisine to flavours of the traditional Caribbean cuisine, les Saintes are a range of the gastronomic diversity.

Without ignoring the flavour of the fish accras, of the traditional Caribbean Black sausages, the Cuisine of Les Saintes comes in the traditional Creole cuisine as well as:

"Kids" are free everywhere on the island !

If fish plays an important role in the local cuisine on the islands, this can be explained by the fact that fishing has for a long while been essential to the economic life of Les Saintes. By the way the fishermen from Les Saintes are known to be among the best fishermen in the West Indies. Fishing is mainly sold on the local market and can be seen again on the tables of restaurants.

The cuisine of Les Saintes excels also by the multitude of spice used in its dishes: whether it be the Colombo powder coming from Les Saintes which flavours meats, fish and vegetables or the seeds to fry, curry, cinnamon...this farandole of fragrances shake up your senses to appeal you!

Tourment d'amour.

Budget

As anywhere else, to eat cheap, eat local !

Mid-range

Restaurants at Les Saintes undoubtedly meet all delights and match all the purses. Rue Jean Calot, Quartier de la Colline, Route du bois Joli…for Terre de Haut. This trip throughout the West Indies tropical flavors starts by tasting Creole specialties based on local products as fish, lobsters or even the gastronomic creative cuisine with the blend of a mainland France local cooking with the local flavors to get a gourmet menu and a gastronomic table. Terre de Bas offers less restaurants but of an excellent quality also, with generous and flavorsome dishes along dreamy beaches, in a tropical and fairy atmosphere on a quiet island. Fresh fish and crustaceans for an authentic and succulent cooking !

Connect

Whether it’s for a traditional mailing, a parcel… by La Poste, a direct phone call (landline or mobile phone, even though the 3G network has difficulty to go anywhere yet) or even via the Internet (Wi-Fi available in many shops and also an internet point services), the islands of Terre de Haut and of Terre de Bas offer usual infrastructures for all their visitors.

Stay safe

The presence of doctor's surgeries, dental practices, a pharmacy, a free health center is a guarantee of taking in hand in case of health difficulties.

The access to health care is available with the French "Carte Vitale" as in the mainland of France.

In cases requiring it, French civil security can carry out an evacuation in emergency by helicopter to the hospital center of Basse-Terre.

Cope

Though Les Saintes are islands, the regular and daily shipping service ensures the required supply for the comfort of its inhabitants and visitors.

Cash dispensers are available 24/24 7/7.

Note that Terre de Haut has a household waste disposal service and a performing municipal environmental service.

Respect and quality of their environment are the main features of Les Saintes.

Go next

The nearby islands can be reached by boat (Marie-Galante, La Désirade, La Dominique).

Or by plane (Marie-Galante, La Dominique et la Martinique).

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, September 02, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.