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The guide for your holidays in Guadeloupe versione italiana english version
 


 

What is Guadeloupe like

 

The islands of Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe

Les Saintes

Marie Galante

La Désirade

 

Getting to and around

 

Useful Info

 

Where to stay

 

Restaurants and Bars

 

Activities and sport

 

 

Printable Guide

 

Discount Vouchers

 

Useful Links

 

 

les saintes, guadeloupe

 

 

les saintes, guadeloupe

 

 

les saintes, guadeloupe

 

 

les saintes, guadeloupe

 

 ISLANDS OF GUADELOUPE: LES SAINTES

Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

15 km of the southern coast of Guadeloupe, sits Les Saintes. A small archipelago, made up of 9 islands discovered by Christopher Columbus on 4 November 1493. It is known worldwide for the beautiful bay of Anse du Bourg, that reminds you a little of Rio's Pain de Sucre. Its is considered the third most beautiful bay in the world.
The two main islands, Terre de Haut of 4.52 Km2 and Terre de Bas of 9.45 km2 are the only ones inhabited, (Just over 3,000 inhabitants.), They are connected by a ferry that takes about 15 minutes to cross. Terre de Haut, reachable by ferry or air from Guadeloupe, welcomes many a tourist ashore for the day. Terre de Bas, has just one beach and a few easily accessible creeks. It is how-ever far less frequented and has managed to maintain its charm and tranquillity. Giving the impression of another era. Stop at least one night to enjoy the authenticity of the place and the peacefulness, after the departure of the last ferry at 16.30. The islands of Les Saintes, thanks to their isolation over the centuries, have maintained a unique character. Their offer their visitors numerous different beaches, which in our opinion are some of the most beautiful of Guadeloupe, many walks with unforgettable views, similar to that of its neighbouring islands such as Dominica. For diving fans Les Saintes is a true paradise, the dive sites are among the most beautiful island of Guadeloupe.

 

   
Visiting Les Saintes

les saintes harbourles saintes churchTerre de Haut

Terre de Haut can be visited in a day by scooter. A trip which will spoil you with fantastic views including the Pain de Sucre, the beaches and the Fort. Terre de Haut's town centre is also very pleasant to visit.
Despite the daily invasion of tourists to the town it has none the less retained its’ charm as a typical fishing village, with its wooden houses and local church constructed from local volcanic stone.

 

 

 


 

Fort Napoleon

fort napoleon les saintes

les saintes - panoramaLocated on the mire at 114m, the fort can be reached on foot in 20 minutes, (With a steep incline,) or by scooter. It overlooks Les Saintes, and its famous bay.
Fort Napoleon was constructed between 1844 and 1897 on the ruins of an existing fort, Fort Louis, which was destroyed by the English in 1809.
It hosted a garrison until 1889 without ever knowing enemy fire, the fort became a jail and served as a detention centre for political prisoners during the second world war.
Eventually abandoned, the restoration of the fort was undertaken in 1980 and today the fort is a museum dedicated to the history and traditions of Les Saintes and the Anglo-French naval battles to which it’s coastline bears witness.
iguana les saintesThe exotic garden inside the grounds of the fort, planted in 1984, showcases the diversity of flora found in Les Saints. Visitors will be amazed by the cactus collection and entertained by the Iguanas which roam the park.


Internet Site: www.fort-napoleon.com
Tel. 0590 610151. Open daily from 9am to 12,30. From July till August the fort remains open until 15,00.
Closed: 25 December, 1° January, 1° May, 27 May and 15-16 August.
Entry Fee: 6 Euros

 

 

Terre de Bas

terre de bas, les saintesTerre de Bas is connected with Terre de Haut by a ferry service, and can be visited in a half-day. It is a grande anse terre de bas, les saintesvery quiet fishing island. There are a few restaurants and several sleeping options.
Terre de Bas has a shuttle bus service connecting the port of Anse Muries and the village of Petites Anses to the south. Petites Anses still maintains its traditional village atmosphere with her modest houses, a church and cemetery.
From the port you can proceed by foot to Grande Anse, where you will find the only, yet beautiful beach on the island. Approximately a 30 minute walk.
About 15 minutes further by foot you will reach Grande Baie, not particulary impressive as a bay, but notable for the ruins of a antique furnace on the shore.


 

Sleeping in Les Saintes

les saintes viewAfter the earthquake that devastated Les Saintes in November 2004, the choice of accommodation is limited almost entirely to Terre de Haut. There are some guest house options at Terre de Bas, best to get informed at the tourist office at Terre de Haut.
The hotels costs vary between 70 and 300 euros a night depending on season and room type.
Bungalows, holiday homes and apartments are numerous, as on all the islands of the French Antilles, make reservations well in advance, not good for last minute holiday makers.
One way to be immersed in the reality of Les Saintes and save on accommodation costs is to find a room or apartment from a local Saintois who often rent to holiday makers.
Prices start from 30 Euros for a room, for a bungalow budget at least 50 Euros a night.

Beaches

 

pain de sucre beach les saintes guadeloupe

 

 Pain de Sucre

A small bay with coconut palm trees and crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkelling. You can reach on foot by following the signs to Anse Crawen, pass the junction for Chameau and approx 500mt on your right you will see a small path that takes you down to the sea.

 

pompierre beach les saintes guadeloupe

 

pompierre beach les saintes guadeloupe

 

Pompierre

Protected from the Atlantic by the Ilet Roche Percees, the Plage de Pompierre is a white sandy beach bordered by palm trees and sea grape trees under which you can find picnic tables & shelters. Very popular beach with several snack bars and restaurants in the area. Tourment d’amour sellers and cold drink vendors, at the beach’s entrance.

grande anse beach les saintes guadeloupe

 

Grande Anse - Terre de Haut

A long beach of approx 1 km. Swimming how-ever is forbidden because of the strong currents. Although ideal for kite surfing.

 fond curé beach terre de haut les saintes guadeloupe

 

Fond du Curé - Plage de la Colline

A white sanded beach, south of the hamlet and only a short distance from the town centre. It is dotted with palm trees has a restaurant, bar and dive centre.


Anse Crawen
A dark sanded beach with rocks. It is defined as a nudist beach, but we found no evidence of such. Also to bare in mind that nudism is forbidden on Les Saintes!

Anse du Figuier
A wide wild beach with dark sand just in front of Grand Ilet.

 

grande anse terre de bas les saintes guadeloupe

 

Grande Anse - Terre de Bas

The only beach at Terre de Bas. It gets it’s name from the hamlet of Grande Anse and is only 10 minutes away from the landing pier. It’s white sanded and there are a few bars and restaurants near by.

ilet cabri les saintes guadeloupe

 

Ilet à Cabri

In front of the hamlet of Terre-de-Haut, an island whose only inhabitants are iguanas and goats. It was military owned up to the 20th century. It has been used as prison and previously a leprosy hospital. There are the remains of Fort de Josephine that was built in 19th century on top of the ruins of a previous stand-post.
It is an ideal island for snorkelling and can be reached by boat.
 

Diving in Les Saintes

 

les saintes diving

 

For divers Les Saintes have some very beautiful spots such as Le Paté-Sec, one of the flagship spots in the Caribbean. Numerous divers come to Les Saints just to dive this site. It has a under water marine mountain which is 185 meters high, which peaks at -15 Three pitons.
The Aquarium is an extraordinary dive with its underwater canyons and faults, which are brimming with marine flora, a real unerwater true life aquarium.

 

 

The history of Les Saintes

poterie de grande baie les saintes

 

Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, Les Saintes were occupied by the French in 1648 but the settlers didn't rest long as the island has no fresh water sources. Because of their strategic location they where witness to many a naval battle. The British conquered the area in 1782 after a terrible battle. In 1816 Les Saintes returned to Franch ownership and divided into the two councils, Terre de Haut and Terre de Bas, the first dry and arid, the second with a more luxuriant vegetation.
The Saintois, are of Breton fishermen decent, are mostly white. As their ancestors where fishermen their was no use in importing a slave workforce, Slaves were only used in only in the small pottery of Grande Baie and for the plantations of cotton, indigo and cafe in Terre de Bas, which held a mere hundred slaves.
The Saintois are recognized across the Guadeloupe as skilled ship builders. The sailing boats are light, fast and 10 meters long, they are called Saintoises.
 

 

I Salakos

Salakos's are typical hats used by the fisherman of Les Saintes. Of Asian origin and imported by Chinese workers who came to Les Saintes to replace the slaves working in the pottery, these hats were latter adopted by the Saintois for seafaring. Now not so much in general use, you can still see and buy them at Terre de Bas, La Maison de l'Artisanat, in Grande Anse.

 

les saintes maison de l'artisanat

 

 

Panorama Les Saintes - Guadalupa

Accommodations in Les Saintes

 

all proposals of accomodation in Les Saintes

 

 

Restaurants in Les Saintes

 

all restaurants at Les Saintes 

 


Rental cars and scooters

 

 rental cars, scooters, bicycles on the islands of Guadeloupe

 

 

Places of interest

 

places of interest on the islands of Guadeloupe

 

 

Sports and activities

 

sport and activities on the islands of Guadeloupe

 

 

 

How to get to Les Saintes

 

les saintes - harbour

 

To reach Guadeloupe from Les Saintes by sea:
from Pointe a Pitre, Bergevin maritime station, 1-2 crossings in the morning, which take about an hour, returns late afternoon. Around 39 Euros return.
from Trois Rivières, crossing takes 20 minutes, 18 Euros return. Tickets on sale at the Syndicat d'Initiative. The boat sails once early in the morning and returns late afternoon. You can buy an inclusive ticket that includes the bus ticket to Pointe à Pitre, Bergevin maritime station.
From Basse-Terre, daily crossings except Sundays, boat sails in the morning. About 24 Euros each way, tickets are on sale on the boat itself.
From Saint François, daily with a stopover in Saint Louis-Marie Galante. Tickets on sale at the marina, where the boat also leaves from. Crossing takes about 90 minutes. 32 Euros return. Boat returns in late afternoon.
From Sainte Anne, the boat sails weekly in the early morning from the fishing port of Galbas. Stop over at Marie Galante, but occasionally the sail is direct. The return ticket costs about 33 Euros, tickets on sale at the American Bar on the seafront or the local crafts village. Return sail late afternoon, again weekly.
From Marie-Galante, you can catch the boats coming over from Saint Francois & Sainte Anne, departing early in the morning. Crossings take about 45 minutes, 25 Euros one way.
 

les saintes, guadalupa

 

By plane: Tropic Airlines tel. 0590 202 018   (Airport Terre de Haut tel. 0590 995 032)
 


Getting around in Les Saintes

 

 

When getting to Terre de Haut you will find plenty of local mini-buses, which offer various tours around the island. You can also easily hire a scooter, we would like to recommend Jean Michel from Jeny Location. The rates are about the same as the rest of the island but we find Jean Michel gives a reliable service. Les Saintes is a small island, but it is rather hilly, the scooters normally 100cc work well as a means of transport especially on the narrow and windy roads of Terre de Haut. If you arrive by plane, in Les Saintes there are numerous taxi's and a shuttle service linking the airport to the main points of call around the island. If you need to get to the town centre to get to you hotel, you should know that you are practically there already. Les Saintes has virtually no cars, and scooter is the most common forms of transport, especially as the island is so small and arid. Several scooter & motorbike hire agencies can be found around the town hall & pier at Terre de Haut. The average rental price for the day is 20 Euros, 25-30 for 24 hours. Ask plenty of questions regarding the rates & rental time, as the agents tend to be a bit vague. Smaller motorbikes are few and you will need to book, scooters are more plentiful, but a driving license will be required above 50cc.

 

la mairie les saintes

 

The town center of Terre de Haut has some traffic restrictions, especially in regards to motorbikes, so be careful & pay attention to the signs, which can be a little unclear. If you are planning to go to Terre de Bas your insurance will need to be extending as it will not be automatically valid. A Terre de Bas there are not any rental companies. For the more sportive you can rent a BMX for 10 Euros a day or 4 Euros per hour.
 

For Terre de Bas

 

molo les saintes

 

The shuttle boat to Terre de Bas leaves every morning from Terre de Haut and takes a 15 minutes crossing. It leaves from the main peir
The round trip costs 6 euros, inquire at the bar to confirm times, (Leaving 7.30, 8.30, 9.30, 11:20; return 10.45, 11.45 am and 15.15)

 

imbarcadero terre de bas les saintes

 

 

 

Notes

Arrange with cash on Terre de Bas.