Saint Barthélemy's Sandy Pleasures

To each their own beach.

When life is a beach

One of the oldest people to have ever lived was from the tiny island nation of St Barts. Eugénie Blanchard, a catholic nun, lived 114 years and 261 days. You can imagine how she held on for so long: on an island of 25 square kilometers, the world around you is mostly a beach.

The harbor of Gustavia, the jet set-friendly capital of St Barts


St Barts has 22 public beaches. On the leeward side, the waters are calm and perfect for swimming. Take Colombier Beach, which is only accessible by foot or by boat. The views are quintessentially St Barts: an attractive crescent-shaped bay surrounded by cacti-studded hills and rock formations. Due to its relative inaccessibility, this is also where you’ll have the most privacy.

Colombier Beach


On the windward side, conditions are perfect for water sports. At buzzy St-Jean, which is just close to the capital of Gustavia, you’ll find plenty of facilities for windsurfing.  It’s also the place to see and be seen at several toes-in-the-sand bars and bistros. If you fancy that James Bond feeling; walk out of the water in slow motion while everyone is watching. Especially on Sundays, check out La Plage: it’s where all the action is.

Rather than a nuisance, the occasional plane landing adds to the excitement at St Jean beach

Free Willy

Secluded between dunes and mountains on both sides, Grande Saline Beach is impossibly pretty and serene. There are no bars or restaurants or facilities on the beach, so you must bring in all of your own food, drinks, and shade. On the plus side, you don’t really have to wear anything here —most people don't.

Nuns look away: this Grande Saline is popular with nudists

Ready for a dose of sweet nothing on St Barts’ best beaches?

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All images sourced from Shutterstock