At a shy above 10 square miles, and the tiniest of the islands that include the French West Indies, peaceful, stylish, and chic St. Barthelemy (St. Barth or St. Barts) has long been a popular retreat for the famous and wealthy. Even though it lacks the greenery of Martinique and Guadeloupe’s sister islands, it more than offsets with magnificent secluded beaches and an exceptional ambiance of exclusivity and luxury.
With sumptuous luxury yachts in the dock and experienced chefs in the restaurants, St. Barth is a paradise. Thanks to rigorous building regulations that have limited development, St. Barth has not become a stop for mass tourism. With little to do but shop, eat sumptuous meals at night and soak up the sun, St. Barth is the best paradise getaway on earth for business tycoons or those with a self-pampering mindset.
The Island’s Geography
The island is mountainous and dry. Arid, rocky and hill, St. Barth was unfit for sugar production and thus never received an extensive slave base. Therefore, unlike most of the other Caribbean islands, most of the 2500 local residents are descendants of the tough Breton and Norman settlers of 300 years ago. The hilly coastline provides various anchorages for luxury yachts, and about 20 beaches dot the island, each with a unique personality.
Booking your Yacht
There are various yachting events to pick when booking your luxury yacht. The St. Barth’s Cup, St. Barth’s Regatta, and the International Regatta are all racing events scheduled in March and May. The St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta that happens in early April is of special note for the rich yachtsman. The Bucket Regatta is a polished yacht race for luxury yachts over 80 feet in length. The race is a unique chance for larger yachts – both charter and private, to gather together around a beautiful racecourse in a good-natured test of skills and speed. Each of these regattas offers a magnificent sight for both landlubbers and seafarers.
St. Barth Beaches to Choose
One of the main draws of St. Barth is its stunning beaches. Most are easy to get to, but don’t forget that the more remote the beach, the fewer facilities there are and the less people dress! Some of the most attractive beaches are the following:
- Anse des Flamands: This is indeed one of the most beautiful white-sand beaches, with small hotels on the shore. It is a fabulous place to swim in the calm, turquoise blue waters or take a long beach walk.
- Anse de Lorient: This is a famous beach with the locales who want to enjoy body surfing and surfing in the rolling waves. Be aware of the undercurrents and tide.
- Baie de St.-Jean: This is an excellent beach for the family. It is a decent spot for water sports and windsurfing. Beachside restaurants make you feel like you are on a Cote d’Azur.
- Shell Beach: This brilliant shell-ridden beach is in the center of Gustavia. The calm sea is perfect for swimming.
- Anse de Grande Saline: Silent, with its sandy ocean bottom, this excellent beach is everyone’s favorite. It is excellent for swimmers. The beach is about a 5-minute walk up a rocky dune trail. Although there is a government prohibition against nude sunbathing, old and young alike go nude here.
- Anse de Colombier: This beautiful white sand beach is the hardest to reach and thus the most private on the island. You must arrive by sea or take a 45-minute steep rock trail from the top of the hill behind the beach to reach it. Luxury yacht lovers prefer this beach and cove for its tranquil harbor.