The capital of St Barth’s was named by the Swedish rulers during their occupation in the 1800s. Filled with exclusive shops, pick up some unique items and the latest island fashions before heading to the secluded beaches of the smaller islands. St. Jean is a pretty nearby village, with a sheltered bay that is perfect for kite surfing, kayaking, and sailing. During a walk around the town you may well spot a movie star, relaxing at one of the sophisticated villas.
As Colombier is only accessible by boat or foot, this small beach on the northwest tip of St. Barth’s retains an isolated feel. Still known as ‘Rockefeller’s Beach’, after its previous owner, this is a favourite picnic spot for locals. Your chef can prepare a picnic for you to hop out and join them, and relax on the soft sands. If you’re craving activity, hike up through the forested hills to reach views that stretch across both sides of the island. Explore the little beaches and bays, and your crew can book you a table at the Isle de France hotel where you will be delighted by Chef Yann Vinsot’s creations.
Today you will leave the main island, and cruise northwest to the deserted islet of Île Fourchue. Paddle to land to explore the waters by kayak, or go for a hike to discover the remnants of the islands history. The vegetation is unique – be sure to take a hat and umbrella as there are no shady trees, leaving low lying scrub; an interesting contrast to the rainforest of St. Barth’s. The diving is world-class when the currents are not too strong, with the usual reef fish sharing the waters with visiting rays and turtles.
On your final day you will visit the largest island, St Maarten. In contrast to the isolation of Tintamerre, St. Maarten boasts a number or lovely resorts, hotels and restaurants. Despite being the biggest beach on the island, Long Bay is still the quietest, allowing you to find a secluded spot to relax and listen to the gentle waves. Still within the nature reserve, the waters are often calm and good for snorkeling and swimming. When the weather picks up, there are many surfing spots. Tender ashore in the afternoon and sample the freshly fried local fish, soak up the friendly atmosphere. Enjoy the spa or visit the chic Le West Indies shopping mall at Marigot, or listen to traditional calypso music for the perfect end to your Caribbean cruise.
Long Bay Beach lies on the opposite corner of St. Martin from Tintamarre, so a cruise there gives you a good chance to view the rest of the island. The bay is true to its name, being the longest stretch of sand on the island, yet it is still one of the quietest, and it’s possible to find a secluded spot all to yourself. In calm conditions it’s good for snorkeling, otherwise you can have fun playing in the surf. The eastern end of the bay is home to the exclusive Orient-Express resort, La Samanna. Tender ashore to enjoy the spa or cruise on to Marigot and visit the upscale Le West Indies Shopping Mall or peruse fine local art at the galleries.