St. Barths’ capital, Gustavia, owes its name to the brief time the island was in Swedish hands and is a great place to hit exclusive shops before you head to more remote shores. Anchoring on the windward side of the island, the wide bay at St. Jean is protected by a reef and is an ideal place for kite- or windsurfing. The fine, white-sand beach is overlooked by the Eden Rock hotel.
This small beach is only accessible by boat or on foot and offers excellent snorkeling and diving. It’s a popular Sunday picnic spot with locals and is also known as Rockefeller’s beach as David Rockefeller owned the land that surrounded it for some years. Those with extra energy can hike over to Anse des Flamands while enjoying panoramic ocean views over both sides of the island. Beachcomb along the golden crescent of Flamands beach, and have lunch at the intimate Isle de France hotel before returning to Colombier.
This deserted island lies just a few miles northwest of St. Barths. Once tucked into the bay, you can explore ashore by kayak and on foot (with just the goats for company). The snorkeling is good, with rays and turtles adding to the usual reef fish (part of the Marine Reserve). The best dive site in the area is found off the southwest tip of the island, so long as the current or swells are not too strong.
Once more you can enjoy the privileged access that a yacht offers by sailing to yet another uninhabited isle—80-acre Tintamarre off the northeast corner of St. Martin. The most common word that seems to crop up when people talk about Tintamarre is “paradise.” This is what people imagine when you say “desert island;” there is no habitation, just turquoise water, white sand, and palm trees.
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.