Give me 30 seconds:
- If you plan to hike to Colombier Beach or Toiny Beach, make sure to bring a backpack with sunscreen, hat and water. The hike is intense and shoes are a better option than flip flops.
- In addition to coverups and beach attire, bring appropriate clothing for restaurants and cafes. This is only applicable if you are not staying on the island and only doing a day trip here.
- Rent a Vespa if you can! Its not expensive and a really fun and easy way to get around the island.
- Must try restaurants: L'Isola, L'esprit Saline, Eden Rock
To get from St. Maarten to Saint- Barthelemy is pretty simple via ferry; We took the Great Bay Ferry. Round trip the ticket is about $117 a person and about a 40 min ride. When you think of St. Barth's you think of all the celebrities who spend their holidays there, or the chic people wearing their best beach whites, this is all pretty true depending on where you are. The capital, Gustavia, encompasses a yacht filled harbor combining high end dining and luxury shopping. There are a lot of great restaurants in this area to discover and try.
Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy
Gustavia is Saint Barthelemy's capital, a small harbor town lined with chic boutiques, gourmet restaurants, outdoor bars and duty free shopping.
We rented a vespa to get around the island and that was super fun. Once you dock in Saint Barthelemy, you will see plenty of vespa renting options if thats a route you want to take.
Really enjoyed L'Isola in the heart of Gustavia. Funny thing, I actually ran into 3 of my Manhattan friends here at this place so it felt like a little piece of home. The great energy and vibe and superb Italian food comes with a heavier price tag, but worth it if you're into the scene.
Colombier Beach, Saint Barthelemy
My absolute favorite beach in Saint Barthelemy, its absolute paradise! To reach this beach, there are two options, both hiking. My recommendation is the scenic route along the side of the mountain which overlooks the ocean the entire hike. Its about a 15 minute on slightly dangerous terrain but 100% worth it! The other option is via something that looks like a forest and thick vegetation with lizards, turtles and goats around. Colombier beach boasts the most beautiful crystal clear green blue water, pristine white sand and absolutely no distractions around. The beach is perfect for honeymooners, non rowdy people and quiet couples. There is not a lot of shade here because there aren't that many trees, but the water is absolutely delightful and you might just spend all your time splashing around in it.
Shell Beach, Saint Barthelemy
Shells replace sand at this quiet little beach. Bring your own towels, food and drink if you plan to sit out and not eat at Do Brazil. Note there is only one restaurant, Do Brazil, perched on the rocks above the beach, so if you plan to eat there, make reservations in advance.
Saline Beach, Saint Barthelemy
Saline Beach is the perfect crescent of white sand and virtually untouched by commercial shops and restaurants. If you can, bring your own umbrella or even just a hat. There is no shade on this beach. We randomly stumbled upon L'esprit Saline restaurant near Saline Beach and it is one of the most fashionable spots in Saint Barthelemy. With open air seating and gourmet food by famed chef Jean Claud Dufour, you certainly will pay somewhat of a heavier price tag for the meal, but its worth the experience. Make sure to have actual clothing (not just swim coverup) as the crowd is pretty fashionable and chic and the restaurant frowns the "just come from the beach" look.
Toiny Coast, Saint Barthelemy
We parked our vespa on the Grand Fond, the opposite side from Toiny Beach and took a hike up over the dirt trail to the big natural pools. Some of the climb is a little dangerous and challenging if wet. Under some of the rocks, there are sea urchins, so be careful. The pools are scenic and warm and its well worth it!
Saint Jean Beach, Saint Barthelemy
Came to Eden Rock for a light afternoon snack and cocktail and scope out the scene at Saint Jean Beach. Pretty expensive but the views, service and ambiance was worth it. Tables and seating directly on the beach makes Eden Rock a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Eden Rock is first a hotel and then a restaurant, but because we weren't staying at the hotel, the only way onto the property and beach is through the restaurant and were so glad we did!
Saint Barthelemy is truly a wonderful combination of excellent weather, idyllic beaches, sophisticated restaurants and super chic island vibes. Its definitely is more of a scene than any other islands I have stayed at before. Its quite the luxurious experience and if this sounds like its up your alley, I promise you will enjoy it! If not, read here for Kauai suggestions and thats way more laid back!
As always, GO JETSETAWAY!