St. Barts, or Saint Barthelemy, is a chic French island located in the Caribbean. Well known for being the beach hotspot and playground of the wealthy, it holds the top spot for being the most elite destination in the region and a high-end luxury holiday destination.
The capital city, Gustavia, is famous for it shopping streets and boutique stores. The various beaches, each boasting their own special appeal, culinary experiences, nightlife, and blissful spa experiences are just some of the things you can do when exploring St. Barts.
Best visited during the period of April to June, these three months boast affordable accommodation after the peak winter periods. An incredibly safe island, St. Barts offers a cocktail of fun and relaxation rolled into one. So, without further ado, here are 10 great things to do when lounging around St. Barts:
1. Surf the waves at the 'Washing Machine'
The ‘Washing Machine’ is one of St. Barts many great attractions and somewhat of a local hidden secret. Tucked away in the corner of a beach lining Grand Fond Road, the path that leads to this site is narrow and rocky, discouraging random visitors from exploring its hidden charm.
It is named the ‘Washing Machine’ because, during specific times of the year, the action of the seawater crashing against the rocky sides of the cliff, and the swirling motion it makes, prompted locals to think of it as being like the cycle of a common washing machine.
During the winter months, the water can be rough. But during the summer, this place is a hotspot not only for picture-taking and great picturesque views, but for avid and expert surfers looking for a challenge.
2. Pack your picnic baskets for a romantic time at Colombier Beach
If you prefer exclusivity and secluded beaches, Colombier Beach is the place for you.
Whether it’s a simple picnic with the family, or a romantic proposal as the crystal-blue waters glisten as the backdrop, Colombier is sure to live up to your expectations as the isolated but peaceful haven you imagined it to be.
Pack food, wine, your swimming gear, and beach towels, and head out to this secret hideout of a beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, add in some snorkeling gear and take a dip in the waters for some underwater exploration.
Relatively quiet, this beach can only be reached by a 25-minute slow hike up a rocky goat trail or a private boat hire. The serenity of the pristine sand and waves crashing against the rocky coastline is definitely worth the extra effort you take to get to this haven.
3. Get first class treatment at Spa at Le Guanahani
Experience sheer relaxation and serenity at Le Guanahani’s ‘Spa My Blend by Clarins’.
As you walk through the exotic tropical gardens and vibrantly coloured Creole architecture of the hotel to get to the teak and mahogany decorated treatment rooms, you can almost feel yourself entering the Zen mood and your muscles slowly starting to relax.
With a wide range of world-class spa treatments, there is something for every ailment or ache in your body. Take a dip in the swimming pool, have a refreshing cup of tea at the tea pavilion, and get ready to feel refreshed and reconnected with the world.
Address: Grand Cul-de-Sac, 97133 St. Barthelemy, FWI
Duration: around 5 hours required
Contact: 590 590 52 90 00
Website: Le Guanahani
4. Shop! Because it's a duty-free island!
St. Barts is a duty-free port.
This means you can enjoy excellent duty-free shopping in its 200 plus boutique shops in Gustavia. Well known for its fashionable clothing, sparkling diamonds, and designer apparels, there is always something new to discover.
Boutiques line the three main shopping streets of Quai de la Republique, elegant Carre d'Or plaza, and La Savane Commercial Center.
Some of the shops selling designer items often carry products not available overseas, so before you begin grabbing everything off the shelves, note that bargains are tough to come by.
So, go forth shopaholics, and hunt around for your holy grail items; you may just find them here!
5. Rent a yacht and see St. Barts from the water
So you’ve visited different places of interest around the island and looked out at the amazing beachfront view that St. Barts has to offer from different angles. But have you seen St. Barts from the sea?
If the answer is no, then you’re missing out on a great experience! Enjoy the calm and clear waters from a luxurious yacht hire, take a ride out to sea, and see the marine life that the island has to offer. Don’t forget to look back and see the island, covered in lush greenery and with palm trees lining the edges, sandy, pristine beaches fringing the coast.
A great way to see St. Barts in a different light, take a yacht out to sea and enjoy!
6. Party all night at Le Ti St. Barts!
A magical place in St. Barts and many a local’s favourite watering hole, Le Ti St. Barts is a destination not to be missed by those who just want to party, enjoy life, and have a good feeling.
All the rumours about this amazing place being the ‘One’ to go to are true. The gourmet dishes, the spontaneous fashions shows, the red-carpet-themed evenings, and the lively dancing customers, bring the place to life every evening.
Dance the night away at Le Ti St. Barts and you will definitely not regret it (well, maybe just a little if you have to wake up early in the morning for something)!
Le Ti St. Barths
Address: Pointe Milou, n/a St. Barthélemy, 97133, St. Barthélemy
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday - Saturday, Closed Sunday & Monday. No lunch
Duration: around 3 hours required
Website: Le Ti St. Barths
7. Snag some nice-smelling souvenirs from Ligne St Barth
So friends and family heard that you’re headed to one of the most luxurious and amazing places in the Caribbean. Requests for gifts pour in, but you don’t know what would be a great thing to give.
Enter Ligne St Barth, probably the best-smelling souvenirs and gifts you can get. With a dedicated bath and body range, the brand provides unique scents and faces up to the challenge of harsh weather and environments, aiming to provide the best nourishment for your tired skin.
Get this as as a souvenir and nobody will ever want to get a key chain as a gift anymore!
Ligne St Barth
Address: Route de Saline, Lorient 97133, St. Barthélemy
Duration: around 1 hour required
Contact: +590 590 27-8263
Website: Ligne St Barth
8. Collect pretty shells along Shell Beach
A uniquely amazing destination on St. Barts, Shell Beach was named after the millions of tiny seashells that form the beach instead of sand. Popular amongst tourists, there are plenty of water activities to be enjoyed at this beautiful, pristine beach.
With so many seashells along the shore, it makes for a great day of just strolling, collecting, and sunbathing. Considered by locals and tourists as one of the most scenic beaches in the Caribbean, stay till sunset for one of the most amazing sunsets you can find in St. Barts!
Get ready to stroll along, hand in hand with your significant other, and pick from an array of seashells to bring home as natural souvenirs.
9. Visit the Nature Reserve of Saint-Barthelemy
If you’re looking for something other than lounging on beaches or getting a nice tan, visiting the Nature Reserve of Saint-Barthelemy might just be the best thing for you.
A marine reserve separated into five zones around the island, the nature reserve aims to preserve as much as they can of the fragile marine ecosystems that are currently under threat.
Going for a dive at the reserve might give you the chance to see turtles, eagle rays, and even reef sharks up close. Add the vibrant corals to the must-view list too.
Do note that diving and all forms of fishing are prohibited in areas with high protection.
Nature Reserve of Saint Barthelemy
Address: Quai de la République, Gustavia BP 683, 97133 Saint-Barthélemy
Duration: around 3 hours required
Contact: 590 590 27 88 18
Website: Nature Reserve of Saint Barthelemy
10. Admire the expensive sailboats along Gustavia Marina
Last but not least, take some time off from the beach-hopping and manic shopping to just stroll along Gustavia Marina and admire the expensive sail-boats that sit in the dock.
Open daily, this site is not like any other. Admire the bobbing boats in the water, soak up the colourful scenes, and paint a wonderful picture in your head as you stroll by.
Probably the most rewarding experiences of visiting the marina are the magical views, both of the stunning sunset and the attractive panoramas as you reach the end of the pier. Don’t forget your camera and your widest smile!
Enjoy a magical place and visit St. Barts
While St. Barts can be considered a rich person’s playground, there is so much this little island has to offer other than expensive accommodation and bars.
Enjoy the pristine beaches, the great duty-free shopping, and the nice people that this island is home to. And, of course, have heaps of fun!
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