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Thread: A perfect Little Caribbean island

  1. #1
    BBT is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2008 Posts: 11,046

    A perfect Little Caribbean island

    A Perfect Little Caribbean Island

    August 15th, 2015 | 12:39 pm




    The best-kept secret in the French Caribbean
    By Alexander Britell
    TERRE-DE-HAUT ó Itís not hard to get here. But itís hard enough.
    Itís a short, twice-daily ferry ride from the tall cliffs of Trois-Rivieres on Guadeloupeís island of Basse-Terre.

    There are flights here, very small flights, into a very small airport.
    Thatís it. Regular trips, consistent trips, but nothing direct and nothing frequent.

    Itís just hard enough to get here that this little fishing village with its own island has retained a peculiar kind of small-island charm.

    It is very French, a slice of Brittany in the West Indies, and also very Caribbean, with rows of Creole-style houses on the main road in town.

    This is the best-kept secret in the French Caribbean, the tucked-away corner of a larger archipelago, Guadeloupe, that has, due to decades without direct US flights, remained hidden away from just about any tourist who doesnít speak French.

    Terre-de-Haut has almost no cars, just a slew of golf carts and solar-powered electric carts and scores of mopeds, driven by tourists and locals alike.
    Indeed, if you come here and donít get one of the rental carts in the first half hour, youíll end up on a moped, or taking long strolls.

    The island, which is part of Guadeloupeís picturesque Les Saintes archipelago-within-an-archipelago, has everything one seeks in a Caribbean island: a robust group of top-level restaurants; just-lively-enough bars serving Tií Punch or champagne; a few art galleries; and, most importantly, some stunning beaches.

    The latter is what brings many travelers here to Pain-du-Sucre, which means Sugar Loaf and is a diminutive version of the famous Sugar Loaf in Brazil; it takes a relatively flat 15 minute hike to get here, but the finish line is worth it ó a rocky bornhardt overlooking a beach so clear it canít be described by any kind of glass or alcoholic beverage. That is true of almost all the coastal water here.

    There are not many hotels, but just enough: Le Bois Joli, the closest thing to a resort, with a beach, a swimming pool, a restaurant and several wings with superb views of the archipelago.

    Then there is the funky Les Petits Saints, a high-design boutique in the hills.
    Above: the view from a room at Le Bois Joli.

    And then my favorite, LoBleu, which is not luxurious by any means but it is clean and kind and seduces you into thinking youíve walked right into the plot of an old summer book. Itís right on the main beach in town, too, usually crowded only by bobbing fishing boats.
    The best room view at Lo Bleu.

    And then there is the food. Smoked marlin. Foie gras. Accras de morue. Magret de canard. A tart-style dessert called tourment díamour. Every meal is greater than the last. And no thatís not travel hyperbole. It is as good as that, or better.

    Youíd think it was the perfect little Caribbean island. Thatís what I think.
    Before I came here, I heard it was like St Barth before it became St Barth.

    Itís just a bit less than 2,000 people, but when you walk the silent streets you feel increasingly confident that it will never become St Barth. And thatís a good thing.
    Because it will remain Terre-de-Haut.

    Adventure, CJ Travel, Experience, News
    "St. Bart's is Crack for Vacations." Credit given to EDW

  2. #2
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 2,145

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Looks perfectly amazing...so quaint and laid back. Will have to add to our bucket list. Nothing will replace St. Barth in our hearts though!

  3. #3
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,317

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    A very well kept secret. Why is there nothing one sees about it anywhere as it looks beautiful?

    From Wikipedia-

    Terre-de-Haut is a commune in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe, including Terre-de-Haut Islandand a few other small uninhabited islands of the archipelago (les Roches Percťes; őlet ŗ Cabrit; Grand-őlet; la Redonde). It is the most populous island of the archipelago of the les Saintes. The Fort Napolťon is located in this commune.
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    Tourism[edit]

    Terre-de-Haut is the most tourist-friendly municipality in les Saintes archipelago, with hotels bungalows, bars and restaurants. There is little formalized activity, but one can tour the restored Fort Napoleon or rent mopeds. Located there is the beautiful Plage de Pompierre beach,[1] as well as small guest-houses, eateries, French-Creole shops, and an active harbour where ferries passengers from Guadeloupe arrive. The local people make a living from fishing and from tourism. Visitors are free to explore without modern-day intrusion. The Euro is coin of the realm, but credit cards are easily accepted. A little airport is built since 1973 and permit to welcome private plane from Guadeloupe and Caribbean islands.

  4. #4
    Cliff is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Nov 2006 Connecticut Posts: 397

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Visited via Windstar cruise and it really is a jewel! https://cliff.smugmug.com/Travel/Caribbean/Guadeloupe/

  5. #5
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,322

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    We 1st visited Terre de Haute about 25 yrs ago on a Windstar cruise when WS had only ships with sails, were told then it was what St Barths was years ago before it was discovered. There couple weeks ago on the Pride, year before on the Legend, more stores & charming restaurants, went to same last yr & this. Still nice little island !

  6. #6
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,317

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Unusual that this ‘gem’ seems so off the ‘beaten path.’

  7. #7
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,348

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    This thread, going back to 2015 is a little off the beaten path
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  8. #8
    andynap is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 45,203

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Quote Originally Posted by JEK View Post
    This thread, going back to 2015 is a little off the beaten path
    I wasn’t going to say anything but it’s so obvious


    Andy

  9. #9
    kent1994 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2004 Oxford, Md. NYC Posts: 1,868

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Not the first time

  10. #10
    Happycamper is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2020 Boston Posts: 70

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Absolutely recommend this island, if you don't mind the two transfers to get to Guadeloupe and then the ferry to Terre de Haute, and don't mind the walking once there (no cars allowed.) We stayed at the dream-like villa in the photo below wedged in between two beaches at the foot of iconic Pain du Sucre. You can swim from one beach around the point to the other beach enjoying the tropical fish along the way. Many say the island is like St Barth 40-50 years ago, but I wouldn't know...that was before my time.


  11. #11
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,317

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    What does it matter to discuss apparently a well kept ‘secret’- Terre de Haut.
    It appears you both (JEK and Andy) have made up ‘rules’ that people can not comment upon posts you deem too old and make fun of those who do.
    Simple question- Why?

  12. #12
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 1,223

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Quote Originally Posted by stbartshopper View Post
    What does it matter to discuss apparently a well kept ‘secret’- Terre de Haut.
    It appears you both (JEK and Andy) have made up ‘rules’ that people can not comment upon posts you deem too old and make fun of those who do.
    Simple question- Why?
    Good question.

  13. #13
    REK is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Aug 2020 Posts: 94

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    This is indeed a very special island. I was staying at Les Petit Saints and saw an American looking fellow writing on a yellow legal pad. I asked him if he was a writer and he said he is and he's doing an article for Conde Nast on the French West Indies. I asked where he was going next and he said St Barts! We had a long conversation and I laid out an itinerary for him. He was very appreciative and when the article came out he started the St Barts section like this. "St Barts is a Topless island. Topless cars, topless women, topless bank accounts." I think he nailed it!

  14. #14
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,322

    Re: A perfect Little Caribbean island

    Lovely little island where we've visited at least 3 times on Windstar cruises going back 30 yrs, different now, but now Seabourn size ships also visit, note I have nothing against that line, just brings more people on the streets & the perfect little island. Great little restos over the visits.

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